B2B marketing is undergoing rapid changes as the new generation of tech-savvy stakeholders takes on key decision-making roles. These digital natives are used to interacting with consumer brands through various online channels and expect the same level of speed and convenience when they communicate with vendors at work.
One major trend is the use of chatbots and messaging apps to implement conversational marketing strategies and provide customer support. While the technology was mostly used in B2C marketing, it has become increasingly popular among B2B companies. It's particularly suited for account-based marketing (ABM,) which focuses on delivering a highly targeted customer experience.
What's a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a software application that simulates human conversation. Users communicate with a chatbot via an online interface or by voice and it interprets the user's words to provide a pre-set answer instantly.
Many of today's chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and can be implemented through major messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and more.
The Benefits of Using Chatbots and Messaging Apps in B2B Marketing
Chatbot technologies can help improve customer experience and drive more sales by:
Increasing customer engagement through conversational marketing to help prospects better understand your brand and develop a favourable impression.
Shortening sales cycles by delivering the right information exactly when and where the prospects need it to progress them down the sale funnel effectively.
Reaching more customers through the apps they already use to create more opportunities for an ongoing dialogue that helps build relationships.
Facilitating the implementation of ABM strategies by delivering highly personalised and relevant content to individual buying team members.
Answering prospects' questions instantly or routing the inquiries to the right agents to lower response time and improve resolution rates.
Gathering real-time feedback and input directly from users. These qualitative answers can enhance quantitative data analytics to generate deeper insights about your audience.
Leveraging automation technologies to increase efficiency while freeing up agents to interact with customers in a more meaningful way so you can increase customer loyalty.
How To Leverage Chatbots and Messaging Apps In B2B Marketing
Chatbot technologies can help you implement many B2B marketing strategies at scale cost-efficiently to drive sales and increase customer retention. Here's how:
Tap Into the Power of Personalisation
79% of organisations that exceed their revenue goals have a personalisation strategy. Chatbots can help you deliver timely and relevant experiences by providing targeted information based on users' interactions with your brand in real-time.
You can also integrate chatbots with various social media sites and your customer data management platform so the conversations can address each user's order history, preferences, interest, role, industry, location, and more.
Increase Customer Lifetime Value
You can program a chatbot to combine users' real-time interactions with their purchase histories and browsing behaviours to offer relevant product recommendations so you can increase revenue through upselling and cross-selling.
Use chatbots to send reorder reminders via messaging apps to existing customers. This helps increase customer loyalty and retention rates by making it easy to buy again from you. Also, you can take the opportunity to promote bulk purchase discounts, product bundles, and/or additional product recommendations to increase the average order value.
Reach a Wider Audience
When you leverage chatbots on social media messaging platforms, you can reach a much wider audience that may not know about your company. You can also tap into the audience data on these platforms to deliver the right message to the right people to increase conversion rates.
For B2B marketers, LinkedIn offers a particularly effective channel to reach a highly specific target audience since you can search members by company name, company size, location, role, job title, and more. Many chatbot technologies integrate with the LinkedIn messaging app to help simplify implementation.
Improve Customer Service
Today's B2B customers want answers to their questions whenever and wherever they need it. Many also prefer to use self-service tools instead of interacting with an agent. However, due to the complexity of many B2B transactions, customers may need to speak to a rep at times.
A chatbot helps boost customer satisfaction by offering the best of both worlds. Automation allows users to get simple answers immediately while AI-driven technologies can interpret more complex questions and route inquiries to the right agents to ensure that customers get the help they need as expediently as possible.
Identify High-quality Leads
You can program a chatbot to interpret specific buyer behaviours, such as requesting a particular piece of product information, to identify leads that are most likely to convert. These leads can then be passed onto sales more quickly to increase conversion rates.
Such behavioural data can inform your lead scoring strategy and help your sales team focus on cultivating relationships with high-quality leads so you can increase productivity, boost win rates, and improve resource allocation.
Nurture Leads and Stay Top of Mind
Communicate with prospects and customers regularly via messaging apps to check in with them, share relevant information, and announce new products. Using automation technologies to nurture relationships can help you build trust over time and at scale, allowing you to stay on your customers' radar cost-effectively.
You can also use the buyer behavioural data (e.g., the type of content a prospect is most interested in) to update customer profiles, inform your segmentation strategy, and improve ABM results. This will help you deliver the right information to the right people at the right time to accelerate the sales cycle.
Boost Your B2B Marketing Results With Marketing Automation Technologies
Chatbot and messaging apps are an indispensable tool in many B2B marketers' arsenal. It allows you to generate instant insights about your audience so you can meet them exactly where they're at in the buyer's journey to progress them down the sales funnel with real-time engagement.
Thanks to the latest marketing automation technologies, you can now integrate chatbots and messaging apps with other popular B2B marketing platforms to deliver an omnichannel customer experience that will help nurture leads and increase conversion.