We’ll start with an opinion and put it upfront to save you time.
B2B marketing is over as we know it. Full stop.
A tsunami of buyer behavioral change is coming. Generative AI will truncate buyer research cycles and steal away with the first-party and third-party data that drives so much of our buyer engagement.
Disagree? You’re welcome -- you’ve just saved yourself 15 minutes. Philz Coffee is calling. I’ll take a double espresso.
Still with us? Good. Buckle up.
Before we get to the solutions, we’ll have to get in our flying car for a bit, so bear with us as we project what we believe the future has in store for us.
Some not-so-big assumptions:
The next generation of Generative AI will supplant search. This will happen rapidly as generative AI delivers 10x the value and supplants traditional search as the starting point for buyer research. Think of an accelerating curve that begins today and ends in 18 months. Yes, it will be that fast. You need to look no further than Google’s “Code Red” response to the introduction of ChatGPT if you’re not convinced.
The death of rules-based chatbots. It’s coming. AI chatbots will take over, perform better, offer real-time personalization, and boost conversions from diminishing site traffic. This oasis in a desert of change will delight marketers and facilitate the next big shift, which is…
The death of the B2B website. For anyone that’s poured over Google Analytics or tried to bend a Hot Jar heat map, we know that the buyer’s journey through our websites isn’t easy. Guess what? AI chatbots will change that by providing the right answer for the right audience with breathtaking accuracy. Not buying it? Think of it this way: when’s the last time you searched the internet by randomly plugging potential URLs into your browser?? You don’t - because search engines are far more effective than guessing URLs. When buyers realize they can get everything they need without navigating a website, 98% of your URLs become dead weight. The AI chatbot will rule all.
Meet your new marketing platform, the AI chatbot that ate your website. Your website is now a crisp, 10-URL structure that provides just enough credibility to encourage reticent buyers to engage with your AI chatbot and JUST enough of a footprint for search engines to rank your chatbot. All that amazing content you created in the past is now held in your content management system, hidden from buyers. Organic site traffic is now just a trickle as your AI chatbot becomes searchable and ranks independently from your website. Google’s stock price doubles as ad spend and ROAS skyrocket. But, that trickle of organic traffic converts at 20x what you experienced under the old search paradigm.
Organic traffic becomes king, and more complicated to generate. As organic traffic becomes even more important and more precious B2B marketers will need to create brand awareness beyond now antiquated, website-based digital and content management practices. But, with what? And, how? Your website’s toast. Content distribution? Yup, if you’re not already publishing to the content distribution powerhouses like YouTube, do it now. But the same old drumbeat of product and brand-centered content will lose (and lose big) as generative AI floods the market with the same old corporate content at pennies on the dollar.
Just one more thing…..email marketing died along the way. AI killed that too. Gmail and Outlook now apply AI filters, narrowing emails that land in your inbox to brands you already trust. Prospecting emails? Dead. Yes, the end of spam is nigh.
Ok, we will give you a moment to recover from the massive anxiety attack you just had.
If you’ve got a disdainful smirk, please stand over there in that display case with the Velociraptors. You need to stand really, really still for a really, really long time.
Look, even if you agree with only half of what we’ve predicted, you know change is on its way.
B2B marketing tactics have been flooding inboxes and cluttering social media feeds to uneven returns for years. Early indicators are that a correction is due as we slog through the tech recession and marketing budgets face the machete.
So what’s next? We will make a case for several strategies, including community marketing, flywheels, and brand authenticity, so stay tuned.
Until then, fear not. We’re marketers. We’re smart, adaptive, and best of all, we get to lead this change from the feet up, with a little help from the AI bots that just ate our websites.