Engagement may be the B2B buzzword, but prospects are signaling they are sick of pesky pop-up ads, boring bulk emails, and other intrusive tactics. Privacy-respecting browsers and search engines allow many to turn-off ads and make themselves unavailable to marketers.
How can businesses engage in a way the customer welcomes rather than rejects? The answer may be in a new generation of marketing platforms that seek insights quietly without need for customer interaction.
“We believe it all starts with the data,” said Jason Zintak, Chief Executive Officer of 6sense Insights Inc. “We don’t blast emails. We monitor a relationship — what that’s like, how we might engage. And the data allows us to do that.”
Zintak joined John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, at theCUBE’s Palo Alto, California, studio for a CUBE Conversation on next-generation platforms and how new technology is influencing marketing and sales strategy.
The spooky powers of AI working at a distance
The secret to the data insights provided by 6sense isn’t psychic powers. It’s new technology.
“We now have compute power that allows us to process huge amounts of data sets,” Zintak said. “So it’s our belief that [marketing and sales tactics] should all be data first and driven from AI.”
The company’s next-generation account-based orchestration platform analyzes customer engagement data without requiring actions such as clicking on an ad … “without the vendor being contacted. Without someone raising their hand and saying, ‘I want a vendor message,’” Zintak stated.
This is possible because 68% of the B2B sales cycle is now done anonymously. Meaning customers go online and do their own pre-purchase research rather than reaching out to potential vendors for information. 6sense’s platform aggregates and analyzes data from these self-driven searches to provide powerful insights into what a potential customer is looking for.
“We can see what’s going on with the activity, and based on that … AI tells us what tactic might be the most appropriate,” Zintak explained. This provides a strategy that requires less customer contact but is more effective and more precisely targeted.
This data isn’t restricted to attracting potential customers. It also helps increase customer satisfaction and slow the churn cycle. For example, if a current customer is seen to be actively searching competitors, the marketing team can reach out with content to find out if they are unhappy, and why.
This precision eliminates the traditional divide between sales and marketing by removing the blame game over which department is responsible for slow sales or customer attrition rates. “It’s no longer: ‘Is my lead any good?’ We’ve got data around the lead,” Zintak said.
Thanks to a recent injection of $40 million, 6sense is ready to build out its already robust partner system to increase the spectrum of data available to the platform.
“We work with ad agencies. We work with professional service organizations. We work with complementary software products. We want it to be an open system. We want to be able to bring your own data, and we’ll carry it for you to make the AI that much smarter,” Zintak stated.
Goodbye spam, hello useful and welcome content
So, as more businesses turn to next-generation platforms such as 6sense, the future of marketing looks to be stealth rather than spam. Bringing the possibility of an idyllic future where aggressive marketing is unnecessary and customer contact happens only when it’s needed and welcome.
“It’s not spam. It’s not a thousand emails,” Zintak said. “It’s meaningful, purposeful, time-based engagement, with content relative to when they want to know something.”
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