LeadCrunch Blog

It’s All Business In Westworld: Is AI the Future of Lead Gen?

Posted by AJ Agrawal on Dec 13, 2016 8:19:15 AM

 

 

 

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Do you love spreadsheets? How about updating timekeeping? What about research and data compilation? Do you love that?

Not ecstatic about these things? Then the prospect of AI engines taking over most of your most mundane tasks is likely very attractive.

As marketing becomes increasingly data driven, with even the minutiae of the art being informed by behavioral statistics, a future where many of today’s tasks are done without human intervention is not far fetched.

In fact, the future maybe here right now. And you need to get on board to stay competitive.

Below are four of today's coolest—and most revolutionary—B2B lead generation tools powered by artificial intelligence that can help boost competitiveness:

Westworld, of course, refers to the 1970's SciFi Western thriller about androids going amuck. HBO later created a TV series based on the theme, which is still running. While the lead generation tools described below aren't androids, they can help you boost sales and profits:

  • Chat bots

When was the last time you asked an AI a question? Maybe you asked Siri for directions or Alexa for the weather. If you work in a larger office, you’ve likely encountered SlackBot. In fact, you may have already asked it to coordinate Slack with another software that you use or used it as an interactive FAQ.

Chat bots aren't new, but they have made major headlines this year. They've also somewhat come into their own for the corporate world.

Many marketing and lead gen professionals are starting to realize that chat bots area good solution for providing always-on customer support, without the sales professionals having to forgo sleep.  

The possibilities for chat bots to take over lead generation activities partially for responding to warm leads is already happening. If a potential client decides that she likes your product and would like to purchase it, a chat bot can bring through the entire order to cash process without human intervention.

  • Translation services

AI translation isn't perfect yet, not by a long shot. But the first baby steps have already been made with Microsoft’s Translator, implemented on Skype.

Imagine the possibilities if you could talk to any executive in the world, without having to schedule a translator? How much more personable could you be if you weren’t relying on someone else for phrasing and intonation?

Also, how much more flow would the conversation have if you didn’t have to wait in between each statement? Instant translation is one of the final pieces needed for a truly global economy to become reality.

  • Segmentation

Dividing leads into increasingly specific groups to provide the best marketing and user experience is one of the original - and most publicized - goals of artificial intelligence, and for good reason.

Before AI and modern data collection, the best that many brands could do was to segment audiences by geographic region, and possibly, by a few key demographics, like gender and age. That's all changed

We now take what we have for granted - such as Facebook Ad's segmentation capability. It’s old hat to separate target audiences by political party, college, and how likely they are to be pregnant - to the point where advertising networks that do not offer this granular level of segmentation fall behind, allowing Facebook and Google to continue to dominate.

What does the future hold for segmentation? How many levels can we drill down into our audiences’ preferences? It would not be surprising if, in 2026, we are able to select those who read a certain article, or rated a movie a certain number of stars, or even further.

  • Product Pricing

This one will likely be last to gain traction among AI lead gen tools. But AI could be used to optimize the price of products and services based on market ebbs and flows.

As a simplistic example, it would be possible to program your price to display as a certain percentage of a company’s annual revenue. You could also (or instead) pick two competitors, and have your price display as the midpoint between the two.

Last Word—Changing How You Do Led Gen 

These four AI-powered tools are changing the way marketers do lead generation. If you're not using them now, there's a good chance you will be in the future. And while they won't transform our society into a modern day Westworld, they can help companies boost sales and profits. And that's something everyone can live with.

How do you feel about the rise of artificial intelligence? Do you welcome our robot overlords, or do you feel caught in the Matrix?

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