Karen Contos, PROS Interim Head of Marketing, presented key insights at the November 2017 Networking Luncheon about the rapidly evolving B2B buying experience and detailed how incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence into your marketing strategy can reap rewards for your company in the age of modern commerce.

During Contos’s presentation, she made clear that digital, social media and the use of smartphones is now the norm in the buying process, and it's imperative that B2C companies stay ahead on these technologies. By helping companies like Southwest Airlines and Citgo develop more intuitive and effective buying experiences, PROS gained the upper hand when creating personalized buyer journeys for their own customers--something you could do as well.

As you may know, today's consumer demands self-service and price transparency while often moving across multiple channels before ever making a purchase. Time has become the new currency, as people’s demands for what they want, when they want it increase. But the same consumer demands hold true for the B2B world just as much as the business to consumer environment.

"The lines between B2B and B2C are no longer there,” said Contos. “They are blurred. Because we all want the same thing. We want B2P. Businesses selling to people. We want that personalized experience."

By focusing their strategy around modern commerce, PROS mastered the art of driving customer loyalty by providing a personalized, frictionless experience that is consistent every time. So how did they do it? The key lies in artificial intelligence.

"AI is changing the way we interact with technology,” said Contos. ”As marketers, it's changing the way we understand our customers and the way we interact with them. We need to anticipate what they want sometimes before they even know they want it."

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence occurs when computer systems are able to perform human tasks such as learning, speech recognition, decision-making, and understanding language. By using AI concepts like machine learning and cognitive learning, PROS is able to deliver personalized experiences for its B2B customers. Machine learning uses a broad set of algorithms that enable computers to improve their predictive capability overtime as they obtain more data. This system allows companies to have more useful segmentation of its audiences through intuitive grouping. Cognitive learning occurs when a computer system learns patterns and trends to give better insights. They can take data from different outlets and draw informative conclusions and deliver smart predictions and recommendations for businesses in an easy to consume way.

How to Get Started

The world of AI can be overwhelming and sometimes complex, but Contos left AMA members with some tips on how to take baby steps to implement and utilize AI in your company:

  • Try building a Facebook chatbot
  • Use voice recognition technology to enhance your SEO Strategy
  • Explore how AI generated content can help your content strategy (ex.Wordsmith)

Contos leaves us with these final thoughts. "Embrace the change, because artificial intelligence is only growing and not going away. Learn, try new things and last but not least, have fun!"

With more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience, Karen Contos applies a customer-centric, brand-driven approach to setting PROS’ global marketing strategies. In this role, she has responsibility for corporate marketing, product marketing, demand generation, partner marketing and marketing operations. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Tulane University and master's degree from NYU.

If you thought this was interesting, join us Wednesday, February 14, to hear Global Marketing Director, Jennifer Salinas, with Halliburton-Landmark discuss how Big Oil is adapting to today's rapidly evolving marketplace and customer engagement expectations. 

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