When AI and Analytics Drive Business Disruption vs. Hype

This article was originally published on MarTech Today by Sean Zinsmeister, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Infer.

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The sales and marketing industry has been abuzz with talk of predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) this fall, especially on the heels of a flurry of AI updates from Microsoft and Oracle, Salesforce’s recent Einstein announcement at Dreamforce, and Google’s unveiling of its efforts in machine learning and AI yesterday.

In all of this hype, I’ve encountered several conflicting definitions and explanations of what AI really means.

Those of us close to the space know that AI, at its core, is actually foundational technology that’s been around in the consumer world for over a decade.

Think of the amazing intelligence behind Google Photos, which uses facial recognition technology to organize your images for you, as well as the highly accurate music recommendations that you get from Pandora based on your likes and dislikes. We see similar examples in major league baseball (remember Moneyball?) and, of course, the fast-evolving world of Uber, Waze and self-driving cars.

As AI enters the enterprise realm — in what Constellation Research predicts will be a $100 billion market by 2025 — it’s important to shift our focus away from science fiction perceptions, and instead look toward the specific business outcomes that AI can produce.

To help cut through the noise, I’ve outlined below four key roles that analytics plays in the sales and marketing landscape. Keep in mind that each of these approaches delivers insights based on sophisticated data processing, modeling and other scientific techniques — all of which are important aspects of AI.

How Belly Aligned Marketing and Sales to Build a Successful Inbound Sales Organization

This article was originally published on MarTech Review by Infer customer Lauren Licata, Vice President of Marketing at Belly.

Lessons on How Belly Retooled its MarTech Systems and Processes to Increase Leads by 125% and Close Rates by 30%

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Belly is a high-growth company based in Chicago. It was founded in 2011 as a technology company focused on enhancing customer loyalty for small and medium-sized businesses, like coffee shops, retailers and dry cleaners. Belly has helped over 10,000 businesses serve loyalty rewards programs to about 8 million consumers with its iPad and mobile-based solutions. It’s a “two-sided” network that serves both businesses and consumers (those businesses’ Members).

Belly landed its initial customers with outside sales and “feet on the street.” By 2014, Belly had gained a significant market presence, and shifted from a dominant outside sales team to a dominant inside sales team. We de-emphasized cold calls, and invested heavily in Web-based leads for this transition. We found that customer acquisition costs were 30% lower with inside sales than outside sales, and that inside sales were more willing to properly use CRM (Salesforce), giving Marketing more control. However, the shift to inside sales required that we retool our marketing and sales systems to optimize the sales process.

Sean Zinsmeister Discusses All Things Product, Predictive, and ABM

Flip the Switch podcast

Sean Zinsmeister recently joined Hana Abaza from Uberflip for “Flip the Switch,” which is a great weekly marketing podcast series that interviews growth-oriented marketing leaders about how they get results, approach problems and drive growth. Sean and Hana chatted about why product marketing should be the core of your content marketing strategy, the underlying truth about ABM that no one talks about, and how businesses are using predictive analytics help companies determine where to spend their marketing efforts and identify valuable untapped whitespace.

You can listen below, or on our podcast channel on SoundCloud.

Predictive Analytics: Why They Make Your Content More Impactful

This byline by Infer’s Sean Zinsmeister was originally published on the Salesforce blog.

Customers today have an insatiable appetite for information, making content a vital part of how sales and marketing teams communicate, educate and influence prospects throughout the buying cycle. But, there are some clear indicators that we need to get smarter about how we view content marketing and its relevancy to our customers and businesses. The stats are sobering: a recent study found that 50% of content gets eight shares or less; another uncovered that 60-70% of B2B content goes unused; and Forrester discovered that 90% of content is ignored by B2B sales teams. It’s clear that there’s misalignment between the content that’s being created and its intended audience.

Infer Named a 2016 CRM Market Rising Star

2016 CRM Market Rising Star

Infer is honored to be named a 2016 CRM Market Rising Star! The Market Awards aim to recognize leaders in the CRM industry, and are selected based on a composite score that includes revenue, company growth, market share, customer wins, reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of product functionality, and company direction. You can read the full write-up on Infer here, or below.