Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has enormous potential for channel marketers and channel partners.
Consider the next event you and your partners are planning. What if you could know the interests of each registrant before they arrive at the seminar or connect to your webcast? Like, really know their interests; not because you asked them a series of questions, but because dozens or even hundreds of data sources came together to form detailed profiles based on little more than answers to your request for a work email?
Sure, this kind of profiling is possible today without AI. But it’s tedious and manual, requiring subscriptions to many individual data sources. The burden of subscribing to, querying and assembling these sources can be prohibitive to vendors and channel partners alike.
The promise of AI is the machine automation of routine tasks like researching marketing and sales leads. A typical manual search for a person on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google may take as long as fifteen minutes. Compiling a profile with what you learned about the person would add another 15 minutes. Compare that to using an AI service, which can develop the same profile for thousands of people within seconds. The potential time savings AI can provide the channel is huge.
Having this kind of profile data allows the event hosts to customize presentation content and calls-to-action to match the audience’s real interests. Why give a 100-level talk if the audience has already done their research and wants to go deeper? Helping opportunities develop faster is just one way to improve channel results with AI.
AI can take things a step further by analyzing and segmenting vast amounts of data to approach specific audiences with a much more targeted message and call-to-action.
As a point of comparison, consider the typical approach to a through-partner demand generation campaign. Partners tend to send one message with one call-to-action to everyone in their database. While your partners may understand the value of audience segmentation as well as message and call-to-action customization, most simply don’t have the time or potentially the skillset to do the work.
An AI service can manage all this work for your partners — analyzing lists, filling in missing data, automatically developing prospect segments and micro-segments, and matching them with the right campaign. Today, we often rely on a prospect’s response or lack of response to trigger the next action. New data sources in AI can offer insights into a prospect’s activity outside your partners’ marketing efforts, showing you where prospects are going even when they don’t open your emails.
The opportunity to deliver prospects relevant, helpful content that aligns with their needs and interests at scale, is here. The AI journey in the channel is just beginning. New scenarios will emerge. As more channel marketers and partners experiment with AI, the technology and its uses will become mainstream.
For now, early adopters have an advantage over the competition. Ultimately, AI will help us serve customers and prospects with the information they need to make well-informed decisions, leading to good results for everyone.
Mike Moore serves as Averetek’s VP of Channel Strategy. Mike has spent twenty-three years in the IT channel as a channel partner and as a channel and field marketer for software companies like Microsoft, GE Healthcare and Progress Software.