Tag Archives: AI

Handling Disruption in the Building Materials Industry as a CMO

26 Sep


Your CMO is responsible for staying abreast of real-time changes in consumer behavior, the business environment, social norms and new technology. We are living in an age of disruption that is only multiplied in niche industries such as building materials. Every direction is a new disruption, yes, but all of the changes are also opportunities for the right marketer.

Here are a few of the ways that your CMO can handle the ever expanding environment of disruption and come out on top for your business.

Exploring Lightning Fast Advancements in Science and Tech

The number of technologies that have become household concepts over the past five years has accelerated exponentially over the past five years. Consider AI, facial recognition software, virtual reality, robotics and the Internet of Things – there are many places that your CMO can put the marketing budget and human capital. All of these technologies should not be cultivated for their own sake. Marketers should look to tame these disruptive concepts for the sole purpose of understanding the motivations of customers and developing solutions for them.

Connecting Media Platforms

Connected devices and multisensory platforms are completely redefining how we use media and even how we define what media is. The Internet of Things makes household appliances media – media that may even outperform its traditional counterparts. If your fridge can now recommend certain foods to you based on your unique biorhythms and whether you are likely hungry at that stage of the day, we owe it to our businesses to look again at how we may be able to use new technologies to our advantage. The building materials industry will be looking to the Internet of Things especially to connect with prospects.

Considering the Customer Holistically

With the proliferation of big data and the ability to segment and analyze it precisely comes an opportunity to study customers more deeply than ever before. We are living in a consumer-centric world, and this trend is not reversing itself any time soon. In a small industry like building materials, everyone knows everyone else. Each person within a sales funnel must be considered fully as a human being with personal goals and choices in every communication. This could be quite a task without the buyer profiles that modern marketing technology helps put together for us.

New Ways of Doing Business

The new business models that are being created through disruptive technologies are just as disruptive as the tech itself. Process is just as much innovation as any individual piece of technology. Additionally, companies within the building materials industry must consider ideals beyond a simple profit motive. We owe it to ourselves and to our community to look at revenue models with an impact socially as well as financially. Many companies actually find that expanding their bottom lines comes more quickly with an expansion into open source innovation programs and benefit corporations.

A Real Time Response to Changes in Society 

Changes in society mean changes in the motivations of future employees and the perception of actions that a business takes. For instance, certain manufacturing processes that would have been industry standard within building materials might now be considered anti-environment and cause enough of a stir to hinder business, yes, even B2B transactions. The CMO must ensure the public facing image of the business is intact, even if that campaign is only to keep the company out of the general news cycle.

As disruptive technologies create more opportunities, CMOs throughout the industry will need to decide how to best employ these new tools. Directing the new features to any hang-ups in the segmentations above is a good start in navigating the ever-changing world of building materials and using new tech in a positive way.

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New MarTech Trends for the Building Materials Industry

21 Sep


Marketing technology continues to grow as a dynamic hybrid discipline that is highly relevant to the building materials industry. As a niche industry that nonetheless moves billions of dollars every year, successful companies in building materials must take advantage of the new marketing technique that technology provides.

You can bet that new MarTech trends will lead the industry down some very interesting pathways in the future. Here are some of the trends that you should be aware of;

Improved MarTech Applications

Marketing technology is no longer a novel buzzword to insiders – tools including multichannel attribution, view-ability measurement, demand side platform, cross device tracking and programmatic TV are now actively being studied by marketers who are in the know. It is definitely to the advantage of your marketing to identify the MarTech strategies that are most relevant to your business and drill down into their applications very soon.

Precision Prospect Hunting

Modern CRM and marketing automation systems now come equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning capabilities and predictive analysis functions. As long as the data input to the system is valid and properly scaled, pinning down new prospects will be easier than ever. These prospects will not be random; rather, the systems will identify and even tier prospects by their past behavior patterns and ability to purchase. Armed with this kind of tool, the savvy marketer will be able to take full advantage of buying signals specific to an individual prospect or trends from general news sources.

Increased Social Outreach

Marketers face a consistently stricter environment in terms of outreach through mass channels, most notably email. This is especially true for materials companies who are doing business overseas, as the EU and Canada are beginning to crack down on solicitations of all kinds. MarTech improves a company’s ability to employ inbound marketing, content marketing and social marketing for outreach. Organic techniques will soon dominate the landscape, and MarTech will lead the way.

Holistic Attribution Across the Customer Life Cycle

Quantifying both offline and online aspects of a marketing campaign is much easier with the current generation of MarTech. Even using managing multiple channels, MarTech experts will be able to watch prospects through the entire sales funnel, considering attribution throughout the total time frame. Marketers will be able to compute ROI holistically, determining the impact of each step for future analysis and improvements.

Higher Budgets for MarTech

You can expect your competition to continue directing funds towards MarTech in the future. CMOs love the overlap between marketing and tech. They were raised on it, and the proliferation of data creates more opportunities for programmatic buying in media. MarTech allows for the cultivation of big data, and the companies that apply it sooner will take hold of a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace.

If you have been toying with the idea of employing MarTech as a priority in your marketing, now is the time to make it happen. Money is moving into the discipline with an increased vigor, and you do not want to be the last one in the field. Building materials is a small community that requires a great deal of detail. People will not forget how you treat them, and the right technology helps you connect in a more personal way.

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How B2B is Using AI

7 Sep


The commercial world has yet to give artificial intelligence (AI) the attention that it deserves. This is no reason for you to hold off on its study or implementation – AI is about to change the B2B world as we know it forever.

Below are just a few of the reasons that you should look into this burgeoning concept before it becomes the norm.

AI Gives More Effective Insights

There are some aspects of marketing that require a human touch, such as handling unique customer service problems. There are other aspects that are handled much better through computers, including data collection, trend analysis and certain customer acquisition tactics. One of the best uses of AI is anticipating the needs of new customers.

Prospects are constantly leaving bread crumb trails of their behaviors everywhere, especially on social media. One may think that collecting and analyzing data on social media is a strictly human endeavor. In reality, the opposite is true. Predictive analysis is actually a discipline that is handled more accurately through AI. Technology has improved to the point that AI can tell the difference between a positive and negative comment. AI can interpret the connotations of words and connect those connotations to a prospect’s behavior. Because it can collect more information than a human, it has more data to analyze. AI also relieves your analysis of the personal biases that humans bring to the process.

AI Creates More Room for Specialization

Prospecting from trend analysis is a tedious job that no one goes to college for. Why not let the AI handle the entry level data collection and input functions, leaving your human capital available for more creative pursuits? You save both time and morale, which eventually leads to saving a great deal of money.

Successful salespeople need to specialize, and they need time to specialize. It is also easier for your people to sell if you empower your sales team with information that basically puts them in the middle of the sales funnel rather than cold calling all day. You also protect your company against employee turnover. If your AI holds prospect data, then it does not leave when an individual leaves. Your sales are no longer contingent on the individuals that you employ, which is a great advantage to have.

Deeper Learning

Believe it or not, you can actually meet your prospects at a deeper level by letting AI do its job. Machine learning tech speeds up the creation of your buyer personas as well as your data sorting/cleaning functions. Your human capital should be spent on learning the individual nuances within the segments that your AI sorts for you.

Each of your prospects is unique, but you might be surprised at the trends that you can uncover with a bit of unbiased AI. With machine learning technology, you also improve the intelligence of your AI as it collects data for you.

80% of your competitors are expecting to incorporate AI into their marketing by 2020, according to Demandbase. Are you prepared to keep up? Ensure the longevity of your company by creating room in your marketing for AI today rather than later. As a matter of fact, start today and get ahead of the curve.

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The Top 6 Skills a B2B CMO Needs to Be Successful

29 Aug


The CMO position is finding its way to the head table in many companies. As the hybrid skill set of the CMO become more important to business, the skills that should be prioritized are showing themselves. Although industries may vary, the competencies that are required for success tend to remain the same.

Product Marketing

As you know, most of your revenue will likely come from your existing customer base. Every CMO should understand how to market to a legacy customer as well as outreach to new ones. As aspects of product marketing, CX, UX and visual design are all important skills that your CMO should have available.

Scaling Content Creation

As the rest of your business scales naturally, your content will require a bit more effort. In order to get more quality content going for your brand, you either have to hire more people or outsource to a higher degree. Additionally, the different forms of content – how to videos, eBooks, email blasts, webinars – all require a different set of skills to make. A CMO must be able to determine the types of content that are most effective and work within the company budget to grab the most of it for the least.


The best CMOs often come from a coding background. However, the CMO will usually not be employed as a front line coder. What is the balance here? The CMO should understand the language of the people who will be in the trenches handling business. Marketing is becoming more aligned with tech, and the successful marketing departments of the future will incorporate a great deal of overlap with the IT department. The CMO must understand what to prioritize within this overlap while understanding how difficult it is to translate marketing concepts into technical executables.

Agile Marketing

The main job of the CMO is to get rid of as much uncertainly as possible in the marketing process. As a data driven position, the CMO should naturally know how to manage shifting timelines and priorities. With a mastery of agile marketing, a CMO will basically be able to apply these shifts in real time. The result should be quicker deployment of marketing campaigns, a higher flexibility to make changes during a campaign, and a more effective cost for campaigns.

Account-Based Marketing

Even with digital automation and AI taking the reins in many aspects of the B2B sales funnel, there are more people than ever involved with each sale. Account based marketing keeps track of the money through this ever lengthening chain of command. One of the major priorities of any CMO should be to ramp up the sales velocity. The CMO should lead efforts to target many decision makers through multi-channel outreach at one time. This requires a close eye on each account from a perspective of personnel and finances.

Learning to Manage the Millennial Generation

Millennials are moving into managerial and executive positions, and the successful CMO will have to learn this new generation. Their motivations are different. There is no moving around them – they are the most qualified applications in most cases. Millennials have a natural ability to combine the soft skills of marketing with the hard skills of technology. As the older generation fades out and is replaced by this generation, a good CMO will learn a more sensitive, environmentally friendly and less hierarchal method of management.

There are certainly a bevy of skills outside of these top 6 that a CMO should learn. The market will change, and with it, the skills that should be prioritized. However, a mastery of these will certainly give a leg up.

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