New research from conversational marketing platform Botco.ai finds that 85 percent of B2B companies that conduct demand generation campaigns also leverage chatbots or conversational marketing agents to support those campaigns—to great success in most cases.
According to firm’s new State of Chatbots in B2B Demand Generation report, B2B marketers have seen a considerable boost in both the quality and quantity of the leads their demand generation campaigns produce as a direct result of chatbots, resulting in more lead volume as well as better and faster conversion rates. The study offers a look at how those marketers are leveraging intelligent chat agents within demand gen campaigns and their effectiveness to date.
Key findings from the report include:
Chatbots help marketers increase lead volume
More than eight in ten (83 percent) of B2B marketers who run demand generation programs say that chatbots have increased their company’s lead generation volume by at least 5 percent, 32 percent say chatbots have increased their company’s lead generation volume by 20 percent or more, and 15 percent say it has increased it by at least 30 percent.
Chatbots also increase a company’s lead-to-customer conversion rate
Virtually all (99 percent) B2B marketers surveyed say that chatbots have increased their company’s lead-to-customer conversion rate, with more than half (56 percent) saying that chatbots have increased their lead-to-customer conversion rate by at least 10 percent, with 17 percent saying that chatbots have increased their company’s lead-to-customer conversion rate by 20 percent or more, and 14 percent say it has increased it by at least 30 percent.
Chatbots benefit demand generation programs in a number of other ways as well
The top reasons why B2B marketers who run demand generation programs use chatbots is to help them understand their audience better, cited by 57 percent of respondents. This was followed by lead generation (55 percent), prospect education (43 percent), qualifying leads for their sales team (42 percent), audience segmentation (42 percent), building stronger customer relationships (42 percent), and booking demos, meetings or signups (31 percent). These use cases demonstrate a wide array of benefits for chatbots as part of a demand gen program.
Marketers use chatbots to influence the entire marketing funnel, but especially the middle
B2B marketers feel that chatbots can influence the marketing funnel most effectively in the middle of the funnel for things like newsletter subscriptions and webinar sign-ups (43 percent), and at the top of the funnel to boost lead generation or promote content downloads (36 percent). While most respondents say that chatbots are less effective at the bottom of the funnel, more than 20 percent of them still say that chatbots can effectively influence buyers by inducing high intent leads to take a lower-funnel action such as booking a demo, starting a free trial, etc.
Email and chatbots are the most effective demand gen combination
When presented with 13 different options, B2B marketers claim that email drip campaigns with a chatbot on the website or landing page are the most effective ways to get qualified leads for their company in the last few years, cited by 46 percent of respondents. This was followed by email campaigns with embedded video (41 percent), email drip campaigns (40 percent), social posts on Facebook and Instagram (35 percent), LinkedIn ads (31 percent), and webinars (30 percent).
“Demand generation has become a critical marketing strategy for B2B organizations today, and most are finding that conversational marketing agents can help give their demand gen programs a major conversion boost,” said Rebecca Clyde, co-founder and CEO of Botco.ai, in a news release.
“As the results of our survey demonstrate, chatbots benefit demand generation in a number of ways, from generating and qualifying new leads for sales teams to educating prospects, segmenting audiences, retaining visitors before they abandon (or bounce) and booking demos. It goes to show that any B2B organization that runs a demand gen program can benefit greatly by incorporating chatbots into it,” Clyde said.
This report is based on surveys conducted in October with 1,000 B2B marketers from throughout the U.S.