Drift: How AI & Machine Learning Drives Conversational Marketing

Drift uses intent data and machine learning to improve customer engagement. See Guillaume Cabane, VP of Growth at Drift, discuss how conversational marketing improves top-of-the-funnel lead acquisition in this video from Twilio’s 2018 SIGNAL conference.

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Drift: How AI & Machine Learning Drives Conversational Marketing

If there is one thing that you probably have in common with your customers, it’s that you’d both probably rather do anything other than endure an endless cascade of marketing emails or filling out lengthy online forms before making a purchase. That’s because the tools that most businesses rely on for sales and marketing were built for a world that no longer exists. Guillaume Cabane, Vice President of Growth at Drift, couldn't agree more. He and the team at Drift, a leading SaaS platform that helps businesses quickly connect with customers who are ready to buy, are more interested in what happens before someone lands on your website.

Drift is on a mission to do away with forms and back and forth emails in the hopes of making a sale. For B2B SaaS, Drift has figured out how to use third party intent data and machine learning predictions to tell who's in the market for a specific product or service, sometimes even before the buyer is aware of that intent themselves.

Using Twilio communications tools like SMS messaging, Drift can introduce in-app widgets and AI-enabled chatbots that turn conversations into conversions. Instead of traditional marketing and sales platforms that rely on forms and follow-ups, Drift determines the online properties that customers typically go to to learn about a product or service, and introduces an AI-enabled chatbot to engage the prospect in a conversation. Those conversations can quickly show you why customers came to a site in the first place, what their most significant pain points are, and which product features are most important to them. Drift can then turn those conversations into conversions by connecting businesses to only the best leads in real-time. It’s made for some pretty compelling and memorable marketing strategies.

More Qualified, More Engaged Leads Enter The Funnel

By understanding the research a typical buyer conducts before coming to the brand site, then monitoring for new prospect intent, and finally engaging via AI chatbots, Drift can add 15% more leads to the top of a customer acquisition funnel. These are leads that were never going to go to the trouble of filling out a form but are responsive to conversational marketing. In fact, Drift observes in a study that leads qualified by a conversation qualified leads, or live chat, convert into opportunities 4 to 5 times higher than any other source.

As Cabane mentions, when you want to be smart about allocating your marketing budget, you need to know where conversions happen. In this presentation from Twilio’s 2018 SIGNAL conference, Cabane details how Drift’s SaaS marketing and sales platform leverages intent data to makes lead generation a one-to-one, personal, and relevant conversation that increasingly leads to conversions.

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Short on time? Here are the top four takeaways:

  • On average, B2B buyers do twelve searches before engaging with a brand.
  • Most B2B buyers start their research with a generic query rather than searching for a brand. In fact, the last place people go when making a brand decision is a brand website.
  • Most businesses are still forcing customers to jump through endless hoops before a sales conversation can ever take place.
  • Lead forms can collect contact info, but they’re not great at providing context. Instead of forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait days for a response, conversational marketing uses targeted messaging and intelligent chatbots to engage with leads in real-time.