AI for Professional Services Marketing

The explosion of artificial intelligence make it easy to see – AI is here to stay, and it will play a major role in just about everything. But the real question is how to take it from a fascinating experiment to a meaningful, profitable business tool. This is especially true for marketers at professional services businesses like consulting, financial, law, architectural, engineering, accounting and talent firms – not to mention marketing organizations like Relish. After all, people are at the heart of all professional services  success. But, people have human limitations. We get distracted, catch colds, go to our kids’ sports matches and take vacations. AI doesn’t. But before you race to argue that AI will or won’t replace your people, it’s essential to understand AI’s capabilities, limitations and ultimate potential at every level of the marketing lifecycle or funnel.

Personalize exploration

Let’s say I’m thinking about purchasing a service from one of the companies in your field. That puts me at the top of the marketing funnel, which means I’m posing questions and visiting websites to get a general idea of the kinds of professional services firms that might be a good fit for my business challenges. It’s why your website’s home page probably has a general statement about what you do. But now, imagine having a range of home page content that makes it clear what you do and what you do for me.

One way to do that is with AI-based website personalization, a capability enabled by tools like those offered by Clearbit and Persado. Think of it as “AI meets the idea of portals.” When I click through a search result, ad, or social media post, a combination of information from my search terms and IP address (including where it’s been), tells the systems behind your website a lot about me and my business. So, it shows me a homepage containing dynamic messaging related to how I’m most likely to benefit from your services. I might even find a chatbot on your website, which will enable me to ask specific questions and guide me to the areas of your site that should best suit my needs. In other words, it speeds my path from exploration to evaluation.

Fuel evaluation

All this time, you’re collecting information about my exploration patterns and questions to inform your sales team – likely through a sales execution intelligence technology that leverages AI, such as the one offered by This kind of sales engagement and enablement system will automatically support my progress through the evaluation process. It will send emails or texts with customized messaging about the information I want and need – much sooner than if I were exploring a non-AI-enhanced site. It will guide me to whitepapers and ebooks, fortifying my assessment work with the information you wish more prospects knew. And, of course, it will make it as easy as possible for me to reach out to you or your live sales reps.

The system is also informing you and your sales team so you can better understand me as a lead. When we connect, you’ll be able to ask the kind of questions that show a genuine appreciation for me and my business. From there, the path from evaluation to conversion is swift and smooth.

Achieve conversion (and see why AI can be your team’s best friend)

This last stage through the funnel is critical – and it’s the answer to the question everyone is asking about AI and whether it will undermine the work of real people. The ability of your people to engage with prospects and customers is ultimately what builds relationships that yield continued business success for you and your customers. And the right AI-driven platforms, systems, and technology can lead prospects through the marketing funnel to where live, human engagement will be most meaningful and effective.

It is important to note that leveraging AI to deliver website personalization, sales enablement and sales engagement is highly complex. The right tools have to be part of a larger up-front strategy that includes establishing the right cadence for individual tactics, ongoing management, monitoring and tracking, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and metrics for success. In other words, you’ll want to work with a knowledgeable, experienced partner to select, implement and manage your AI in ways that deliver on sales, customer experience, branding, and budgetary goals. Full disclosure: this is part of how we at Relish Marketing support clients.

Bottom line: AI is here to stay. But it won’t replace the people who are the lifeblood of your business. On the contrary, it can create better-informed prospects. It can speed the way to the deeper conversations you want to have with prospects and customers. And, working with the right partner, AI-enabled technology can make your sales process smoother and faster than ever, enabling you to do great work for more of the clients who will appreciate it most.