Q&A with Peter Weinberg, Co-Founder of Evidenza.ai

By ANA InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Q&A with Peter Weinberg, Co-Founder of Evidenza.ai

Peter Weinberg (pictured above) is the co-founder of Evidenza.ai. He will be a speaker at the ANA Masters of B2B Marketing Conference, June 12-14 in Naples, Florida. ANA Vice President, Sonia David, recently sat down with Peter for a pre-conference interview during which he offered a unique perspective on B2B marketing and the pivotal role of AI technology in shaping its future.

Sonia David: Could you share the pivotal experiences or insights from your career journey, particularly during your time at LinkedIn’s B2B Institute, that inspired or influenced your decision to found Evidenza.ai?

Peter Weinberg: Jon Lombardo and I spent 10 years at LinkedIn researching B2B marketing effectiveness with the world’s leading experts. We learned which marketing decisions generate the best financial performance, and we partnered with forward-thinking CMOs to put those principles into practice. It was an incredible job. But then one rainy day in New York City, we started experimenting with AI, and we discovered something that shocked us. One month later, we quit our jobs to start Evidenza.ai. We’re still in stealth mode so I will leave it at that, but all will be revealed at the ANA Conference in June!

David: Are B2B buyer behaviors changing and, if so, how must B2B marketers adapt?

Weinberg: I don’t believe that B2B buying behavior has fundamentally changed in the past 100 years, or that it will change in the next 100 years. At the end of the day, B2B buyers are humans who will always default to easy decisions. They will buy brands that come easily to mind and are easy to purchase (i.e., those with mental and physical availability). The mechanics of how marketers build mental and physical availability may change, but buying behavior won’t.

David: In your experience, what are some common misconceptions that marketers have about B2B buyers, and how can a deeper understanding of these buyers lead to more effective marketing strategies?

Weinberg: The biggest misconception in B2B is something we call the “product delusion.” It’s the idea that companies compete on product superiority, and that it’s the job of the B2B marketer to prove that his or her company offers the best product. In reality, B2B buyers rarely buy the best product, or spend much time searching for the best possible solution. Instead, buyers “satisfice,” and choose the brands that come most easily to mind on Day 1 of the purchase process. The most effective B2B marketers ensure the brand gets on that list by running broadly targeted, emotional creative. But few do that in B2B.

David: Given the increasing sizes and complexity of buying groups, what strategies do you recommend for marketers to effectively engage and influence these diverse stakeholders throughout the purchasing process?

Weinberg: When it comes to segmentation, B2B marketers love to focus on the differences between buying groups. They’ll create 100 different campaigns that target 100 different personas or “ICPs.” Instead, we need to search for similarities. What are the common needs of every account and every decision maker? Running one big message to one big segment is a much simpler strategy than running 100 messages to 100 segments, and simpler strategies are much easier to executive. Complex segmentation increases your costs and research shows it doesn’t improve your performance. B2B buying may be complicated, but B2B marketing should be simple.

David: As AI becomes more prevalent in B2B marketing, what considerations do you believe marketers should keep in mind when using AI-driven tools and algorithms to analyze data and automate decision-making processes?

Weinberg: I think B2B marketers will quickly discover that AI can do just about anything. The question will then become: what should marketers ask AI to do? For example, we’ve learned that AI is extremely good at segmentation. AI can split a universe of buyers into 20 discrete segments, OR AI can aggregate 20 discrete segments into a single universe of buyers. Most marketers will ask AI to do the former, but we should be asking AI to do the latter. AI can generate creative, but should it generate rational, product-centric creative, or emotional, need-centric creative? Again, most B2B marketers will ask for the former when we should be asking for the latter. Marketing departments need to have a clear “Way Of Marketing” before we can have an “AI Way Of Marketing.”

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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