Managing B2B customer journeys in digital era: Four management activities with artificial intelligence-empowered tools

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Abstract

Business-to-business (B2B) customer interactions and customer journeys increasingly occur in digital spaces, often aided with diverse digital and artificial intelligence (AI)-empowered tools. This requires more in-depth understanding of how to manage such journeys and interactions, particularly with AI-empowered tools that enhance B2B companies' diverse and crucial marketing management operations, ranging from forecasting to managing relationships. To reach this research goal, this paper integrates the current scattered understanding of B2B customer journeys and their management into AI research and presents a two-phase empirical study. First, through an integrative literature review, this study analyzes the relevant contemporary B2B management activities for managing customer journeys and identifies four key management activities: analyze, design, engage, and guide. Second, through mapping over 150 digital tools under 16 marketing management–tool categories and identifying and analyzing AI functions within those tools, the study examines how AI supports companies in the B2B customer journey management activities. The study makes contributions to B2B digital marketing, management and sales research, as well as customer journey management. It also provides guidance for B2B marketers and AI tool technology developers on how AI-empowered tools can be applied and developed to support B2B marketing management, particularly B2B customer journeys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-257
Number of pages17
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume104
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Activities
  • Artificial intelligence
  • B2B
  • Customer journey
  • Digital tools
  • Management

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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