Extensive research project advances the use of artificial intelligence in B2B content marketing


The Tekes funded cross-disciplinary project utilizes big data of partner companies.

Photo: Aki-Pekka Sinikoski

Aalto University School of Business and the School of Science have launched a joint research project to study the impacts of content marketing on the behaviour of Business-to-Business (B2B) decision-making. The project examines different stages of the content marketing purchasing path and aims to forecast the behaviour by mechanical means. Tekes has granted Aalto University 500,000 euros for the two-year project.

‘In this project, we are developing algorithms and methods of artificial intelligence that can be used to determine the advertising content with which B2B end users are willing to interact’, explains Professor Henrikki Tikkanen, School of Business, who is leading the project.

Best Finnish know-how together

The research project was initiated by marketing technology company Natify. The company was looking for research expertise for a project aiming to learn how target group behaviour can be predicted in a B2B environment by using machine learning.

‘We decided to build a cross-disciplinary research team composed of top Finnish experts on B2B behaviour, big data analytics and machine learning. The project will generate new cutting-edge research expertise that will help Finland to stand out in international competition’, says Tikkanen.

At the School of Business, B2B behaviour in the project is analysed at the Department of Marketing and semantic big data analysis at the Department of Information and Service Economy. Studies on probabilistic machine learning are conducted at the Department of Computer Science of the School of Science.

‘The project is an excellent example of the benefits of fundamental research carried out by universities. Aalto University’s experts were interested in combining their expertise in new ways. This enabled us to examine the company’s problem from an entirely new perspective and to offer a potentially groundbreaking solution. Now we will see, how groundbreaking it is’, says Professor Samuel Kaski, School of Science.

Close collaboration with companies

The project focuses on improving the effectiveness of content activation of potential B2B customers using digital contents. Content activation occurs when content gets the attention of the B2B customer and the customer feels that the content is of crucial importance at that particular moment.

‘The aim is to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of digital advertising with artificial intelligence. The results can be applied in any marketing channels where customers and sellers interact’, explains Tikkanen.

Currently existing big data of the partner companies will be analysed at the start of the project and as the project progresses, further research will be carried out using the data collected through the partners’ service solutions based on artificial intelligence. In addition to Natify, companies involved in the project are Liana Technologies, Tulos Helsinki and Calcus.com.

‘The partner companies play a crucial role, as the research is based on their data. Algorithms and methods of artificial intelligence will be developed iteratively throughout the project in cooperation with the companies, which represent different stages of the B2B decision-making path’, concludes Tikkanen.

Further information:
Juho-Petteri Huhtala, Researcher (B2BAI)
+ 358 50 5768382