Marketing automation solutions have become a must-have for modern B2B marketers particularly as the marketers are headed to explore new avenues alongside the dawn to the next normal. B2B marketing automation solutions offer immense benefits for marketers including streamlining the daily mundane tasks. The marketers using B2B automation solutions tend to outperform those who don’t.
Learn More: Marketing Automation: A Good or A Bad Idea
According to EmailMonday, 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation, and more than half of B2B companies are planning to B2B marketing automation solutions.
According to research by Spotler, 64% of B2B e-commerce marketers accede that B2B marketing automation solutions contribute to more sales.
In this blog post, we'll discuss the steps to get started with marketing automation solutions, the benefits of marketing automation solutions, and how you can choose amongst the best marketing automation solutions for your organization.
B2B marketing automation is not just about sending mass emails. Here’s how you can get started with using the marketing automation solutions if it’s a new concept for you. We will also highlight the importance and benefits offered by the automation solutions at each step of implementation:
Marketers need to ask themselves: What goals are they trying to achieve through the marketing automation solutions?
They should start with identifying and documenting their goals, listing the highest priority first.
The goals chosen must be S-M-A-R-T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). One can choose many goals such as:
Once the marketers figure out what they want to accomplish, they need to identify the specific features that can help them make the most of their current and future marketing programs.
B2B marketing automation solutions assist in making your team more productive. The following is a tentative list of high-priority functions that the B2B marketers may want to employ automation solutions for:
With the help of marketing automation solutions, B2B marketers can send large email batches. They can also track and report on deliveries, opens, and clicks. The marketers can automatically send triggered email responses based on the recipient's actions or behaviors and can even track the clicks made within specific links in the email.
b) Optimum Email Deliverability
Marketing automation solutions not only ensure that your messages are being delivered but also figure out & fix the low deliverability rates.
c) Landing pages
Employing marketing automation marketers can build landing pages without the help from IT and can direct traffic to customized, personalized landing pages based on segmentation.
With the help of B2B marketing automation solutions, marketers can place forms on landing pages, microsites, or on their website and can progressively collect information from visitors with each subsequent site visit.
With the help of marketing automation tools, emails can be optimized for mobile phones and tablets, and marketers can monitor, test, and react to how customers interact with their mobile apps.
f) A/B Testing
Marketers using marketing automation solutions can also test-run with several subject lines, copies, graphics, call-to-action buttons, variable frequencies, and more to see which emails are performing the best. They can also test content on landing pages, social ads, display ads, and more based on the market & audience segmentation.
Learn More: AB Split Testing | Optimize Your Digital Marketing Funnel
g) Templates and libraries
Marketers using automation solutions can benefit immensely from templates and pre-built programs for email, landing pages, webinars, trade shows, lead scoring and lead nurturing.
Marketers can analyze keyword rankings for themselves and their competitors and can generate a list of new keywords. They can also get recommendations on website and landing page optimizations and can identify more opportunities for inbound linking.
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i) Easy Replication
Marketers can easily and quickly clone their successful campaigns with minimal effort.
j) Personalized Omnichannel Campaigns
Marketers employing personalized marketing automation tools can create a consistent, personalized, and one-to-one conversation with their audience on all channels including mobile, social, email, and web.
k) Proper Scheduling
Marketing automation tools give marketers a comprehensive view of all their events and campaigns in a color-coded centralized team calendar that allows them to easily compare them to their goals.
l) Optimized Social Outreach
Marketers can also employ the segment and score-based activity within their social networks. This helps them to optimize engagement with the help of social programs such as referrals, sweepstakes, and social share buttons.
m) Lead and customer lifecycle management
Marketing automation tools allow marketers to easily and effectively engage, track, nurture and manage all the leads at every stage of the funnel.
Another advantage offered by B2B marketing automation solutions includes campaign planning & deployment. Marketers can easily pick up the automation solutions that can be employed to target the right person at the right time with the right message across all the channels, i.e. omnichannel targeting.
Some advantages offered by the marketing automation solutions in terms of campaign planning and deployment include the following:
a) Proper Persona Segmentation
Marketers can segment their database by demographics, firmographics, customer behaviors (e.g., past browsing & buying histories and links clicked on in the email), and also based on cross-channel behaviors (e.g., content shared and engaged with on Facebook which hints the marketers whether their prospects consist a part of any lookalike audience segment.)
b) Assistance With Lead Nurturing
Marketers employing the marketing automation tools can set up and deliver a series of content offers and can visualize & understand how leads engage with their content. They can accordingly make the experience of the leads more personalized and can nurture the leads more effectively using the marketing automation tools. Content can be easily added to campaigns, keeping in view the audience preferences, and the content that an individual has already seen can be easily suppressed.
c) Omnichannel Campaigns for Providing Seamless Experiences
The marketing automation tools enable B2B marketers to track cross-channel behaviors and send personalized emails to nurture the leads and coordinate with the marketing across omnichannel.
d) Improved Personalization of Website
Marketing automation solutions allow B2B marketers to personalize the emails, landing pages, and website content for different visitors on the website based on their behaviors and attributes.
The content can be personalized in the content management system and the tokens can be used to auto-populate messages with program-specific information (such as name and date specifications).
e) Personalized Advertising Integrations
Marketing automation tools facilitate personalized advertising integrations that allow the campaign managers to seamlessly incorporate personalized digital ads into their outreach. This allows them to nurture streams.
Marketing automation solutions are also bliss for marketers who are looking to integrate their marketing & sales teams. With automation, the following efforts of cross-functioning between teams and optimum intra-departmental & inter-departmental functions come in handy:
a) Defining Target Accounts for Your ABM Campaigns
Using modern marketing automation solutions, marketers can clearly define the target accounts within the market and then can employ personalized campaigns to resonate with each account. They need to ensure that their messages are personalized and tailored to the requirements of the specific target accounts and are based on the specific attributes and needs of the account they're targeting.
b) Artificial Intelligence to Optimize Customers’ Experiences
B2B marketers can employ marketing automation solutions to enable growth, drive revenue and optimize the customers' experiences across omnichannel. They can create key internal opportunities to drive better alignment between the marketing & sales teams. This results in optimized sales revenue and perennially healthy sales pipelines.
c) CRM & Database Integration for Real Time Data Updates
Syncing their marketing automation & CRM solutions empowers B2B marketers to have a real-time view of the data at hand and allows them to constantly update the data. This allows the sales teams to act quickly and precisely with real-time insights.
d) Lead Scoring for Mapping Prospects’ Interests
Marketers can employ multiple scores for multiple products for lead scoring. They can score website visits and from fills based on their relevance, and score based on complex behaviors and separate interest from it. For positive engagements such as page visits, and clicks on the "Get a Quote" form the scores will be added while for the negative engagements such as inactivity the scores will be subtracted.
e) Integrated Sales Applications for Prioritizing the Leads Most Likely to Buy
Marketers can filter the leads and prioritize them based on interests with the most useful and relevant prospect data. Sales alerts can be triggered based on the activities of a particular lead and can even be prioritized based on certain activities such as downloading a piece of content.
The leads most likely to buy can be prioritized and this allows the sales team to send and track marketing-approved email templates and add prospects to nurture campaigns.
The B2B marketing automation solutions can also give the marketers ability to link revenue with the campaigns responsible for generating that revenue. Analytical insights fetched by the marketing automation solutions can be used for several important purposes:
a) Program ROI
Marketers can analyze their channels and programs based on successes, content offers, new names, pipeline, revenue opportunities, and much more. They can identify the top-performing programs to run again and the poorly performing ones to discontinue.
b) Multi-touch Reporting
This goes beyond seeing the first or last marketing touch that influences a deal and credits every campaign that contributes to a closing deal.
When employing marketing automation solutions, B2B marketers must always aim to extract maximum value. Whether they are new at their automation game or have already some experience, they must select a vendor that connects them with a variety of resources. Also, they must nurture and be a part of a community of like-minded people to get enough support, whenever required.
Marketing automation comes in handy to pull off successful programs and campaigns; however, sometimes the marketers may require more. This is when the support of a strong community and a large ecosystem of partners and stakeholders becomes paramount to extend and enhance the capabilities of your marketing automation solutions.
Once the marketers understand the marketing automation features that are most important for them, they can take some time out to evaluate more than one solution.
The sales and marketing automation market is proliferating and is expected to grow exponentially in the upcoming years.
In 2019, the sales and marketing automation market together was worth $ 4.06 billion and annual growth of 9.8% is anticipated till 2027. (Grand View Research, 2020).
With the current growth, there are so many choices in front of B2B marketers to choose from when it comes to marketing automation tools. Here are some of our favorite picks for marketing automation tools in no particular order:
Marketo is one of the most mature marketing automation tools and amongst the best-known ones in the industry, for good reasons. The brand provides B2B marketers with a full suite of features to manage email campaigns and also provides excellent tools for B2B sales teams. Marketo has a marketplace named Lauchpoint that offers dozens of integrations.
The pricing starts at $1,195/month.
Marketo is excellent for new users as it has a very large and active knowledge base. Marketo is best recommended for companies that are planning to use advanced B2B marketing automation solutions.
This fully loaded marketing automation solution provider offers an exceptional level of service and comes with a matching price tag. The platform has a great marketplace and offers plenty of integrations with third-party services. Eloqua helps customers get the most out of its products by teaching and instructing them constantly.
The pricing starts at $2,000/month.
Eloqua is great for those who are seeking enterprise-level software and have the budget for it, especially if they also have a lot of guidance from technology vendors. Eloqua is also exceptional for those prioritizing tight CRM integrations.
This one is a relatively new tool though growing fast in popularity because of the exemplary experience and flexibility it offers. The lightweight UI & proactive customer support makes Customer.io a company to watch. The tool has been designed to trigger emails based on events rather than just on pageviews.
The pricing starts at $75/month and they also offer a free plan.
The tool is preferred by companies looking to get started with marketing automation & those that offer lightweight UI. This tool is also a great option for companies looking for some advanced functionalities that require flexibility and customization for which they need to invest some developer resources to implement it.
Constant Contact is a popular email marketing tool for small businesses who want to quickly get started with well-organized email marketing & don't wish to engage in many technical intricacies down the line. The ease of use and affordable cost are its biggest differentiators.
The pricing starts at $15/month.
The biggest advantage of using HubSpot is that the system does a little bit of everything. However, it doesn't do anyone's task at an extremely deep level and that's the disadvantage. The popular "inbound marketing software" offers an array of tools amongst which one is marketing automation and this all-in-one approach can be really convenient. The tool is the best choice for small business owners particularly the ones looking to harness the very basic functionalities of several different marketing systems.
The pricing starts at $200/month.
B2B companies are increasingly introducing and adopting several sales and marketing automation solutions including some of the popular ones described above. However, the effectiveness of these systems depends on the ability of companies to integrate digital and physical interactions while maintaining a fluid relational approach to provide their clients with a truly seamless experience across omnichannel.
For modern B2B companies, the sales and marketing automation solutions represent an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors to gain a competitive edge by optimizing customers' experiences through remote assistance. Additionally, the companies can also optimize their revenue goals by managing the post-selling activities more efficiently with the help of marketing automation tools.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of rapid diffusion of sales and marketing automation systems.
How Sales & Marketing Automation Solutions Aid B2B Marketers
Digital channels have played a pivotal role during the lockdown to maintain a relationship with customers and because of the rapid adoption of digital technologies, digital transformation has been infused vigorously and adopted at scale by the marketers.
Customers today aspire to be able to communicate with brands, evaluate and purchase products on digital platforms in new modalities. Consequently, the sales and marketing automation tools have become an absolute necessity for B2B marketers. It's clear that B2B sales and marketing automation solutions generate value for companies in the post-COVID-19 scenario and hence it's time for the companies to evaluate the automation features most important to them, and simultaneously take some time out to evaluate the several market automation solutions in the market before they decide on the one that best suits their requirements - to help them adopt the perspective of a customer-centric organization focused on customer success.
We, at Valasys Media, understand the importance of sales and marketing integration and that marketing automation tools to personalize customers' experiences, optimize content and measure business impact across omnichannel.
Our best-in-class B2B services including lead generation, lead nurturing, account-based marketing, list building services, contact discovery services, event promotion, appointment setting, business intelligence, and CRM services have been custom-engineered to address the various marketing, and advertising, requirements of our clients.
For any questions or queries or are ready to make a move to our data-driven services, feel free to get in touch and we would love to hear from you.
Marketing automation solutions have become a must-have for modern B2B marketers particularly as the marketers are headed to explore new avenues alongside the dawn to the next normal.