B2B Marketing Automation: A Gateway to Digital Transformation
Amid constant change, digital businesses are turning towards technology.
For B2B businesses, marketing automation can prove to be a game-changer that can optimize and improve the quality of customers for your brand.
In this post, we’ll be talking about all things marketing and how your B2B business can benefit from it. Moreover, we’ll also talk about the various B2B marketing automation platforms.
So, let’s begin with the basics, and move on to the more detailed discussions.
What is marketing automation?
“Using software to simplify and speed up marketing activities.”
Every business unit from accounting to operations has certain activities that become repetitive over time. Automation software helps automate these tasks so that individuals can focus on the more important ones at hand.
For a marketing department, automation can be anything from automating email campaigns, social media posts, to paid ads campaigns, and more.
While efficiency is a major benefit, it also enables marketing firms and departments to tailor personalized offerings to their demographics.
When implemented correctly, marketing automation is something that stays with you for a long time.
How beneficial can B2B marketing automation prove for your business?
The list of digital channels present today is endless. Due to this, it gets hard for businesses to track down and target their prospects with their messages.
The role of the customer service expert has been reduced to a significant degree since customers now research, evaluate, and make decisions – without ever speaking to a sales representative.
With so much information going around, businesses need to be precise with whom they are targeting. Marketing automation allows you to do just that. It enables you to mass-target the right demographics with efficiency.
Let’s look at the range of benefits you can gain from B2B marketing automation:
This one’s a given.
You don’t have to worry about repetitive tasks like data collection, handling, processing, content publishing, and more.
With that time automated, you will be in a better position to focus on other, more important, marketing tasks.
Better and improved leads
As discussed already, B2B marketing automation lets you better focus on your prospects.
With it, you can target a wide variety of demographics, preferences, and behavioral data. The result of this is that it gives out better, more qualified leads for your business.
Most B2B marketing automation software provides you granular data based on your business leads – thus allowing you more space to grow.
The modern marketing landscape is diverse.
Businesses need to have a presence on a variety of different channels to get their message across effectively.
Your presence on social media, search engines, and professional networking sites is a must-have in this age.
Marketing automation tools and software can help streamline your multi-channel marketing process through tools that integrate the channels into a single location.
Efficient alignment of sales and marketing goals
The right leads being nurtured ultimately leads to natural alignment between sales and marketing teams.
In this case, marketing automation software ensures that only qualified leads are landing on a website or a B2B eCommerce store.
Already a filtered list, they are further nurtured and segmented by the marketing team who then lead the quality prospects to the final stage of nurturing – the sales team.
This seamless alignment also ensures better decision-making for future goals.
Better returns on investments
The primary benefit of having a B2B marketing automation software is better returns. These tools reduce marketing overheads and increase revenues by 12 and 15% respectively.
Of course, this can only be implemented once you have a sound B2B marketing automation implementation strategy for your business.
Practical applications of B2B marketing automation
Now that we’ve discussed the general benefits of B2B marketing automation, it’s time we discuss how these tools can be used in a practical setting. With six examples, you will learn how to implement them correctly.
Example #1: Churn reduction & service analytics
For any business trying to sell its products and services, churn is a serious issue.
To ensure that the revenues keep coming, companies invest a lot to ensure that they don’t face any churn. A low churn rate is an indicator of a stable business operation.
The moment a user decides to abandon a cart or cancel a subscription, a sales rep is sent after them to ask the reasons behind why they chose to leave. Now, doing that over and over again to each user just spells out inefficiency.
With a B2B marketing automation software, you can do that process while also making a last effort to reduce the churn rates due to one customer.
A good example of this would be an exit-intent form asking an individual why he chose to abandon their purchase. When combined with a value-added coupon or discount offer, it helps in reducing the churn rates for a business.
The end goal with this is to reduce the extra work while keeping the operations as efficient as possible.
Example #2: Referral marketing & B2B customer retention
Relying on referral marketing is just as much a part of a marketing firm as other marketing activities.
When done right, referrals lead to already engaged prospects that don’t require much persuasion to move forward.
For businesses that gain a lot of business from referrals, marketing automation can help automate the repetitive tasks for referrals.
With the same tools, you can also market your referral program effectively.
Example #3: Lead nurturing & email marketing software
Because it helps align sales and marketing teams, marketing automation software, whether B2B or B2C, can prove effective in ensuring quality leads for a business.
In the previous section on the efficient alignment of sales and marketing, we’ve already discussed how this could take place.
Now, let’s talk about email marketing. If you have a huge list of emails to send your products and services to, then it will get tiresome and repetitive having to send each email individually.
Email marketing automation software like Mailchimp exists for that very specific purpose – to speed up the process of sending emails to individuals.
Example #4: New customer on-boarding
Email marketing doesn’t just work for marketing purposes.
It’s also a very handy tool for branding. You see, the biggest indicator of a rise in churn rate is poor familiarity with the product.
Of course, a customer that doesn’t understand the product is going to leave it for a product that’s easy to get used to.
To ensure that your customer knows the product/service and how to use it, you can send out “knowledge base” emails giving them manuals and instructional material on how to get acquainted with the product.
Another example of this is using email marketing to deliver your newsletter if you’re a publication. Everyone from Dribbble and FreeCodeCamp utilizes email marketing to deliver their emails straight to your inbox.
Example #5: Automated website live chat
Remember when we said that the customer is now more empowered than ever.
You would, when you remember that modern customers don’t directly talk to sales reps but rather, perform individual research before making a purchase.
The point of this reminder is to give you an idea that the job of the sales rep, while important, can be automated to a certain degree.
Automated live chat works best in this scenario.
These small pieces of software, when integrated with a website can prove effective in answering the nitty-gritty of prospects that drop on a website.
When the prospects look like they can turn into a lead, a sales representative can come in and nurture it towards the sale.
This can prove extremely effective for companies that don’t want to take up too much time on everyone that drops by the store. This frees up time for the sales team to focus on the more important tasks.
Example #6: Social media automation & scheduling
The first marketing automation software to be available on the market was social media. Of course, this might sound unbelievable considering that social media only works with human interaction.
Yes, while that is a major part of these platforms, some social media tasks get too repetitive and thus, can be automated. Content sharing, replying to customer queries, and cross-posting can all be automated, thus giving you more flexibility in how you manage your social media account.
Selecting the right B2B marketing automation platform
If you’re a business-facing organization, you would need a robust platform for your marketing automation. The list of platforms available is endless. But some platforms take the lead in terms of quality of service and usefulness.
Let’s look at two of these, shall we?
The industry leader for business software, HubSpot is definitely the prime choice for B2B marketing automation.
With it, you can track, nurture, and convert leads into customers with ease. Moreover, you can also utilize HubSpot’s chatbot to integrate a chatbot system with your business.
Used by industry leaders in all sorts of niches, HubSpot is your prime choice for a B2B marketing automation solution.
Similar to HubSpot, Unbounce is an efficient B2B marketing automation tool that lets you A/B test your campaigns and is easily integrated with your present CRM platform.
The best part about this platform is its customizability. You can edit the code of the platform according to your requirements.
Search Engine Optimization is a major part of marketing. You want to ensure a long-lasting standing in search engine rankings.
Ahrefs, to a certain degree, is a hack to the world of SEO. It’s a B2B marketing automation solution that provides you valuable insights on everything related to SEO.
From keyword exploration, content ideas, rankings, analytics, and much more. Ahrefs is your one-stop-shop for everything related to organic marketing.
Another tool similar to Ahrefs is Buzzsumo.
It’s a must-have SEO and content marketing tool. As a B2B marketing automation tool, it helps you find B2B content that has a better chance of being engaging to the audience.
It also works as an influencer marketing solution – allowing you to get in touch with the influencers which proves to be a huge boost to your branding efforts.
Buffer has been around for some time now and has made a name for itself by being one of the most popular social media marketing automation software available today.
For B2B marketing, Buffer can help speed up the workflows by helping you reach out to your customers quickly and effectively through social media. It’s a must-have tool in your digital marketing arsenal.
From everything discussed, we could safely say that business process automation is the key to surviving today. Businesses need to learn how to adapt and platforms that we’ve discussed above provide the best opportunity for that. Codup provides stellar Business Process Automation services that can easily integrate with your existing systems. The result is software that makes your business more efficient and in with the times.