75% of marketers currently use at least one marketing automation solution or tool, a number that has been steadily on the rise. However, many companies are still unsure of the value that marketing automation can bring to their company, while others are not even sure exactly what it does. The capabilities and benefits of marketing automation might not always shine front and center, but it often makes marketing processes more streamlined and easier to manage. This blog helps simplify what B2B marketing automation is and highlights some of the key benefits of implementing marketing automation software.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a technology that manages marketing processes across channels and campaigns. When someone mentions marketing automation, most think of email marketing automation. While that is one marketing automation tool, there are many more tools and software that help in more areas than just email. Marketing automation can help with audience segmenting, lead nurturing and scoring, A/B testing, analytics and much more. It covers a lot of areas one might not think of. Some of the different types of marketing automation include customer relationship management (CRMs), such as Salesforce, email marketing, such as Mailchimp and social media, such as Hootsuite or Buffer. Each area of marketing has a tool that helps automate processes, making it easier to complete and manage tasks. Another perk of B2B marketing automation is many of the platforms used often integrate or connect. Your CRM will connect to your email marketing platform, syncing data such as contacts and leads and social media can be connected to an automation tool like Hootsuite to schedule and manage multiple platforms easier. Overall, marketing automation helps your organization better manage all B2B marketing efforts, saving time and resources.
Advantages of B2B Marketing Automation
There are several distinct advantages that companies gain by utilizing marketing automation. Here are a few.
Understanding the Buyer
Marketing automation enables two-way information flow, as opposed to the one-way information flow that occurs in traditional sales conversations. This allows marketers the chance to understand a prospect more in-depth and respond appropriately based on their preferences and characteristics. By listening to and understanding the pain points and needs of individual prospects, marketers are better able to keep them engaged throughout the buying cycle with the appropriate content and conversation points.
Keeps Your Organization Top-of-Mind
Leads that come in are typically not sales-ready, so your organization must stay top-of-mind. One way to do this is through ongoing, multi-touch nurture campaigns. Marketing automation software allows marketers to better deliver this type of campaign to prospects exactly when organizations want to.
Aligns Sales and Marketing
A critical part of any B2B organization is the alignment of sales and marketing. The same goes for marketing automation. It is essential both the sales and marketing are in agreement as to how to utilize marketing automation. One thing that is important to agree upon is lead scoring if that is something your organization does. The lead scoring stages should be clearly outlined before any marketing automation is set up. A step that all should agree on is when a lead becomes sales-ready as that is the time marketing passes it to sales. Once alignment is achieved, both departments can collaboratively work together to best meet the needs of prospects.
Smooth Transition Through the Buyer’s Journey
With sales and marketing aligned, marketing automation ensures a smooth transition of leads throughout the sales funnel and also ensures that leads are only given to sales when they are truly sales-ready. This reduces the common frustration among sales teams of being given leads from the marketing department and discovering that they are not truly sales-ready.
Saves Time and Resources
Marketing automation saves time. It is simple as that. It takes you from having to manually add leads to the sales platform and conducting the lead nurturing process, publishing every social media post at the exact time it needs to be and sending emails one by one. It allows teams to devote their time to more strategic tasks instead of always worrying about execution. In other words, they can do the work of a much larger team.
Are you ready to experience the benefits of marketing automation? Contact us today or request a free marketing consultation. We’ve helped lead marketing automation implementations for many clients, helping them reach more prospects across multiple channels in fewer manual tasks.