B2B Marketing automation refers to the processes and practices that a company can adopt to improve the efficiency of their marketing based on several online channels. The primary goal of marketing automation is to simplify repetitive tasks in an organization like social media, email marketing, and other website-related tasks. As such, to automate your marketing efforts effectively, you need to use the right combination of software and web-based services. If you are thinking of automating the marketing processes in your company, it is important you understand the expectations, and the primary benefits you can get in the end.
Fundamentally, marketing automation entails optimizing marketing activities. This could include optimizing the team’s time and the audience to put much emphasis on. As such, marketing automation is more than the simple approaches aimed at the automation of the repetitive tasks within the marketing department –it gives you the platform to manage leads up to the checkout.
A large number of B2B tech companies are either not using marketing automation, or they are not getting it right. According to David Raab, an expert in the industry more than 55% of marketers are not happy with the automation software they use since they are not getting their expected results. In spite of marketing automation’s benefits, many companies are experiencing a high level of dissatisfaction and fragmentation.
One of the important secrets to marketing, especially in automation is to time effectively. Usually, leads take some time before converting into customers. As such, make sure that you do not approach them too early lest you scare or overwhelm them. At the same time, do not take too long, as there are competitors in the market who can snatch them any time. Therefore, take time to study the marketing behaviors of your prospects and approach them based on their actions and interests.
The most important step in marketing is creating a plan that aligns with the sales goals. Initially, understanding the marketing and sales funnel gave you a better platform to succeed in any marketing activities. The sales funnel describes a visual presentation that entails the movement from following a lead to converting the lead into a customer –essentially, it is the buyer’s journey. In spite of the difference in how various people present the sales funnel, the primary goal is the same. However, today things have changed and it is not about the funnel anymore but about the flywheel, because the sales funnel considers customers as an afterthought. The flywheel puts the customer at the center of every activity that a company carries. When the customers are at the core of your sales, support, and marketing efforts, it becomes easy to revolutionize your share in the market because the customers act as your business promoters.
Here is a diagram showing the sales funnel and flywheel.
Perhaps, you have heard of common hype that advocates for more transparency, better customer engagement, less cost, and more sales. However, without proper preparation and effective execution of strategies , it can be hard to achieve all these. As such, it is important to think of how certain automation practices will add value to your company. Automation can add value to your marketing in the following ways:
Averagely, you should focus on seven touch points of the customer before you can convince them to buy any of your services or products. The implication of this is that the customers’ buying process should match your marketing approaches. While achieving such a balance is hard and overly expensive, with the right automation platform, you can generate, follow, and nurture leads easily. With
If you adopt the ideal automation software, you will experience no challenges tracking your prospects’ behaviors and establishing their interest such that you can align your marketing and sales strategy based on such insights. For example, you are able to score high for prospects who view the pricing page or even the terms and conditions section. Such information makes it possible to narrow your marketing and sales focus based on the right information.
Most automation platforms come with inbuilt templates that make it easy to customize and personalize. This ensures that you do not need to hire a designer to help you in creating new campaigns every other time. The implication of such applications is that you reduce the amount of time and money spent on creating and executing campaigns.
Most companies tend to overlook the role of marketing automation after getting customers. In fact, automation is necessary for keeping customers for a long time and enhancing cross and up-selling. The rationale for this assertion is the fact that every customer needs additional information about your products and services even after making the first sale.
Marketing automation is necessary for monitoring performance. The ideal platform should offer you key performance indicators to assist you in managing your expenditure in various marketing channels based on the expected ROI. Often, this is done through a simple and clear funnel that outlines the costs and returns based on real-time data.
There is no denying the fact that marketing automation is something that every company needs, especially the B2B Tech ones. Over the past two years, the marketing automation industry has advanced from $500m to a $1.2bn industry. As such, it cannot be a surprise that you will find new automation software or new features in some of the already existing software. While such advancement makes the choice of the appropriate automation software quite a daunting task, with careful consideration, you can land a software that will help you automate your marketing activities greatly. The diagram below shows a comparison of various MA tools in terms of their market share.
Based on the diagram above, it is evident that HubSpot has a large market share (21.56%) in comparison to Salesforce Pardot (7%), Marketo (6.17%), and the other MA tools. On the other hand, Marketo and Pardot are stiffly competing with only a difference of 0.83% between their market shares.
HubSpot ranks high for a number of reasons, one of them being its diversity in terms of scope of action. Just like Volvo, which even after crashing on the wall will have the capacity to move, HubSpot, has such an accommodative capability. It is necessary for the preparation and optimization of content such that it aligns with the preferences of the users. In addition, it curves out a personalized path that you can follow when engaging and turning leads into loyal customers. It takes pride in its highly powerful and developed Search Engine Optimization tools, which do not necessitate any coding knowledge for you to use them. As such, with HubSpot, targeting the appropriate influencer as well as developing strong calls-to-actions is easy. With its contact forms, you can test all the marketing strategies you adopt, and rely on real-time reports to evaluate the viability and performance of your strategies.
This software can be used in various places including lead management, sales performance
HubSpot is ideal for SMBs with just marketers and since it is simple to use, it is not necessary for them to have technical skills. It offers great value for the small businesses especially the ones that have not implemented search engine optimization techniques and methods alongside any marketing automation approaches.
You can get HubSpot software at $2,400 per month for a 12 months contract, billed annually.
What are its other unique selling points?
It may not be the best option for companies using WordPress, as the support is not as effective as it is on other platforms.
Marketo fits the description of the best system of its kind. It presents itself as the Volkswagen in all aspects of marketing automation for its reliability. This might be attributed to its diversity in terms of lead generation approaches. One of its outstanding characteristics is the fact that the platform meets the needs of any aspect of digital marketing. The Customer Marketing module of the platform aligns well with the software’s lead management and email marketing features and offers room for real-time customization.
Along with this, is a visual drag-and-drop interface that is not only easy to use but also requires no advanced IT skills.
Marketo is suitable for SMBs, which have a large marketing department, for two reasons –one, it is easy to use and secondly, it features a low and medium level functionality as needed by the small and medium businesses. It offers two package –one for $895 and the other at $3175, all per month but billed annually.
What are its unique selling points?
Marketo does not have a highly intuitive system. The platform’s system lacks a drag interface that you can use for organizing offer campaigns. It also calls for some knowledge
Eloqua passes for the oldest marketing automation tool –it was launched in 1999 before Oracle acquired it in 2012 for a value of $871m. Apart from its age, it stands out as the Bentley, or Jaguar in the marketing automation arena. It can also be likened to the Oxford degree, or Chanel no 5, or the Colombian slow roast. Now you understand why you will often hear most developers referring it to the marketing execution tool known for driving dynamic conversions.
It is much popular among B2B companies for its personalization features. It comes in different languages and is accessible in many parts of the world. In comparison to most MA platforms, Eloqua is much simpler and does not interfere with your other software’s functionality. Apart from helping you come up with effective strategies, Eloqua has a modern approach to marketing automation and can enhance whatever systems you have currently
Eloqua is ideal for companies that have a large marketing department. It has a package for $2,000 a month and it is billed monthly.
What are its unique selling points?
The MRM functionality does not have an extension for project management such as project plan management and resources scheduling. Eloqua has a revamped version of its platform –the Eloqua10 but it needs improvement since the software has challenges dealing with a large database and filtering capacity. In addition, it is overly complex hence, its setup and maintenance
It would be a surprise if you have not yet heard of Pardot, by now. It is that Honda, which although has good looks like a Volkswagen, people still despise it. Nevertheless, it is presented as a product whose growth has been at a staggering rate in spite of its young age into the market. Much of its share of popularity comes from it Salesforce foundation. However, other features make Pardot a great MA tool for every B2B tech company. To start with, it features an end-to-end lead generation and management ability, a seamless email marketing, an effortless sales alignment, as well as several and detailed return on investment reports. In addition, Pardot is highly compatible with most of the software that numerous tech companies use, especially if you are using Salesforce. Its ability to blend seamlessly, while at the same time inquiring little to no IT changes makes Pardot a great marketing automation tool.
Pardot is great for enterprises that have a team of markers who have high technical skills. Its subscription packages include the professional edition, the enterprise edition, and the ultimate edition, which start from $1,000, $2000 and $3,000 per month respectively although at times it is free in the beginning, as an up-sell to customers who are subscribers of Salesforce. It is billed annually.
What are its unique selling points?
It does not have a free program and it is billed annually, which makes it hard to cancel should you decide otherwise about your options. Only the Pro subscribers have access to the A/B testing, a vital feature for landing and email campaigns. In addition, its social media support is considerably weak which forces companies to look for a separate social media management tool.
So which of
We work with each client from strategy storyboarding to campaign implementation to streamline your marketing and nurture efforts. Adopting marketing automation is a costly venture and should be properly mapped to support your business processes. The end result is more focused and concentrated engagement with your audience, driving traffic an accelerating a leads journey through the sales funnel.
Meet your new inbound marketing team. We’re delighted to make your acquaintance!
Liked what you read? Sign up for a free Inbound Marketing Assessment with an Inbound Marketing Specialist today!