Converting a lead to a customer requires over 11 touch points—on a good day. While this may be just an average, do you have the time or resources to reach all of your leads 11 times to inch them closer to becoming a buying customer?
The answer is probably not.
This is why marketing automation is a crucial element of all digital marketing activities.
When set up and monitored properly, automation does the work for you to deliver the right message at the right time—even to existing customers, because we can’t forget about them! Automating your marketing generates value to leads, customers and your company.
Let’s dive into the basics of marketing automation.
B2B Marketing automation are the processes and practices a company adopts to improve the efficiency of their teams and marketing efforts by automating essential yet repetitive tasks.
Fundamentally, marketing automation gives you the platform to manage and nurture leads until you are ready to pass them on to sales.
To automate your marketing efforts effectively, you need to use the right combination of software and web-based services.
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 because they are not getting the 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 effective timing. Usually, leads follow a non-linear and often lengthy journey before converting into customers. Make sure that you do not aggressively approach them too early lest you scare, annoy or overwhelm them.
At the same time, do not take too long to reach out as there are competitors in the market who can snatch them away at any time. Take time to study the behaviors of your prospects and approach them based on their actions and interests.
An automated workflow can do wonders here.
The first and the most important step in marketing is creating a plan that aligns with your company’s goals. Once you understand how your marketing and sales goals fit in with the overall company goals, you will be better equipped to succeed in any marketing activity.
In 1898, E. St. Elmo Lewis created the sales funnel to depict a buyer’s journey. The funnel is well over 100 years old and needed an upgrade, especially since it does not address retaining customers. The flywheel presents a better representation of today’s business efforts.
The flywheel puts the growth at the center of every company activity. When growth is at the core of your sales, support and marketing efforts, everybody has a singular focus.
With a well-planned marketing automation strategy aligned with your marketing goals, you can significantly reduce time spent on manual tasks and data analysis.
Take automating your emails as an example. You can effectively target potential clients at various stages of their buyer's journey. This approach ensures that your audience receives relevant content, while also enabling accurate data analysis.
As a result, you'll witness improved conversion rates, leading to greater value and success for your company. Consequently, marketing automation has evolved into an indispensable component of digital marketing activities for modern businesses.
Automation can add value to your marketing in the following ways:
There is no denying the fact that marketing automation is something that every company needs, especially in B2B Tech. Over the past two years, the average marketing automation ROI is $5.44 per dollar spent. 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 choosing the appropriate automation software a daunting task, with careful consideration, you can implement a software that will help you automate your marketing activities greatly. The diagram below shows a comparison of various MA tools by market share.
Based on the diagram above, it is evident that HubSpot has the largest market share (28.2%) in comparison to Salesforce Pardot (13%), Marketo (19.5%), and the other MA tools. On the other hand, Marketo and Pardot are stiffly competing with only a difference of 6.5% between their market shares.
HubSpot focuses on personas, not ideal customer profiles (ICPs), resulting in lackluster lead scoring. HubSpot also offers fewer customization options for advanced developers.
Marketo fits the description of the best system of its kind in marketing automation. 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.
Together with this is a visual drag-and-drop interface that is not only easy to use but also requires no advanced IT skills.
Marketo stands out with its exceptional advanced analytics and email workflows. If you possess a solid IT background, you will relish the opportunity to delve into the software and explore its extensive range of advanced features.
For large enterprises seeking intricate email campaigns targeted at diverse customer segments, Marketo offers the flexibility to customize their email marketing efforts with meticulous precision. It offers four different packages based on your needs starting from $900 per month – billed annually.
Marketo does not have a highly intuitive system. The platform’s system lacks a drag-and-drop interface you can use for organizing offer campaigns. It also calls for some knowledge in coding and programming to take advantage of its full potential. In addition, it does not have CMS, blogging, and social posting features, so companies have to use an additional system for those.
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, Eloqua stands out and developers refer to it as the marketing execution tool known for driving dynamic conversions.
It is most popular among B2B companies for its personalization features. It comes in 20 different languages and is accessible in many parts of the world. It can help you come up with effective strategies and has a modern approach to marketing automation that can enhance whatever systems you currently have acting as the handover to your sales department. Its drag-and-drop canvas interface is a killer feature that allows the transformation, normalization, and arrangement of data across different channels (earned, owned, and paid).
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.
Eloqua does not come bundled with its own CRM, but it offers seamless integration with various CRM tools such as Oracle's CRM, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and others. By connecting a CRM with your Eloqua marketing automation, you can effectively nurture your leads and convert them into paying customers. It's important to note that the Oracle CRM is not included with Eloqua and requires a separate payment.
Pardot’s popularity comes from its Salesforce foundation. However, other features make Pardot a great MA tool for every B2B tech company.
To start with, Pardo features an end-to-end lead generation and management ability, a seamless email marketing, an effortless sales alignment, as well as several 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 monthly although at times it has a free period for Salesforce users.
It does not have a free program and it is billed annually, which makes it hard to cancel should you decide to. Only Pro subscribers have access to 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.
That is the question that every company out there is looking to answer, but it is important to note that the term best is relative in the marketing automation software arena. The software that works best for your company may not work the same for the next-door company. As such, it is important to establish your company’s marketing automation pains and create a wish list of requirements, components, and features. Until then, it can be hard to choose and profile a tool as best for your marketing automation.
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!
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