More businesses are making the most of marketing automation, both B2B and B2C. While it’s become a bit of a buzzword, it’s much more than that, and can genuinely revolutionise the ROI of your digital marketing activities.
But for B2B, marketing automation offers a huge advantage. Combining automated emails, a CRM and sales reporting all under one roof, while being able to track businesses viewing your website, it’s easy to see why B2B businesses can really benefit.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is software that aims to automate any repetitive marketing activity, whether it’s emails or other website tracking activities.
Without any manual intervention, you can send marketing messages to specific customers when they take certain actions, such as viewing particular web pages, filling out forms, or otherwise.
Why is Marketing Automation useful for B2B?
The simple reason is that businesses utilising marketing automation are performing better.
Even if it sounds complicated, it’s very simple to set-up and use. Once the automations are set-up, there’s very little need to get involved, except to follow-up with leads.
The CRM in itself is useful to see your interactions with other businesses, and manage the sales process down the pipeline.
Maintain Client Relationships
Marketing automation lets you send messages between manual touchpoints to help maintain client relationships.
You can send out marketing campaigns, personalised email messages, or any other form of email at regular intervals, or specified frequencies. This can help keep clients in the loop, see if you can help, or upsell products.
This can play a big part in filling the communication gap between your business and clients.
No human error
Once you’ve set up your automated email messages, and checked they are all good to go, there’s no room for human error.
However careful you are, it happens. Everyone has put in the wrong email address, addressed it to the wrong person, or simply included an embarrassing and obvious typo somewhere down the line. If your marketing emails are sorted to begin with, there’s no chance of this happening.
See which businesses visit your website
Wouldn’t it be great if you could see which businesses are browsing your products or services? Well, marketing automation allows this.
You can see which businesses are viewing your website, and which exact pages they have expressed an interest in.
This allows you to follow-up with them at a later date. Or, send out automated marketing messages when they take a specific action, or visit a particular path of pages.
Customer retention strategy
While chasing after new customers is always at the forefront of business owners’ minds, maintaining existing business and upselling new products is often a better route for generating sales.
Customer retention with automation takes it to another level. You can see what existing customers are interested in, and this can inform your next call with them.
It can also help with abandoned shopping carts, and win-back lost customers. Timely, relevant messaging can go a long way when attempting to re-engage lapsed customers, or maintain current healthy customer relationships.
Wherever your clients or potential customers may be, you can track them across multiple channels or platforms.
This means you can keep an eye on what prospects and customers are up to, and keep them informed along the way.
You can send out targeted product recommendations, personalised content, or segment prospects by their actions.
Marketing automation lets you reach out to potential customers at exactly the right time down the sales funnel.
Once you can see they have expressed an interest in something you have to offer, you can automate an email or other action to go out.
Your lead list becomes much more targeted and filtered, meaning you aren’t chasing after every single person who may or may not be interested. You’ll be able to filter down to the leads who have a genuine interest.
See which marketing channels offer an ROI
Marketing automation gives you a unique insight into which channels are working.
By attributing particular sales to campaigns or channels, you can see what marketing is working, and what isn’t. For B2C this is often much easier, but B2B sales often involve a much longer sales process. You can view where your sales originated through a sales pipeline, which helps you see what you do right and wrong along the way. Discovering where hot leads become cold, for instance, is great information in improving your ongoing business strategy.
Marketing automation gives businesses a huge opportunity to stay ahead of competitors, generate new leads and maintain existing relationships. You can offer up insights or content to prospects that turns them into customers, or keep existing customers up-to-date with the latest news or industry knowledge. All of this is great in filling the void between awareness and closing a sale, as well as sale through to relationship management.
By automating your marketing, not only will you be taking your marketing to the next level, you will also help improve relationships with prospects and new customers. This is critical for B2B businesses looking to grow, and improve the ROI of their marketing activities.