B2B Marketing Automation: A Comprehensive Guide
B2B marketing automation is quickly becoming the most powerful tool for B2B companies. One of the reasons for this is that it allows marketers to target leads with more precision than ever before. This blog post will explore what B2B marketing automation is and how you can use it in your own business to increase sales.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a system that companies use to automate marketing-related tasks. This is often done through CRM software, but it can be done with any company database and the right technology.
Marketing automation software works by triggering emails or other communications based on user behavior. For example, suppose someone signs up for your lead magnet. In that case, their email address will then be added to the list of people interested in this topic which then allows you to deliver personalized messages to them based on their interests.
As the lead progresses through your nurture campaigns, marketing automation will automatically update their interests based on their behaviors. This allows you to deliver hyper-personalized emails to them, which increases your sales conversion rates.
Marketing automation can automate many other aspects of your B2B sales and marketing processes as well.
The Main Differences Between B2B Marketing Automation and B2C Marketing Automation
B2C and B2B marketing automation are both prevalent methods for engaging consumers, but they differ in many ways. When it comes to B2B marketing automation, the first distinction is that it involves marketing to businesses rather than consumers.
Secondly, B2B marketers are more focused on how automation can produce a measurable ROI for their company. They also need an effective way of measuring this return on investment. Finally, automated campaigns don't just focus on conversion rates as they do with consumer-centric email marketing; instead, B2B marketers use them as leverage points in order to achieve specific goals such as closing deals or gaining new applicants.
Lead scoring is also used more with B2B marketing automation to measure the quality and value of a lead as they move through their sales pipeline. This is because the sales cycle is often much longer than for B2B companies, and it's important to measure the leads' potential value.
Despite these differences in focus, there is still a lot of cross-over between B2B marketing automation and B2C marketing automation. Both involve personalized communication with their leads and customers, resulting in measurable ROI.
Things to Consider When Implementing B2B Marketing Automation
When using marketing automation, you need to consider many different aspects. Some of the most important are:
- Goals and campaign objectives
- What type of automation do you want?
- How much budget can you afford for marketing automation?
- What tools will be needed to implement a successful marketing automation strategy?
The first thing that needs to be established is what exactly you're trying to achieve, and you should create a strategy and timeline for this implementation. A CRM system plays a big part in this as you need to have clean data for your marketing automation to work smoothly.
I would suggest checking out these two posts that will help you get your B2B CRM set up to align with your marketing automation campaigns:
- 13 Critical Components of CRM Architecture for Businesses
- How to Implement a CRM Strategy That Will Drive Success
Following these suggestions will ensure that your marketing and sales strategies are both set up to use marketing automation to achieve a maximum ROI.
How to Set Up a B2B Lead Nurturing Campaign
One of the essential parts of your sales funnel is implementing a lead nurturing campaign, and segmentation is a critical part of making this campaign successful. Segmentation allows you to target people based on their specific characteristics. Let's take a look at how you can set up segmentation for your B2B lead nurturing campaign:
- Make a list of the different ways you want to segment your audience: services, products, purchase behaviors, different types of campaigns they'll move through, how they engage with your content, etc.
- Outline the different ways you will use this segmentation in your marketing automation.
- Use a whiteboard to map out how your leads and customers will move through your customer journey and how segmentation will be used for different decision logic.
Once you have a clear idea of how you want to segment your audience, then you can start creating your lead nurture campaigns. You'll want to have nurture campaigns for each of your different segments.
Here are a few examples:
- New leads will get an indoctrination series
- Nurture campaigns for each of your different service or product offerings
- Scarcity campaigns
- Ascension series for new customers
To make sure your lead nurturing campaign is successful, you must segment your audience and use those segments for automation logic. This will help ensure leads are sent in line with their interests instead of being inundated by irrelevant content, which could cause them to unsubscribe from your list or worse - never open an email again!
Make sure whatever marketing automation platform you choose can handle your plan and that it has an easy-to-use CRM for your sales team.
Here at Pulse Technology, we can save you a ton of time and money on implementing campaigns like this. Reach out today if you would like us to help you get started!
What are the best practices for B2B email marketing campaigns?
Follow these best practices to ensure your B2B email marketing campaign is a success:
- Keep your messages relevant
- Include a strong call to action
- Send content based on segmentation and automation logic
- Track engagement activity and cleanse your list of people who aren't engaged
The more you intricately plan out your lead nurturing campaign, the better chance you can convert leads into customers.
Automate Your Customer Onboarding Processes
You can use automation to create automated workflows to move your customers through the customer onboarding process. This allows you to automatically pass the lead off from your sales team to your customer success team.
You can use round-robins to distribute new customers to different account reps based on a pre-defined ratio if you have a larger team. This will save a tremendous amount of time as you start to grow as a company.
When using automation software to increase efficiency with your customer onboarding process, it's crucial to map out all of your current business processes in this area:
- What are the different routine tasks that you perform?
- What can be automated?
- What are different email and text message templates that can you implement?
- Do you need to notify any third-party vendors?
- What are the different milestones?
These are all excellent questions to ask yourself when planning out your customer onboarding workflow automation.
Moving New Customers Through Different Ascension Series
Once you have a new customer, don't let your marketing automation stop there. Instead, start looking at how you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by moving them through a series of different levels after the purchase.
This is also the perfect time to upsell or cross-sell them on different products or services.
Here are some suggestions of campaigns you can implement:
- Feedback campaign to generate more reviews on Google and testimonials that you can use on your website or other marketing campaigns
- Referral campaigns to incentivize your happy customers for referrals and generate more word of mouth business consistently
- Webinar series on different products or services that you offer which can create more revenue from these customers
- Upsell campaigns and limited-time offers
- Improve customer retention by staying engaged with these customers and how you can help and support them
Implementing campaigns like this into your B2B marketing automation strategy will increase customer loyalty, maximize revenue from each customer, and deliver a better ROI.
Common Mistakes and Pitfalls of B2B Marketing Automation
Here are some common mistakes other B2B companies make with their marketing automation campaigns and ones that you should avoid:
- Not testing your campaigns thoroughly before launching them
- Lack of clear goals that you want to achieve from your marketing automation
- Trying to implement everything at once and being too complex from the beginning
- Absence in segmentation
- Not having a clear plan for easy data management
I would suggest having a clear end goal in mind but breaking your marketing automation campaigns down into small and simple steps to implement. Don't start with too complex of campaigns; you’ll never get anything across the finish line, and it will be too hard to manage at the beginning.
Marketing automation is a powerful tool for B2B companies, but it can also be complicated. It’s important to know what you want your marketing automation software to do before buying anything or moving forward with implementation. Our experts here at Pulse Technology are here to help guide you through the process and answer any questions that may arise along the way so that your B2B marketing campaign runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Contact us today to get started!