Find out how to take advantage of B2B Marketing Automation techniques and software to simplify promotion and make your campaigns efficient on different online channels.
Suppose you are considering embarking on automating the marketing processes of your business. In that case, it is essential first to understand the advantages that can be derived from it and then identify the tools applicable to implement them. Indeed, this automated system has an evident impact on lead generation and the facilitated management of qualified contacts in the sales or conversion funnel.
Let’s go in order and see how this is accomplished.
Table of Contents
CRM And Marketing Automation: Definitions And Differences
You will often find CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Marketing Automation associated with them. Although the two systems are hopefully integral, they are not.
- CRM definition: CRM is a system that allows companies to simplify the management of data associated with customers/leads. This contact information is stored in a single database accessible in real-time to the business people involved in the process, who are thus free to focus on relationships and sales.
- MA definition: Marketing Automation is a set of technological tools that allow companies to automate marketing activities to measure operational efficiency’s growth and increase commercial revenues.
To make the relationship between CRM and Marketing Automation more evident, we can refer to a hypothetical sales funnel. The MA is used above all in the middle part of the funnel (MOFu = Middle Of the Funnel), where you try to interact with users to keep them active. On the other hand, CRM is particularly useful in the final part of the funnel (BOFu = Bottom Of the Funnel) when looking for a conversion.
B2B Marketing Automation: Create A Goal Plan
Many B2B companies that use Marketing Automation do so in a piecemeal way, resulting in dissatisfaction with the results and the installed software. The reason for this frustration is identified upstream: in all probability, marketing plans have not been planned in line with the sales objectives.
To prevent this problem, we must plan and track user behavior during the buyer journey: Prospect> Lead> Client. To do this, we must exploit all the potential of the MA, which supports us in fundamental, intermediate objectives.
Marketing Automation For Lead Scoring
Tracking the behavior and establishing the interests of potential customers (leads) to leverage the insights to align the marketing plan and the sales plan is much easier when using marketing automation software for B2B. With lead scoring, for example, a score is assigned to each action performed in such a way as to narrow the field of impacting actions, setting a threshold beyond which the lead is considered ready for direct contact.
Example of lead scoring – Among the contacts browsing the e-commerce site, a high score could be reserved for users who have reached the display of the price page or who have added the product to the cart.
Marketing Automation To Facilitate And Optimize Campaigns
MA software is becoming more user-friendly; in other words, the interfaces and integrated models can be customized according to specific needs without the need for special technical skills. All of this translates into saving time and money when creating promotional campaigns.
In addition, the platforms provide indicators for key metrics that allow you to track performance and manage your multichannel marketing spend (based on ROI).
All the Marketing Automation platforms, which we present below, allow marketers to make analyses that measure the success of the campaign and are essential to optimize subsequent actions.
Also Read: The Most Critical CRM Trends For 2021
Marketing Automation To Build Customer Loyalty
The MA benefits do not cease when the first results are achieved. Even after making the purchase, the customer will need further information or post-sales ‘care’. Therefore, it is not enough to transform the Prospect into a Client: you need to implement a loyalty plan. Automation supports us in retaining customers and in making cross and up-selling efficient.
Which Software To Use For B2B Marketing Automation?
In order not to waste attention on too many products, below we make a brief overview of the salient features of the leading Marketing Automation software, selected based on the market share it controls.
- HubSpot (21.56%)
- Adobe Marketing Cloud (18.8%)
- Sales Pardot (7%)
- Marketo (6.17%)
To these 4, we add Eloqua, on which (also for ‘personal’ reasons) we cannot refrain from giving some hints.
Hubspot For MA
Let’s start with HubSpot, the industry-leading platform. The main strength for those who use this software for Marketing Automation is the intuitive interface designed to facilitate the design of landing pages or brilliant forms and the creation and formatting of content.
The Marketing Funnel with HubSpot is customizable without losing effectiveness since users have quick access to statistics and insights. These lead reports are one of the most functional tools for improving sales performance.
B2B Marketing Automation With Adobe Marketing Cloud
Adobe Marketing Cloud is a tool designed for integrated digital marketing: in a single dashboard, it is possible to monitor and manage the various marketing actions, such as email marketing or promotional announcements, by activating the Marketing Automation functionality.
Accurate time synchronization and automatic updating, together with complete transparency on campaign performance, are two other points that we ascribe in favor of this platform.
B2B companies should consider Pardot when deciding to activate the automation process of marketing actions. For a variety of reasons. Mainly if you use SalesForce, of which Pardot is a derivation, the platform can express its full potential (although it is compatible with most company software).
In particular, from a Marketing Automation perspective, B2B Pardot is a valuable ally alongside the sales department. In which way? By improving the efficiency of CRM and other marketing tools to generate profiled and high-quality leads (with the personalization of targeted emails, for example).
And once we have activated the action predetermined by our plan, we can intervene along the sales process (Lead Generation> Lead Qualification> Sales Opportunity> Closing the deal) and then calculate our ROI or the return on investment.
Pardot’s weak point? Without a doubt, the social side. The management of social media does not seem to measure up to the other features.
Marketing Automation With Marketo
While the market share is not as significant as HubSpot or Adobe Marketing Cloud, Marketo plays a vital role in the B2B Marketing Automation software industry. The platform satisfies the various aspects of corporate digital marketing, thanks to the reliable lead generation system. Among the advantages of Marketo :
- Ease of use which makes it suitable for SMEs
- Social features are also applicable in the email; however testable before sending
- Design of original landing pages with practical data acquisition modules
- Complete integration with the main CRMs
- Customizable metrics based on your needs and goals (e.g., email campaign performance, Pay-Per-Click campaign performance, lead quality, and performance).
Eloqua: At The Origins Of Marketing Automation
Before closing this quick review of specialized platforms, a few words about the ancestor of all MA software: Eloqua, launched in 1999 and then became an Oracle product in 2012. Integration with Oracle Business Intelligence optimizes the most advanced analytics and allows you to keep track of every single data highlighted in the Sales Funnel path.
Among the positive aspects of Eloqua, the following emerge:
- Ease of audience segmentation: the software combines different data from multiple channels. It synthesizes them into various segmented profiles that identify the target audience best suited to generate revenue for the business.
- High rate of increase of conversions: allows a personalized use that favors the conversion of objectives. This is achievable both with the simplification in the design and setting of campaigns, even the most complex ones and with the mapping of user flows profiled for each channel used. All without IT knowledge required.
On the other hand, simplification of use does not correspond to equal ease of installation. On the contrary! Eloqua requires time and the use of specialized figures for the correct configuration, without which you risk losing all the advantages listed above.
Choosing to lead the business in Marketing Automation is a strategic decision that requires commitment in terms of resources. A preventive plan and correct process mapping are essential to avoid wasting time and money.
The budget plan also includes the choice of the best B2B Marketing Automation platform for your company. A decision that requires you to have a clear vision of the objectives and needs of the business. To this end, it may be helpful to create a list of problems that you intend to solve with Automation Marketing to find the platform with the formal requirements and the characteristics suitable to intervene with a view to the improvement sought.
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