5 Benefits Marketing Automation Brings to B2B
Marketing automation is the use of software to put marketing tasks on an automated schedule and platform. It encompasses a wide range of marketing tactics and channels, and today companies use it to execute many different parts of their overall marketing strategy, including email, social media, display ads and more.
Recent research found that marketers report more than a dozen use cases for automation in their strategies, with most increasing between 2021 and 2022.
Marketing automation for B2B is especially important given the nature of its sales process, which requires fast follow-up, hyper-personalization, and a nuanced tailoring of the buyer experience to meet different needs.
In the sections that follow, dive more in-depth on why marketing automation for B2B is so essential, then cover 5 impactful benefits it can bring to your business.
- More than 90% of marketing automation users say it’s “very important” to the overall success of their marketing strategy.
- Automation enables intelligent lead generation that includes targeted outreach and lead scoring.
- Marketing automation platforms streamline marketing efforts by centralizing outreach, buyer data, and performance reporting.
- B2B companies can significantly lower costs with marketing automation through higher productivity and reduced marketing overhead.
Why do businesses need marketing automation?
Business happens fast today. The internet has transferred control of the sales process to potential buyers, who engage with brands online and begin making decisions before ever talking directly to a sales rep. This new level of accessibility also means more potential buyers are engaging with a brand at any given time.
Companies need a way to track and respond to it all — this includes maintaining high levels of online visibility, capturing and monitoring online behavior data, quickly reaching out to leads after they show interest, and tailoring communications to individual buyer needs. To boot, this needs to be done effectively across multiple channels (email, ads, search social media, etc.).
It’s impossible to do this — or at least to do it well — without marketing automation.
Marketing automation for B2B companies enables them to scale and speed up their marketing efforts without sacrificing quality. In fact, automation improves quality with AI-powered insights and other data analytics capabilities.
Automation has also become a competitive imperative in just about every industry. The large majority of B2B companies now use marketing automation in some capacity, and 91% of those that do say it’s “very important” to the overall success of their digital marketing efforts.
5 Benefits of Marketing Automation for B2B Companies
Intelligent lead generation
In the past, lead generation meant casting the widest net possible and pursuing any leads that engaged with a brand in any way. Today, that strategy is outdated and ineffective. Smart B2B companies develop detailed ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas, then target their marketing efforts to leads that fall within those frameworks. And with marketing automation, they do it at scale.
Marketing automation for B2B makes it possible to execute a lead generation strategy that’s both high-volume and highly-targeted. In other words, you generate a lot of leads while also ensuring the leads you generate are likely to convert.
Some of the ways this happens includes:
- SEO-based content and ads – Targeting content and ads to the right leads based on their search queries and keywords
- Automated lead scoring – Use of algorithms to evaluate how likely each lead is to convert
- Leveraging buyer intent data – Enables companies to engage with buyers when their purchase intent is at its highest
- Responding to trigger act – Automatically responding to specific online actions (i.e. completed a landing page form, downloaded a content asset, etc.)
These automation strategies and more make lead generation passive but also strategic, giving sales teams a steady, high-quality pipeline of leads to pursue.
A staggering 99% of marketers report that personalization helps to advance customer relationships. It’s no secret, either, that buyers today expect experiences to be tailored to their needs and preferences. Personalization makes buyers feel valued and understood, and it ultimately makes them more likely to make a purchase.
Fortunately, marketing automation makes personalization easy to execute.
Simple personalization tactics (like including a first name and company name in emails) and more sophisticated ones (like tailoring content to fit specific interest areas) can all be done using marketing automation software tools.
Omnichannel engagement takes multichannel one step further. Not only does it engage buyers across different channels, it integrates their information for a seamless experience across every engagement platform.
For example: multichannel means a buyer can both subscribe to a brand’s emails and follow them online. Omnichannel means the email content they receive is informed by their social media engagement. Multichannel means a buyer can communicate with a sales team by phone or online chat. Omnichannel means the support team can view those communications across channels to provide better service.
Marketing automation software platforms serve as a centralized place where buyer interactions can be viewed and tracked, as well as the central launching point for omnichannel marketing efforts.
As the old saying goes: time is money. The primary way that marketing automation for B2B lowers costs is by making marketing and sales teams more productive and efficient. Processes can be scaled, menial tasks can be automated, workflows can be streamlined, and greater visibility into the whole process means companies can continually optimize and improve.
Forbes reports that, on average, marketing automation helps companies increase productivity by 14% and reduce marketing overhead by 12%.
Data-driven performance reporting
Every good marketing strategy is built on data-driven goals and KPIs. By centralizing your marketing efforts with a marketing automation platform, you also centralize your reporting and can make it more consistent, frequent, and usable.
One of the best ways marketing automation for B2B levels up performance reporting is through data visualization — the use of dashboards, charts, graphs, and more to tell a data-driven story and make it more compelling to the stakeholders who use it.
Putting it all together
B2B sales depends on building relationships, and marketing automation gives organizations the ability to do that effectively while also keeping up with today’s pace of business.
With strong automation processes in place, companies don’t have to sacrifice speed or scale in order to maintain quality. Instead, they can execute both effectively — and in most cases even better — than they can with manual marketing methods.
Looking forward, marketing automation for B2B will be not only a nice-to-have but a necessity for B2B companies that want to keep up with competitors, increase online visibility, meet modern buyer expectations, and provide exceptional experiences that convert new customers.
Our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.