In business you constantly search for your panacea. You are well-versed with what your pain points are – from lack of customer insight, to a lack of time – but the solutions that are sought do not always yield the results that are needed.
But then came marketing automation. Perhaps it’s far from a panacea per se, but marketing automation has wedged itself within many B2B companies, assisting and addressing many marketers’ pain points. Here we’ll discuss some of the most common problems with traditional B2B marketing, and how marketing automation addresses those, reaffirming why marketing automation is indeed, the future of B2B marketing.
One of the biggest problems with B2B marketing is that there can be a lack of market focus – businesses, especially start-ups, can try to be all things to different markets. They refuse to focus on just one key segment. This can be a contributing factor to the rift between sales and marketing – they’re just not aligned. Marketing automation can help tear down those silos. Since most marketing automation solutions can integrate into CRM packages like Microsoft Dynamics, and both can be dynamically updated simultaneously, creating new sales alerts within the marketing automation solution is possible. Communication between the two teams is can be maintained more effectively with one central location for all information. Visitor reports are also a great way for sales to get a better idea of the engagement that is happening on the sites.
Better campaign control
Marketing automation solutions simplify otherwise technical campaign components such as creating web-pages and HTML emails, forms and automated lead-nurturing programs. You no longer need to rely solely on IT professionals to assist with creation and execution of these elements. Marketing automation software such as Act-on, Pardot and Marketo, have simplified tooling with which users can easily create these components. Then, within the same system, you can continue to tweak, manage, track and set goals. For instance, Marketing Matters points out that, “Marketing automation generates a record of the first time a visitor views a product on your web-site, and then follows-up with further data when their interest is converted into purchase.” Furthermore, you can also connect the system with other tools such as Google Analytics, Adwords and social media channels and pull the data from all these diverse sources to get a truly integrated and 360 view of customers. Marketing automation has the ability to remove silos so that campaigns can be managed and measured as part of one cohesive campaign.
Personalisation, not generalisation
In a recent survey about the current challenges that B2B marketers face, it was unearthed that 45% of marketers don’t produce enough of the content that really engages. The missing element here is extensive knowledge about your customers. Without intimate knowledge about your customers, your content efforts are going to attract the wrong audience or be far too generalised. Marketing automation can assist in this instance, too. For example, Darin Brown, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Vice President of eXcelerate, shared an example where marketing automation is expert at personalisation. He explains that a major retail brand personalised their support calls and scripts with marketing automation. This was possible because the company aggregated all of their interaction data so when a customer called the support centre, the company is able to identify exactly where the individual falls in the customer journey and trigger a relevant phone script for the operator.”
Marketing automation empowers marketers in many aspects. Why is it the future of B2B marketing? It’s because it pushes the message that the concepts behind B2B or B2C are irrelevant, at the end of it all, it’s H2H – Human to Human. Customers want to engage with your business. Marketing automation and its available tooling is paving the path for B2B marketing to a destination which puts the customer in-front of all else, effectively engaging with them.