Marketing automation opens up numerous possibilities for B2B companies to address potential and existing customers in a precisely tailored way. However, there are a few points to consider for a successful implementation.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is one of the trends in B2B marketing. Behind the term is a software-based method that helps companies, among other things, to win new customers and to turn existing customers into repeat buyers.
Marketing automation promises to open up new potential, especially in lead generation, and, as a virtual sales assistant, makes an important contribution to the inbound marketing or lead management strategy.
Marketing automation increases the effectiveness of advertising measures and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) can be converted into Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).
Find out now how to successfully implement marketing automation in your company!
Marketing Automation: Not a question of the tool, but of the strategy!
Many SMEs make a crucial mistake at the beginning of their B2B marketing automation:
You immediately rush to find a suitable tool - before you even know your strategy. But if you start looking for a tool, you usually start twice. That costs time, resources and nerves. In addition, the flood of corresponding offers and price gradations (between $0 and $3,000 or more per month) is huge and threatens to overwhelm you in the start-up phase. The initial vigour quickly turns into frustration.
The motto is: first plan and design, then choose the right and economically sensible marketing automation solution based on the strategy. Become aware of your specific goals and content. Every process in marketing automation counts in order to convey your advertising message accurately. What does your target group or what do your buyer personas look like? What are your needs? What kind of relevant content can you use to address it? These and numerous other questions will help you develop a strategy and later implement it by selecting the right marketing automation tool.
A functioning marketing automation requires that sufficient data can be used as a basis. Especially in the case of start-ups and companies that are new to the topic, it can happen that the data stock is still relatively small.
It is therefore important to think about how to get the data you need. So-called lead magnets are an efficient way of obtaining information. This is an attractive, free product that is offered to potential customers in exchange for contact details. Popular lead magnets in B2B include formats such as white papers, checklists, webinars and video training, case studies, templates or discount codes.
In order to keep track of the data obtained and to classify it sensibly, it is advisable to use tags and segments to categorize the information. Tags act as customizable labels that you can use to organize your contacts. A segment is a filter that enables the data to be sorted by location, registration source or group membership, for example.
Email Campaigns as A Starting Point
Email campaigns are at the heart of marketing automation. Equipped with the relevant content, they deliver your marketing messages reliably, efficiently and inexpensively.
The clear recommendation is therefore: Always start your marketing automation with an email campaign! Possible areas of application could be, for example, welcome emails when registering, product recommendations or loyalty campaigns. First and foremost, opt for a simple logic that you gradually develop based on your experience.
Lead scoring - or lead scoring - helps you identify and prioritize your most promising leads. You or your marketing department carefully analyze each lead using detailed lead scoring key figures or automate this process as well. Possible benchmarks could be, for example, engagement or accuracy of fit of the respective lead.
Here, too, it is important: First choose a simple logic for certain actions so that you can gather empirical values for later more complex criteria.
Once you have successfully identified the sales qualified leads - i.e. the potential customers who have the intention and ability to make a purchase decision in the foreseeable future - you can hand them over to your sales department for further action.
Use of Other Functions
Once you have decided on a marketing automation system, you should allow yourself enough time to familiarize yourself with it. When your initial email campaigns are up and running and you may have some initial success figures, you can focus on other aspects of marketing automation. For example, you can play out personalized content that your potential customers can pick up via an individually sent e-mail. In order to tailor the content, you need detailed information about the personas or the perfect time to address them. Existing customer management can also be carried out successfully with a marketing automation tool: Your existing customers become loyal repeat buyers and actively recommend your product or service to others.
If you take a step-by-step approach to marketing automation, you will have numerous opportunities that you can use to efficiently implement your B2B marketing strategy.
Marketing automation sounds like a big challenge, especially for small and medium-sized companies, which offers many advantages, but seems almost insoluble.
It doesn't have to be! By developing a well thought-out strategy as a basis, you can achieve considerable success with simple means. It doesn't matter whether you ultimately opt for expensive software or an open source variant - because those who start small always have the opportunity to grow.