With modern marketing automation tools such as the HubSpot suite in your hands, your most effective team members become one-man armies of efficiency.
In many cases, adoption of marketing automation provides the edge a firm needs to increase B2B sales after long periods of stagnation.
The Basics of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation takes repetitive tasks out of the hands of your employees, such as emailing prospects according to a schedule. It can also mean personalization according to market segments and maximize the efficiency of your team and your lead quality and quantity.
In 2015, 80 percent of marketing automation users reported generating more leads, and more importantly, 77 percent are seeing an increased number of conversions.
It’s important to understand that marketing automation isn’t a silver bullet or magic spell; it’s an enabler of a B2B online marketing strategy for long-term growth. Today or tomorrow, you’re not going to see a huge difference in results with automation versus manual marketing. Over the course of weeks or months, however, the gains will pile up into something incredible.
To help you visualize what basic marketing automation looks like in the wild, here’s a typical case:
- Someone signs up for a newsletter or ebook giveaway with an email address.
- Your automation sends out the download link or first newsletter, a thank you note, and other interesting content tailored to the audience.
- A few days later, your system follows up with a link to a related ebook or video.
- If this person continues to take actions marking them as a qualified lead, the system forwards their information to your sales team to take further actions.
- Not only does the personalization and analysis based on action put better leads in front of your sales team, it does it all without anyone on your marketing team lifting a finger.
How’s that for efficiency?
Assessing Your Need for Marketing Automation
There’s simply no such thing as a company that couldn’t benefit from marketing automation. Any task which can be passed over to software without losing efficacy in pursuit of efficiency should be, to maximize the time your team spends on more valuable tasks. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to adopt automation to succeed.
Companies that are most successful with marketing automation are ones which have the processes and infrastructure already in place to handle incoming sales leads. If you don't have this just yet, start there first.
However, if sales and marketing have a pretty decent idea regarding your target audience and what they are looking for, marketing automation can be a great way to take things to the next level. By improving the efficiency of your company, you can improve profits by reaching new prospects outside of your immediate network of customers.
Specific Benefits of Marketing Automation
1. Perfecting the client experience
When someone purchases a product or service from your company, how do you engage that person moving forward? Any company keeping on top of its marketing and sales knows how important it is to track individuals and maintain a relationship, but doing so without automation can be difficult at best and impossible at worst.
In a recent survey performed by CMO.com, 30 percent of consumers had a positive experience with retargeted ads (ads customized to show or offer related content or products based on a leads behavior or actions). By letting your automated marketing efforts engage, you can better personalize your offerings and give customers what they want leading to a much higher conversion rate.
2. Identifying flaws in your marketing and sales
Automation goes hand in hand with data collection, giving you far more insight into the nature of your relationship with your customers. Without automation, you may suspect your sales team isn’t choosing the right leads, or that your marketing team isn’t qualifying them well before passing them on. With automation in place, you can see hard stats indicating exactly where you’re losing steam or losing interest and increase B2B sales with that knowledge.
3. Market segmentation and personalization
Market segmentation’s a crucial idea if you want to increase B2B sales via personalized marketing without the exhaustive effort which would otherwise be necessary. With the data provided by a marketing automation suite at your fingertips, you can identify segments and opportunities you never dreamed existed.
Why stop at obvious factors such as demographics, when you can instead break your prospect base down according to how they use your site, the offers they accept, the articles they linger on?
4. Understanding ROI
VentureBeat reports that brands typically see a 20 to 50 percent increase in revenue after adopting marketing automation. Why? Because a marketing automation suite doesn’t get tired and start making mistakes just because you’re dealing with the data of 20 campaigns instead of two. You can make your approach as exhaustively intricate and data-driven every time with marketing automation in place.
Plus, most marketing automation technologies can give you closed-loop reporting, meaning that you'll be able to measure the effectiveness of your marketing. You will have transparency into a lead's lifecycle and be able to make informed decisions about where to invest in future campaigns, be that into SEO, paid media, social media, link building, etc.
When you can throw out dozens of campaigns with minimal effort, then analyze in fine detail the ways those campaigns succeed and fail, it frees up your marketing team to instead focus on creative ways to increase B2B sales.
Marketing automation takes work, but it’s well worth the investment of time, money, and resources for the long-term growth of your company. Why should your company stick at a plateau, afraid that the next shift in the market will mark its decline when you can instead begin perfecting your approach and increase B2B sales without expanding your team?