B2B marketing can be complex.
From demand generation, to lead nurturing, to pipeline acceleration, there are a lot of moving parts to B2B marketing campaigns. That’s where marketing automation techniques come in. The right techniques can help all those moving parts move as one.
This type of automation is already moving from luxury to necessity. On average, 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation. With more than half of B2B companies (58%) planning to adopt the technology in the near future
With this popularity comes increased complexity. Businesses have so many techniques, platforms, and software at their fingertips that it can be difficult to know which ones to use and when to use them.
Not to mention the expertise and training it takes to know how to use marketing automation effectively.
That’s why this post was written.
For companies that are willing to invest time and effort, marketing automation can be a powerful instrument for driving growth, but you also need to fully grasp what marketing automation is, why you’re pursuing it in the first place, and what techniques you should be using.
That brings us to the natural first question.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration, campaign management, and delivery.
The end goal is to simplify and speed up marketing tasks so that marketing teams can focus on overall strategy, planning, customer or client interaction, and content creation.
Essentially, the automation will do the heavy lifting so you can focus on fine-tuning your campaigns.
The marriage of marketing automation and B2B marketing makes sense. The B2B sector has a long sales cycle, group purchasing, and a complicated buying process—automation can help expedite and simplify these factors.
It’s important to note that marketing automation should be used in concert with other marketing activities, such as content marketing and social media marketing rather than as a replacement for them.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s a tool for improving your marketing machine — not the machine itself.
Now that we’ve given a brief explanation, here are the reasons why automation should be one of your marketing solutions.
Why use marketing automation?
Any marketing pro worth their salt knows that marketing automation is a crucial tool for increasing efficiency. But what are the practical and actionable ways marketing automation can help you?
- Marketing automation can help you target your audience more effectively. By collecting data on buyer behavior, you can segment your leads and target them with personalized content that speaks to their needs. This data will allow you to close more deals and build deeper relationships with your customers. It can also help you put painstakingly crafted content in front of the right eyes at the right time.
- It also makes it easy to scale your marketing efforts. As your business grows, you can quickly add new leads to your marketing automation system and keep them moving through the funnel. This way, you can continue to drive new sales without having to add more headcount to your marketing team.
- Marketing automation lets you measure your results and optimize your campaigns in real-time. Many automation platforms provide reports, data, and percentages that can be very time-consuming to generate manually. When you have those numbers on hand with the click of a mouse, you can constantly analyze them to improve your performance and make sure that you’re getting the most ROI from your marketing spend.
For these reasons and more, marketing automation is a must-have for any B2B marketer looking to succeed and stand out from the crowd.
After all, 63% of companies using marketing automation outperformed competitors.
After you understand the “why” of automation, you start with the “how” of automation.
Top marketing automation techniques
Marketing automation is versatile and diverse in nature and practice. This list of techniques doesn’t cover every possible use of automation, but it does not the different ways we’ve used it for marketing success.
Note: Technique here refers to specific marketing activities automation can improve.
Segmentation — Segmenting your audience into smaller groups makes it easier to target them with personalized messages.
By segmenting your leads by industry, job title, online behavior, buyer journey stage, Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), and location, you can send them more relevant and targeted content, increasing the chances of conversion. While this can change from campaign to campaign, we always use automation tools to segment on some level.
Lead Nurturing — Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with potential customers, even if they are not yet ready to buy.
By providing valuable content and resources at each stage of the buyer’s journey, you can build trust and credibility, eventually turning a lead into a customer.
The automation software or sequences you have here will typically be triggered by the interaction with your ads, gated content, or emails.
Personalization — Personalization goes hand in hand with segmentation. Through personalized messaging, you build relationships with your leads.
With marketing automation, you can automatically insert lead information into your emails and other communications, making them feel more like one-on-one conversations.
Learn more about leveraging personalization from our automation expert, Sam, here!
Drip Campaigns — Drip campaigns are a series of automated emails that are sent over a period of time (usually 7-30 days).
The automation here takes action based on your targeted online behavior. If your lead subscribes to your email newsletters or tries a free demo, and then goes to look at your services page, you can use automation to send them an email all about your service benefits.
We’ll say it again. Marketing automation is not a silver bullet solution for all marketing problems, but leveraging these techniques can help you reach your marketing goals.
Making marketing automation your own
So, there you have it – a whirlwind tour of marketing automation for B2B marketers. As you have read, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to automating your marketing efforts. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
If you need more information on any of the techniques or ideas mentioned in this post, or if you simply want guidance on how to get started with marketing automation, please reach out.
At New North, we’ve got over a decade of experience in digital tech marketing and automation. We would love to help you take your business to the next level.