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By now, many B2B marketers haven’t taken the step in Marketing Automation. An american study led by DemandGen Report states that only 42% of marketers have planned to go ahead. This decision is crucial: deeply thought, because of the many challenges it implies. Indeed, unlike what most marketers think, this technique is not only about keeping in touch with prospects or customers to stay top-of-mind or generate leads.Yes, Marketing Automation isn’t just about sending emails. B2B marketers have to rethink their strategy upstream, in order to to change their marketing organisation. Only with this deep mutation in the company’s habits can it make the most out of this new task, that has one and only goal: better anticipate what their customers want, and how they act throughout their buying cycle.
To this day, a Forrester study says that only 10% of B2B marketers are capable of establishing a real strategy based on Marketing Automation.
However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that the marketing teams that succeed the most in using Marketing Automation are the ones that consistently create high-quality content, automate it well, and adapt their practices to the various maturity levels of their prospects.
According to the latest studies and to many fields experiences, a good Marketing Automation strategy can increase by 50% B2B lead generation… a significant figure for marketers whose primary goal is to grow their company’s sales pipeline.
Even though the lead conversion potential of Marketing Automation is huge, many B2B companies just use it as a mere email distribution platform. Yet, marketers that master the art of automation and take advantage of all the functionalities it has to offer show way better results than their peers. Here are some tips to put it to action the best way possible.
Get over the ‘Automated: liberated!’ way of thinking
Automation is, in fact, not a one-time effort. Of course, automating marketing tasks can help teams save precious time, by the way it facilitates programming email campaigns based on pre-established scenarii. But it recquires a full-time, precise attention to the consumers’ behaviours, and more precisely to behavioural scoring.
That’s why automation is a great opportunity for marketers to focus on crucial aspects of their jobs that they often neglect, by lack time and the appropriate data.
Align marketing with sales to generate more leads
Way too often, B2B marketing and sales teams don’t always work hand in hand to achieve their goals and leads follow-up: a study led by Brenda Stoltz lead to this frightening observation.
In such a context, Marketing Automation can quickly become the centerpiece of an agreement between those two teams, as it is based the data fetched in their CRM. However, a sales team that doesn’t fill out correctly the CRM will jeopardise the marketing team’s work, which won’t be able to optimise their communication strategy on what prospects and clients are really waiting for.
This example shows how much service level agreement, and more precisely communication between marketing and sales, is crucial to a Marketing Automation strategy’s success. That’s why it is essential for both teams to analyse together the impact of what they did, and how they can improve their upcoming actions.
Is Marketing Automation really that vital?
Will B2B marketers that don’t use Marketing Automation soon become outdated? Nothing is less sure, as the ROI that results from this marketing technique isn’t as flourishing as it promised to be.
Financial and human resources, as well as the time invested in such a strategy, are criterias that won’t allow most companies to go for it.
In fact, a large number of them have decided to externalise their Marketing Automation to generate leads, such as Bodet Software. This company is a true automation success story: it won the SoloSmart Solution trophee for B2B Marketing Excellence.
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