When it comes to B2B marketing, automation has been under everyone’s radar for a while now. It’s not only a matter of deeper integration of technology into our lives, it is the ever-potent desire of large and mid-size companies to scale effortlessly.
For businesses that already employ several hundred workers who are oftentimes scattered across different company branches around the world, automation is not really a trendy solution, it’s a bare necessity for an effective operation.
Go deeper with this related read:
What Is Marketing Automation and How Does It Work?
More than half of B2B companies have already implemented or are planning to adopt marketing automation technology in the nearest future. So whether you have had some kind of marketing automation software for a while now or if you are just considering trying it for the first time – this post is for you!
We are going to look deep into the specifics of the marketing automation industry for B2B companies, analyze the major benefits it can bring to your business, and provide real-life examples based on the solutions offered by no other than our own B2B marketing automation service – GetResponse.
Already a client? Skip straight to the “Use Cases” part or check our solution for mid-sized and large companies to make sure you are getting the most out of GetResponse’s marketing automation toolkit!
Table Of Contents
What is B2B marketing automation?
First things first. At this stage, we would like to remind you once and for all that marketing automation is not limited to email automation alone.
Instead, it’s a much more complicated process that allows marketing and sales teams to align their goals. As a result, they can nurture prospects, and qualify promising leads through digitalization and, yes, automation of some of the crucial processes, such as contact list segmentation, sales funnel development, and multi-channel marketing campaigns setup.
By definition, marketing automation is the process of automating repetitive tasks with the help of specific software with the goal of keeping your digital marketing campaigns and contact lists organized and up-to-date.
When it comes to mid-sized and large businesses, B2B marketing automation becomes directly connected to the digital transformation of the companies. For you, it shouldn’t just be a strategy, it should be a procedure that is carefully researched, optimized, and implemented.
Fortunately, there are plenty of B2B marketing automation tools designed specifically with the enterprise model in mind, such as GetResponse’s MAX plan.
Marketing automation has been around for years, yet it still remains among the major trends in both B2B and B2C industries. That’s why 63% of marketers are planning to increase their automation budgets in the following year. After all, thanks to marketing automation we can tap into the pool of opportunities that were previously hard to access.
Benefits of marketing automation for mid and large companies
If you’re still unsure whether investing in marketing automation is the right move for your company, let us assure you – it definitely is. How can we be so adamant? Well, let us present some of the advantages your marketing teams will be able to unlock and run almost effortlessly after automating your core B2B marketing operations.
By now, the power of personalization is no longer questioned, as 93% of B2B marketing professionals attribute their revenue growth to it and it alone. That said, it doesn’t matter if you run a strictly B2C ecommerce or your company is an established B2B player on a software market – personalization is the way to go.
It is fairly easy to keep track of all your clients while you are only getting started. However, larger companies with thousands of international customers would have a hard time remembering everyone’s first name and last shipment details. That’s where automation comes in.
Whether it’s email body personalization with the use of dynamic content, a selected time of notification based on a user’s timezone, or a personalized selection of products for your ecommerce client – marketing automation is the go-to strategy for B2B business owners who are after enhanced personalization these days.
Another reason why B2B marketing automation is growing more and more popular by the quarter is that this technology has been designed specifically with productivity enhancement in mind.
This is particularly important for mid-sized and large companies, where most of the processes are shared across several owners from different departments. Effective marketing automation solutions turn into an invaluable bridge between all your digital processes regardless of the department, helping your organization to align its marketing, sales, and customer support goals.
Read next to learn how marketing automation software can help your HR department with the new employees’ onboarding
There are different ways in which automation can be used to enhance your company’s productivity, such as through enabling multi-user account management or providing expert consultancy for the best results. What’s important is that with the right marketing automation solution your entire company gets more done in less time and with less effort, thus significantly boosting your ROI.
Managing an international B2B company can be a real challenge in many ways. Yet, one field that most professionals struggle with the most is the legal department.
It is simply too much information to keep in mind about different global rules, regulations, and documentation that need to be taken care of in the most accurate way possible. And while HRs have their own specialists trained just for that, marketing and sales executives are oftentimes left on their own.
Unexpectedly, the solution also comes with an appropriate marketing automation tool. Thanks to customer-oriented platforms, such as GetResponse, marketers can set up all the essential legal clauses once and only come back to them if the regulation itself changes. No need to constantly worry about GDPR compliance, users’ privacy, and accounts’ security – it can now all be done automatically!
In case you want to take it a step further, don’t forget about the multi-user account: with it, you can assign access to your legal team and forget about any inconsistencies in your lead magnets, emails, and notifications once and for all!
We all know that making informed decisions rooted in well-researched customer data and analysis is crucial for the effective functioning of any company, especially the one specializing in business-to-business solutions. Gathering, processing, and understanding the data, however, often proves to be more complicated than we originally anticipated.
B2B marketing automation facilitates data collection, as it integrates it into the core of all marketing processes. With the right marketing automation tools, you can gather personal user data, utilize it for contact segmentation and website analysis. But that’s not all!
With the right platform, you can plan, execute, and analyze all your marketing efforts from the same place! Automatically.
The bigger the company the more ambitious its marketing appetite is, that’s a given. In the pursuit of the best strategy, the most user-friendly platform, or the most holistic experience, we tend to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on multi-purposed marketing automation platforms. That’s why the pressure on B2B marketing automation is so strong.
Everybody wants to have the best email client, the most integrated webinar platform, the fastest website builder, as well as the highest plan on Zapier to keep all the accounts neatly tied together. In the end, we are stuck with dozens of half-used marketing automation solutions and an exceeded marketing budget.
All that, while there is a much simpler way out – selecting an effective marketing automation platform that will unite all the platforms, CRMs, CMSs, and essential industry integrations (such as Shopify or PayU for ecommerce businesses) under one hood. After all, it is much more efficient to pay for one solid service instead of supporting several semi-helpful ones.
More benefits of B2B marketing automation
To be honest, there are many more advantages a properly set up marketing automation can bring to your and your partners’ table. Some that we couldn’t omit in this post are:
- Lead nurturing
- List management and segmentation
- Reduced conversion time
- Increased customer lifetime value
- Maximized ROI
- Improved visualization of marketing and sales processes
- Better targeted campaigns accross multiple channels
- Easier scalability
The State of Lead Nurturing for Mid-Size Companies
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However, what counts at the end of the day is not what the tool allows you to do, but what you are actually doing with it.
So let’s move on from the digital marketing buzzwords for a while, and take a look at some specific use cases that marketing automation can offer to bigger B2B companies.
B2B marketing automation use cases: GetResponse insights
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of why investing in marketing automation might be the right move for your B2B organization. So it’s about time we told you how. Or, more specifically, what you can expect from automating some of your business processes.
Below, we’ve selected 6 essential operations that can be done faster, simpler, and more effective thanks to the right B2B marketing automation platform. Of course, we used our own GetResponse marketing automation software to generate examples, but you can achieve more or less similar results with any good automation tool of your choice.
Lead qualification and contact segmentation
As fellow marketers, we don’t need to explain the importance of quality lead generation and nurturing to you. Let us just briefly remind you that a proper approach to segmentation is key to lead nurturing and offering personalization. Especially, since the B2B environment is often looked down on for its seemingly less-personalized communication style.
1. Always maintain contact list hygiene
The core difference between a great marketing automation platform and an average one is its approach to contact management.
For many B2B companies, a transparent and intuitive contact list management system is the decisive factor when it comes to investing in a proper marketing automation solution. After all, active contact lists lie at the heart of most, if not all, automation processes.
At GetResponse, we take marketing contact management and list building so seriously, that we have a separate feature just for that. Of course, you can set up your own filters, labels, and automated workflows in a similar way with your current CRM client, but we want our clients to keep things transparent from the start.
Here are some of the basic rules for a clean contact list:
- Use clear segmentation criteria to avoid contact duplication
- Include as many contact details as possible*
- Make sure your marketing contacts are separated from those that haven’t given you any marketing permission
- Create an exclusion list for inactive contacts or those who have unsubscribed from your mailings/notifications
- Read this article to learn 12 best practices for contact list management
Consider adding hidden fields to your lead generating forms that will gather useful contact information without adding extra steps to your conversion funnels. Fields such as “geolocation” or an “IP address” will definitely prove to be useful in the future if you want to reach out to all customers at a selected time regardless of their timezone or schedule marketing campaigns well in advance.
2. Don’t forget about lead scoring
Are you sure that your lead volume allows you to effectively keep track of all the leads’ status at all times? Probably not. That’s why careful lead scoring is paramount for the overall success of your B2B marketing strategy.
Thanks to automation, you can score leads based on their behavior, identify high-quality leads and improve your sales process accordingly. Regardless of the contact’s progression on the buyer’s journey or the ongoing marketing activities, a given lead can currently be a part of, lead scoring will help you keep track of all the deals within any sales cycle.
From there, you will have all the details you need to decide whether to nurture leads further, route leads in a different direction, or pause your marketing activities for a given segment whatsoever.
Customer engagement and retention
We all know that acquiring new clients is the easy part. The real struggle begins once we try to retain and engage those who have already worked with us before. Fortunately, marketing automation software can take care of this in real-time.
There are several different strategies your marketing team could try in order to keep your contacts engaged throughout different stages of the customer journey. Some of our favorite ones include sending web push notifications, setting up helpful 24/7 chatbots, and ensuring the effect of constant presence thanks to automated workflows.
3. Chatbots are the way to go
Marketing, sales, and customer support chatbots allow you to greatly boost customer retention across various marketing channels. Most companies rely on AI-driven bots to maintain regular communication with their target audience, attract new customers, provide helpful assistance, etc.
But most importantly, many contemporary AI chats can build relationships with prospective clients, passing promising leads from the marketing team straight to the sales team. This way, not only do you retain existing clients, but you also generate more sales and attain new valuable leads.
4. Automate your marketing efforts with workflows and funnels
Another useful application of marketing automation software for B2B companies is funnel visualization and, well, automation. At GetResponse, we separate our sales funnels from marketing workflows, so that our clients have the complete experience with both.
You probably have several detailed conversion funnels already. Now is the time to move them from that Miro board and put it to good use! By automating your lead magnet or sales funnel you can utilize it, gather valuable traffic insights, and optimize your conversion paths right on the spot.
Marketing automation workflows are similar in terms of visualizing your buyer journeys, yet it gives you much more freedom than a single funnel. With a workflow, you are not limited to a specific path. Instead, you can create infinitive yes/no scenarios, filter contacts, assign labels, and interact with your clients. And the best part is that all of this can be done automatically, you will only have to map out the route once!
Landing page and website builder
Having dedicated landing pages for various purposes may become the decisive factor when it comes to the success of your marketing strategy. But having to disturb your development team every time you release a new guidebook or launch a new webinar is not an option.
That’s where landing page builders come to play.
5. Create converting landing pages and build websites
There are many tools that help you create a decent landing with drag-and-drop editing. The problems usually start later, when you want that landing page to feature a specific contact collection form, embed a video and your selected editor decides not to support this format, or simply analyze its performance without having to go through all the trouble of connecting it to Google Analytics and waiting till the data is processed.
That’s why having a landing page creator as a part of your automation platform is the best solution. You can carefully enhance your page with all the necessary lead magnets, media elements, and tracking codes without having to integrate them with any external partners.
Now, think bigger and imagine having an entire website integrated this way! This is why you need marketing automation.
Multi-channel marketing campaigns
Multi-channel marketing is simultaneously daunting to the marketers and crucial for the customers. Delivering a coherent multi-channel experience can be really challenging and requires a lot of time and effort. However, in the end, it is exactly what your clients are looking for.
With the right marketing automation software, you can easily coordinate all your campaigns across multiple channels from the same place.
At GetResponse, we recognize the importance of omnipresence. That’s why not only do we allow our clients to run lead generation campaigns, social media tasks, and email marketing from one platform, but we make sure that they can reach their customers through different mediums as well.
6. Don’t underestimate a good web push notification
If you still doubt the effectiveness of web push notifications, let us reassure you – web pushes are the goldmine of opportunities when approached correctly, especially, if you operate in ecommerce.
The problem most businesses often face in B2B marketing is the necessity to rely on external platforms just for setting up push notifications. Here, ends often fail to justify the means. But having web push notifications included as a part of your marketing automation platform will allow you to leverage the full potential of reaching out to people with notifications when they matter most.
7. Run effective SMS campaigns
If you feel that your B2B company would rather benefit from a form of communication different than web notifications, why not try SMS instead? It’s a proven form of marketing that can generate more than 9% in CTR and can engage up to 75% of users.
With automated SMS marketing, you can set specific conditions that would trigger messages, personalize texts based on your contact list segmentation criterion, maintain GDPR compliance, and more.
This is an often underlooked way to deliver your marketing content to truly loyal customers that can greatly benefit not only marketing but also your sales process.
7 Connectable SMS Marketing Automation Ideas
Make more impact with your SMS campaigns and how to set them up with this quick read
8. Benefit from social media automation
Don’t forget that keeping customers engaged through social media is one of the most effective strategies, even in B2B marketing. That’s why, while choosing the right B2B marketing automation solution for your business needs, search for those platforms that allow for social media automation as well as other crucial operations listed in this article.
For example, at GetResponse, we help you create effective advertisements for the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. This way your subscribers can receive the most relevant information not only via emails or web notifications but also in their feeds.
B2B marketing automation is no longer the future — it is very much the present for countless businesses around the world. If you want to gain an international competitive advantage for your organization, enhance the productivity of your marketing, sales, and customer success teams – marketing automation is the way to go!
Search for the solution that will fit your specific needs. Whether it is lead nurturing, customer retention, or direct sales, automated marketing efforts are almost always better than manual ones.