Marketing automation and B2C are often considered a ‘match made in heaven’. For retailers with millions of customers marketing automation is an ideal means to communicate with them in a personalised and efficient way. But is marketing automation useful in the B2B market where companies often have only a few hundred customers? We believe the answer is: absolutely!
What does it yield? And how to get started?
In a B2B environment the value of a customer is often greater than in a typical B2C retail situation. Orders can quickly add thousands of euros to a company’s revenue. It is therefore worthwhile to find new customers (lead generation), to keep your existing customers satisfied (loyalty) and to identify your best customers (lead scoring). These are tasks of your sales department in combination with your marketing department. But quite often sales reps do not have the time or resources to continuously monitor all customers and leads. This can result in your company no longer being “top of mind” for those parties.
Speak with 1 voice
Additionally, it is not easy for a company to speak with one voice. Every sales person has his own methods. The general vision and corporate identity of your brand that you have worked so hard on can quickly fall apart in a mishmash of logos, fonts, colours and strategies. This can be confusing to the customer.
Marketing automation strengthens the sales team
Marketing automation ensures that you regain control of your message to the outside world. It orchestrates your inbound and outbound marketing. You can closely monitor where a lead is situated in the funnel and send the right communication to the right person at the right time. A good marketing automation platform connects directly to your CRM software and automates tasks of your sales department. This way you do not only increase the quality but also the efficiency of your sales organisation. It helps you to set the right priorities.
Some examples of success stories
Let us look at some examples. Are you organising an event for your customers and prospects? Through marketing automation you can easily send invitation and reminder emails to all contacts in your database that are eligible for this. When someone registers, you can automatically send a notification to the person in charge within your organisation. You can contact and follow-up on these participants after the event through automated flows. This way you can tell them the story of your own company but you can also learn what they are interested in. If you link that information back to your CRM system, it will be available for all your employees. So your helpdesk employee also knows who participated in the event and what their interests are.
You can send a reminder mail to dormant customers, or you can retarget them through channels such as LinkedIn. If they do not open this communication either this can be automatically indicated in your CRM system so they can be contacted directly by a sales person. Are leads responding positively to your communication (e.g. by clicking on a link in your mail)? Automatically increase the lead score so your sales department picks up this potential customer more quickly.
Do you have an extensive catalogue of products? Use marketing automation combined with A.I. and product recommendation to present the right products to the right type of customer. This way you filter your wide product range to their needs and you are guaranteed better odds for a successful sale.
These are just a few examples of how marketing automation proves its usefulness in a B2B environment. An effect of a thorough marketing automation strategy is that you not only get to know your customer better, but your own company as well. It forces you, as it were, to collect all data about your customer and to free it from their respective silos. The benefits are substantial! You can respond to the needs of your customers far more effectively, your sales team receives higher qualified leads and you remain more top of mind with your customers and prospects. All of this ensures higher customer and prospect satisfaction and increased revenue for your company. B2B and marketing automation? Meant to be.
Contact us to learn everything about inbound marketing and marketing automation in your company.