Automated marketing is more than just programming content for faster distribution; its biggest advantage is in enabling businesses to get to the close faster by facilitating the entire buying decision path.
According to Nucleus Research, “Marketing automation drives a 14.5 percent increase in sales productivity and a 12.2 percent reduction in marketing overhead.” This is largely due to the fact that the powerful technology helps companies better understand how buyers manage change and buy-in.
The business buyer decision process is complex. Unlike B2C purchase processes, B2B purchase decisions require the solution buy-in from an entire team verses a single individual. Organizational policies, market forces and interpersonal factors all influence the B2B buyer decision path. Consequently, and far too often, resources are wasted following fruitless prospects because marketing and sales teams don’t have a clear understanding of when/how/why buyers will close.
Finding the critical purchase path of B2B buyers is the fundamental challenge in B2B marketing. But it can be done! In this post, we dig into why marketing automation is uniquely positioned to actually help brands gain a profound understanding about their customers, moreover manage buyers down their buying decision path, resulting in game-changing growth.
According to Pardot, “Marketing automation users have seen an average increase of sales revenues by 34 percent.”
4 KEY COMPANY-WIDE BENEFITS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION YOU CAN’T IGNORE:
IMPROVE CONTENT ALIGNMENT WITH NEED STAGE
Today, buyers want information that answers their specific problem-centric queries.
Marketing automation tools like Marketo and HubSpot help companies identify the main customer pathways and their need states, ensuring brand messages and call-to-actions are personalized to individual personas, and contextually targeted to drive buyers down their purchase journey.
Virtually every marketing automation platform tracks the purchases, actions and behaviors of individual contacts. With a data reservoir at your fingertips, you can improve your understanding of your customers (personas), their core challenges and purchase behaviors, and where they are in the buying process. Then, accordingly, engineer and align content assets with their corresponding information needs and stage in the buy path.
CONVERT WITH CONTENT
Marketing automation allows organizations to combine CRM and marketing data into a single platform, resulting in enhanced targeting data for more personalized communications.
According to eConsultancy, “68 percent of marketers using personalized communication report a boost to their marketing ROI.”
Customer segmentation is a unique capability afforded by marketing automation software. The technology goes beyond traditional segmenting variables like location, company type and subscribe date, instead providing far more advanced segmentation criteria like behavioral targeting.
You can segment individuals based on performed actions like repeat downloads, number of viewed webpages and length of stay on your website. According to Gartner Research, event-triggered marketing can potentially save 80 percent of your direct mail budget.
You could, for example, segment using custom field data combined with specific behavioral triggers to define who and when to send a series of critical sales resources needed to impact a purchasing decision.
This ability allows companies to automatically funnel contacts into specific drip campaigns with personalized messaging relevant to that target’s pain points and your company’s initial call-to-action.
Ultimately, the more you speak directly to your customers and engage in one-to-one marketing, the higher response rates you’ll achieve.
ENHANCE LEAD NURTURING AND RESPONSE TIMES
Approximately 96 percent of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.
Having a response strategy in place is imperative for converting cold leads to hot leads. Using marketing automation software, you can set up an entirely customized automated workflow that sends a time-activated sequence of marketing communications following a website download.
Workflows allow you to continuously nurture prospects with tailored, behavior-triggered content, migrating website visitors into higher-return categories and ultimately closing more deals.
“Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales ready leads at 33 percent lower cost,” as reported by Forrester Research.
You can also create workflows that generate an automated email response to website enquiries, ensuring every lead is responded to promptly.
IMPROVE SALES FUNNEL PROCESS AND REDUCE OVERHEAD
When you combine your CRM system with a marketing automation platform, both marketing and sales teams can track and access the same insights of a customer’s situation from one central platform. This tends to better align marketing and sales activities.
Both teams can pull from the data to identify successes and ways to improve the sales pipeline. Having a uniform picture of the B2B buyer path will help align both teams around the same goals.
Pulling from the data, the teams can establish an engagement framework with scores for revenue and response. “Companies that automate lead management see a 10 percent or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months,” reported Gartner Research.
Having a lead scoring system in place based on implicit buying signals will allow you to know who’s more likely to close, subsequently reducing resources wasted on following individuals to early in the buy-cycle.
Building a high-performance marketing automation framework requires organizational alignment and the right platform suited for your strategic imperatives.
Download the following checklist of things to consider before finally taking the plunge and purchasing a marketing automation platform.