Your business is growing, which means more customers, more prospects, and more revenue. All good things!
Unfortunately, your marketing team is having trouble keeping up with the increasing needs of the organization.
They’re getting bogged down with repetitive tasks and managing the abundance of data from prospective customers. There has to be a better way. . . right?
Introducing: Marketing Automation.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing automation platforms are the solution to increasing the productivity of your marketing and sales teams. In this article, we’ll show you why you need to consider automating your marketing tasks, share a list of the best marketing automation tools available today, and guide you through the process of choosing the best software for your company.
What Is Marketing Automation, and Why Do Businesses Need It?
Marketing automation is a collection of practices a business can implement to simplify repetitive marketing tasks. This process helps companies automate, manage, and measure a variety of data and workflows, which in turn makes the marketing team more efficient and frees up their time to create content, meet goals, and close sales.
As part of an innovative and strategic marketing strategy, automation is one of the most effective ways to streamline your marketing team’s daily workflow and generate new leads.
To take advantage of the benefits of marketing automation, you need to use a mixture of software and web-based solutions. These B2B marketing automation platforms make it possible for your marketing team to focus on what’s truly important.
The Top 5 Platforms for B2B Marketing Automation
If you conduct a search for B2B marketing automation platforms, what will you find? Dozens—even hundreds—of options at your fingertips. And that number grows every year. How do you narrow down your search?
We’ve created a list of our favorite B2B marketing automation platforms to help direct your research. These tools are the leading software platforms for businesses looking to grow their conversion rates and automate their marketing tasks.
HubSpot is a full software stack dedicated to sales, marketing, and customer success. As the leading inbound marketing software available today, HubSpot is widely known for its customer relationship management (CRM) abilities as well as its advanced workflow options and easy-to-use interface. The software also emphasizes the relationship between marketing and sales—an added functionality that makes it easy for different teams to work together.
Marketo’s comprehensive B2B marketing automation tool goes beyond the basics. It offers audience segmentation, integrated customer profiles, behavior tracking, and more to help you engage with the right customers.
Marketo handles everything from email and account-based marketing to digital and social media advertising, making it a great option for organizations interested in engaging with potential customers throughout the buyer’s journey.
SendGrid is an automated email marketing platform that focuses on deliverability, meaning that the emails you send using their software end up in the inboxes of your customers. The company prioritizes comprehensive data tracking and reporting so you can easily determine the success of a campaign.
SendGrid’s email software is also flexible, scalable, and fast—making it the best choice for marketers with enough coding experience to benefit from the advanced features of the platform.
Mailchimp started out as one of the first email marketing platforms and has since expanded into a full-service automated marketing solution, with features like social media ads, landing pages, CRM, lead generation, and audience segmentation.
One of Mailchimp’s greatest strengths is its ease of use (regardless of automated marketing experience), which includes the ability to integrate with a variety of task management and collaboration tools.
ActiveCampaign offers automation solutions for marketing, sales, and customer support teams. Its marketing automation tools include everything from CRM and email campaigns to engagement tracking and data management.
Whatever channels your prospective customers are accessing—websites, social media, and more—ActiveCampaign collects the personalized data, identifies your most engaged audience members, and automates the next steps to increase your conversion rate and nurture your customer leads.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Marketing Automation System
Your business is unique, and so are its marketing needs.
When it comes to deciding which marketing automation tool is right for your organization, keep in mind that what works for one company may not work best for yours. The challenge is to identify the unique needs of your marketing team and determine which software meets those needs.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you make your decision.
As with any software, an intuitive user interface is key. You and your marketing team should be able to easily navigate the software, understand each workflow, and find menu items as needed.
It’s not just that you want your automated marketing tool to be user-friendly; you should also consider that software that isn’t easy to use will require more training for your team and more time before it’s usable.
Features & Integrations
Every B2B marketing automation platform has its own set of features. Some are focused on email marketing automation while others are also capable of handling e-commerce, social media content, CRM, and more. You need to determine whether the automation software you are considering has the features you need.
Additionally, your new marketing automation tool needs to be able to integrate with your existing systems. Check that it can communicate and share data with any third-party applications or CRM systems you already use.
No technology is perfect; at some point, something will go wrong. You want to know you’ll have the support you need to get it working again.
Reliable, responsive customer support assistance is an absolute must. Make sure the developers offer support by phone, email, or chat and are available during business hours in case you have technical trouble.
User Base & Reviews
There’s only so much you can learn from a company’s website. Don’t forget to read customer reviews to see what others have to say about the automated marketing platform. Getting information directly from the software’s user base means you’ll see how it really works and be able to make an informed decision on whether to purchase or pass.
Setup & Onboarding
Once you purchase a B2B marketing automation platform, you have to get it set up and onboard your marketing team so they’re ready to use it.
How long will it take the developers to install the software? Is there a cost associated with onboarding? What resources are available for new users? Keep these questions in mind.
Benefits of Using a Marketing Automation Platform for B2B Businesses
B2B marketing automation platforms add value to your organization in a variety of ways—but it boils down to saving your business time, money, and resources while growing your customer base and increasing revenue.
Let’s break down some of the major benefits of using automated marketing tools.
Marketing and Sales Alignment
Automated marketing tools align the goals of both your sales and marketing teams. The workflows and reporting provided by the software can identify obstacles and provide solutions for ineffective systems between the departments. And these platforms are good at streamlining marketing and sales processes, giving everyone time to focus on other aspects of their work.
Increased Conversion Rate
Using the insights provided by marketing automation software, your marketing team can focus your marketing strategy on finding exactly the right prospective clients. The data provided by these tools is comprehensive and helps you score targeted leads—leading to an increased conversion rate.
B2B automated marketing platforms offer extensive reporting. With these tools, you can accurately measure and analyze your digital marketing strategy to reveal which campaigns are most successful and where you should focus your efforts.
With an ever-increasing list of current and potential customers, each having unique needs, it quickly becomes impossible to efficiently manage the plethora of data at hand. Marketing automation platforms solve this problem by allowing you to group and organize the data in whatever way best suits your marketing needs.
Nurturing leads is the name of the game, and B2B automated marketing platforms are here to play.
You can use these software services to build a multitude of campaigns, track how users interact with your content, and trigger actions based on a prospective customer’s actions—or, in other words, deliver the right content to the right people. That means you can generate and nurture leads that encourage prospects to make a purchasing decision.
How to Get Started with Marketing Automation
Before jumping into the sea of B2B marketing automation platforms, you need a plan in place.
Think about the goals of your marketing team and how this type of software can help you achieve those goals. Then you can see which of the available tools fit your unique business needs.
After you decide on an automated marketing platform, the fun begins.
Get started by training your marketing team members on the new software solution, implementing the platform across your department, and keeping an eye out for any areas of conflict. The nice part? Your marketing automation software will likely come with reporting and analytics options to help you measure its efficiency and optimize its performance for better results.
A more profitable, streamlined marketing strategy is within your grasp, all thanks to marketing automation tools.
Marketing automation platforms increase customer conversion rates, nurture prospective leads, and grow your business. Now is the time to find a B2B marketing automation tool that works best for you.
Are you ready to take the next step? You don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help.
At OneIMS, we have the strategies, tools, and solutions you need to engage with clients and reach your marketing goals. Our expert marketing team works with companies in a variety of industries to develop innovative and successful marketing solutions, and we pride ourselves on producing measurable and sustainable results.