Marketing director, consultant or sales manager in B2B: this guide has been designed to help you increase your sales thanks to marketing automation.
Your prospects receive an average of 6,000 pieces of information per day. In this context, capturing their attention requires more and more effort from your marketing and sales teams.
Marketing automation is the solution to generate more qualified leads by reducing your time spent prospecting. Used intelligently, it allows you to refine your targeting, improve your campaigns and (most importantly!) better control their ROI.
But how to do marketing automation, concretely? What are the essential principles to master? How to do it in BtoB? Explanations.
What is marketing automation?
The definition of marketing automation
To describe it simply, marketing automation consists in using technology to automate the management of your marketing campaigns such as targeting, emailing, follow-up or lead nurturing. The settings can be made by you or based on predefined templates.
The main benefit of marketing automation is to accumulate knowledge about your prospects to personalize your campaigns. So much so that today, it is very difficult to do effective lead nurturing without automation.
Marketing automation in BtoB and BtoC
Marketing automation is used in both BtoC and BtoB. Indeed, companies are all faced with the same challenge: send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
The common objectives are therefore as follows:
- Branding, by sending powerful messages to subscribers;
- Obtain data to measure the effectiveness of marketing actions;
- Control the ROI of the campaigns carried out;
- Increase the company’s revenues.
Nevertheless, there are some particularities in the BtoB:
- Purchase cycles are generally longer. Decisions are less impulsive. This means that lead nurturing is very important to reassure and trigger the purchase decision.
- The customer usually decides during a meeting with your sales team. This means that marketing actions are more focused on generating qualified leads than on triggering conversions.
Why do marketing automation solutions help generate more sales?
Your marketing and sales teams save time
Your company’s marketing and sales managers are multi-tasking. With an automation solution, these managers can limit their time spent on repetitive and tedious tasks.
In terms of prospecting, marketing automation allows you to collect behavioral data on your prospects and assign them a score. This means you know more precisely which prospects need the attention of your sales staff.
Marketing automation software is not just for managing customers and prospects. They also act as databases for your team. Therefore, no matter where your staff is located, each member has access to the same up-to-date data.
You improve your relationship with your prospects and customers
Marketing automation software allows you to know the place of each prospect in the sales tunnel. You can then adapt your actions according to its maturity. Tailoring your approach to their interests makes them more likely to be interested in your offers.
In concrete terms, the software can be configured to perform certain actions based on information about your customers. In particular, it will be possible to target the content according to the content that really interests them .
An asset for your sales teams
With marketing automation, your salespeople no longer have to struggle for hours to determine whether a person is a lead or not. It is the tool that, thanks to your customer data, determines the interest to devote to a prospect or not.
What are the marketing automation tools?
Marketing automation solution and CRM: what is the difference?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software and marketing automation software have different objectives. A CRM is mainly used by sales teams to interact with customers. A marketing automation platform is primarily used for marketing.
A CRM software tracks the actions of potential or actual customers on your social networks, your emails or your website. It collects information and guides each contact through the buying process.
A marketing automation tool offers features to optimize the sending of marketing campaigns to your prospects.
Tools to automate your emails
These solutions are used to send automated emails to your subscribers . You usually have formatting features for your emails. They propose the creation of a « customer journey » to script your interactions.
Why is this kind of tool interesting? It allows you to send the right message to the right people, without the need for manual action.
Specialized solutions for social networks
It is also possible to apply marketing automation on social networks. For example, you can schedule posts, republish popular articles or send automated private messages. The management of social networks is very time-consuming, so this type of tool saves a lot of time.
SMS automation tools
SMS automation consists of automatically sending text messages according to predefined conditions . These conditions can be simple or complex, depending on your objectives. From basic yes/no questions to niche scenarios, they are relatively easy to set up. Of course, you can always make adjustments if needed.
Omnichannel marketing automation solutions
There are all-in-one solutions, such as the one offered by Magileads. Indeed, during a marketing campaign, you will sometimes have to take advantage of all digital channels. It therefore seems interesting to have a platform that centralizes several of the features announced above. On Magileads, you have the possibility to have access to an almost complete French database. But most importantly, once your campaigns are launched, you can monitor your statistics to see if your actions are effective.
What are the features of a marketing automation solution?
Behavioral tracking and lead scoring
You need to understand how your audience reacts to your marketing campaigns. The goal? See if your interactions create more opportunities and sales. By automating your lead tracking and scoring templates, you can send your salespeople to better qualified leads.
In concrete terms, you must rely on concrete data. For example, some of your target members just open your e-mail, without any particular reaction. But there are others who take the trouble to click on your links and even download your PDF documents in PJ. On your social media accounts, the reactions of your target are also different.
Creation and personalization of marketing campaigns
Marketing process automation saves a lot of time. However, it is easy to fall into a common trap. By automating too much, content can sometimes lack personalization.
Of course, it’s not about creating 100% personalized content for each customer either. The idea is to have contents with a common base and to insert variables according to the targeted segment. The segmentation criteria can be diverse: age, profession, geographical location, place in the purchasing process, etc.
The content to be personalized is usually related to e-mail campaigns. In addition to the written content itself, it is important to add a URL leading to a landing page customized for your target.
Creation of marketing scenarios
The marketing scenario consists of planning a series of interactions with your prospect based on his behavior. This sequence of actions is programmed to achieve a certain marketing objective. It can be a purchase on your website, an appointment booking or the download of an e-book for example.
In the context of marketing automation, you must therefore set up a workflow. In simple terms, it is a process that details the automated actions that take place at each step.
For example, if someone subscribes to your newsletter, your marketing automation software adds them to your email contact list. After that, it automatically sends him a welcome email the same day, and a second email 7 days later.
Automation of the activity on social networks
Automation at this level does not only concern publications. Indeed, on networks such as LinkedIn, you can also schedule invitations. In this way, you will build a relevant network of contacts.
You can also schedule automatic replies for your private messages. This is interesting if you are usually not able to act on the request immediately. This way, your interlocutors will not feel ignored.
Performance analysis (ROI, KPI)
Your marketing automation software stores the performance of your campaigns and the reactions of your prospects. You have access to a complete dashboard with all the KPIs that allow you to monitor your performance: sales volume, response rate, opening rate, etc.
KPIs, coupled with ROI (return on investment) calculations, allow you to know if your objectives are really being met. If there are discrepancies, it is possible to investigate the reasons for them. Thus, you adopt the appropriate corrective measures.
Marketing automation: how to get started?
Data collection and targeting
The first step is to have a contact base. If you use a marketing automation solution such as Magileads, you can import your database or synchronize your different applications with the tool (CRM, ERP) in a few clicks.
Note that the Magileads platform provides its users with a database of over 20 million BtoB contacts updated daily. This feature is ideal for companies whose database is not yet well developed.
Once you have built your database, your solution can offer you a targeting feature for sending your campaigns. For example, you can target a sector, a specific function and/or a location.
Programming of marketing actions
Before scheduling your mailings, you need to create the content . To do this, choose the type of information you want to distribute. Indeed, depending on your objectives (to sell or to inform), the tone and format to adopt are not the same.
You can personalize your content with variables (last name, first name, company position, etc.). This simple feature can dramatically increase the engagement of your readers. Your recipients feel like they are reading a message that is personally addressed to them. You can also add visual elements (photos and videos) and documents (guide, e-book) that bring added value.
Once this is done, all you have to do is schedule the publications or the sending of messages, as well as the reminders. Don’t forget to create scenarios, as each of your interlocutors might react differently.
Performance evaluation and adjustments
As previously mentioned, you can rely on the statistics delivered by your marketing automation solution. Here, it’s not just about the volume of your sales! You can track relevant indicators to be part of a continuous improvement process: opening rate of your campaigns, click rate and number of downloads, etc.