As with many new marketing techniques, marketing automation is an affordable and scalable way for companies to streamline their marketing activities. Recently, it has become especially popular with business-to-business (B2B) companies – those that sell products or services to other businesses (rather than consumers). Typically, these companies use a variety of traditional marketing strategies such as emails, text messages, conferences, brochures, and white papers to familiarize other businesses with their brand and differentiate their product to their target audience. As B2B marketing has evolved and marketing automation has advanced, these methods seem to be less effective.
However, marketing automation for B2B has advantages and disadvantages. For example, it is more difficult for brands to justify the impact of their marketing communications. The ROI indirect results, such as the number of subscribers and readers, media coverage, and brand awareness, are not always significant. In addition, competition in the marketplace for B2B companies is increasing and it is becoming more difficult to attract customers. In the past, B2B companies relied on their uniqueness to gain popularity, and marketing strategies were secondary. But with a more competitive landscape and groups of followers quickly becoming passionate about a favorite product, attracting customers has become more difficult.
However, traditional B2B marketing strategies cannot match the timeliness, accuracy, or personalized communications of marketing automation. Advanced technologies enable a direct channel of information to the customer, which means you can quickly gather customer feedback and evaluate market data. With Internet technology, customers have become accustomed to personalized communications and even expect B2B companies to recognize their specific preferences.
Marketing budgets also cannot be optimized effectively because automated strategies are more complex. The first task is to generate behavioral data from customers by integrating digital management into all of the company’s marketing scenarios. This “digital footprint” includes all customer interactions, such as the time they read emails and articles, sign up for meetings, download information, and visit websites. The second task is to collect and analyze this data. This requires specialized software and integration of data generated in various marketing scenarios. The goal is to create a comprehensive digital analysis of a customer and an event so that they can be studied. Then, the results of each marketing strategy can be determined to prove its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. Basically, the more data that is collected and analyzed, the better the potential for market demand, market capacity and growth.
Another consideration is that marketing automation relies on a variety of marketing technology tools that are constantly evolving and changing. Some are marketing tools for single scenarios, such as live online broadcasting and email marketing. Others are marketing automation systems that collect interactive data, aggregate it by scenario, and analyze it to determine specific user experiences. It is a continuous process, as the system improves the user experience, resulting in more customer interactions and more behaviors to collect and analyze for a more accurate and personalized marketing strategy.
Marketing automation, while costly and constantly evolving, can be beneficial for B2B companies to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and science of marketing.
Tolmao Group, an integrated marketing solutions provider headquartered in Shanghai, China, excels in marketing automation workflows for B2B companies. Tolmao’s experts understand the benefits and how to best create marketing programs that drive business growth and success. If you want to learn more about marketing automation and how to use it effectively for your business, contact Tolmao Group.