7 Examples of How B2B Marketing Automation Could Change Your Business
by Tony Shannon
Marketing automation is pushing its way into virtually every aspect of digital marketing. It has a reputation for being an extremely valuable tool to help customers generate, manage, and close new customers that enter their lead pipeline.
Investing in B2B marketing automation consulting can have a huge impact on small to mid-sized businesses, changing the way that they do business overnight.
For those that are new to marketing automation, it can be difficult to understand the scope of marketing automation and the benefits it can provide. It sounds complicated, but there are many systems available today that can be easily installed and managed.
It's figuring out which solutions will work well together that is the hard part. Marketing automation has a lot of practical uses that can handle the mundane tasks that businesses often handle by hand every day.
Before we dive into B2B marketing automation examples, let’s go over what marketing automation is, and why it could be just the tool your business needs to get ahead of the competition.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is simply a way for you to take tasks that otherwise would have to be handled by hand and automate them using software and digital tools.
In most cases, the things that B2B marketing automation is able to handle are tasks that otherwise would have gone overlooked or happened at a much slower pace if they had to be handled by a live person.
Where marketing automation really shines is in the ability to generate and nurture leads through the sales funnel.
Using automated messaging and other tactics, you can help to build relationships with prospects over time, helping them to get to know company while positioning your products as a solution to their problems.
Marketing automation is used in many digital marketing channels. While most will think of email marketing when they think of marketing automation, you can automate marketing in nearly any channel.
With the help of B2B marketing automation consulting you can save your business time and money while growing your revenue.
Let’s take a look at some of the different marketing automation strategies that you can use to bolster your business:
Example #1: Automated Website Live Chat
A live website chat can be a great way to capture leads that would otherwise be lost if they didn’t have the option to ask questions and receive immediate answers.
The problem is that you have to employ someone to watch your live chat throughout the day and interact with customers.
For many, live chat has become an expectation. A Forrester research piece found that 30 percent of customers expect live chat today. For an already busy customer support team, this can really take up their time and make it difficult to attend to their daily duties.
However, there are solutions available today that allow you to reap the benefits of a live chat without having to hire someone to handle it or take time away from your current customer service reps.
Tools like Collect.chat give your customers an automated way to interact with your company, connect with customer support reps (when their questions warrant it), and learn more about your business and product.
Example #2: Action-Triggered Sales Notifications
Certain pages on your website will be typically visited by leads that have a high interest in your product. These pages might include your price page, terms and conditions, or very detailed product-focused content that you have published.
Visits to these pages by your leads can be an indication that they may be ready to buy. Failing to contact them at this time could be a missed opportunity.
Using email to send sales materials to leads that visit these pages can help you to identify buy-ready prospects and capitalize on those opportunities.
Example #3: New Customer Onboarding
For SaaS companies, one of the most difficult tasks that you have is getting your trial and new customers to learn your software and integrate it into their business processes.
Using marketing automation, you can send a sequence of automated emails to your customers that walk them through using your product and provide them with genuinely valuable advice for getting the most out of their investment.
This gives companies a hands-off way to complete this task without having to dedicate time to ongoing product demos and hand holding with new customers unless they specifically ask for help.
Example #4: Lead Nurturing
Did you know that 96 percent of visitors that come to your website aren’t ready to buy? When a new lead enters your system, what steps do you take to ensure that they become a customer?
For companies that handle this process by hand, this can usually mean a lot of email correspondence and multiple phone calls.
However, this process can be handled mostly through automated email correspondence and other tactics, only handing sales qualified leads off to your team when they are truly ready.
Marketing automation uses email sequences to inform and educate your leads, building rapport with them while delivering value.
As you build your relationship with them, you begin to sprinkle in more sales-focused materials, walking them toward buying your product.
Example #5: Churn Reduction
For Saas companies or any company with a monthly subscription for their product, churn is a serious issue. Keeping customers from cancelling their subscription is absolutely essential to growing a stable, reliable revenue stream and growing your business on the whole.
Customers cancel their subscription for all sorts of reasons. They might not understand how the product works.
Maybe they didn’t find that the product was useful enough but misunderstood some core functionality. Maybe they just don’t have the money but would be willing to stick around if a discount was offered.
By automating the process of asking questions to those that cancel their subscriptions, you can reduce your churn rate in a hands-off way.
Even something as simple as offering a discount to those that cancel will lower your churn rate and improve your revenue over time. It’s an excellent task for automation because handling this by-hand would be very time-consuming.
Example #6: Social Media Automation & Scheduling
Social media automation is one of the most common examples of marketing automation. It was one of the first marketing automation strategies to make its way into mainstream digital marketing.
While you will always want a real person behind some of your conversations on social media, a large percentage of your social media tasks can be automated.
Things like sharing content, thanking new followers, or sharing posts from partner organizations can all be easily automated and grow your following over time.
Example #7: Referral Marketing
For many companies, referral marketing is their best source of new leads. Nothing beats having a product recommended to you by a trusted friend. 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people that they know.
You can use marketing automation to automate many of the mundane tasks required in running a referral marketing operation.
You could offer discounts on future purchases to customers that refer your product to a friend and track their referrals through automation.
You can also promote your referral program through regular broadcast emails that make new customers aware of the program and the benefits that come with it.
Marketing Automation is the Future
Marketing automation will play a huge role in the future of digital marketing for large and small businesses alike. For now, while so few companies have fully embraced and adopted automation, it provides a clear-cut way for small businesses to compete with larger brands.
Using marketing automation consulting to help you install marketing automation solutions into your business practices could very well be the best decision that you make for your digital marketing efforts.