The Benefits of Using Marketing Automation in B2B CompaniesAdina Palade
Marketing automation tools allow companies to streamline marketing tasks and workflows, in order to increase operational efficiency. According to IDC the market for these kinds of tools will reach $4.8 billion in 2015. Large enterprises have already found value in marketing automation technologies, the early adopters being the B2B industries such as IT, manufacturing, and business services. According to the a Pardot report, State of Demand Generation, a quarter of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are already using marketing automation, along with 76% of the world’s largest SaaS companies.
The main goal of marketing automation technologies is to provide B2B companies with an integrated functionality for building, tracking, managing digital campaigns, monitoring and identifying the leads. Plus, some tools offer multichannel data collection and storage, CRM integration, social marketing functionalities and ROI analysis.
B2B companies can use marketing automation solutions in many marketing activities– newsletter campaigns, lead generation and lead nurturing, customer retention, prediction and lead scoring, marketing ROI measurement etc. Here are some benefits marketing automation tools can provide for B2B companies:
- Increased marketing efficiency
- Better management of a more and more complex customer ecosystem
- Better alignment of sales and marketing goals
- Keep-up with the continuously changing customer behavior and market dynamics
- Clearly identify marketing ROI and closely monitor revenue generation
- Improved lead conversion
- Increased marketing staff productivity. According to Nuclear Research, companies can expect to achieve a productivity increase between 1.5 and 6.9%.
According to the IDC 2013 Marketing Planner, marketing automation investment takes up 3.1% of programs budget and 1.6% of staff allocations at large technology companies.
If you’re in the position to decide whether or not a specific marketing automation solution is what your B2B company needs, you have to take into consideration the same evaluation steps assumed by any software adoption. Firstly, you should gather requirements from all your departments (especially the marketing and sales departments), to identify workflows, goals, budget and available technical support. Secondly, do your research on magazines, blogs, and forums to identify additional features and decide on the 5 most relevant providers for your business’ needs. Finally, discuss and negotiate with each of them until you’ll identify the best solution.
Do you already use marketing automation tools? How does this influence your company’s marketing activities and ROI?