The abundance of information available online and on social networks has fundamentally changed the way that customers research and buy solutions. Because of this there must also be change in how we market and sell to them.
Today I’m asking if marketing automation is changing the world of B2B marketing? And the answer is a resounding “Yes!”. Marketing automation is the platform from which modern B2B marketers are launching their new programs and adapting to the changing environment. Here are 5 ways that marketing automation technology is transforming our B2B marketing world:
- Lead nurturing: As many as 80% of your prospects could buy from you someday but aren’t ready to buy from you today. Leads that are nurtured are more likely to buy more, and have shorter sales cycles, so you generate more revenue faster.
- Relevant content marketing: The right content is key to establishing trust in the minds of your B2B buyer but remember your nurturing still stills to be relevant. Taking time to map your content based on profile and stage in buying cycle is the first step to ensuring relevance. If your nurturing is not relevant the buyer will stop paying attention and you’ll lose the ability to convert them.
- Lead scoring will maximize sales productivity: When sales teams can focus their time and attention on the hottest sales leads and opportunities, win rates go up and sales cycles go down. Remember to involve sales early in the process and agree the framework to ensure no lead gets left behind.
- Marketing metrics and analytics: It’s not just about tracking to prove ROI but how to improve ROI. The question is not “did that program work?” but “could it work better?”. Measuring and analyzing your programs helps with the decisions on where to reinvest for maximum revenue impact.
- The revenue cycle: By focusing on the entire cycle rather than the top of the funnel you’ll better understand the flow and speed of your prospects through the funnel. Armed with solid data like this, you can then start to accurately forecast pipeline and revenue. That’s the first step to helping your CEO think of marketing as an asset that drives revenue, not a cost centre.
The buzzwords of B2B marketing today are content marketing and social media and it’s true, we should all have our strategies there. But B2B marketers are also focused on lead nurturing, lead scoring and marketing analytics to maximize impact and return in our new buyer-driven environment. A transformation is indeed taking place and marketing automation is allowing us to adapt to, if not driving the revolution!