Personalised offers are accepted more than standardised versions. Which is why it makes sense to check if the use of marketing automation is right for you. It provides the target group with individual information and campaigns – automatically. Find out more about the use and advantages of the system here.
Goals of automated marketing
A major share of German consumers thinks that marketing tailored to them is good. A total of 42 per cent of them, according to a representative survey from Actico (German only), prefer personalised offers. Companies should leverage this openness to communicate with B2B leads or regular customers in a targeted way and in line with their respective needs. Ideal for achieving this is marketing automation.
The term describes a system which automatically collects data via various touchpoints and interprets this data to develop a tailored offer, before sending it out to the target group. For instance, via:
- Social media
In this way, marketing reaches precisely those persons who are interested in certain solutions and offers – without any high level of scatter loss or automation using fixed procedures. This makes most sense amongst companies that offer a wide spectrum of offers which addresses various kinds of customers. After all, thanks to the software, you can find out who is interested in which content. Basically, marketing automation delivers valuable information that can be used in many different ways. Such as to measure success and to optimise campaigns, as well as to boost customer satisfaction.
These advantages are convincing for company leaders, for instance in Switzerland: 40 per cent of companies there use at least one form of marketing automation. This was the finding of a survey by ZHAW (Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften) commissioned by the B2B marketing automation provider Aioma AG.
The most important benefits of the technology, as named in the survey:
- Savings in time for repetitive tasks
- Personalised communication
- Improved efficiency/ROI
- Higher-quality leads
- More conversions
- Improved customer care and loyalty
Marketing automation in B2B marketing: requirements
The benefits of a marketing automation system can only be fully tapped into when the system is thoroughly prepared on the one hand and, on the other, well implemented. To achieve this, the following requirements need to be satisfied:
- Companies must be clearly aware of the fact that marketing automation enables customised communication, but it cannot handle any individual changes at short notice. This is because it would then work in an inconsistent way and deliver less-comparable data. To be effective (and to pay off), it must follow a mid- to long-term outlook.
- Marketing automation is only as good as its data collection. It must be free of any doubled, false, outdated and irrelevant entries.
- The target group must be clearly identified and defined. For this, you need a customer journey that is as detailed as possible as well as very detailed buyer personas.
- The programme requires the integration in other software, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Various interfaces are needed for this and must be provided.
- Within this context, IT know-how in the company is absolutely necessary, either through internal, qualified employees or external service providers. The latter can be an important partner particularly in the start phase.
Tips for getting started in your company
Besides the basic requirements mentioned above, the introduction of a marketing automation system into your company calls for additional attention. This includes bringing all the relevant departments on board and motivating them to contribute with input and output. This is not only necessary for developing a strategy – it is needed throughout the entire life cycle.
The development of a marketing automation system is often not only costly, it can be demanding in terms of content and technology too. Which is why errors or failures must be taken into account and tolerated. Part of this is also the willingness to change software if it does not meet the expectations or shows to not be the right match. In some cases, it makes sense to test trial versions of several systems first.
Best B2B practices with Buffer
An example of a successful integration and utilisation of marketing automation in the B2B segment is Buffer. The company offers a social media tool which online marketers use, amongst others. Buffer sends you weekly status reports and figures on your activities free of charge. If you want to access additional information and details, you have to pay for them.
If the programme is not used for a longer period of time, the customer receives a reminder, including inspiration on how they can use the software. If they achieve an especially high level of success with it and reach milestones, Buffer sends them personalised congratulations.