B2B Marketing Automation
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
What does marketing automation mean? What are the advantages? Which tool is suitable? We clarify these questions and more in this guide.
Everything important at a glance
Marketing automation pursues the goal of delivering individual and targeted communication to (potential) customers.
Among the many benefits are: Time savings, efficient customer management, personalized customer targeting, lead generation.
The few disadvantages include, for example, the high start-up costs and the IT skills that may be required of the employees.
With a marketing automation solution, you can implement the following areas, for example: Automated marketing campaigns, lead automation, management and maintenance of landing pages, tracking, reporting, controlling, ...
Core capabilities include lead management and scoring, lead capture and nurturing, website automation, B2B email marketing
With our module, you receive already predefined functions for your marketing automation and can thus start even faster
B2B Marketing Automation: Introduction
Putting customers at the center and picking them up at every touchpoint of the customer journey is the goal of every company, regardless of the industry. The biggest difference between B2B and B2C marketing lies in the target group. This results in a different approach to (potential) customers. You don't want to convince individuals, but entire companies, from business to business. Find out now how you can ultimately achieve this, what B2B marketing automation means and which marketing automation tools we can recommend to you.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is often mistakenly confused with Lead Automation or email automation. But there is much more to it. Marketing automation pursues the goal of communicating with potential customers, or more precisely their buyer personas, in as individual and targeted a manner as possible. It may seem like a trend that classic B2B communication is shifting more and more into the digital space. But beware: this is much more than just a trend. Sooner or later, you won't be able to avoid automating your marketing activities if you want to remain competitive. With this shift from offline to online, the possibilities of automated and digitized marketing are also increasing.
Definition Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation refers to all software solutions that automate marketing processes and consist of the functions of database, web controlling, communication, workflows and CRM-synchronization. The systems make it easier for marketing departments to plan, control and evaluate extensive marketing campaigns.
Advantages & potential challenges
Marketing automation in B2B has many advantages for you, but also brings a few challenges. These can, of course, vary depending on the area of application. We show you the most important points at a glance!
You can see right away that the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. Moreover, the challenges mentioned are rather to be regarded as common issues when introducing any new software in a company. Disadvantages of the respective software are of course to be considered individually, because no software is 100% error-free.
Advantages & potential challenges
Selection of a suitable software
Efficient customer management
Entry initially associated with high costs
Personalized addressing of customers and personalized content
IT knowledge may be required
Central management of data and access for each department
GDPR (DSGVO) compliance must be verified
Intelligent data analysis
Measurable results through tracking
Effective marketing measures
Increased reach, conversion rate & lead generation
Why do I need marketing automation?
You can cover the following areas through B2B Marketing Automation and implement them with the appropriate tools.
Automated marketing campaigns
Automation of email marketing newsletter
Web2Print, digital services, online marketing
Landing page management and maintenance
Integration of CRM, ERP, sales tools, etc.
Tracking, Reporting, Controlling
Data collection, data maintenance, data transfer
We would now also like to introduce you to a corresponding tool for implementing these application areas – our favorite, the B2B marketing automation solution Marketing Cloud Account Engagement from Salesforce. We would like to pay special attention to the event marketing functionality of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
Salesforce as the leading cloud-based CRM solution, offers companies of all sizes and industries an optimal system for managing customer relationships. With the help of a large portfolio of Cloud products and numerous tools, work processes can be conveniently optimized and all data centrally bundled. This not only facilitates effective work across different departments, but above all allows full concentration on the essentials: the customer.
Salesforce also makes B2B marketing automation possible with its Marketing Cloud Account Engagement CRM solution. Pardot is a B2B digital marketing tool that makes your campaigns more efficient, increases conversion rates, and delivers better qualified leads to your sales team. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement cleverly develops leads with personalized, targeted content and increases the efficiency of your ROI analytics.
Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Core Functionalities
Lead Scoring & Lead Grading
Leads can be classified as more than just hot or cold with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. The tool provides you with an automatic lead qualification system. This is called Marketing Cloud Account Engagement scoring and grading. A prospect's score (person who submitted his or her email address to you either through a form or a data import) indicates how interested he or she is in your product or service. The Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Grade tells you how well that person meets certain criteria, previously set by you. This system helps you gain more insights about your leads and personalize your communication with them.
Lead Capturing – Forms
Lead capture forms allow you to convert website visitors into prospects. Forms are extremely important for marketers. If you use them correctly, you can realize the full potential of your prospect database. With a so-called landing page form, you collect data from potential customers, convert anonymous website visitors into prospects, and can then contact them in the next step. You can use these forms, for example, as registration forms for offline or online events, or to provide digital content such as white papers.
To automate your website processes, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement offers four basic elements. Completion Actions, Automation Rules, Page Actions, and Segmentation Rules. Completion Actions are automated system responses triggered by specific elements in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. When a prospect triggers a specific action, the automated response you want occurs in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. Automation rules simplify complex, recurring tasks and streamline your workflow. When desired, automation rules run in the background and in real time to make changes to prospects. Page Actions are one of these automation features. Here, automated responses are triggered based on the prospect's behavior on your website. Note: Cookies must have been previously accepted for this to work and an email address must be available! Segmentation rules allow you to create a unique list of prospects based on certain criteria. For example, you can add all prospects with the job title "CEO" to a list to contact them in the next turn.
B2B Email Marketing
Increase the effectiveness of your email marketing with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement! The core of the tool lets you effectively schedule and send personalized emails to thousands of prospects. You can create email templates and send autoresponder emails automatically, for example, after a certain action. Of course, you can test every email, newsletter, webinar reminder beforehand. This way you won't make any mistakes anymore. Look at open rates, engagement, link clicks and much more after the fact. Also, create lists for the specific audience of your emails. With a few clicks, add the list and pre-schedule your email for the time you want. Then you can sit back and relax for now.
Pardot Engagement Studio
At the heart of Pardot is the Pardot Engagement Studio – an intuitive marketing automation tool that lets you send follow-up emails, create a logic-based nurturing campaign, and test scenarios to see how a prospect might navigate the path.
While this sounds complex, it's actually quite intuitive. Engagement Studio provides the ability to send emails to a list of prospects, see how the prospects interact with the emails, and then respond differently based on how recipients have interacted with each email in the drip. A drip is an automated sequence of messages that can change based on logic you create. This allows marketers to create automated programs that engage potential customers at every step of the customer journey.
The Next Step: Salesforce Marketing Automation Module for Webinars & Fairs
We have already thought one step ahead for you. Building on the Pardot and Sales Cloud solutions, we have developed a module with ready-made PardotJourneys, email templates and much more. Thanks to a wide variety of templates, you no longer need to set up workflows and processes for webinars and fairs yourself. With our module, you get predefined functions for your marketing automation. So, you are ready to go even faster! At the same time, you benefit from our experience, on the basis of which we have developed the module for you.
And this is how it works
The customer registers for a webinar or fair, for example, via a landing page. In the course of this, the person is assigned to a list. This list is found at the beginning in the so-called customer journey (Engagement Studio). In Pardot's Engagement Studio (where the customer journey is set up), additional email templates and other elements are stored as phases that the customer then goes through. This means that once the person is in the customer journey, they will automatically receive emails (invitation, reminder, credentials, follow up, further content like whitepapers or blog posts, etc.). In addition to the benefits of marketing automation, contacts are automatically assigned a value (based on the person's interest) and passed on to sales. So, the process is seamless to the sales team as well and you can focus on pure marketing efforts.
Marketing automation is currently gaining significant momentum, especially in medium-sized businesses. A functioning and well-established marketing automation in the B2B area holds enormous sales potential. In any case, a marketing automation tool such as Marketing Cloud Account Engagement can only bring you advantages, as we already explained at the beginning of this article. The internal qualification and training of your employees, like so many things, takes time. This is where well-planned change management is needed! Nevertheless, we believe that the question should not be whether to choose a B2B marketing automation solution, but when to do so.
Do you still have questions about Salesforce or are you ready to go digital?
We will be happy to assist you in an initial consultation.