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    05/07/2024 |

    A Luddite’s Guide to B2B Marketing Automation

    Is your marketing department an army of one? (Or two or three?) And is your army trying to communicate with prospects and track impact via the digital equivalent of a carrier pigeon? 

    I hear you. I’ve had the same laptop for 12 years. I’m a millennial who didn’t get my first smartphone until 2015!

    But the reality is we live in a constantly evolving, digital-first marketplace. If you don’t incorporate B2B marketing automation into your lead and revenue generation approach, you’re self-selecting out of growth.

    So, from one late adopter to another, let’s help connect you with the right audience in the right ways using some easy – and a few advanced – tactics to implement automation into your marketing efforts.

    Push to Start: Know What You Need

    Regardless of your industry, you need an online presence to fuel your lead generation pipeline and an automated system to help provide the personalized, consistent experience today’s buyers expect. 

    B2B marketing automation also streamlines your processes and organizes and analyzes your data in real time. It’s not just easier to execute your strategy – it’s so much easier to make it better.  

    The right marketing automation, in an intuitive customer relationship management (CRM) platform, provides the tools you need to start tracking and improving your efforts. And it doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective.

    Let’s dig into the what and why of how marketing automation is a game-changer for B2B companies. 


    Lead Management, Nurturing and Segmentation

    The ability to capture, organize, track and score your leads in one central location is alone worth the investment in marketing technology. 

    Software with lead management capabilities automatically inputs any collected visitor information across your channels (website forms, landing pages and social media). This allows you to track their interactions and behaviors over time and refine your understanding of your buyer personas.

    Based on this data, you can organize your audience into distinct groups or lists and tailor your tactics to resonate with each segment’s specific needs while boosting value and engagement – giving you even more information to refine your marketing strategy.

    Once you have all this information, you can grade your prospects’ likelihood to convert based on their engagement or qualify them out of the pipeline. (Tell the sales department they’re welcome in advance.)


    Email Marketing Automation

    Hopefully, all that lead data includes people who’ve signed up for your emails. Email marketing automation streamlines the process of creating, sending and managing email campaigns, taking on the heavy lifting in three big ways:

    1. Creating personalized, targeted email campaigns 
    2. Setting up automated workflows or drip campaigns
    3. Conducting A/B testing to optimize campaign performance

    Nurture leads through the buyer’s journey by delivering relevant content and messaging at each stage, organized around specific characteristics or behaviors such as demographics, job title, engagement level or buyer journey stage. 

    Automate workflows triggered by specific actions or milestones such as: 

    • Downloading a whitepaper 
    • Attending a webinar  
    • Subscribing to a newsletter 

    Scale your efforts, save time and deliver a consistent and personalized experience for leads and prospects.


    Data Management

    Using a CRM for your B2B marketing automation processes enables seamless data syncing and facilitates better lead management and sales alignment. It gives your marketing and sales teams access to the same up-to-date information about leads and customers, allowing for better collaboration and communication. 

    Marketers can track lead interactions, engagements and conversions within the CRM system, providing valuable insights into lead behavior and preferences. This information can make or break the deal when the sales team starts setting meetings.

    Be sure to keep it clean. Remove duplicates, figure out what’s missing or inaccurate to fill any gaps and confirm information is accurate to ensure those segmented lists serve a purpose.


    Analytics and Reporting Capabilities

    The data your CRM collects can be fascinating, especially if you haven’t taken a granular look at your website visitors and customers or systematically tracked their engagement. But don’t forget the point of data collection is to make it work for you. 

    Analytics and reporting capabilities are essential to measure effectiveness and optimize campaign performance. Your tech stack should provide robust analytics tools that allow marketers to track key metrics such as:

    • Email open rates 
    • Click-through rates 
    • Conversion rates 
    • Lead scoring 
    • Revenue generation

    Analyzing these metrics helps you gain insights into campaign effectiveness, identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to improve strategy.

    Advanced reporting capabilities enable marketers to generate custom reports, dashboards and visualizations to effectively communicate campaign performance and ROI to your stakeholders.

    Ready To Take the Leap?

    B2B marketing automation isn’t just about adding more tech to the mix in a hit-or-miss marketing approach – it streamlines your efforts and provides concrete data to improve results and boost your close rate. 

    Now that you know what your CRM should include, it’s time to find a marketing software that’s right for you. We’ve got plenty of tips to help you make a well-informed decision.

    Make the Most of It

    Even with the best software or a tech-savvy team member, the transition to B2B marketing automation can be challenging. Maybe you have questions about importing your existing lists and data. Perhaps as you’re getting started tasks like segmentation are taking longer than you expected.

    That’s a good time to call in marketing technology experts before the wires get even more tangled. 

    Be sure you work with a team that’s intimately familiar with your tech stack. They can help you move beyond troubleshooting or extra training and optimize your marketing platform so you can spend more time focusing on your business goals.

    Heather Bowlan, Copywriter headshot

    Heather Bowlan, Copywriter

    Heather Bowlan's writing and editing experience has ranged from B2B/B2C website copy to travel guidebooks and poetry reviews to nonprofit fundraising campaigns. Her background in creative writing and critical thinking keeps her inquisitive and interested. Whatever the message or medium, she loves the opportunity to develop content with impact.

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