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What is B2B Marketing Automation? 5 Key Strategies

Kirsten Von Der Wroge

Product Marketing Manager

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing automation automates repetitive marketing tasks, facilitates complex workflows, and analyzes performance metrics. Forward-thinking marketers are reaping the benefits of marketing automation technology to streamline operations, optimize their outreach, and connect with clients in novel and innovative ways. 

This article will take an in-depth look at B2B marketing automation, its key strategies, and the role it plays in running a business.

What is B2B Marketing Automation?

Although B2B marketing automation shares similarities with business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing automation, they differ primarily in terms of their target audience. B2B marketing automation platforms streamline workflows to help businesses develop and manage relationships with other businesses, rather than individual consumers. The most recent marketing automation stats have shown that by automating manual marketing tasks and optimizing workflows, businesses can stay focused on their core objectives while still cultivating client relationships.

Types of B2B Marketing Automation Tools

B2B marketing automation harnesses a variety of tools and technologies, including:

  • Email marketing automation software: Email automation tools streamline the process of sending emails to prospective clients, leads, and existing customers. You can build workflows that ensure timely communication at key moments, all while freeing up the team’s time for other tasks. Unlike the early days of email marketing, modern Email Service Providers (ESPs) bring advanced functionality to marketers, from powerful segmentation tools to automated A/B testing and removes the need to manually send emails.

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software: CRM software manages and analyzes customer interactions and data throughout the buyer’s journey, helping businesses gain valuable insights into their customers' needs and preferences. Today's powerful CRM systems are equipped with powerful B2B automation features like automatic lead scoring, personalized customer journeys, and actionable analytics.

  • Lead nurturing tools: These B2B automation tools facilitate prospects’ progress through the sales funnel by providing relevant content at each stage. Lead nurturing tools increase the chances of conversion by providing a more tailored experience to potential clients.

  • Social media automation tools: Social media is a key component of both B2C and B2B marketing. Social media B2B automation tools help businesses maintain a consistent social media presence by automating the scheduling, posting, and monitoring of content. From tracking hashtag performance to scheduling posts in advance, social media automation tools help businesses engage prospects and stay on top of their social presence.

  • Analytics and reporting tools: In an increasingly data-driven world, these B2B automation tools provide insights into marketing efforts and campaign performance with unprecedented speed and accuracy. From real-time campaign performance to automated ROI reports, automated analytics and reporting platforms help businesses make informed decisions and optimize their campaigns for improved efficiency.

  • Marketing and advertising automation tools: Multi-channel marketing automation tools like AdRoll enable marketers to manage display ads, social ads, and email marketing all in one place. This increases efficiency and consistency of cross-channel marketing strategies.

Key Strategy 1: Lead Generation and Nurturing

Automation is a powerful ally in lead generation and nurturing. It has become an increasingly critical aspect for any business sales pipeline. 

Lead generation and nurturing automation platforms revolutionize engagement by tracking user behavior across channels and collecting vital data about potential customers. These data-driven insights enable businesses to create personalized, targeted marketing campaigns, broadening their reach and enhancing lead generation.

Once leads are captured, the nurturing phase begins. Nurturing is all about strengthening relationships with potential customers at every stage of the sales funnel by providing them with valuable, relevant content. Here, automation tools shine by automating email campaigns and delivering timely content based on a lead's behavior or their stage in the buying process. This strategic approach maintains lead engagement and smoothly guides them through the sales funnel toward conversion.

B2B marketing automation tools elevate lead nurturing by identifying and prioritizing high-quality leads. Through a process called lead scoring, B2B automation platforms rank leads based on their interactions and profile information. Businesses can then focus their efforts on nurturing these high-potential leads, optimizing resources, and enhancing conversion rates.

Key Strategy 2: Account-Based Marketing Automation

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach in B2B marketing where individual client accounts are viewed as unique markets. This approach allows businesses to offer highly personalized experiences, catering to the distinct needs and preferences of each account. 

B2B marketing automation platforms play a pivotal role in streamlining ABM efforts. They enable the delivery of tailored marketing campaigns to each account, unite marketing and sales efforts, and allow for easier scalability.

ABM automation platforms are also rich sources of account-specific insights. They provide a comprehensive view of each account's interactions, preferences, and potential needs. This depth of understanding allows businesses to better cater to their customers, leading to stronger and more meaningful relationships. In turn, this deepened connection fosters customer loyalty and drives long-term business growth.

Key Strategy 3: Automate Analytics and Reporting

At the heart of successful B2B marketing campaigns lie robust analytics. Automated analytics and reporting tools provide businesses with a wealth of data and insights, helping them delve deep into the efficacy of their marketing strategies. Automating analytics can make reporting more accessible to the greater team and foster a culture of efficient, data-driven decision making. 

Automated reporting software can help businesses identify which strategies are working and which aren't while saving the team hours of time. Furthermore, the analytics provided by B2B marketing automation tools can help detect emerging trends and provide a detailed understanding of customer behavior. As a result, businesses can stay ahead of the curve, adapt to changing customer preferences, and ultimately, drive growth.

Key Strategy 4: Automate Your Email Marketing Efforts

Despite the advent of numerous digital communication channels, email remains a potent force in the realm of B2B marketing. Automation significantly amplifies the effectiveness of email marketing by enabling businesses to deliver personalized emails tailored to user behavior. 

Automated email workflows (or drip campaigns) enhance relevance, boost engagement, and increase the likelihood of conversions.

Beyond personalization, automation also offers the advantage of performance tracking. By monitoring metrics such as open rates and click-through rates, businesses can gain valuable insights into their email marketing campaigns' performance. This data helps email marketers make informed decisions, refine their strategies, and optimize for better engagement and conversions. As such, email marketing, powered by automation, continues to be a cornerstone of successful B2B marketing efforts.

Key Strategy 5: Social Media Automation

Whether you're aiming to connect with individual stakeholders or an entire brand, social media is an increasingly critical component of any effective marketing strategy. B2B marketing automation tools can help businesses maintain a dynamic presence across multiple social media platforms. 

These tools alleviate the need for constant manual oversight by automating various tasks such as scheduling posts and responding to direct messages, allowing businesses to reach their audience at optimal times with consistent messaging.

Social media automation tools can also monitor audience engagement and analyze performance. By doing so, they provide a wealth of insights into the effectiveness of social media strategies. For example, you might uncover which types of posts generate the most engagement, the best times to post, and trends in follower growth and interaction. 

Consequently, social media automation not only increases efficiency but also empowers businesses to continually optimize their strategies, fostering greater engagement and expanding their reach.

Best Practices for Implementing B2B Marketing Automation

Incorporating automation into your B2B marketing strategy, while highly beneficial, requires a meticulous and strategic approach to fully reap its rewards. Follow these best practices to get the most out of your efforts.

  • Clearly define your marketing goals: Before adopting any automation tool, it's vital to have a clear understanding of your marketing goals. Are you aiming to improve lead generation, grow your social media following, or boost conversion rates? Defining these goals will not only guide the selection of the right automation tools but also help measure the effectiveness of your automation efforts.

  • Choose the right automation platform: With numerous B2B marketing automation platforms available, choosing the one that aligns with your business needs is crucial. Consider features, scalability, integration capabilities, and pricing. It's also beneficial to take advantage of any free trials or demos so you can assess their fit before making a full commitment.

  • Segment your audience for personalized marketing: One of the major advantages of automation is the ability to deliver personalized content at scale. Segment your audience based on certain criteria like behavior, role, location, and/or industry. Such segmentation enables more targeted and relevant communication, enhancing engagement and conversion rates.

  • Regularly analyze and optimize your automation strategies: Automation doesn't equate to a 'set it and forget it' approach. Regular analysis of your automation strategies is key. Monitor key metrics, identify what's working, and make adjustments. 

  • Train your team on the effective use of automation tools: The effectiveness of your automation efforts largely depends on how well your team can use the chosen tools. Plan to train your team on the functionalities of your chosen automation platform. A knowledgeable team can leverage your toolset to the fullest, driving better results for your business.

What Are the Benefits of Using B2B Marketing Automation Tools?

B2B marketing automation isn't just a tool, it's a game changer that's transforming the way businesses operate, interact with clients, and grow. With AdRoll, you can make the most of this powerful resource to enhance your team's efficiency, improve customer relationships, and drive business growth.

Learn more about how our marketing automation builder can benefit your B2B marketing initiatives today.