When a business starts off there are a limited number of prospects it can target. When the customers and prospects of a business are other companies, then this number is even smaller. As the business grows, the B2B Marketing efforts slowly increase. More prospects need to be targeted, and the pool of existing customers also grows bigger. The complexity and product range of the business might also grow, leading to more involved B2B Marketing efforts. But for a business, especially in these growing years, resources are usually limited. It becomes more and more difficult for the business to find the time and people to work on their B2B Data and work on the pipeline. That is when it becomes very convenient to bring in a touch of automation to these B2B Marketing efforts.
1. Marketing Automation defined
At a very broad level, automation is defined as a process by which an apparatus or a system operates independently and automatically to produce and/or deliver products or services on time. In the specific context of B2B marketing, Marketing Automation refers to a streamlining of marketing tasks and workflows to improve the efficiency of marketing operations and to generate revenue faster.
Advantages of marketing automation
The first and immediate benefit of implementing a marketing automation tool is that it helps to cap staffing costs. A number of routine (yet important) activities can be handled by the marketing automation tool without having to hire additional people for it.
Marketing automation can reduce human errors and misses, and can help you use your B2B Database more efficiently. It also frees up the promoters and employees of your organization from the repetitive and monotonous jobs, and allows them to make more creative and productive use of their time.
Having read so far, you might be led to believe that marketing automation is the panacea for all ills for an organization. But the case is not so black and white. There could be some demerits in the use of marketing automation as well. When you hand over specific tasks (like sending emails) to your marketing automation software, you lose the ability or scope of applying human judgment. Whatever the trigger for those mails is, your tool will shoot off those messages. This could lead to some overkill and monotony, which could have been avoided if you were deciding the frequency and content every time.
2. How to ensure success with marketing automation
Having looked at some pros and cons, it is now time to discuss a few things you should surely do when you decide to go in for a marketing software or tool. It is advisable to start slow. Of all the marketing tasks that your team was doing, start by doing one or two using marketing automation.
Watch the results for six months, make necessary changes, and then start moving all the other processes to automation. It is not a bright idea to go rushing in with all guns blazing. A smart company which moves to marketing automation will also keep a few manual checks and balances in place for firefighting if something goes wrong.