Are you ready for marketing automation in B2B?

Collaboration – 7 March 2013

Martine, is your company ready for marketing automation? Did you know that it’s coming back in style? If your company is located in Quebec, then it probably isn’t ready! To get marketing automation, you’ll need a CRM and, if I believe our latest study, there aren’t many B2B companies that have one. “But for starters,” Martine asked me, “what is marketing automation?”

The latest surveys of B2B companies in Quebec conducted by Exo demonstrated that 34% of companies generally use a CRM (customer relationship management software). For manufacturers, this figure drops to 16%. Using a CRM is a sine qua non condition for marketing automation. According to Sirius Decisions, the adoption of marketing automation technologies should increase to 50% by 2015.

What is marketing automation?

Far from being a new concept, marketing automation has come back in style, as the Google Trends graph demonstrates below:

According to Definitions Marketing, marketing automation can be defined as the following:

Marketing automation designates the techniques of automation that trigger marketing campaigns with hardly any human intervention. Emails are especially practical when it comes to marketing automation with message sequences capable of following the download of evaluation software, documentation requests or associated with a particular date or birthday (free translation).

Not so long ago, marketing automation systems integrated social networks, and now, they also integrate CRM tools, which bridges communication on the web (for example, an email sent automatically to a client) and communication made with clients (for example, a phone conversation about emails sent to clients by your system). 

The advantages

Ultimately, the advantages of marketing automation save time and money (and I’d say especially time; simple campaigns can turn out to be very time-consuming), but of course the possibility of maximizing business processes like lead nurturing (for example, nurturing potential clients with information via email) and calculating the ROI marketing.

According to Marketo, well-executed marketing automation technology can implement a lead nurturing program capable of bringing in twice as many sales leads at 33% the price par lead.

Barriers to marketing automation

The first barrier, and this is especially true for Quebec, is owning a well-established CRM. According to So-xperts (website in French only), the first obstacle is a lack of resources (budget and time). This is contradictory, since the goal of marketing automation is to help you save time and money. Among some of the other obstacles are a lack of technological skills, the absence of well-defined processes, an unclear offer (the concept of marketing automation is vague for many companies) and the problematic integration of CRMs.

Some examples

Martine: But, Vincent, do you know of any software specialized in marketing automation?

Me: Of course, Martine! Start by checking out these:

  • Marketo: These are well-equipped shoemakers! I constantly receive content in my inbox and it “nurtures” me abundantly via very interesting webinars, newsletters and white papers.
  • Hubspot: An integrated solution (CRM and marketing automation solutions)
  • Leadsberry: A complete solution that plans for the integration of a CRM.

So, Martine, if you have questions, I would love to answer them. Write a comment below!

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