The best way to figure out how to make marketing automation work for your B2B company is to learn from top performers, companies that have adopted marketing automation technology and have seen marked improvements in per-lead costs, customer acquisition rates, and return on marketing investments.
When looking at these top performers, as was done in this fascinating Gleanster Research study, we can learn three important tips for implementing marketing automation in a B2B company:
1. Focus on Better Leads
Of course you want more leads – don’t we all – but your focus should be on lead quality, and this is where marketing automation shines. A good marketing automation system can help you sort through the flow of prospects from Internet-based marketing activities and determine who is real, where they are in the buying process, and whether they are ready for interaction from your sales team. eTrigue’s 3-D lead scoring, for example, helps you automatically qualify potential leads by scoring each individual prospect based on their engagement with your company, demographic profile, and timing.
2. Use Marketing Automation for Customer Retention
Customer turnover can be costly. Having a strong customer retention program is a must for holding onto customers and increasing return on marketing investment. One of the most effective ways to retain important existing customers is to use marketing automation to identify and segment customers based on demographics and purchasing behavior, to determine which customers are the most valuable. Once you’ve identified your most valuable customers – and the ones most at risk of leaving – you can generate and measure customer retention campaigns, including newsletters and special offers.
3. Be Smarter About Your Marketing Spend
You shouldn’t necessarily expect to cut marketing costs after implementing marketing automation – but you should definitely expect a better return on your marketing investment, now that you’re armed with so much more information about your prospects and customers. Marketing automation increases top-line revenue not because it cuts marketing costs, but because it helps you get more bang for each marketing buck, by creating cost-effective lead generation, helping with existing customer retention, creating better conversion rates with lead nurturing, and helping your sales force be more efficient by giving them sales-ready leads.