Marketing automation represents a golden opportunity for business development: Companies that have implemented a marketing automation device increase their average commercial pipeline by 10% according to Forrester.
Skeptics would tend to think that marketing automation looks more or less like a dehumanized, and therefore remote, relationship. Yet, coupled with a well-targeted content strategy, the approach can be very appreciated and can feed the relationship with your prospects.
Automating does not mean disembodied, quite the opposite.
This involves reflecting on the type of approach that will create customer satisfaction through the right content, sent at the right time.
In a way, marketing automation makes it possible to personalize the customer journey, rather than delivering the same standardized experience to everyone.
This is also the priority of marketers in this area, as 68.5% of them see marketing automation as a lever for improving the targeting of messages and 46% of them to improve the client experience.
It is not for nothing that email personalization is the # 1 priority of email marketing strategies in 2018. According to Litmus, the 3 most important priorities are:
- Boost the level of customization of emails
- Increase the use of automated emails
- Do more A / B test on emails
It is also proven that the more personalized the communication and its content, the more effective they are towards the prospect.
Indeed, personalized email campaigns allow a conversion rate 6 times higher.
However, 55% of companies have not yet launched into marketing automation due to lack of sufficient knowledge and 48% lack of human resources.
To help you get rid of all the search work and accelerate your takeover of marketing automation, let’s take a look at 15 B2B examples ready to be deployed.
Customizing the customer journey, the starting point of automated marketing
When planning and deploying a B2B marketing automation campaign, the work to be done will be very different from a B2C approach. The relationship model is different, the prospecting approach is different, the buying phases are not the same (they are much longer cycles) and it is not rare to be faced not with a decision-maker but to a group of interlocutors.
This is why taking into account the customer journey is one of the most important factors.
If you are used to this blog, you know that we put the customer at the heart of our marketing devices.
You have not yet determined and formalized your ideal client? Go to the method to make a Buyer Persona before continuing.
In general, 3 major phases are to be considered:
- Discovery phase: the customer becomes aware of his problem; he will learn to find solutions to solve it;
- Consideration phase: the client knows how to give a name to his problem and compares the different solutions available to him;
- Decision phase: the customer has chosen the solution he wants to use and makes sure of his choice (customer opinion, price, time …)
Although these phases follow and succeed each other, it happens in real life that the journey of a customer is not so linear in these successive stages.
This vision makes it possible to break down the course in a schematic way in a frame that helps to identify the levers of reflection and influence of a client.
Marketing automation will accompany the contact at each stage of his career, in order to move from one phase to another.
Automation in phase “Discovery”
Each process is composed of: a trigger, an automatic action, and a delay between these two events.
Example 1 – The Obvious Interest of a Visitor
The first example is a spontaneous visitor who visits your website. To demonstrate an interest in your content, it is possible to select a duration of the visit (greater than 1 minute for example) and the number of the page he has consulted (3 pages for example). Here we can identify that the visitor is interested in the subject of social networks. This is a “hot” contact so the time to recontact must be short (30 minutes). We send him an email to engage him, inviting him to follow us on social networks.
It is also possible to identify a person who has been to your website 5 times in a short space of time. The latter can be placed in a list of “Advocate” contacts, i.e. possible ambassadors of your brand or in any case priority contacts to be processed.
Technically, how is it possible to identify a single visitor? Thanks to an IP address or a session, a user can be traced even before you have collected information about him (as long as he accepts your cookies).
Example 2 – Following your form
In this second case, you have been able to collect information beforehand. The visitor has shown interest in your business by filling out your contact form. You now have information like an email and/or a phone number. The marketing automation scenario is then to add it to your prospect list, send him an email immediately to thank him for his interest. A prospect, the challenge will be to offer him an appointment with a “contact email”. Personalize it thanks to the interests that you will have indicated in the form of contact. If he refuses the appointment, you can integrate it to the recipients of your newsletter.
Example 3 – Offer an E-book or a Free Video
A classic that has proven itself in inbound marketing strategies: the white paper or the free video!
The process consists of sending quality content to a visitor wishing to deepen a subject. Thus, the first contact is not purely commercial. Sending data and content allows you to create a privileged link with your prospect. This reinforces your credibility and will bring it more easily to the consideration stage. The second point of contact to trigger is an email to invite the user to use your solution (demo or immediate subscription).
Example 4 – Internally, transform the data into lead
Behind the relationship marketing scenarios that we describe, there are also commercial prospecting scenarios, which are essential for the coherence of the lead management process. For example, the marketing automation software immediately detects when a prospect provides information such as their phone number. This data is valuable because we know that 95% of SMS are open. It is also the ideal point of contact to engage in the relationship. The Account Manager is immediately informed by SMS that he has a new sales lead to contact again.
Automation in phase “Consideration”
In the consideration phase, your visitor knows your company or product and will compare it to competing solutions. He will also question the seriousness of your company, your quality of service and your reputation.
Example 5 – Subscription to your Newsletter
Signing up for a newsletter is a strong sign of curiosity from a potential prospect for your service or product. The latter must, therefore, be treated accordingly. Give him a tailor-made journey by thanking him, asking him about his needs or interests, then giving him the opportunity to personalize the content he will receive from you. With this information, the marketing automation software can automatically schedule the sending of newsletters with appropriate content, frequency and ideal reception time. (For example, a senior executive will look more closely at your Template 5 newsletter which contains only news headlines – because it has little time and wants to select topics to dig – on Tuesdays at 7 pm).
Example 6 – The invitation to follow your Webinar
To be informed, your target decision-makers increasingly opt for the format of webinars. This condensed information often replaces 10 demos and physical trips for your sales representatives. However, the remote meeting is less sacred than the physical meeting. The challenge of the marketing automation scenario is then to confirm the registration to your participant, remind him several times his appointment before the day, solicit him by SMS a few minutes before the start, then thank him and commit to subscribing post-event.
Example 7 – Internally, do not miss a deal
The challenge of marketing automation is not just external to prospects or customers. Its virtues are also internal to help your employees in their organization and the concentration of their efforts on prospects considered close to the transformation. An extremely basic example is to transform the receipt of an email from a prospect whose contract is in speaking, in “task” for the responsible customer, is a reminder to respond quickly to this solicitation.
Example 8 – Internally, exploit the lead scoring
Still in the “invisible” tasks for your prospect, here is the marketing automation process of lead scoring. The latter is composed of:
- A trigger: your prospect has just clicked on a link in your email
- An action: this behavior increments 15 points in its “score”.
The more his behavior shows an interest in your product, the more his score increases, the more his prioritization in contacts “close to the deal” becomes important.
Example 9 – Make “mature” your prospect through lead nurturing
In the consideration phase, lead nurturing techniques are very effective to stay in touch with your prospect. For example, if he has just downloaded your e-book, send him a series of emails each week, selected according to the theme of the e-book. After a few weeks, offer him a second e-book for free. Then, depending on his reaction, create a new stream of thematic emails.
Example 10 – Registering for a company show
Business shows are key relational moments with your prospects. A campaign deserves to be dedicated to this event to treat it:
- UPSTREAM: by email, thank the person for his registration, provide information about the place, how to find you, the program, etc…
- DURING: the day or the day before, with an SMS reminding him of your presence and inviting him for a coffee
- AFTER: by sending him an email containing enriched content that he can distribute internally as a summary video of the event for example (with your branding).
Automation in phase “Decision”
The third decisive phase of maturation of a prospect is that of the decision. All the purpose of previous campaigns is to bring as many contacts as possible to this stage. Here, the human accompaniment plays all its role insofar as the contact is very qualified.
Example 11 – Convincing in a demo and proposing a trial version
To optimize the time of your demonstration, you can set up a marketing automation scenario like the one used for the webinar. The special feature is to customize the speech for this meeting in one-to-one and adapt your demo to the customer’s need. This can be done by automatically sending a quick post-registration form to ask about his expectations. After the demonstration, it is customary to offer a trial version of the product or service to further engage the prospect. Or, recontact him on the date of the decision he has given you. Here the process is strongly related to the enrichment of these data in a CRM for example.
Example 12 – Boosting the use by the Upgrade
The logical continuation of your “Demo” campaign is naturally that of “Upgrade”. Indeed, the purpose of the trial versions and indeed to bring the customer to a version of your product or service pay and sustainable use. To do this, identify a contact who has seen information about your paid offers, and send him the next day a discount on the formula that interested him. Relaunch it a few days later with a sense of urgency: “You still do not have your professional version? “.
Example 13 – Boost your campaign by virality and couponing
This campaign targets viral recommendation. The hosting service giants like Airbnb or Booking, for example, have been exploiting it for a long time. However, these mechanisms are also acclaimed in B2B. For example, value a prospect or client who will share your event (Webinar, Trade Show, Corporate Breakfast) by automatically sending him a discount coupon or a service offered for his own needs.
Example 14 – So close to the goal … Basket abandonment
This well-known e-commerce scenario can be daunting in your sales cycle. This is to relaunch a person whose subscription or purchase path was interrupted at the time of the basket. By knowing the product or service that he “failed” to buy, you can completely personalize your message about its benefits and even offer him a targeted discount.
Example 15: You!
Do you want more? Each marketing automation scenario can be imagined according to your own sales journey. Start with the so-called “classic” automation scenarios that we have just presented to you. When you have taken control of your tool, you can imagine and design more complex campaigns designed according to the needs of your company.
To conclude, after the conversion step, the work does not stop there. The steps of onboarding, for example, are key moments not to be missed. Marketing automation scenarios will serve you throughout your customer value and customer relationship to help your teams become more efficient and improve your customer satisfaction.