By looking at real messages and concrete examples of situations experienced by B2B companies, we were able to get an overview of the criteria that make a tool a good, or even an excellent choice, depending on what the B2B company wants to achieve: Lead generation and retention, development of existing accounts, e-commerce, etc.
Here is the presentation (in French), for those who weren’t able to attend:
The presentation aimed to equip sales and marketing managers with the knowledge to choose the right marketing automation and email marketing tool.
Still, having the right tool is only one component of a successful marketing automation strategy.
To create a customer experience that generates meaningful results in a specific context, companies need to ask themselves several questions. To help, we prepared the little guide below.
1. What goals will marketing automation achieve?
Establishing specific goals will allow you to set priorities and better select the campaigns that will make a significant difference in a particular context. Automation tools are specialized and don’t all have the same strengths. Additionally, having goals will allow you to create an appropriate structure for the use of these tools.
2. What accounts should be prioritized?
Marketing automation is more suited to some accounts than others. Companies that know the value of their customers (and their profitability) can use variables like the average value of an opportunity (or a shopping cart), conversion rate, and cost per acquisition to identify situations where automation will be the biggest help in developing accounts.
3. What customer profiles or personas are most likely to be interested?
The people consuming content on a site are not always the same people who will use the product or service, or who will make the decision to buy or place the online order. That’s why it’s essential to identify who the automated campaigns should be addressing, how you can get contact information for each profile, and what their interests and expectations are.
4. Which key moments in the customer purchase cycle are most valuable?
Listing all the key moments a customer will experience throughout the purchase cycle will allow you to identify the situations where making contact might generate value. At times, reaching out with a simple, specific message at an unexpected time will result in unwavering commitment to your brand.
5. What offer, what messages, and what attitude do we want to convey?
Marketing automation allows you to respond at key moments of the customer journey, provided you are intervening in a relevant way. Automated doesn’t mean robotic: The subject, the sender and the tone of each message should align naturally with the moment the customer just experienced.
6. How can we personalize and optimize our messages?
The tools offer an infinite number of possibilities for automation, which only makes it easier to get lost. In addition, advertisers owe it to themselves to think about the interactions they want to encourage, to explore and be inspired by the range of possible tools, and to test various versions and approaches in a process of continual learning.
7. What landing pages will the automation drive to?
The messages you send should be treated as just a first step towards eventual greater engagement. The links included in these messages should lead to landing pages themed around the same key moments, in order to deliver on the value promised in the messages.
8. How does our automation line up with our website?
Marketing automation tools offer several ways to utilize your website traffic to both get new contacts and understand them better, for example by tracking the products or services they look at. Integrating marketing automation with a company’s CMS or e-commerce platform can save a lot of time.
9. Does our automation integrate with our other sales and marketing efforts?
A contact’s key moments generally happen in several places: On a site, with a representative, in a branch, during a service call, etc. In an omnichannel world, automation should take all of an account’s activity into account, and coordinate harmoniously with the company’s other points of contact.
10. How will we manage automation?
It’s easy to try out a new technology, but adopting it in a sustained and systematic way is more difficult. Sometimes, a simple campaign needs to be rolled out in multiple ways to respect the organization’s practices. Thinking of all the players who might be influenced by automated campaigns will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises and guarantee the engagement of key stakeholders in the organization.