5 Automation Tools for B2B Marketers

B2B marketers largely adopt marketing automation throughout their leads process. According to a recent Regalix study, 79 percent of global B2B marketers are implementing marketing automation. Another 2014 study by Webmarketing123 found that 55 percent of B2B marketers in the U.S. have a marketing automation system in place; in comparison, it is just 35 percent for B2C marketers.

Leads are the primary reasons behind the marketing automation adoption of B2B industry. The Regalix study tried to discover the key marketing automation objectives of B2B companies and found that most of them were implementing marketing automation tools to improve their lead nurturing and the quality of the leads as well as to increase lead generation. Some also used these tools for up-selling.

So much so about marketing automation, but what it is?

Marketing Automation: The Concept at Work

To begin with, marketing automation traces its origin to email marketing. In today's context, marketing automation is necessarily a software to allow marketers automate repetitive tasks while managing complexity, reducing human error, and measuring and optimizing their marketing efforts. It typically involves analytics, mobile marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and social media. Some marketers also add digital advertising and SEO in the mix.

In a nutshell, marketers are trying to create a tech-savvy and performance-driven marketing campaign using these automation tools. When asked about this growing trend of automation at work, Michael Georgiou, the co-founder and chief marketing officer of a leading Web Design Charlotte company, said that while the primary goals of B2B marketers is to infuse their sales pipeline with new leads, these tools serve a secondary goal as well. It is to segment and prioritize the existing lead database of the company to identify additional opportunities. Together, they are driving the popularity of these tools.

Georgiou suggests marketers to begin with a precise and well-defined content strategy before settling on a particular marketing automation tool. It is imperative to establish your goal values, identify the target audiences, and create compelling offers and content assets based on them. Chances are, you will need more than one tool as not all marketing automation solutions are same.

Automation tools have specific features and are designed to streamline certain aspects of your marketing efforts. The following are 5 marketing automation tools that B2B marketers can leverage upon.

1. InfusionSoft

InfusionSoft helps marketers harness the power of automation to turn leads into customers. It basically works across four channels such as contact organizing, customer relationship, automation and marketing. Almost all of its marketing processes and touchpoints are automated, from managing your contact to nurturing leads via email marketing.

This automation tool further streamlines the marketing workflow by allowing your sales and marketing people to engage your target audience by means of personalized and automated follow-ups. InfusionSoft not only helps B2B marketers to automate their marketing processes but also allows sales workflow automation to grow sales faster.

2. HubSpot

This one needs no introduction. One of the most popular inbound marketing software companies, HubSpot offers a marketing platform and a sales platform for automation purpose. The company helps businesses transform their outbound marketing such as email spam, cold calls, TV ads and trade shows etc. to inbound lead generation. Considering the opportunities provided by HubSpot, a large number of B2B marketers using its sales and marketing platforms to ‘get found' by potential customers organically.

HubSpot is one of the pioneers when it comes to automated digital marketing. Founded by Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and launched later in December 2007, this company gets content marketing just perfectly. And their marketing automation goes beyond email. Their marketing workflows are built around the client's marketing goals to help them nurture leads with the right content (and context) at the right time.

HubSpot understand that marketing automation is more than just sending emails to prospects and that's why they allow businesses to send score leads, internal notifications, and even personalized content to each viewer, streamlining the overall marketing efforts while providing provide relevant and contextual experience to customers.

3. Marketing Optimizer

Marketing Optimizer, as its name denotes, helps businesses optimize their marketing campaigns. It allows you to improve your campaign experience continually by generating, nurturing and managing leads to increase conversion rates. Better yet, you can integrate Marketing Optimizer with popular website testing, landing page optimization solutions and web analytics in order to conduct actionable A/B testing.

That's not all, this marketing automation tool comes with a patent-pending call tracking feature, using which you can integrate your calls with web analytics software. From sending out a brochure to moving your leads through the sales pipeline, Marketing Optimizer does it all, keeping everyone in the loop.

4. Pardot

Pardot is a salesforce.com Company. A B2B Marketing Automation suite, this tool is easy to use and is designed to help marketers maximize their efficiency in order to improve ROI. By blending lead scoring and grading, Pardot helps you to target you ideal customer profile.

The lead management software from Pardot features email marketing, CRM integration, lead nurturing and scoring, lead grading, ROI reporting, and social posting to allow your sales and marketing team to work in perfect collaboration to generate quality leads and qualify them through the sales funnel.

In a nutshell, this tool aims to shorten your sales cycles apart from demonstrating marketing accountability. Pardot was founded in 2007 by Adam Blitzer and David Cummings. Before becoming a Salesforce company in 2013, Pardot was acquired by Exact Target in 2012.

5. Marketo

A complete marketing platform, Marketo is powerful and easy to use. It comes with a myriad features to help marketers connect with their target audience, improve marketing accountability and drive revenue.

Marketo, for instance, features drip marketing abilities which make it easier for marketers to begin their campaign and upgrade to more sophisticated approaches. This incremental approach to digital marketing is one of the most interesting features of Marketo.

One advantage of adopting such incremental approach is that it will not only minimize work but also allows marketers to focus on strategy rather than wasting time on the mechanics and technical aspects of a campaign. This is an optimal route for small businesses, allowing them to scale their campaigns according to the available resources and budgets.

Conclusion

There are several other marketing automation tools apart from those mentioned here, although this list comprises of some of the leading marketing automation players. These tools are designed to help B2B marketers build a strong foundation with A/B testing, lead forms, lead scoring, landing pages, and lead nurturing via emails and social sharing.

What marketing automation tools are you using to drive your revenue?