Six B2B industries that should be leveraging marketing automation

It goes without saying that marketing automation software can benefit a range of businesses across a multitude of industries from tech to ecommerce. Here are six of the less obvious B2B industries that have a clear opportunity to get ROI out of marketing automation.

The industries that can transform digital marketing using automation are:

  1. Non-for-profits.
  2. Manufacturing.
  3. Financial services.
  4. Recruitment.
  5. Business services.
  6. Communications.

Ultimately, should enough businesses in these sectors adopt and prioritise marketing automation, entire industries can become more competitive!

1. Non-for-profits

For non-profit organisations, maximising spend, time and effort is paramount — especially when marketing investment is funded by donations and grants. 

Marketing automation software can help drive key business initiatives such as fundraising, volunteer recruitment and event marketing. Across each of these objectives, marketers can not only put in place more efficient marketing, but they can report more easily on it too.

Here are a couple of use cases:

  • Triggered donation requests. Many non-for-profits send scheduled fundraising emails as part of pre-planned campaigns. While this may be effective, it falls short of reacting to the behaviour of new or existing donors who may be considering donating at other times. Marketing automation software should be integrated with the website and when a potential donor visits the site, this will trigger an email based on the content they viewed, prompting them to donate in their cause of interest.
  • Uncover volunteers within your database. Finding and retaining volunteers is no easy task, and this is where marketing automation can make life easier. Using features like grading and scoring, organisations can uncover potential volunteers who are already highly engaged with content or who already donate. Surface your NFP’s top fans and automate a volunteer invitation.

2. Manufacturing

B2B manufacturers have a unique sales cycle that often involves selling via distributors and resellers. The sector is known for utilising offline channels, such as trade shows and exhibitions.Because of this, you might be mistaken for thinking marketing automation is less relevant.

In reality, marketing automation is perfect for manufacturers, as it enables them to:

  • Implement an account-based marketing strategy for ‘dream’ distributors.
  • Focus on upselling to existing partners.
  • Automate the communication of core product and brand USPs.
  • Report on offline performance by integrating with online activity.

Let’s say a manufacturing company has a sales rep who visits trade shows around the country. While at these trade shows, they chat with prospects and at the same time, scan their business cards directly into their central marketing automation system. With a nurture process already set up, the prospect is immediately enrolled into a sequence of follow-up comms.

Beats the traditional method of taking a business card and manually sending an email days later, right?

3. Financial services

At a time where digital is bringing about financial services commoditisation, the best way to stand out against competitors is with highly personalised and relevant marketing.

It’s all about winning the trust and loyalty of your audience but in the financial services world, confusing systems, inefficient processes and stretched internal teams can prevent this from happening. This is where marketing automation software comes in. 

With a solid marketing strategy and a great system to automate this, finserv companies can ensure the best segmentation, targeted comms and personalised service. Not only this, but they can also measure it and attribute marketing efforts directly to ROI.

For businesses that market to both borrowers and investors, as an example, sending the right communications at the right time to build and maintain relationships is the difference between winning or losing a significant deal. Marketing automation can reduce the manual elements of this and ensure you only send tailored messages that resonate with the decision makers at the crucial time that the prospect is looking for such information.

4. Recruitment

Constantly juggling candidates and clients and with an eye on targets at all times isn’t easy, most recruiters use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to manage their processes. However, marketing automation software can integrate perfectly with an ATS, to simplify things even further.

It can help to:

  • Find recruitment opportunities (without hours spent scouring job boards).
  • Send timely emails to candidates and employers.
  • Trigger nurture comms and follow ups based on employer engagement.
  • Understand candidates better and what they’re skilled at based on the resources they download or the searches they run on your site.

There are plenty more opportunities for recruiters using marketing automation too, these are just a selection for starters!

5. Business services

For those offering business services, it’s typical to see a long sales cycle. This means it’s essential to maintain contact, stay front of mind, and make every interaction as tailored as possible to ultimately win the deal.

Lead generation and lead nurture are therefore massively important, and these are the very objectives of marketing automation platforms.

Hand-in-hand with content marketing strategy and sophisticated email approaches, those in the business services industry can use marketing automation to deliver dynamic, personalised, real-time content to multiple decision-makers, swaying them to your brand over another.

Lead scoring is a massive advantage here, helping to ensure sales teams know when a lead is sales-ready and when to strike while the iron is hot.

6. Communications

The communications industry needs to practice what it preaches: swift, streamlined communication as and when the audience needs it. A great CRM and automation software is the only way to do this and seamless integration between the two is vital.

Using data and interactions on your website or service platform, it’s possible to automate tailored messaging that retains business and ensures a positive CSAT score. 

It’s not just about attracting new customers either. In a competitive industry, marketing automation platforms can help to flag those likely to leave for another provider. For example, using signals like number of logins to the customer portal, last invoice, monthly usage and satisfaction ratings. This allows you to trigger retention programs and win back that potential loss.

We’ve just scratched the surface…

The use cases and examples I’ve shared here are ideas to help those within these industries understand and get excited about marketing automation within their company. There’s so much potential. I could write an independent article for each industry. But for now, you get the point. If you’re in the non-for-profit, manufacturing, financial services, recruitment, business services, or communications space -marketing automation software is a must.

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