Given the amount of B2B marketing tools available and the always-on nature of work, marketers have been scrambling to adapt and evolve in order to meet prospects and customers across a dizzying number of channels.
As customers and targets slip away from the famed and fabled funnel, the consumerization of B2B buyers is more apparent than ever. Quite simply, the experience economy requires a nonlinear approach to engage targets across the digital sphere.
So, with competing sources of information everywhere and multiple decision makers weighing in, what’s a B2B business to do?
Gonna need a new toolbox: Automating success
Marketing automation tools just may be the answer to B2B marketers’ dreams. When thinking about these types of platforms, it’s helpful to be reminded of exactly what automation can do for an organization.
Of course the expectation is that these wonder-products can and will streamline processes, provide analytics, plan, coordinate, and manage tasks. The solutions available can address almost any marketing quandary, so whether a company is looking for comprehensive software or various stand alone products there are loads of options.
Let’s look at a few areas that automation tools can be very helpful.
B2B marketing tools help guide the buyers journey
With over 90% of B2B buyers researching online before contacting someone to make a purchase, it’s critical that the B2B customer journey is thoroughly considered and mapped out to engage your target audience. Following are some of the points where B2B marketing tools that are automated can assist.
1. Content strategy
Excellent content is key to crafting a positive CX. While it may seem obvious that having a content strategy for your organization is necessary, not everyone has one in place.
Of course, not all content marketing functions can or should be automated, but there are quite a few tools that can really help a business engage. Whether it’s finding the most popular channels to broadcast your content, keeping track of competitors’ rising content, proofreading or analytics, there’s most probably a scalable solution for your business.
Your content and branding teams have likely spent a lot of time and energy working on messaging to engage and advise B2B buyers, and now you need ROI. The best way to prove the value of your content is to make sure it’s ranking at the top of search pages so that you’re driving highly-qualified traffic.
To optimize your content and sites, you might need a tool that can help analyze keyword searches and backlinks, track rankings, and study competitors.
3. Social media
Does your business have its hands full with social media? Of course! You’re there because that’s where so many buyers are.
Deciding when, what, and how often to publish content across multiple channels is crucial to engaging your audience.
Your company may be using desktop or portable device apps to accomplish these tasks, but might be better suited to an all-in-one tool that can automate social media posting. In one spot you can load, schedule, and analyze post performance so you not only save time, but also get a snapshot view of what’s working (or not).
B2B relationship management can often be more complex than in the B2C sphere. For a long time, it seemed that B2B CRM was contact-based and sales were more rational. However, as buyers morph and merge into similar profiles, companies need similar products to boost sales and enhance the customer experience.
There is a wide breadth of B2B marketing tools and solutions to help understand and fulfill the customers’ needs at every stage of the sales cycle.
Team members can load client or target details to a database, get reminders of important contact or meetings, and prioritize activities. The company then retains each piece of client information and pulls from it as needed.
5. Help with ABM
Maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that ABM is for you, and need a place to spread out as the marketing role expands to reach your B2B buyers on their twisting and turning road from awareness to advocacy.
Likely you need a platform to help plan, execute, and maybe most importantly, measure your marketing activities. B2B marketers are collaborating with other divisions in the org to engage the new business consumer. From email marketing to lead generation to orchestrating the entire buying experience, a full service product may be just the ticket.
Are we there yet?
We are! There’s zero doubt that the B2B experience is changing in many ways. The good news is that organizations have a lot of great material to draw from, and a ton of amazing resources to draw on to provide touch-points for buyers traversing along the path to purchase.
What’s better than that? Well…maybe turning them into powerful brand advocates! For today, though, we’ll settle for the sale. Now, go investigate which B2B marketing tools best fit your organization.