Marketing Automation Platforms: What You Need to Know

August, 2021
Marketing Automation Platforms: What You Need to Know

Marketing technology investments remain a top priority for companies across the board as they seek to satisfy growing expectations for customisation.

Gartner noticed that practitioners are putting marketing technology (martech) over other resources (agencies/services, paid advertising, and labour).

Without question, there remains a considerable need for marketing technology to gather, verify, and analyse fast-expanding quantities of consumer data to enhance the customer experience (CX).

In the B2B world, this marketing technology is often referred to as Marketing Automation Platforms.

What Are Marketing Automation Platforms?

A marketing automation platform is a foundation for any marketing operation required by modern businesses. A fellow B2B marketer can decide what platform to use based on numerous factors, such as company size, budget, and the team's digital marketing capabilities.

Several marketing automation platforms initially started from email marketing, which happens to be an integral part of the system.

From there on, these platforms have developed a series of features to support this essential function, with capabilities like account-based marketing (ABM) tools, lead management, open architecture, and predictive analytics.

With the popularity of marketing automation platforms, users have recently become even more aware of technology and developed their marketing abilities. As a result, marketing has become a realm that is tech- and data-centric.

And with the right marketing automation platform, these marketers can clean, assess, and utilise their data to grow the business.

Related Article: A Quick Overview of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

B2B Marketing Automation Platform Features

A B2B marketing automation platform should have the essentials of email campaign development, landing page creation, and tools to capture, score, and nurture leads.

More often than not, marketing automation platforms have features like a centralised marketing database, a basic level of reporting on web traffic, visitor behaviour and campaign results. Altogether, you'll find that the core features of the marketing automation platform include:

  • Email marketing creation
  • Landing page development
  • Lead management (i.e., capture, scoring and nurturing)
  • Native CRM integration
  • APIs or app marketplaces for faster martech system access.

With the need for a marketing automation platform on the rise, B2B marketers require more advanced functionalities to contribute to bottom-line return.

These include capabilities that allow marketers to create omni channel campaigns and track them and oversee the flow of leads from Marketing to Sales.

We see a rise in advanced marketing automation platform features, such as:

  • Dynamic content creation (email, landing pages and website);
  • Email deliverability tools;
  • Account-based marketing (ABM);
  • Mobile marketing;
  • AI-based predictive analytics; and
  • Social/lead profile integration.

Dynamic content creation

B2B marketers are demanding integrated marketing capabilities that swiftly convert into bottom-line value.

Almost every marketing automation software allows you to design, deliver, and track customised emails. However, their content creation and personalisation methods vary. Likewise, vendors differ in their approach to campaign design and content creation.

There are significant distinctions between static and dynamic content, which changes when visitors interact with a website or form. Progressive profiling is frequently used to pre-fill forms with known data and collect more prospect data as they engage with campaigns.

Message deliverability is also essential. Some B2B marketing automation companies offer dedicated IP addresses and check deliverability via their or partner services. In addition, email previewing is a sophisticated feature that allows marketers to see how their message will appear on mobile devices.

Social/lead profile integration

These features are available in most of the B2B marketing automation platforms reviewed in this research. In addition, some systems provide sophisticated social media monitoring tools that track social media activity and add it to lead profiles, typically as a score component. Other platforms also support social networking sign-on.

Proactive recommendations based on AI

Many martech providers, particularly B2B marketing automation suppliers, strive to improve workflow for marketers using their platform. Therefore, proactive recommendations or ideas for following optimal actions based on aggregated data and previous use patterns are emphasised.

Native CRM integration

Native or out-of-the-box connectivity with CRM systems has become a key feature for B2B marketing automation solutions. Standard connections include Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle NetSuite, and SugarCRM.

Data is synced and exchanged frequently between the two systems. For example, a salesperson may enter data into a CRM account record, and it will immediately be uploaded to the marketing automation platform for marketing end-users to see and act on.

Third-party software connectivity

APIs and app marketplaces enable B2B marketing automation providers to connect their platforms to a wide range of third-party martech systems. The app markets offer quicker "plug-and-play" across platforms but may charge extra costs.

If the desired martech software isn't accessible in a marketing automation vendor's marketplace, it implies some modification is needed. In addition, it costs extra to utilise APIs, usually per call or download.

Benefits of Using Marketing Automation Platforms

1. Increased marketing efficiency

Save time and money by automating routine-based tasks such as content management, lead nurturing, data hygiene (duplicate or inconsistent data across silos), campaign planning and execution.

2. Generate quality leads

Enhance your ability to generate more qualified leads. Marketing automation can use a lead scoring system and demographic, firmographic, and behavioural data (pages visited, downloads, forms filled) to generate and qualify sales-qualified leads.

3. Omnichannel visibility of prospects’ behaviours

Today's marketing automation solutions integrate numerous channels and devices – including social media and mobile – to build more complete prospect profiles and holistic insights into prospect behaviour.

4. Align your sales and marketing goals easily

Marketing automation software may assist sales representatives deal with sales-ready prospects. Sales and marketing join forces as they collaborate on scoring criteria and qualifying leads. Marketing nurtures early-stage leads so sales can concentrate on the most qualified.Boost lead conversion and ROI.

5. Boost lead conversion and ROI

Using a marketing automation system has been proven to boost conversions. According to Forrester, marketing automation increases B2B marketers' sales funnel contribution by 10%.

In addition, according to Nucleus Research, marketing automation may boost sales productivity by 15% while lowering marketing expenses by 12%.

We’d love to show how your team can unlock insights to strategic decisions that’ll grow your business. To know more about Marketing Automation Platforms, feel free to reach out to us.

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