6 B2B Marketing Automations Every Business Needs in 2023
We walk through some cutting-edge automations that are transforming B2B marketing.
What are B2B marketing automations?
B2B marketing automations are workflows that target users for marketing campaigns based on predetermined criteria, such as a tool that automatically sends a user a welcome email when they sign up for an account. Marketers apply these automations to reduce time spent on manual and routine tasks, like sending emails and triggering social media ads. B2B companies can also increase sales productivity by automating and speeding up lead management.
To implement B2B marketing automations, you need to:
Define and track trigger events, like a customer signing up for an account.
Create marketing workflows and corresponding content for each trigger event, which you can further refine by audience segment.
Set up the workflows and content using a data platform and marketing automation software.
Why automation is essential for marketers in 2023
With the looming demise of cookie-based advertising, first-party data has come to play a more important role in marketing strategies in 2023. But this requires a significant shift in your day-to-day life as a marketer: you’re now spending more time identifying first-party data sources and figuring out how to access, analyze, and use all this information to reach your target audience, engage customers, and improve profits.
The great news is there’s a way to automate a lot of these processes. You can use customer data platforms (CDPs) and cloud-based CRMs to automate multi-channel data collection and validation, as well as the creation of unified profiles based on customer data from various sources. With app integrations, CDPs and CRMs let you create automated workflows that involve multiple marketing tools and channels.
At the same time, marketers need to meet increasing customer expectations of a personalized experience. Automation lets you implement personalization at scale. Since workflows come with specific rules and criteria, you can run marketing activities tailored to different customer segments or to meet specific customer needs.
6 B2B marketing automation examples
1. Audience segmentation
You define audience segments based on similar traits and behavior, so you can create contextual campaigns tailored to each segment’s goals, problems, strategic value, and intent to convert.
Connect your CDP to B2B marketing tools, so you don’t have to build the same segmentation criteria over and over again in each piece of software you use.
For example, here’s how you would create an audience segment of your highest-value customers and grant them access to your premium loyalty program.
Set criteria for identifying customers as top-value. These can be customers who pay a minimum amount per month for a SaaS product or enterprises within a certain vertical.
Based on this data, create a workflow that automatically designates a customer as top-value. You can deploy this workflow in a marketing analytics tool or in a CDP. For example, a company that has been using your software for a year might upgrade to an enterprise plan that meets your minimum monthly spend criteria for premium members.
Create workflows to inform customers in this audience segment that they qualify for the premium loyalty program, automatically enroll them, and send them content on exclusive perks and events.
2. Cross-channel attribution
People interact with your business at different touchpoints – think social media ads, media articles, your blog – before they become your customers. For B2B businesses with long sales cycles, weeks or months can pass between each touchpoint.
That doesn’t necessarily make an earlier interaction less important than a more recent one. It also means that while conversion may take place on one channel (like a website), interactions on other channels will have influenced the conversion.
That’s why it’s important to have a tool that can attribute conversion to interactions across multiple channels based on your attribution model. (At Twilio Segment, we recommend multi-touch attribution. Learn why in our Guide to Multi-Touch Attribution: What It Is and How to Do It.)
To give conversion credit where it’s due, you would:
Connect all of your customer engagement tools to a CDP like Twilio Segment, then clean, validate, and unify the data.
Send the data to an attribution tool like Dreamdata. Dreamdata shows you the channels and pages that a customer interacted with before taking actions that have value to your business (also known as “conversion events”), such as signing up for a demo or completing a purchase. It lets you see the role each channel plays in the customer journey through several attribution models.
3. Customer data unification
You need a single customer view to discover and understand a customer’s journey with your business. For example, let’s say a customer signs up for an online account for an office supply retailer using their personal email address. Your CDP then spots the same email on your CRM database from when this customer shopped at a physical store. What’s more, the CDP reveals that this customer used a membership card registered to their business (let’s call it Acme Incorporated).
You (and/or your CDP) would:
Unify the data you have from both physical and digital channels into a single customer view.
Add this person to your profile of Acme Incorporated.
The end result is a profile that stitches together disparate, multi-channel data about the customer. Your CDP automatically updates this profile in real time whenever that customer interacts with your business.
4. Lead qualification and nurturing
Lead qualification means evaluating potential customers based on how likely they are to buy your product or service. You want to nurture people or businesses that qualify as leads.
Let’s say someone signs up for your webinar and gives you details like their email address, company name, job, and industry. An automated lead qualification and scoring software like Freshsales would:
Identify whether or not that person qualifies as a lead for a market segment.
Use a lead-scoring AI to estimate that person’s likelihood of conversion based on their interactions with your business.
Based on those qualifications, trigger an automated lead nurturing workflow, recommending content and events that may help move the lead further down the sales and marketing funnel.
5. On-page event tracking
In analytics, an “event” means any interaction a person takes with your product, app, or website. You track on-page events to understand user experience – for instance, what part of your SaaS product users spend more time on, what they do, and what button tends to trigger rage clicks. On-page tracking also helps you send relevant messages, like a purchase confirmation.
Websites typically use Google Analytics to automate on-page event tracking as well as CDPs to track more minute actions.
Examples of events include:
Watching a video
Downloading a file
Filling out a form
Adding an item to a shopping cart
6. Live chat
Some situations call for the immediacy of live chat. A customer has a problem that needs to be solved ASAP, or a high-intent lead needs to find a product.
Use a tool like Olark to send automated live chat messages based on user behavior. For example, if someone arrived at your office rental website after googling “co-working spaces for big companies,” launch a chatbot that offers help with finding potential spaces.
Why CDPs are the ultimate platform for B2B marketing automation
At the heart of these B2B marketing automation examples is data – collected from customer interactions and cleaned, validated, and unified to provide a single customer view. CDPs do all that and more. They also connect with hundreds of data sources and marketing tools, so you can orchestrate multi-channel, multi-platform campaigns from a single platform.
CDPs like Twilio Segment help you accurately identify customers who meet workflow criteria by updating your customer segments in real time across all your marketing channels and software.
Interested in hearing more about how Segment can help you?
Connect with a Segment expert who can share more about what Segment can do for you.