Marketers: Check Out These Hot B2B Marketing Automation Trends

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a powerful tool that streamlines repetitive actions that marketers take to connect with prospects and customers. Here are five marketing automation trends to watch and integrate into your strategy this year.

Marketers understand the benefits of marketing automation. Sending emails, using social media, and many other tasks are made easier through this type of software. But it’s not just about making routine jobs more streamlined; it’s about multiplying the results.

Marketers report twice as many leads using automation as compared with using simple email-blast software. And the success that this technology brings is fueling growth, with the marketing automation industry expected to reach an all-time high of $8.6 billion by the year 2025. But with so much growth, what can marketers expect in the coming months?

A deeper dive is being taken into understanding user behavior and personalization.

Marketing automation is an amazing tool that streamlines mundane tasks, but many marketers are also using this technology to forge more authentic relationships with their customers. The majority of prospects, 75 percent, report they’re more likely to purchase from a company that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on previous purchases, or knows their purchase history. Now more than ever customers want to feel truly known by brands.

For example, account-based marketing allows companies to focus campaigns on very specific prospects who are identified ahead of time. Take Computer Sciences Corporation, which provides information technology and professional services. Using marketing automation, the company built various ad campaigns that were tactically designed to target — and then retarget — specific accounts, using strategically developed content across a variety of channels. Overall, this campaign led to a 58 percent increase in page views and moved more prospects along the sales cycle.

The role of marketing automation in creating these types of personalized experiences will be even more important in the future. Marketers can get very precise about understanding the behaviors of prospects and customers by tracking that behavior and putting a strategy in place to act on those insights strategically.

Live video is exploding and crosses over into automation.

Live video has become a rising trend in B2B content marketing with the increase in social media platforms that offer this feature. Here are a few key facts about this type of video.

  • Eighty percent of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog post.
  • According to Tubular Insights, viewers spend 8× longer with live video than on-demand; they watch an average of 5.1 minutes for on-demand vs. 42.8 minutes for live video content.
  • Ninety-two percent of mobile video consumers share videos with others, according to Invodo.
  • Live video is outpacing the growth of other types of online video, with a 113 percent increase in ad growth yearly.

For example, check out Tastemade, which is a website focused on food and travel. The company used live video to inspire viewers to appreciate food through an interesting and entertaining video. They created a kitchen series that featured a tiny set where miniature versions of food were cooked.

B2B companies can start to experiment with using live video in conjunction with marketing automation, putting out the content that prospects demand and gleaning valuable insights from how they watch and interact with that content. As a result, you can make marketing efforts more precise, further driving more leads and sales for your company.

Automation fosters greater channel integration.

Customers today have more channels to choose from when engaging with a brand, and while using these channels, they expect to receive a consistent brand experience. In fact, campaigns that integrate four or more digital channels are shown to outperform a single- or dual-channel campaign by 300 percent, according to Gartner Research. But the key is getting these interactions right.

Marketing automation helps push out consistent content through all channels and reach customers with greater impact. What’s more, you can gain insights and capture a more accurate picture of what’s going on with your customers in the moment of relevance, to create even better content in the future.

As a result, every customer experience can be tailored to the channel that customers prefer and to where they are in the buying cycle, delivering a more personalized and relevant experience through the power of automation.

Content marketing and automation create an unstoppable duo.

Marketing automation and content marketing are a powerful duo and allow you the opportunity to expand the effectiveness of your content, capture more leads, improve conversion rates, and drive higher ROI.

Marketing automation provides the tools required to get to know customers better. Using this information, you can segment customers into different groups and then start to develop content strategies for each set of customers.

Tapping into specific data on each group ― from understanding where they access content about your products and services to the types of search queries they’re creating ― is very valuable. Having the ability to generate these reports and make changes in a more efficient manner empowers marketers to stay nimble and better meet customer needs. As a result, you can nurture leads or move customers more effectively through the sales cycle.

Equally important, once you truly understand a group of buyers, you can modify and fine-tune marketing strategies to respond to their demands. The right content is delivered quickly, and sometimes you can even deliver the content slightly before the need, which helps move the sales cycle forward.

The user experience is shaped through marketing automation and insights.

At the heart of every product’s success is the user experience. When marketing automation works well, it enhances — rather than distracts from — the user experience. For example, let’s say that you recently sent out an email blast to prospects, encouraging them to visit your website and learn more about your product. If they click on the email link, it’s important that they view website content that is most relevant to their needs, such as case studies about their specific industry or other valuable details.

Marketing automation can play an important role in ensuring that what the customers view is customized to their needs, and in ensuring that the experience on the website is relevant to where the customers are in the buying cycle.

Gathering data about prospects, and better understanding that data, helps leverage the power of personalization, so that you present only the most relevant content. That leaves prospects and customers with a serendipitous feeling — they feel like the brand has a deep understanding of their pain points and struggles.

A Few Last Words

Marketing automation has proven itself to be a powerful asset in the marketer’s toolbox, but in the future it won’t be enough to have the tool itself; you’ll need to brainstorm creative ways to use it.

These examples can help inspire your strategy moving forward, as you integrate and test different methods for using marketing automation to connect with, engage, and delight your customers in new ways. As a result, you’ll gain the ability to manage leads and improve demand generation with greater impact.

How are you using marketing automation in your business? Please share your tips and insights below!