This keeps campaigns on-schedule and frees up time for creative thinking, campaign building, and other marketing jobs that really do require the attention of a person. And these technologies help streamline marketing and maximize efficiency in many other ways too.

Types of B2B Marketing Automation

B2B marketing automation platforms do many different things (and some do all of those things at once).

Marketing intelligence: Some platforms automate marketing intelligence, recording and generating reports on customer behavior on social media, websites, in emails, and elsewhere online. For example, these platforms can track what links customers click in an email, how long they spend looking at a blog post, what they share and like on Facebook, or what search term they used to access a website.

Cultivating b2b leads: Many automation platforms focus heavily on lead generation and lead nurturing. The idea here is to find leads and then usher them through the sales funnel effectively. This process usually starts with a customer score, generated based on customer behavior, demographic, or other predetermined criteria. The score will then determine which of several drip campaigns the automation platform deploys. These campaigns maintain regular contact with prospects via social channels or email, appealing to them in a personalized way to inspire them to buy.

Content marketing: Automation is a popular option for managing content marketing campaigns. These social media campaigns often require the regular posting of articles, infographics, video, or micro-content across multiple channels. Automated platforms allow marketers to schedule these posts well in advance so they can orchestrate tightly coordinated launches. And many platforms also provide metrics so marketers can measure campaign success in real time.

Workflow automation: Automation can dramatically reduce people-hours and improve efficiency by automating repetitive tasks, keeping business contact lists current, keeping automatically updated calendars with helpful notifications and announcements, facilitating collaboration between colleagues, and streamlining workflow and approval processes. These platforms typically require an administrative overseer ‘ someone who programs tasks, configures the platform, and makes tweaks based on performance.

Finding the right B2B marketing automation platform

There are several robust b2b marketing automation software options on the market. When deciding on a platform, ask the following questions:

– How easy is the platform to use?

– How complicated is the on-boarding process? Is it likely to be a barrier to adoption?

– Will it be easy to integrate the software into your existing infrastructure?

– What kind of support and training are included?

– Is there a free trial? (Free trials give you a chance to run a sample campaign ‘ often the only way to really know if a platform will be effective in your business context.)

Have a question about how Visually could help you create high-impact content for your b2b marketing automation? Contact us.