The B2B Marketing Automation Software Dating Game: How to Find Your Ideal Match
We all know the importance of getting a solid B2B marketing strategy in place and to do that requires an equally solid marketing automation platform.
Finding the software that is right for you is like finding a partner, different people have different needs and so do businesses. One size doesn’t fit all. Although luckily no Tinder is required for this one, you can save yourself the embarrassment and let the internet do it all for you.
B2B marketing automation software refers to a programme businesses can use to help them automate some of their workflow, to complete tasks to a higher ability. For example, automation tools can be used to set up emails, to gather customer data, to notify sales teams about customer’s habits, to monitor and run campaigns and search out key leads.
This is beneficial as it means that you have time to focus on other important tasks, there is less chance for human error and software is able to delve deeper and cover a larger scope than us humans. Originally the main focus was on email marketing but since then there has been a rise in social media marketing, meaning more factors to consider when looking at what software is best for you.
Things to consider when making your choice:
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
You need to think about whether you want more focus to be on inbound marketing or outbound marketing. Inbound marketing focuses more on getting customers coming to you after seeing you on social networks and finding you through searches. Outbound marketing looks at going to the customer through email, telemarketing and advertising campaigns. Learn more about inbound marketing with this great article - What Is 'Inbound Marketing', What Does It Mean, And Why Should I Care?
If you have a small business then you ideally want something that is easy to use and easy to manage. If you are a larger business with a wider client pool you might need software that can delve a bit deeper and handle a larger amount of data. Bigger client pools also mean different subcategories of clients with perhaps different needs, so it is worth thinking about using a mix of a couple of different marketing automation software.
Coverage and Presence
The whole point of marketing is so your company will be seen, on social networks, in Google searches etc; so when looking at software you might want to look for software that may specialise in social media management or search marketing, that can run that alongside another general package to give you more coverage and presence.
The main aim after sorting out coverage and presence is to find and keep hold of leads. Most platforms will give you a basic idea about your lead’s behaviours and patterns, looking at what they are downloading and clicking on but again you might want to look at getting some more help, after gathering the data about your leads in order to keep them. A programme that offers good outbound marketing would be ideal for this, to keep in contact with customers and try to convert relationships into sales.
Overall most marketing automation software covers most bases and you can’t really go too wrong with the majority of them. For a bigger company, it is worth investing in a platform that offers a wider sweep of the market and can go into more depth, this will take a bit more training and require people to staff it, but once it is all in place you should quickly see the investment paying off and it should be self-perpetuating.
For a smaller company the same is achievable but a bit more work would need to be put in. Start off with a basic application that gives you a decent variety of functions and features and that is easily manageable by a small number of people.
One of the leading marketing automation platforms that covers both requirements is Hubspot. Hubspot offers a large variety of quality automation tools from email campaigns, reporting, social, landing pages, forms, company website etc. in a simple way that makes it easy for smaller companies to use and keep track of. Other lead marketing automation platforms include Marketo, which is ideal for medium sized business and Hatchbuck, Leadsquare and Net-Results which are best suited and most popular with smaller businesses.
If you are still unsure about what software would be best for you, you can visit websites like Capterra or G2 Crowd, where you will find an extensive list of top marketing automation software products. The websites let you are select filters and pick from an extensive list of marketing automation software to help you best identify the right choice for you. As an established marketing company with extensive experience of using Hubspot to bring in new leads and opportunities for our customers, our team are well-placed to provide reliable advise on marketing automation. Please get in touch to speak with one of our advisors.