One of the most significant technology evolutions that has occurred in the last 10 years is the rise of marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
The gradual growth has seen technology that can now integrate with eCommerce platforms, offer extremely tailored communications to groups and segments of customers, use artificial intelligence to create personalised campaigns and manage a company’s relationships and interactions like never before.
Despite the name, a marketing automation platform shouldn’t be limited to just the marketing team. Sales, marketing, customer service, account management, training and human resources teams can all contribute to the technology. Before implementing an automation platform, take to the whiteboard and sketch out a few buyer persona journeys. Where are the current touch points? Where could you add more to bring more value for your customers? What parts of these could be automated?
Marketing automation platforms allow companies to build a relationship with prospects slowly over time, helping them to get to know you and find value in your solutions without your sales team needing to speak to each person separately. 96% of visitors that come to your website aren’t ready to buy and getting them into your email list is a good way of building that relationship for when they are ready.
Automation platforms usually work with tracking a visitor to your site and then performing an action when a certain condition is met.
Maybe if a visitor has downloaded two content pieces from your site and has opened your email newsletter, it triggers a phone call? Maybe if they have watched a demo you email them a case study?
Investment and ongoing costs of undertaking marketing automation and CRM systems have decreased significantly, with innovation in the technology making it accessible for most B2B businesses.
This lowering of the barrier of entry with respect to both upfront and ongoing costs as well as a resource comes with a measurable return on investment.
B2B eCommerce transactions require a personalised communication approach and require a significant amount of special handling. With both the order value typically much larger than B2C transactions, and the requirements for fulfilment etc much more complex it needs to be as close to perfect as possible. Crucially, the relationship management that goes hand in hand with these high-value transactions is made or break for B2B merchants.
The intersection of the marketing automation strategy and the personal relationship management (which typically relies on the utilisation of a CRM) is what we see leading B2B businesses investing time and money.
Something to Consider: Platform Selection
Enjoyed our B2B marketing automation and CRM highlight? Download our whitepaper ‘How to Succeed at Digital Transformation in B2B eCommerce’, to read the full ‘Marketing Automation and CRM’ chapter.