It's Not Just for B2B Lead Generation Anymore
Marketing automation technology is quickly becoming ubiquitous among B2B companies working to coax the most from their lead generation efforts.
And it’s not hard to see why. Marketing automation is a proven method of capturing more and better leads, nurturing them with personalized and customized content, helping sales teams close more deals faster and establishing a reliable ROI for every marketing tactic.
As this technology matures, companies are increasingly applying marketing automation technology to initiatives beyond lead generation and discovering success in other areas such as cross-sell/upsell, customer service, product lifecycle management and recruiting.
Here are some alternate uses for marketing automation to consider:
Cross-sell/Upsell: It can be up to 10 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to sell additional products to those you already have and the more products customers have, the more loyal they become.
Since you have relationships with these customers, the hard work is done. But by adding automation to the mix you can personalize cross-channel communications to educate and engage your customers over time, score customers based on propensity to buy specific products and features, and leverage peer-to-peer interactions. Applying these insights allows you to suggest additional products to compliment and extend previous purchases, which can help grow your customer relationships.
Customer Service: In the not so distant past, when people needed customer service they would send a letter or pick up the phone. Now, they use social media and the web to get attention. While you absolutely want to address these questions individually and in the moment, you can also leverage automation principles to better understand your customer’s concerns and follow up with them over time. This ensures that no customer concern goes unaddressed, gives you a platform to track issues and learn from your customers and helps you create engaged fans of your brand.
Product Lifecycle Management: When you have products – especially software and services – that are sold annually, automation tactics can be invaluable in helping acquire more renewals with automated reminders as deadlines approach. This takes the hassle out of manually sending reminders and helps with customer retention.
You can also send announcements, alerts and updates efficiently – and track when they were received. Perhaps more importantly, automation can help script an onboarding process ensuring that the first 30 days are a success.
Recruiting: Traditionally, companies using marketing automation have discounted web visitors scouting for employment opportunities. As marketers we’re looking for leads, not coworkers. But by harnessing automation to capture interested applicants, you can nurture them with information about why working for your company is so great. Suddenly, you have a pool of energized potential applicants at your fingertips. You can fill a position faster and you’ve evangelized your brand in the marketplace.
While the early adopters of marketing automation technology were B2B companies focused on lead generation, there are many more opportunities to reach your target audiences with the right message at the right time. Automation is a tool that has wider capabilities that can be used throughout your organization.