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before we get into automation, there’s some stuff to get out of the way. For one, automation has come a very long way since the early internet. It’s very powerful now, but with this power comes increased responsibility, and room for things to go very wrong. B2B marketing automation is no exception. The Technology: It’s easy to assume that B2B marketing automation is entirely about email marketing systems. Well, those are indeed a part of it, but there’s far more out there to actually adopt. People are finally beginning to realize these new channels are good, but not everyone really knows how to use this stuff either to its potential, or in an ethical manner. I want to point out some mistakes being made, and some things that’re being done right, and use these as positive and preventative examples of how to better handle this. Mistakes Being Made: #1 – Email as Spam Ok, the thing is, email marketing isn’t inherently spam, it’s targeted outreach. And, companies respond to it. B2C may not, but B2B really does. The problem is, people treat email as though it is spam. And if you treat it like that, that’s what it’ll be, all in all. Email is no longer just a wall of text as a letter, it is a targeted peer to peer service of web data. Be diverse and aesthetically sound! #2 – Video Now, video is a powerful tool. Tutorials can be made with it, presentations, demonstrations and so forth. But, while it’s great for marketing with B2C, it’s a bad idea for marketing for B2B. And, it doesn’t lend that well to automation. #3 – Making it Involuntary Finally, the thing that annoys everyone is being roped into receiving automated tweets, emails and other things when they didn’t opt for them. It’s never ok. Things Done Right: #1 – Being Bi-Weekly The biggest thing being accomplished these days is for a transmission through the chosen outreach channel to be a bi-weekly thing, not a weekly one. This keeps it from annoying people by bothering them over too little stuff. At the same time, it’s frequent enough that they feel informed and current as well. #2 – Getting to the Point Ultimately, the biggest thing you can do in automation is to make sure your material gets to the point, when it comes to B2B. A lot of companies using this automated outreach stuff, tying in with CRM and the like, they usually design their templates to hook, make the deal and get on with things. Other Concerns: Ultimately, your other concerns are going to be making sure you’re picking the right channels for your target business demographics. Email is a good blanket strategy, but does your target also value the raw potential of social networks or other channels? If so, and you don’t tie those in, you’re taking a loss you needn’t take. Conclusion: B2B marketing automation strategy isn’t so much about the technology, but about the balance in handling the marks, and in picking channels everyone is listening to, whom you want to reach. The technology is straightforward, hence it even being viable. So, watch your balance, and take this advice to heart.



James Mello
James is the Lead Author & Editor Product2Market of Blog. James writes for the Product2Market blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Marketing.