Here's How B2B Brands Can Leverage the Power of Automation to Capitalize on Growth

brought to you by WBR Insights

Digital transformation is finding its way into almost every marketplace, enabling work to become more efficient and profitable by automating core processes and activities, freeing up human staff to concentrate on those parts of the business that machines are unable to handle.

B2B marketing may not be the first industry you'd think of when considering the implementation of automation technology, but there are plenty of ways to drive growth with digital transformation and optimize your marketing efforts.

Creating and Defining Buyer Personas

This should be the first step in any automation strategy, as you won't know how to set up your digital technology if you can't tell it which demographics it's supposed to be targeting.

For the uninitiated, buyer personas are detailed profiles of hypothetical ideal customers. They contain demographic information such as age, gender, etc., but also more in-depth details. These can include political leanings, sexual orientation, religion, favorite social media sites, education level, socio-economic status, and much more. The idea is, once you have a detailed picture of your ideal customer, you can craft your marketing accordingly.

Thankfully, you already have digital technology helping you, even if you don't realize it. Your Google analytics data and customer databases already contain a ton of information which can help you craft your buyer personas, based on your existing customers and their online activity.

Personalized Automated Emails

This may sound like an oxymoron, but you can automate your emails and still make them personal. In fact there's evidence that automation can increase your email open rate by as much as 29%.

By incorporating email automation software with the data you already have on your customers, you can build templates which will read as being highly personal. Imagine you're a customer - would you rather receive an email that says, "Dear [name] thank you for X years of your business, here's a discount code," or just a bland and generic "Dear Valued Customer..."?

You can also set these emails to trigger at different times. It's unlikely all your customers are interested in the same things, so you can have your automation system send batches of emails during periods which are most meaningful to specific demographics - in line with certain religious holidays, for example.

It's little details such as these which make your buyer personas so crucial to the whole endeavor.

Abandoned Carts

I know what you're thinking - Abandoned carts? That sounds like a B2C issue to me!

However, there are some lessons we can take from the abandoned cart principle and apply it to achieve growth in our B2B world. It can take as many as ten abandoned cart emails to bring a customer back to complete a purchase - at which point it's hard to separate out whether it was the emails or the simple passage of time and subsequent increase in impatience which brought them back.

In a way, you are your best buyer persona. If you're reading this, then we will assume you're a person of business and you will likely at one time or another have had to make a purchasing decision.

Think about the sorts of lead nurturing emails you would need to receive in order to make you really consider taking up a new business product or service. How regularly would you like to receive those emails? How can they walk that tightrope between persuasion and putting you off? If you've already expressed an interest in a product or service, would you be happy with a generic email, or would you expect the provider/seller to put in a bit more effort to win your business?

Once you know what you would expect from lead nurturing emails - and that's really all abandoned cart communications are - you can set up your own email automation to respond in the same way. Of course, people are different, and you should be constantly re-evaluating your strategy and tweaking things to get them just right. But using yourself as a persona is a good way to form a foundation on which to build.

Final Thoughts

Carefully construct a B2B marketing email strategy around these points and you should see your open rate go up and more customers move through your sales funnel to the very bottom.

Automation and growth strategies are set to be a hot topic at B2B Online 2019, taking place in April and May at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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