Category: Marketing Automation

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Why Small Businesses Need to Optimize Their MarTech Stack

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face many challenges as they grow. And in our all-digital, work-from-anywhere world, finding the right customer at the right time continues to be an obstacle. But different marketing solutions can help support SMBs as they move forward. 

Here are three reasons why SMBs need to invest and optimize in martech stacks — also known as marketing technology stacks.

Build Your Marketing Roadmap

Many small and medium-sized businesses are unsure of where to start investing in the right technology. Currently over 8,000 marketing technologies exist, and many are competing with each other, while also releasing new features every couple of months. As an SMB, it may be hard to keep up and pinpoint which marketing solutions will be the best fit for your current need, remain affordable, and be useful as they scale. 

As an SMB team, it’s time to ask yourself: What are my marketing strategies? What are my goals? What marketing solutions will help me align with my business’s needs? These questions will help you build your marketing roadmap.

Unite Different Tools for the Better 

Many marketing technologies only offer a specific solution, so it’s common to see SMBs with very complex and disjointed martech stacks as a result. But when you find a marketing technology that allows you to solve for many processes, you can achieve a more cohesive customer experience through unified systems and tools. When considering any new tool, it’s essential to understand its implications and ask yourself two questions:

  • Will this technology impact the processes that we need to complete?
  • How will this new tool fit in with our marketing workflows?

An integrated tool is only possible when all your teams – IT, sales, support, and marketing – work together to make collaborative decisions. For example, integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) solution with your marketing automation can help both sales and marketing work from the same customer data and sell smarter. High-performing marketing teams have a martech stack that not only integrates but builds cross collaboration across several teams, providing for a unified, 360-degree view of your customer and improving customer experience.

Enable Your Teams to Make the Most of Technology 

Oftentimes, we see marketing technologies under-utilized. In fact, a Gartner study revealed that “marketers report using only 58% of their martech stack’s full capabilities, and that marketing teams that utilize less of their stack’s capabilities report a lower level of martech effectiveness.” This happens quite often in SMBs, mostly due to the fact that martech stacks are replaced or changed too often, or the staff isn’t fully trained on the marketing solutions capabilities. 

For an SMB, it can be a lot of technology to keep up with, handle, and maintain. As an easy fix, we’ve seen SMBs use online learning to help support their teams when a new marketing technology is introduced. For example, Salesforce offers Trailhead, our free online learning platform that can help anyone get started with marketing automation and customer relationship management in an instant.

Marketing Strategies & Technology Solutions that Make an Impact

Looking for cutting-edge marketing strategies and technology solutions that can significantly help your SMB?  Check out our ultimate list:

Account Based Marketing (ABM)

Account Based Marketing (ABM) helps B2B marketers meet buyer expectations with highly personalized campaigns to engage accounts or specific customers with an individualized approach. Right now, 92% of B2B marketers have an ABM program in place.

ABM works so well because of its “long game” approach — it gives so much value to the customer that when they’re ready to buy, you are at the top of their mind because you’ve delivered such a highly customized experience. This is how you build long-term customers and relationships.

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t new, but it’s being incorporated in marketing technologies across the board. More SMB marketing teams are leveraging it to understand their data better. Businesses are leaning on analytics for business insights and efficiencies more than they did before COVID-19. In fact, 49% of companies are using data analytics “more or much more” than before

SMBs in particular are finding new ways to use data in response to the crisis. The combination of marketing automation and AI is empowering marketers to discover innovative ways to connect with new customers in the all-digital world.

Unified Platform

Today’s customers expect to interact with companies on a wide variety of channels, both online and offline, and their expectations for these interactions are higher than ever. So how can an organization engage with customers across an ever-growing number of channels without losing control of costs or consistency? How can it keep a sharp eye on customer experiences without adding extra checkpoints and friction that slows the deployment of marketing campaigns? 

The key is to implement a centralized solution that keeps your brand in lockstep with your business. 

At Salesforce, we focus on just that. We build all of our solutions, including our marketing automation solution, on a single platform with tools that our customers need to succeed. As SMBs expand, they can easily scale their marketing automation technology with seamless integration with other products, like Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, giving their company a single view of the customer. 

Our model has helped many SMBs bypass integration complexities. And with three releases per year synchronized across all the products on our platform, it makes it easier for businesses of all sizes to stay up to date.

This post is a part of our SMB Success Series. Stay tuned for monthly blog posts to drive your small business growth!

Marketing

B2C Marketing Automation and 5 Top Software Tools to…

Any B2C marketer can attest to the total relief that comes right after setting up successful email automation. To know that your customers will receive personalized emails without you having to manually write each and every one … whew, that’s powerful stuff.

Did you know that segmented (a.k.a. personalized) email campaigns can drive a 700+% increase in revenue? And that’s just email.

From text reminders to cart abandonment emails to multi-channel campaigns that span social media and in-app messaging, B2C marketing automation marries the power of personalized messaging and hands-off marketing. It simultaneously saves time (and money) while delighting your customers wherever they are.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to any marketing efforts, campaigns, and tasks that are managed, executed, and measured with software versus manually. These efforts and campaigns are typically triggered by actions taken by leads or customers.

Marketing automation has many benefits. It can help save your resources, nurture your leads, and increase your revenue — all at once and with minimal manual effort. Amazing, right?

It’s important to note, however, that marketing automation shouldn’t replace human touch. This is especially true for B2C — unlike B2B, the B2C sales cycle is much shorter and the customer journey much more personalized.

What is B2C marketing automation?

B2C marketing automation encompasses any automated marketing messages and campaigns targeted to individual consumers versus business audiences. This type of marketing automation must be much more personalized and data-driven to best appeal to the individual in his or her specific customer journey.

Both B2C and B2C marketing automation work to send relevant messages, increase efficiency, and drive revenue, but let’s further unpack their differences.

B2B vs. B2C Marketing Automation

B2B marketing automation delivers more mass-oriented content that’s focused on educating and nurturing leads through a pre-established sales funnel. Since there are typically more stakeholders involved in B2B purchases, B2B marketing automation also works to provide action-triggered information that can help influencers educate their decision-makers.

Let’s say a junior social media strategist is searching for a new social media management software for their entire team. They download an ebook on social media strategy from a prominent SaaS company, thus prompting the company’s B2B marketing automation software to send them nurturing emails about building a social media strategy and how to use its tool to do so.

The junior strategist is now equipped to bring this information to his or her director, who will make the final decision about which social media SaaS tool to purchase.

On the other hand, B2C marketing automation typically focuses on highly relevant and personalized marketing messages. B2C marketing automation also targets individuals wherever they are in their individual customer journeys and attempts to deliver customized product or service recommendations based on action triggers and captured data.

For example, one type of B2C marketing automation is cart abandonment email. By tracking shopper behavior and capturing personal information like email addresses, B2C companies set up a marketing automation “rule” to send an email to consumers who leave un-purchased products in their shopping carts.

Typically, abandoned cart emails include the specific products left behind — a dose of personalization that may motivate shoppers to return to the website and complete their individual purchase.

Benefits of B2C Marketing Automation

Marketing automation sure has its perks — for both marketers and their audiences. These marketing automation benefits include:

  • Keeping your brand top-of-mind with potential customers
  • Allowing your team to send personalized, targeted messages without having to manually track users and repeatedly write content
  • Increasing efficiency amongst your marketing team
  • Closing the gaps in your marketing analysis by removing human error
  • Tracking user data that can be used to better serve up personalized product or service suggestions
  • Delighting site visitors, leads, and customers with customized content

Now, let’s discuss some B2C marketing automation tools software tools that can help you reach, engage, and convert your shoppers and customers.

There are countless marketing automation tools on the market. According to our research, the following five are a great fit for B2C marketing automation.

However, when comparing what tool may meet your B2C marketing automation needs, consider 1) how complex each tool is and what onboarding resources are offered, 2) what integrations each tool offers and how they may fit into your current tech stack, and 3) how each tool is priced and how much your marketing automation needs may cost.

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

b2c marketing automation software hubspot

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Built on the foundation of the free HubSpot CRM, HubSpot Marketing Hub holds a wealth of B2C marketing automation tools that allow you to use your lead’s behavior to personalize emails, content, and outreach at scale. From email to SMS, and even internal automations like lead scoring and CRM updates, HubSpot is easy to get accustomed to and can quickly become your team’s marketing automation best friend.

Onboarding support: HubSpot’s award-winning customer support is available 24/7 through email and chat, as well as over the phone for Professional and Enterprise subscribers. You can also access a knowledge base and various HubSpot Academy courses.

Integrations: HubSpot Marketing Hub integrates with over 500 third-party applications.

Pricing: HubSpot Marketing Hub offers a Free plan as well as multiple subscription options. Note that the marketing automation features are only available for paid subscribers.

2. Mailchimp

b2c marketing automation software mailchimp

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Mailchimp is an industry leader in email marketing automation. Use the Mailchimp tool to deliver transactional emails, such as order confirmation emails and other personalized messages. The tool also allows you to build visual customer journeys so you can provide the best possible experience to each customer — or convert your leads and prospects into one.

Onboarding support: Mailchimp has a large library of resources, including guides, tutorials, and case studies. Free users get 30 days of email support, and paid subscribers get unlimited email and chat support.

Integrations: Mailchimp integrates with over 200 third-party applications.

Pricing: Mailchimp offers a Free subscription, but the more in-depth marketing automation tools aren’t available unless you invest in the Essentials subscription or higher.

3. ActiveCampaign

b2c marketing automation software activecampaign

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ActiveCampaign is a renowned marketing automation software and was the first to develop the visual automation workflow builder. (You know, the one with the boxes and labels and lines going everywhere — like the one above.) In addition to email, it offers site tracking, lead scoring, attribution, and more.

Onboarding support: ActiveCampaign offers a free demo and a whole slew of resources, such as a blog, developer documentation, and a library of pre-written automations. All subscriptions include data migration and implementation services, and more expensive subscriptions include limited one-on-one training.

Integrations: ActiveCampaign integrates with over 300 third-party applications.

Pricing: ActiveCampaign offers a free trial. From there, you can pay for a Lite subscription at $9 per month or more.

4. AutoPilot

b2c marketing automation software autopilot

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AutoPilot, like others on this list, offers a visual automation workflow builder … but with a twist. It sets itself apart with emojis, stickers, custom notes, and other details that help your team collaborate and, well, have fun building your marketing automation sequences. Although the tool doesn’t offer its own built-in CRM, it is fairly intuitive, easy to use, and offers fantastic reporting features.

Onboarding support: All AutoPilot subscriptions include unlimited emails and access to support. You can purchase an Expert Setup and Training add-on for $1699.

Integrations: AutoPilot integrates with dozens of third-party applications.

Pricing: AutoPilot offers a free trial, after which you can join at as little as $49 per month.

5. Omnisend

b2c marketing automation software omnisend

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Omnisend is a leading marketing automation tool specifically tailored for e-commerce businesses. Not only does it offer dozens of pre-written templates for all e-com automation scenarios, but it also integrates with nearly every possible e-commerce-related tool, including both email and SMS automation software.

Onboarding support: Omnisend offers a library of resources, including an onboarding course. Unfortunately, live support is only offered to paying subscribers.

Integrations: Omnisend integrates with hundreds of third-party applications, although most aren’t available with the Free plan.

Pricing: Omnisend does offer a Free subscription option, although most automation features aren’t available unless you’re paying.

These five tools are among the most powerful for B2C marketing automation efforts. Whether you’re sending time-triggered birthday emails or following up with prospective customers with automated SMS messages, try these B2C marketing automation software tools to reach, engage, and convert your customers.

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