B2B marketing tools are becoming increasingly crucial for success as they evolve, says Kartik Anand, founder and executive chairman of Kings Group Ventures
While the B2B market has grown significantly over the last decade, it was just a few years ago that B2B marketing was considered a hit-or-miss endeavour. Only the marketing tech (martech) stacks that are at play in every strategy have made it feasible to have practical tools to identify the target audience, build strategies based on their needs, customize every offering, and reach the target.
The most important part of this stack today is for marketers to be in sync with business automation. CRM platforms were adequate a decade ago, but not any longer. Despite the fact that the CRM platform as a whole is growing, one thing is certain: a simple CRM is no longer a viable solution or even a process support tool.
Many B2B companies now have their own marketing automation platforms. To better manage costs and bring value to the internal and external customer experience, this automation must be more targeted on the dollars spent. Integrated with Artificial Intelligence, it is a force to be reckoned with. To enable scalability and even more efficiency, an intelligent self-tracking mechanism is also required.
According to Gartner’s The State of Marketing Budgets 2021report, over 29 percent of U.S. and U.K.-based organizations spent some of their budget on marketing technology in 2019, as automation became a critical part of B2B planning processes. Moreover, according to Salesforce’s “The sixth Annual State of Marketing Report,” more than 90% of all B2B marketers now have an ABM program, and 68 percent use automation, as ABM gains traction.
Despite these optimistic statistics, not all B2B marketing businesses are fully utilizing automation technologies in their martech stack – either because they are unaware of its potential or because they are not yet prepared. This unfortunate situation is largely due to a lack of skills. There are a lot of experts to help the marketers, but there aren’t a lot of resources to put it into action on the ground.
Another underlying problem is that the expense of a marketing automation tech stack frequently surpasses the value in actual terms that can be quantified — making the return on investment difficult to justify. This is another reason why automation hasn’t taken over the martech industry as much as it should have or could have.
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Another cause for this could also be a lack of a holistic strategy to fully utilize the benefits of marketing automation. Lack of value addition on applications can be caused by using tools in silos, adding automation piecemeal, or not having the entire process reviewed by strategy makers. This is something that businesses must recognize and address.
The way out is simple for tomorrow’s B2B marketers. The CMO must first establish a holistic strategy by defining clear goals and objectives, as well as the metrics that will be used to measure value addition and a clear focus on the target audience. The strategy falls into place as a result of a focus on goals, and the role of technology stacks and automation becomes evident.
This is the only way to effectively harness the power of automation in a B2B marketing plan and reap the most benefits it has to offer.
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