Marketing automation is one of the most potent tools in use by most businesses today. The concept of marketing automation is already older than a decade, having first started around the years 2003-2006. Now that we are in 2021 with the whole world facing a unique challenge, it’d be interesting to learn about b2b marketing automation trends that we may see in 2021.
This type of marketing was developed as a result of the fast social media evolution. Since then marketing automation has been growing slowly but steadily.
Nevertheless, in the last years, with the new technology inventions, marketing automation has experienced massive growth. Moreover, it is expected that in the next five years, the market estimation will increase from 6.87 billion to 19.66 billion dollars. This amounts to a 19.2% market expansion. Hence, companies are starting to invest heavily in this type of marketing. Additionally, they are trying to incorporate as many elements of marketing automation techniques into their marketing strategies.
Marketing automation is a complex tool with a wide range of components. As such, not all of these components will fit into every marketing strategy of diverse businesses. Companies in this way must only choose components that make sense for their strategies. That being said, there are some common elements that every company can integrate into their marketing schemes.
B2B Marketing Automation Trends
We believe the following approaches will be the next b2b marketing automation trends in 2021:
Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing (short ABM) is one of the most effective methods of marketing automation. In this marketing type, the sales and marketing teams meet and discuss ideas. They research and find businesses that have high value (profit). After that, they decide which business accounts they should target and then create specific plans for them. With these plans, they want to attract these businesses and retain them as customers. So, as opposed to one-to-many, this is a one-to-one marketing technique. The way they target customers is by creating an ideal company profile and using various channels.
With the help of b2b marketing automation technology, they can run advertisements in many channels and platforms through texts, audio, and videos. Moreover, this technology enables them to reach out to customers not listed in their database. These can be potential customers, which were unknown to them before. This is much easier than targeting just one business at a time. As such, companies can target other companies on a larger scale.
Integrated Marketing Environments
With the popularity rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter among others, an active social media presence is the key to success. Nowadays, we can observe how people and businesses interact with each other on these channels. This is because people usually search for products on Google or social media pages. Therefore, companies open pages to promote their products and services. In this way, they are active on almost (if not) all social media platforms. In this way, they can attract customers who are active only in some but not on all platforms.
User Behavior and User Retention
Users who are active in social media, get a lot of advertisements. Business pages pay, for example, Facebook to display their ads to users. Based on how the user reacts to a specific ad, several things can happen. If the user ignores the ad, Facebook will show other ads. If the user clicks the ad, it will get redirected to the company page or website, where they can purchase the product. Once the user has interacted with a page advertisement or has liked the page, they will get notifications from them. Additionally, they will see posts by the page on their news feed.
The companies try to retain the user by using posting interesting things. This can range from high-quality images to stories to videos. Another really popular feature is the live video option. According to statistics, 80% of users prefer watching videos to reading a text. Moreover, they would rather watch live videos than other types of online videos like videos on demand. Users will spend an average of 42 minutes watching live videos, whereas they only spend 5.1 minutes watching videos on demand.
The more interesting content a company page provides, the more their activity will increase and the more users will like it. A valid expression of this phenomenon is “Like attracts like”. If many users like your page and posts, their connections will see it and there is a high chance that they will also like it. In this manner, the company brand and reputation will improve, leading so to more revenue. On top of that, users will be retained and will most likely become future customers.
Data Collection and Predictive Marketing
Lately, when opening our social media accounts, we see advertisements for products we are interested in. If I searched for a product on Facebook, that product will also get displayed on Instagram and vice versa. This is not a coincidence but rather one of the marketing automation strategies.
Companies are active in many marketing environments including websites, search engines, emails, and social media platforms. They can in this way, collect data (for statistics) across all these channels. These data collection can be integrated. For example, if a certain age group liked a certain product on Facebook, it can be compared which user age group liked a product on Instagram.
From data collected through different platforms, companies can determine which products were the most sold and which ones were less sold. This is made possible by the means of artificial intelligence. As a result, they can predict, which users might buy which product. For example, if users bought milk and cookies together, the next user that buys milk will also get a recommendation to buy cookies.
Companies can also determine what products might be popular in the near future and which users might buy them. In this way, they can offer the product to the targeted customers by promoting it in social media changes and sometimes even by sending emails to them.
To sum it up, it is clear that marketing automation is the future of the marketing industry. Subsequently, it will have a huge impact on the economy and sales. Companies that have not yet embraced this type of marketing, should seriously consider doing so. Ultimately, b2b marketing automation will be imperative for the success of a business and the early adopters of this trend will be the next market leaders.