b2b marketing automationNearly every business today is looking for ways to generate more leads and close more deals. Many companies are now looking to marketing automation as a means to achieve this and end up dissatisfied with the results.

The reasons for dissatisfaction vary; some are challenged by the complexity of the software itself, others are frustrated by the software’s lack of integration with sales. Whatever the reason, we believe dissatisfaction with marketing automation stems from the same misunderstanding.

Many companies today see marketing automation as a be-all end-all solution to their marketing and sales problems. The problem with this line of thinking is that marketing automation is not a solution; it is a tool.

Let’s say you’re trying to build a house. You can buy the most expensive and high-tech drill available, but you still need blueprints, money, materials and a lot of hard work to get the house built. The same goes for marketing automation software. You can get the most expensive one or the one with the most features, but unless you have strategy, content, sales technologies and dedicated staff behind it, it is not going to work like you want it to.

Marketing automation platforms work best when they are a part of an integrated sales and marketing program. An integrated program combines sales pipeline management, content marketing, SEO and social media into a unified effort where each part supports and reinforces the others. A marketing automation tool acts like a connecting thread between the other parts, keeping track of all data and giving you valuable insights about your customers as well as the effectiveness of your various marketing tactics.

When used in this way, marketing automation can have dramatic results. In fact, with a commitment to this type of alignment, you can expect substantial revenue (157% growth) at a decreased cost of sale within 18 months to pull away from the competition.

If you’d like to know more about how B2B sales and marketing has changed in recent years, watch this quick video called, “The New Rules of Buying and Selling.” If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.