Marketing Automation

B2B vs. B2C marketing automation
Key concepts of marketing automation
Important steps in creating a marketing automation strategy

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is software that is used to send personalized messages to customers and leads. The software allows you to create a dynamic series of messages to send to your contacts. The message the person receives is specified based on self-selected factors:

  • Where does the person spend their time on the website?
  • Where is the person in the buying process?
  • What recent interactions did the person have with your website?

Providing content that matches the person's needs and interests helps build stronger relationships that can help optimize the conversion rate (CRO) and increase revenue. Marketing automation can help you achieve all these things while running your own operations.

Within the broad scope of the software, marketing automation combines various aspects of marketing and business development, including email marketing, inbound marketing, content development, conversion rate optimization (CRO), and lead generation.

The Benefits of using marketing automation

The biggest benefit of using marketing automation is that it helps sales and marketing teams work more efficiently. People love personalized content; sending personalized email generates six times more revenue than sending a not personalized email. Sending personalized emails manually, however, is not practical. Marketing automation does the banal and repetitive work of delivering personalized content, giving sales and marketing professionals the extra time to focus on the far more important things.

But marketing automation is not just there to help send an email, it also makes it easier to find out where people are in the conversion process. Marketing automation usually has a lead-scoring feature that helps filter out exactly which leads are sales-ready.

One of the most common reasons companies choose marketing automation is because they want to improve conversion rates and revenue. Marketing automation helps encourage customers to stay engaged longer and ultimately convert. On average, companies using marketing automation have a 53% higher conversion rate and an annual revenue growth rate of 3.1%.

Marketing automation can also help accelerate the closing process for products and services with long conversion cycles.


What applications are there for marketing automation?

Marketing automation has many fields of application, among which most commonly used include email marketing and lead generation/lead nurturing.

Yes, email marketing is still a relevant marketing tool. It would be too easy to say that everyone is present on Instagram or Facebook - this is just not true. Most Internet users have at least one email address. Inboxes also tend to move at a slower pace than social media feeds, so the better chance is to make direct contact here.

There are many different applications for marketing automation in email marketing:

  • Welcome e-mails
  • Product retargeting
  • Unused shopping cart reminders
  • Personalized product recommendations

Of course, these are only a few of the countless possibilities.

Many companies used marketing automation to request feedback from their contacts, whether they have already converted or not. The information gained, whether through sending surveys or direct visitor feedback, can be used to change processes or other things to improve revenue in the long run. Because personalized emails generate more revenue than non-personalized ones, marketing automation can be an effective way to perfectly track leads.

50% of all leads in a lead database are not ready to buy and 80% will never be handed over to sales. - Marketo.

The ambition with marketing automation is to give people something valuable exactly when they need it so that the barrier to conversion is lowered. Effective lead nurturing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower CPL. Leads that are nurtured also make larger purchases.

Marketing automation platforms are also often used to manage social media campaigns, create landing pages, and perform A/B testing.

B2B vs. B2C marketing automation

Companies of any size can benefit from marketing automation, but the fixation on B2B or B2C has an impact on the messaging used in the campaigns conducted. Both business models have the primary goal of increasing conversions and revenue, but there are significant differences in how these goals are achieved.

B2B Sales

B2B sales tend to have longer conversion cycles than B2C sales and often include products or services that require longer-term commitment. That's why B2B messaging focuses on long-form content such as white papers, case studies, and eBooks. When considering large purchases for a company, there are often several people involved in the decision-making process. Thus, not only one person has to be convinced, as in B2C sales. It is important to present yourself as an authority in your own industry - offering detailed content is a good step in this direction.

B2C Sales

Since B2C sales have short conversion cycles, the content used in messaging is correspondingly simpler. Most buyers prefer a 30-second demonstration video to a multi-page case study. For B2C companies, the focus is more on brand building and giving customers a reason to come back. Thus, B2C messaging tends to include "unused shopping basket reminders", personalized product recommendations and offers tailored to individual customers.

Key concepts in marketing automation

Although many different aspects of marketing and business development come together in marketing automation software, the whole process is driven by a few core concepts.


The Conversion Funnel

The conversion funnel is the process a person goes through when they become a customer. Due to the overwhelming amount of content on the Internet, buyer behavior is changing more and more. People first inform themselves before they buy anything. Marketing automation is one way to narrow these people down so they are more likely to convert.

The conversion funnel can be broken down into a few basic levels:

  • Awareness: The potential buyer will know for sure that the company, product, or service exists. For this person, it is too early to make a decision but they are now aware of the company/product/service.
  • Interest: Not everyone who is aware of the company/product/service has the need to buy it. At this point, those who are interested will request a free trial, follow the company on the social media channels, or browse the company's blog.
  • Consideration: Now the person is so familiar with your company that they like your service/product. However, it is too early to make a purchase decision.
  • Action: This is the stage at which someone decides whether to convert or not. This stage ends with a purchase decision.

Ideally, once a customer has made a purchase, they will buy back from the company. However, people will also fly out of the conversion funnel, no matter how well it is built. At best, only 1-5% of the people who have gone through the conversion funnel will convert. If someone flies out of it, this is called churn. Some churn is unavoidable, but marketing automation helps to reduce this churn rate. By identifying the needs and interests of visitors, it is easier to provide them with valuable content tailored to them.

Feedback loops and metrics

Every action brings a reaction.

This simple concept is also present in the marketing automation world, it is called a feedback loop. When a message is sent to a contact, they will respond, even if there is no response. This response is also part of the feedback loop. The metrics should be constantly monitored to get a feel for these reactions.

Feedback loops and metrics show how effective the marketing automation strategy is. How a person converts, clicks through a company's website, ignores an email, marks it as spam, or unsubscribe from the email list tells how certain people perceive your messaging.

If you check this data in marketing automation, you can draw conclusions as to whether a marketing strategy is too aggressive or not.

User flows

While the conversion funnel is there to represent the process a person goes through to convert, user flows are a history of the web pages a person has gone through before acting.

If traffic from different sources such as PPC ads, social media, and email gets to the website, it must be directed to web pages that make it easy for the user to act regardless of the action.

Different people have different needs, depending on the way they find the website. Therefore, the activation barrier for these people must be kept as low as possible.

A person who uses a long-tail keyword to find a web page will convert sooner than one who uses a PPC ad and only fills out a form on the web page. More information needs to be made available to them afterward.


Workflows are the part of marketing automation where automation is really used. A workflow is a series of triggers that are used to send messages, increase the lead score, or initiate other actions.

Workflows can use many different triggers:

  • The amount of time that has elapsed since a person's last action
  • Interactions the person had with the company
  • Interactions that the person had on the corporate website

Important steps in creating a marketing automation strategy

Define goals

This is an obvious point. This is one of the most important points because the goals to be achieved with marketing automation determine the strategy to be pursued.

  • Should more leads be generated?
  • Should a business model be developed for returning customers?
  • Should sales be increased in an off-season?

Each of these goals requires a different strategy. It is important to understand what the main goals are!

Identify the target customers

Knowing the customer's needs at every step of the conversion process is essential. Depending on the main objectives, it is best to focus only on specific people in the conversion process, depending on the objective.

For example: If there is no problem with lead generation but it fails to convert leads, a special focus should be placed on the MOFU and the BOFU.

Mapping of user flows

Marketing automation is designed to move visitors to a specific action. The mapping of user flows is one of the ways to visualize the steps a user has to take to execute an action.

Depending on how a visitor gets to the site, he needs more information than others to be ready to perform an action. Visitors should not be led through steps that are absolutely necessary, but they should not be confronted with action too early.

Segmentation and evaluation of leads

Not all leads are necessarily the same in terms of quality. The built-up lead database is a mix of leads that buy, which are still looking for the right solution and again leads which will never convert. It is therefore not possible to send broadcast messages to the complete lead database because there are so many different lead types in the database. Evaluating the leads helps to find out which ones still need to be nurtured and which ones can be handed over to the sales team.

The interactions with the content and at the same time the actions with the website provide information on how ready a lead is to convert. For example, a lead that has looked at the price page is more ready to convert than someone who has read a simple blog post. The Marketing Automation software allows you to assign a specific scoring to specific actions.

Marketing Automation also allows the database to be segmented so that only leads with a high scoring receive certain messages.

Example: In B2B business, a marketer wants to send an email to people with a specific job title and company size.

Example: In B2C sales, a sales representative wants to segment the list of all people so that only people who have bought goods of a certain value receive an e-mail with special offers.

Is your company ready for a marketing automation solution?

If you produce effective content and you have a steady flow of new organic leads, it's time to focus on a marketing automation strategy that turns your qualitative leads into paying customers. Use our questionnaire to decide whether your company is ready for a marketing automation solution.

Find the right Marketing Automation solution!

When choosing the optimal marketing automation software, the most important thing is to choose the one that best fits your unique goals. Do not concentrate on the individual functions of the software, but on the continuous development of the software and long-term use on your part.