With the publishing of Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant on B2B Marketing Automation platforms, marketing ops leaders must evaluate the vendor list. That way, marketing ops leaders can ensure effective, efficient and automated workflows and processes.
Key Criteria for Vendor Evaluation for B2B Marketing Automation Platforms
Some of the key criteria in evaluating the vendors included:
- Marketing and sales strategy
- Digital marketing campaign execution
- Multichannel marketing lead management
- Lead workflows
- Analytics and measurement
- Integrations with other apps
These areas align with running effective and efficient marketing ops for a B2B marketing organization. That’s because marketing ops leaders are responsible for driving consistency across the marketing organization and ensuring collaboration. And this is particularly true with more complex marketing and sales organizations in regulated industries. For instance, those may include industries such as healthcare, higher education or financial services. Complex organizations may include global or multi-product organizations such as those found in retail or manufacturing industries.
Ensure Sales Goals and Marketing Strategies Align
Solid marketing and sales strategies include multichannel or integrated marketing campaigns and targeted content for prospective or customer audience segments. As a result, content that resonates and clearly provides benefits and differentiation from a brand or product stand point is critical. First and foremost, marketing ops leaders must ensure that digital marketing campaigns align to sales goals and marketing strategies. Otherwise, the rest is off-target.
And that includes automated trigger campaign messaging, downloadable content such as B2B whitepapers or studies, or other easily-digestible content. For a related Gartner resource, see: Showcase: How to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment for Account Growth.
Automation and Integrations Essential to Process Simplification
Once the campaign and target strategy is established and agreed-upon, then the lead management and workflows require simplification. The process should not be overcomplex or complicated. And that’s for anyone including the prospect, the marketer or the sales account executive. Simplification is the true strength behind B2B marketing automation platform vendors.
The other key strength is the ability to easily integrate with other applications. And for the marketing ops leader, this could specifically include marketing management platforms for work, content, performance, or digital assets.
In other words, it can be difficult to make integrations like these work and to provide ultimate visibility into the campaigns, content and resources. And this could be problematic for effective and efficient marketing operations. Some platforms bring more of these resources and capabilities into one to make it easier to integrate.
If you are a marketing ops leader, then martech optimization is one of your key responsibilities. Is your martech stack missing capabilities or are the systems too disparate and don’t easily integrate? If so, then it will be very difficult to achieve consistency and adoption.
Marketing Ops Effectiveness Must Include Streamlined and Efficient B2B Marketing Automation
Marketing ops leaders must rely on an effective B2B marketing automation platform to help ensure efficiency, effectiveness and consistency. Especially since it is a critical piece of the operational martech stack. As critical as marketing work or digital asset management platforms. Or as critical as a sales enablement platform.
B2B CMOs and marketers are increasingly responsible for significant contributions to revenue and account growth goals. As outlined in Elevating Marketing’s Role in B2B Account Growth, marketers must expand digital channels to accommodate.
“As customer buying behavior increasingly shifts toward digital channels, so does the relative importance of marketing in driving account growth. Commercial leaders are turning to marketing to help grow underpenetrated accounts and hit revenue growth targets in a more cost-efficient way.”
That same research note outlines the challenge based on Gartner’s CMO Strategic Priorities Survey:
Do your homework! In this way, you can ensure the B2B marketing automation platform your company is using is the best one for your use case. And to fuel account growth in 2021 and the future. Gartner research and advisory can help.
Additional Gartner for Marketing Practice Resources (license required for full access to research mentioned above and below):
Use Gartner’s Hierarchy of Marketing Metrics to Link Execution to Goals
Marketing Operations Survey 2020 Presentation: Success Requires Change to Sustain
For related blog posts on Marketing Operations (open access):
CMOs Tackle Marketing Operations as Budgets Tighten
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