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How B2B companies can start using SAP Emarsys to run a digital marketing strategy

Thijs den Dikken, 13 juli 2022

In October 2020, SAP acquired omnichannel customer engagement leader Emarsys. This year, SAP communicated that SAP Marketing Cloud is end of life. For customers running on SAP Marketing Cloud, this means that improvements and support will continue till 2025.

My colleague Teun van den Elzen recently wrote a blog about the distinguishing value of SAP Emarsys as an omnichannel customer engagement platform. This blog is a must-read if you want to know what SAP Emarsys can offer your company. In this blog, I will focus on the typical domains you need to cover to effectively run your B2B digital marketing strategy.

In general, I believe that these five specific domains must be covered to run your digital marketing strategy at best.

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Performance Marketing
  3. Platform
  4. Marketing Automation
  5. Sales and Marketing

In this blog, I explain per domain what is needed.

Content Marketing

Even before going digital, specific and authorized content is a prerequisite for setting up your campaign. Upfront, you need to be fully aware of your buyer personas to create content that will inspire, attract, or interest the person in your target audience. On top of that, it is recommended to have insight in your customer journey and to have an understanding how different buyer personas think, feel, and act during that journey.

Once you have these details in place, you can create content. The content you create must contain added value for your buyer persona. If not, it is not likely that this content will help you to identify and eventually convert your prospect into a lead.

Since the world is becoming more and more digital, digital items are used more and more within the marketing campaigns. Frequently used examples include e-books, whitepapers, and benchmark reports but also videos, sneak preview demonstrations, samples or blogs can be used. Also, online events seem to be useful for this purpose. The main question is whether your prospect is willing to share his or her data in return for the content you can offer.

Performance Marketing

Once you have created your unique piece of content, it is important to reach out to your target audience. Obviously, having a good understanding who are your target audiences is requested upfront. Now, you want to target your personas with the content you have created to identify the ones who are possibly interested in your propositions.

Into our B2B market space, we see that LinkedIn (including Ads), Google (SEO and SEA) and still Facebook (including Ads) are the leading platforms to use to target your audiences. The main benefit of using such platforms is that your cost per lead is crystal clear. The difficulty is that specialised expertise is needed to optimize these costs. All in all, performance marketing is indispensable in your digital marketing strategy.

Platform

If you have your content in place and you have optimized multiple channels to target your audiences with, you need to take care for platforms to identify your prospects. The most important one is your website. Your website is the central spot for showing and offering your content, and performance marketing strategies are often utilized to generate relevant traffic to your website. Your website should be updated, providing your prospect with relevant content and a great (even personalized) online experience. If your website cannot offer the right content or interesting reads, your prospect will leave (bounce) and your time and investments in content marketing and performance marketing were redundant.

Lately, companies are also investigating the opportunity to move multi-platform. As such, platforms such as independent communities, marketplaces, or even social media platforms itself can support you to identify your leads directly. What is more, platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are even supporting this approach as they stimulate traffic on their own platform. For example, think about a lead form on LinkedIn to convert your prospects into leads. Whilst acting by means of such a form, there is no need to redirect your target audience to your website anymore. However, the downside is that you do not control all customer data, which is the main reason to ignore this tactic and to keep pushing traffic to your own(ed) website as a platform.

In my opinion, marketing automation platforms must provide form builders to put specific landing pages on your website. If you put a form on your website which is generated in your marketing system, the customer data and the trigger for a multi-step campaign are automatically captured in your marketing system. In general, forms from marketing systems can easily be put on your website, also taking over the style sheets from CSS so that your corporate branding is not being affected. As such, that is the reason why landing pages are often created in your CMS and not in your marketing system, although many marketing systems offer this functionality.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the bridge between marketing and sales! Once your prospect has filled in any form on the website, you easily recognise the needs and interests of your prospect. In fact, it is easily trackable which form (and thus, which content) has been downloaded, which is a great indicator for your prospect’s interest. Now, by means of the form, which is filled in, you can start building your automation. For instance, send your prospect the downloaded content by mail instantly and follow up with a mail, five days later in time. Check out whether your prospect clicked any of the links provided in your mails and see for yourself if there is a true interest in your proposition.

If your prospect appears not to be interested at this time, marketing automation can support your business by building multiple lead nurturing flows in an omnichannel way. SAP Emarsys exceeds the expectations, because it offers a wide range of proven automations, which not only includes your email channel, but also manages your Google Ads (audiences), web channel content, app content, and so on. This really gives the marketeer the power to launch omnichannel campaigns in minutes! Check out our webpage about SAP Emarsys for the value this platform can bring!

Sales & Marketing

Once leads are nurtured by your marketing system, leads should be communicated to your sales department to qualify and follow up. Integrating your CRM system with your marketing system can automate such processes. Automating lead generation scenarios results in effectiveness between sales and marketing and makes you better in analysing the marketing automation ROI since all data is available in your platform. In fact, once leads are accepted or declined by your sales department, marketeers can analyse which campaign and automations perform best.

On top of automated lead generation scenarios, lead scoring is crucial in this area. In fact, prospects might not be interested in the first instance. However, if your prospect returns to your platform, such as your website or your social media pages, or if the prospect interacts with your company by registering for an event (for example), you need to be aware. This can be the moment to convert your lead into an opportunity! Now, lead scoring supports this kind of scenarios by adding points to the customer profile once the prospect returns to interact. Creating a lead scoring model can be very complex, so if you do not execute on lead scoring yet, keep it simple in the first phase. Also, never forget to build in a points-decay, so that prospects can pass the threshold multiple times.

How to start with your B2B digital marketing strategy?

If you want to set up your B2B digital marketing strategy, I believe you should not focus on marketing automation, content marketing, or performance marketing only! The magic, and thus results, will appear once you have all domains balanced. You should continuously monitor all domains together, making sure to optimize the right elements in your campaigns and putting your attention to underperforming elements of your strategy.

SAP Emarsys as a marketing solution

Marketing automation is a crucial part in your B2B marketing strategy and Acorel is very happy and delighted that Emarsys is now part of the SAP Customer Experience suite. Connecting your marketing platform to your CRM, E-commerce, -or Customer Data Platform system is crucial to deliver a personalized customer experience across all channels. As SAP Emarsys can be integrated seamlessly to the other SAP CX solutions, it has a strong performance into your Customer Experience stack.

Additionally, SAP Emarsys offers unprecedented added value for e-commerce driven companies by the level of personalization and number of out-of-the-box tactics it offers. I want to write my next blog about the added value of SAP Emarsys for your B2B e-commerce strategy. If you do have any questions for me, please feel free to ask and let’s discuss your strategy soon, or let me answer your question in my next blog.

Thijs den Dikken

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