Many companies find themselves asking the same question: How do we authentically engage with customers throughout their entire buying journey, front to end, to keep them satisfied and buying more?

The answer, up until now, has been complicated.

Today's ever-changing marketing landscape is a complex web of communication touchpoints between a company and its customers, fueled by brand content, social media, Web search, email, and more. Marketing and sales teams are challenged to work together now, more than ever, to create personalized experiences for target audiences and prospects—from idea conception to purchase execution.

To overcome that challenge and become more effective in their engagement with customers, many B2B companies have invested in marketing automation to better understand and get closer to future buyers. And, recently, marketing automation has gotten even better, allowing marketing and sales teams to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) by using customer data to predictively engage with prospects to grow revenue and drive ROI.

Increasing revenue is the most compelling reason for implementing marketing automation, according to 77% of CMOs at top-performing companies.

The Marketing-Powered Sales Rep: Use Case

Stanley Black & Decker no longer uses sales reps to make decisions based on a hunch or chance, illustrating a major shift among B2B marketers. Unlike before, its sales team can see whether a piece of targeted content resonates or doesn't with a potential customer.

Depending on whether the intended recipient opened an email, clicked through it, or did nothing at all, Sales knows exactly what to do.

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image of Mike Kostow

Mike Kostow is SVP and GM of Salesforce Pardot, a leading B2B marketing automation solution.

LinkedIn: Michael Kostow

Twitter: @mikekostow