Choosing the Right B2B Marketing Automation Platform in 2024

b2b marketing automation platforms cover image with an automatic bionic hand

B2B or business-to-business marketing automation platforms are software apps made for B2B companies that automate marketing activities, specifically.

With these tools, organizations can save time and money and begin scaling their sales and marketing operations. But which is the best automation platform for your biz?

That’s what this guide aims to answer. To put together this list of automation platforms, we went through the most recent publication of “Magic Quadrant for B2B Marketing Automation Platforms” by Gartner, a reputable research firm with a long history of providing insights into the technology sector. The Magic Quadrant is based on thorough research, expert analysis, and rigorous evaluation criteria, making it a credible source of information for businesses. 

In short — if you’re looking for robust B2B marketing automation tools, they’re in this guide!

B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: What Do They Do?

A B2B marketing automation platform is like a smart helper for businesses that sell to other businesses. It’s a software tool that helps these companies do their marketing tasks automatically and more efficiently.

Imagine you have a list of businesses you want to sell to. Instead of manually sending emails or making calls to each one, the automation platform can do a lot of the work for you. It helps in tasks like sending personalized emails, keeping track of who’s interested, and even figuring out which businesses are most likely to buy from you.

In simple terms, automation tools handle many marketing jobs, so businesses can focus more on building relationships and make sales at scale.

These platforms can assist you with tasks like:

  • Lead nurturing,
  • Lead management,
  • Email marketing,
  • Social media marketing,
  • CRM integration,
  • Analytics,
  • Workflow automation,
  • Personalization.

Depending on what you wish to achieve with your marketing goals, you have to choose the right platform.

Types of Marketing Automation Tools

According to Statista, automation is pervasive in every channel of marketing. 

This graph tells you which ones are maximizing the use of automation for better results: 

Statista 2024 overview of b2b marketing automation platforms
Marketing Automation Statista 2024

Whether you’re looking to automate your social media campaigns, lead generation, workflow, or email marketing operations — there is a powerful tool available in the market that can make your life easier.

The more common automation tools fall under these categories:

Automation ToolDescriptionExamples
Email marketingCreate, send, and automate email campaigns to subscribers and customers.Campaign Refinery, Mailchimp
Lead generationCapture, qualify, and nurture leads throughout the sales funnel.ClickFunnels, Marketo Engage
Workflow automationAutomate repetitive tasks, processes, and workflows across departments.Zapier, Pabbly Connect
Social mediaSchedule, publish, and manage social media content across platforms.Hootsuite, Buffer
All-in-one platformsCombine multiple marketing tools into a single integrated solution.HubSpot Marketing Hub, Adobe Marketo Engage
Types of Marketing Automation Tools

With time, you can automate various marketing processes in your company. It’s not necessary to sign up for a multi-solution marketing service like HubSpot right away; you may want to first lay out a list of goals you expect automation to achieve before you make a significant investment. 

Does Your Business Need B2B Marketing Automation?

Deciding whether your business needs marketing automation software involves evaluating your marketing goals, resources, and current processes. 

Points you must consider before investing in marketing automation tools: 

  • Good for lead generation: If your business relies heavily on lead generation and nurturing to drive sales, a marketing automation platform can help automate lead capture, scoring, and nurturing.
  • Scale of marketing operation: If your business deals with a large volume of leads and customers, and your marketing activities involve multiple channels and campaigns, a marketing automation platform can help streamline and manage these processes.
  • Aligns sales and marketing: If there is a disconnect between your sales and marketing teams, a marketing automation platform with CRM integration can help bridge the gap by providing a unified view of leads and customers, facilitating better collaboration between teams.
  • Personalization strategy: If you plan to use personalized experiences and targeted messaging to target different segments of your audience, marketing automation solutions can help you do this by letting you customize content at scale.
  • Superior data crunching: If you need better insights into your marketing performance and ROI, a marketing automation platform can provide better analytics and reporting capabilities than traditional sheet software.
  • Efficiency: If your marketing team is stretched thin and struggling to keep up with manual tasks and processes, an automation solution can help tackle repetitive tasks, freeing up time and resources to focus on more strategic initiatives and creative campaigns.
  • Give you a competitive edge: If your competitors aren’t using marketing automation already, signing up for a marketing automation platform could give your business an advantage.

It’s important to conduct a thorough evaluation of your needs and objectives before choosing a platform that best fits your requirements.

The Best B2B Marketing Automation Platforms

Marketers are spoiled for choice when deciding on an automation platform that matches their needs. In the list below, we compiled platforms that enjoy a good reputation for being dependable and have brought solid results.

Here are 5 powerful B2B marketing automation platforms marketers can consider:

  1. Adobe Marketo Engage,
  2. Marketing Creatio,
  3. Freshworks FreshMarketer,
  4. Oracle Eloqua,
  5. Campaign Refinery.

While a few of these marketing automation tools provide multi-point marketing solutions, some are more focused on specific areas of marketing. For example, FreshMarketer concentrates on marketing via chat apps, whereas Campaign Refinery is dedicated to email marketing with a focus on deliverability rates and smooth automation.

Let’s explore the features offered by each of these platforms.

Adobe Marketo Engage: Ideal for Team Collaboration

Adobe Marketo: User Interface
Adobe Marketo: User Interface [Source]

Adobe offers a comprehensive suite of marketing automation solutions that helps businesses optimize marketing campaigns and drive revenue growth. Adobe’s B2B marketing automation platform, Marketo Engage, is a popular solution in industries like manufacturing, technology, financial services, and healthcare

Besides Marketo, Adobe also offers marketers and sales teams these automation tools:

  1. Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform (CDP): This tool aggregates customer data from multiple sources, including online and offline interactions, websites, mobile apps, CRM systems, and third-party platforms. It intelligently compiles the data to create a unified view of each customer.
  2. Adobe Experience Manager Assets: This digital tool acts as an asset management solution that enables marketing departments to efficiently manage, organize, and deliver digital assets across various channels. Users can track change history, ensuring data integrity and collaboration among team members.
  3. Adobe Workfront: If you want to streamline collaboration, automate workflows, and optimize productivity in your marketing department, then Adobe Workfront is a great solution. In short, it helps marketers work together more efficiently by organizing tasks, deadlines, and resources in one place.

While the above 3 tools are used in departments other than marketing, Marketo Engage is the only true-blue marketing automation platform here, so we’re going to discuss its advantages. 

Adobe Marketo Engage: Features

Marketo is big on lead capturing and lead management, but here’s the full scope of its features:

FeatureWhat it does
Lead ManagementCapture, track, and manage leads throughout the entire customer lifecycle.
CRM IntegrationSeamlessly integrate with CRM systems for synchronized lead and customer data.
Digital advertisingCreate and share relevant, personalized ads across the web.
Cross-channel marketingSpread marketing efforts across multiple channels for a cohesive customer experience.
Campaign managementDesign, execute, and analyze multi-channel marketing campaigns.
Personalized content using AIUse artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver content tailored to individuals.
Marketing analyticsTrack KPIs, measure campaign effectiveness, and gain insights into customer behavior.
Sales InsightShare valuable insights with the sales team to help them pitch more effectively.
Customer journey designCreate and automate personalized customer journeys based on behaviors.
Workflow automationAutomate repetitive tasks, processes, and workflows to improve efficiency.
Social media marketingWhile not the primary focus, integrate social media marketing efforts with the overall marketing plan.
Advanced customer journey analyticsGain in-depth insights into customer journey data to refine marketing strategies.
Adobe Marketo: Features 

Adobe Marketo is a powerful tool that helps marketers and sales teams collaborate and convert their leads to customers.

Marketing Creatio: Powerful Multi-Channel Marketing Platform

Marketing Creatio: User Interface
Marketing Creatio: User Interface [Source

Marketing Creatio, also known as Creatio Marketing, is a comprehensive marketing automation platform designed to streamline marketing processes, improve efficiency, and drive customer engagement. 

Creatio lets users create, launch, and manage multi-channel marketing campaigns across channels like email, web, social media, and mobile. On this platform, you can design targeted campaigns, set up automated workflows, and track performance in real time.

Marketing Creatio: Features

Exploring the top features of Marketing Creatio:

FeatureWhat it does
Customer 360Comprehensive view of account data along with a complete engagement history.
Lead managementManage the entire lead lifecycle, from capturing leads to conversion, ensuring efficient lead nurturing.
Campaign managementTrack budgeting and execution of marketing campaigns and projects of any complexity. 
Email marketingCreate, schedule, and track personalized email campaigns to engage leads and customers effectively.
Digital adsManage the entire lifecycle of digital ads, from planning and integration to tracking and analytics. 
Event managementHandle the planning and execution of offline and online marketing events.
Artificial IntelligenceUse artificial intelligence/machine learning for lead and customer engagement scoring as well as sentiment analysis.
Behavior Tracking on WebsitesAnalyze visitor behavior to understand user interactions and optimize website strategies accordingly.
Project managementFor project planning to ensure teams stay organized.
Marketing materials managementManages marketing materials, including creation, storage, version control, and distribution, to ensure brand consistency and compliance.
Marketing Creatio: Features

Creatio aims to be an all-in-one solution for marketers, with a single interface that helps oversee all automation activities. 

Freshworks FreshMarketer: Simplified E-Commerce Marketing

FreshMarketer: User Interface of the b2b marketing automation platform
FreshMarketer: User Interface[Source]

Freshworks expanded beyond its flagship product, Freshdesk, with the introduction of Freshmarketer, a marketing automation solution that is designed to help businesses optimize their marketing efforts, improve customer engagement, and drive conversions.

FreshMarketer helps marketers automate various aspects of marketing like lead generation, behavioral targeting, email marketing, website personalization, and more

FreshMarketer: Features

FreshMarketer mainly focuses on e-commerce store owners and small businesses, giving them tools to improve their revenue and better understand their business with the help of analytics.

Let’s review the features that help them improve their bottom line:

AspectWhat it does
SMS updatesSend SMS updates for order status, reminders, and transactional messages along with marketing campaigns.
Email marketingCreate personalized email campaigns to drive traffic to your store.
Live chatInstall a chat widget on your website for real-time engagement with visitors and customers.
Chat support for popular appsInteract with customers across multiple platforms including Google Business Messages, WhatsApp, etc.
Social media marketingDesign and manage social media posts for social media platforms.
Shopify and WooCommerce integrationConnect seamlessly with Shopify or WooCommerce.
Reporting and analyticsGain insights into social media/email marketing performance.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)Utilize real-time data from A/B Testing, Heatmaps, and Session Replay to improve conversions.
API accessAPI access enables seamless data exchange.
FreshMarketer: Features

You can choose from FreshMarketer’s Free, Growth, Pro, and Enterprise plans, depending on your requirements. 

Oracle Eloqua: Advanced Marketing Insight with AI

Oracle Eloqua: User Interface of the b2b marketing automation platform
Oracle Eloqua: User Interface [Source]

Oracle’s Eloqua marketing platform doesn’t offer any features that are radically different from the ones we’ve listed above but as it comes highly recommended for its results and usability, it made it to our list.

Eloqua serves as a central hub for managing marketing campaigns, nurturing leads, and driving revenue growth for businesses. Additionally, it provides advanced capabilities for campaign design, refined lead scoring, immediate account insights, sophisticated artificial intelligence, and seamless integration with your sales tools.

With Oracle Eloqua, you can execute personalized campaigns across email, display search, web, video, and mobile.

Oracle Eloqua: Features

Eloqua offers an impressive range of features for marketing automation:

AspectWhat it does
Email campaign managementThe user-friendly interface lets you visually create lead flows across campaigns.
Landing page/Form builderCreate appealing, responsive emails, landing pages, and forms.
Segmentation and targeting toolsStrategic filtering and audience segmentation helps deliver relevant information to leads at the most opportune moments.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) toolsLeverage Advanced Intelligence to enhance engagement.
Lead managementIdentify high-potential leads accurately with the lead scoring model.
Marketing analyticsAccess powerful, flexible reporting through Oracle Business Intelligence.
Sales toolsWith unified buyer intelligence, you can identify, prioritize, and monitor high-value opportunities.
Oracle Eloqua: Features

As a seasoned veteran in this space, Oracle offers powerful features as part of its Eloqua marketing platform, the most impressive being the artificial intelligence aspects followed by the exhaustive list of CRM/CMS integrations.

Campaign Refinery: Peak Email Automation Performance

Campaign Refinery Website b2b marketing automation platform
Campaign Refinery Website [Source]

Campaign Refinery combines elite email performance with automation features, giving you maximum flexibility and control over your email campaigns.

Our platform has one primary focus — deliverability — and all our tools and features are built around excelling at it. And the result is that our inboxing rates are the best in the business! Besides this, we also have automation tools that let you send broadcasts, add contacts to follow-up sequences, and deliver intelligent nurture and post-purchase messages.

And there’s a lot more to Campaign Refinery.

Campaign Refinery: Features

At Campaign Refinery, we protect our deliverability rates passionately. This is why we have an approval-based system for customers to sign up and we insist that all customers get their domains secured by SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols before sending that first email.

But once you get past that, here are all the features you can access:

FeatureWhat it does
Automated list-cleaning toolEliminates all invalid email addresses.
Branch and Rule BuilderEasily execute conditional campaigns with complex rules or branch logic.
Engagement GamificationAchieve unprecedented engagement rates, with click rates reaching as high as 72.76% in past campaigns.
Credit systemSay goodbye to extra charges for large email lists; pay only for the emails you send.
Campaign templatesThe library saves time on campaign creation and provides tried-and-tested templates.
Tag ManagerSegment your email lists effortlessly using a simple tag-based system, enhancing targeting capabilities.
Evergreen Flash SalesDrive customer engagement with time-sensitive offers, boosting conversion rates.
Analytics dashboardSimple yet detailed, the dashboard offers you in-depth insight into how different campaigns are performing, as well as overall performance.
Campaign Refinery: Features

Curious to know more? Apply to be a Campaign Refinery customer today!

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