Save up to 50% on annual marketing training memberships

Guides and Templates

B2B marketing automation best practice guide

10 essential features of B2B Marketing Automation

How will this guide to Marketing Automation help me and my business?

As a marketer working in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, you want to increase leads and sales, understand your business audiences, serve relevant communications, and create a compelling experience across different customer touchpoints between your brand and audience. This is a huge challenge, particularly in B2B because there is a range of audiences and touchpoints. At the same time, your resources are limited and you are under pressure to increase marketing qualified leads and repeat business.

Today, an increasing number of B2B marketers are turning to Marketing Automation as an approach to manage and improve complex communications across multiple touchpoints. Yet many businesses are not using the full capabilities made possible by Marketing Automation to boost the volume and value of their leads.

This briefing guide shows the benefits that are possible with marketing automation and the 10 essential requirements you should consider when selecting or updating a Marketing Automation solution.

How is this B2B marketing guide structured?

This guide for B2B marketers will help you review your requirements for marketing automation and select the best vendor. It covers:

  • An introduction to the business benefits of Marketing Automation for B2B marketing showing what many businesses are currently missing out on
  • A summary of the 10 key features of Marketing Automation
  • Tips and recommendations on best practice for implementation
  • What to watch for when selecting a B2B Marketing Automation system

Who is this guide for?

This guide has been written for all members of B2B marketing teams, as well as managers who want more information about how Marketing Automation can be implemented into their work. Roles that will benefit from this guide include:

  • Marketing directors and managers
  • Inbound marketing managers
  • Account directors

Latest updates

  • Automation capability benchmark added
  • Updated research on adoption of automation
  • New frameworks for designing content, targeting and contact strategies added
  • Using AI and machine learning automation added

Resource Details

About the authors

Adrian O’Gara

Adrian O'Gara

Adrian O’Gara is a specialist in lead and funnel management — from sales and marketing alignment to process optimisation and automation. As founder and lead consultant at OGaraCo, the lead-to-revenue experts, Adrian helps B2B technology and service providers improve lead quality and velocity to increase marketing sourced revenue and ROI. Find out more at or connect with Adrian on LinkedIn.

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie is an independent email and eCRM marketing consultant. Entrepreneur Magazine titled him “One of 50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch”. Brands like Unilever and KLM turn to him for advice. He is the founder of an international platform for Email and Marketing Automation Software selection.  Next to helping companies improve their marketing results, he is often asked as a trainer and keynote speaker. His practical and enthusiastic approach is contagious and will have you sending better emails the next day.

Dr Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our premium members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing.

For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

Business memebrship badge icon Professional Membership is required

Access this resource now

Professional members get full access to this and 9 other guides in the Business-to-business marketing Toolkit.

Learn more about Professional membership Already a Professional member? Login here Guide cover
Look inside content

Trusted by marketers all over the world

Since 2009 our toolkits have helped thousands of marketers in over 170 countries to hit - and exceed - their targets.
Will you be next?

Globe illustration
Smart Insight partner logos over 165,000 consultants, agencies, entrepreneurs and SMB's in over 170 countries.

Get better results

Make your job easier

Tenfold improvement

Learn more about business membership
Smart insights logo