Marketing Automation for Lead Generation: A Guide for B2B Manufacturers

Jack Carnahan

In the world of B2B manufacturing, lead generation is largely a manual process. Advanced manufacturers in all sectors still rely heavily on traditional marketing and cold outreach tactics to generate leads. Once those leads are in the funnel, converting them into customers can take months or even years.

That’s why it’s important to have a funnel full of qualified leads. But generating those leads is easier said than done.

Enter marketing automation. More and more manufacturing companies are automating marketing and lead generation processes. Those who don’t adopt the changes will be left behind.

In this post, we explore how marketing automation can help B2B manufacturers automate their lead generation efforts, giving their sales and business development teams more opportunities to convert customers with less manual work.

Manufacturer side profile with digital elements overlay

Marketing Automation for Lead Generation: Why B2B Manufacturing Should Care

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation refers to any software and technology used to automate marketing tasks, with the aim of making marketing tactics more efficient and effective.

Marketing automation tools can be used across nearly all digital marketing channels. From email automation to website pop-ups to social media scheduling, there’s no shortage of marketing tasks B2B manufacturers can automate.

What is Lead Generation Automation?

Lead generation automation is a subset of marketing automation. It refers to software and technology used to automate the process of getting marketing and sales-qualified leads into the funnel.

Emerging technologies like generative AI (GenAI) are shaping the way manufacturing marketing teams automate their lead generation. Some common examples include:

  • Implementing automated lead capture: Many tools can capture leads from multiple sources like website forms, landing pages, social media platforms and email campaigns. Think lead capture forms, pop-ups and chatbots. These tools are used to gather contact information and other relevant data from prospects.
  • Refining lead scoring and segmentation: Once leads are captured, lead generation automation platforms often include lead scoring mechanisms to evaluate the quality and readiness of leads. These factors can be adjusted to fit the needs of your business and can be based on any important criteria such as demographics, behavior, engagement level and interactions with your marketing content. After scoring, those leads can be segmented for future marketing efforts with messages tailored to their needs.
  • Improving email marketing nurtures: Email platforms allow your business to set up automated email sequences and workflows to deliver personalized and timely content to leads based on the scoring and segmentation above. This helps further nurture leads, and build relationships, moving them closer to making a purchase.
  • Scaling quality content marketing: Plenty of tools can help your team create quality content at scale. While GenAI writing tools like ChatGPT can’t capture the nuance needed in high-value manufacturing content, they can help your team cure the blank page. That content can then be used in email nurtures and ad campaigns, further enhancing your lead generation efforts by ensuring it reaches the right audience at the right time, driving engagement and capturing leads.

If your sales funnel is lacking, lead generation automation is a great way to increase the number of qualified leads landing in your sales funnel.

Why Manufacturers Should Care About Marketing Automation

Advancements in marketing technology are seeping into traditional B2B settings. Intelligent B2B manufacturing marketing teams are using them to fill their pipeline reliably. Those who don’t adapt to these new trends will be left behind.

It’s important to note that marketing automation doesn’t replace face-to-face relationship building that eventually converts a lead into a customer. The main goal of lead generation automation (or any marketing automation) is to automate routine, repeatable tasks. Ideally, lead generation automation should augment your team’s capabilities.

By taking those routine tasks off your plate, lead generation automation makes your team more efficient. It gives them more time to focus on what they do well—converting leads—instead of wasting their time on time-consuming cold outreach to fill the funnel.

The Benefits of Automating Lead Generation

Increased Efficiency & Shortened Sales Cycles

Automation eliminates manual tasks like data entry, follow-up emails and passing warm leads to the right business development person. This frees up time for marketing and sales teams to focus on tasks requiring more thought and nuance, such as creating targeted content, analyzing data and nurturing warm leads into customers through custom outreach and relationship building.

By automating these tasks and other lead nurturing workflows, your team can provide targeted content to leads to educate and engage those leads at scale without sacrificing quality. Ultimately, this approach shortens your sales cycle and leads to increased conversions and greater revenue generation.

Improved Lead Quality & Quantity

Lead generation automation tools can implement lead-scoring models based on criteria relevant to your business. The criteria can include factors such as industry, company size, purchase intent and engagement level. Automated tools can take these criteria into account and prioritize leads that are a greater fit for your business and more likely to convert. This ensures that sales teams receive the most qualified leads, so they can reduce their time spent trying to convert less qualified leads.

Personalized Engagement

As you build your lead funnel, you can begin segmenting those leads based on their interests, preferences and stage in the buying journey. Then, using automation, B2B manufacturers can deliver personalized content and communications to those leads. This allows your team to not only scale the quantity of lead nurturing outreach, but it allows you to maintain the quality of those interactions as well.


Better Lead Tracking and Attribution Through Integration

No matter what lead generation automation tools you’re using, chances are they can integrate with your CRM. With those integrations, your lead data is synced across marketing and sales teams. This leads to better collaboration between your teams and useful data your team can access anytime.

Using that data, B2B manufacturers can begin to track the entire lead journey from initial contact to conversion. This lets your team understand which marketing channels, campaigns and touchpoints are most effective in generating leads and driving revenue. From there, your team can adjust, leading to more effective lead-generation efforts.

To Wrap Up

B2B manufacturers in every sector can benefit from strategic lead generation automation efforts. As the landscape shifts, those who adapt to new technologies first will be in the driver’s seat. By investing in efforts to automate lead generation, you can drive quality leads and arm your sales team with everything they need to convert those leads into customers.


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Jack Carnahan

As Content Marketing Coordinator, Jack assists in developing and executing B2B content strategies that are uniquely tailored to clients’ brand and business needs. His writing and research skills are put to use creating a variety of compelling content for Altitude and our clients.
A graduate of Auburn University, Jack holds certifications in HubSpot, Google Analytics and Google Ads.