When it comes to successful marketing, 91% of marketing automation users agree that their platform is ‘very important’ to the overall success of their marketing across channels (i), and 67% of the best-in-class companies are more likely to use a marketing automation platform(ii).
If you’ve heard the term but you don’t know what it is or why you need it? Check out our previous article to learn how marketing automation will transform your marketing from manual to modern.
With that being said, the rapid growth in marketing automation means there are multiple platforms to choose from. While it may seem logical to go with a high end, flawlessly designed marketing automation tool such as Hubspot or Marketo and call it a day, it’s critical to make a decision that best suits your resources and will integrate best with your business processes. These vital aspects of the marketing automation decision making process will ensure your receive the best ROI.
Evaluate your business goals and action plan
As marketing automation platforms are not a one-size-fits-all solution you must outline a clear set of business goals, resources and guidelines to make a strategic decision and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the many choices available.
Consider where your opportunities lie. What is your internal skill set and what features are necessary to achieve your business goals? Are you trying to increase website traffic with email marketing or social media? Do your sales reps need to access your marketing data, thus requiring software with strong CRM integration? These factors should be considered in alignment with your price point for the most sustainable outcome.
Platforms to consider
All platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, so use your business goals to find one which matches your guidelines. If you’re sold on the idea of high end automation software, Marketo and Hubspot are renowned for their intuitive usability, quick and easy setup and seamless integration of tools. Although the steep jump in price or Hubspot 12 month contract may not suit your business.
For a price conscious purchase, Infusionsoft offer a well-designed user interface and are great for nurturing sequences. They are also one of the only platforms that offer a built-in eCommerce system. However, it will take more time to learn the platform and if you’re after integration, it comes at additional costs.
There is also always a middle ground, which is where vendors such as Act-On come into the mix. Act-On provides straight-forward navigation, value in email campaigns, integration and an intelligent support team. While act-on offers many tools and is more affordable than Hubspot and Marketo, it lacks a content management platform and access to detailed analytics that are needed for an effective content strategy.
Contact Appropriate Vendors
After research and consideration, contact your best suited vendors and schedule demos with platforms you are most interested in. This will allow you compare and confirm critical aspects of the platform such as usability, alignment with your marketing needs, and included support and training. Most importantly, you can confirm which platform offers the most value to your business.
Top Tip: Don’t hesitate to ask for a demonstration of specific features. You should also carefully consider all areas of the contract, ask the important questions and be strong in your negotiating efforts.
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- Marketo & Ascend2 “Marketing Automation Strategies for Sustaining Success” (2015)
- Aberdeen Group“State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce” (2014)