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How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation for Your Business

Marketing automation is booming, there’s no secret about that. We’ve covered this topic before in a recent blog, discussing how to get the most out of your marketing automation. Often, you hear about a new marketing automation platform that seeks to solve a new problem that an enterprise is having, but how many new platforms are worth looking at and what should you look at when selecting the right platform for your business?

When you begin the process of selecting a marketing automation platform, you might already have an idea of the features and capabilities the platform needs to have. Whether you need it to solve a specific sales role, re-engage customers after information gathering, or distill content throughout your wider network, there will always be a platform that can help you reach these goals.

We’ve found there are three primary “make or break” features and aspects that usually determine the final platform selection. For some, you may be considering more factors in order to make your decision, and that’s fine. These three a good starting point regardless, and these are the three factors that have been brought up almost every time.

Current Technology Interactions and Integrations
How each marketing automation platform integrates and interacts with any existing technology your company is using is extremely important. There may be a CRM, third-party sales tool or website technology that your company must use in order to serve its customers, and if the marketing automation platform isn’t compatible with those systems, you have wasted time and money getting here. 

When you’re selecting a marketing automation platform, answer these questions to ensure you’re thinking of your existing technology:

  • What existing technology does your company use to meet the needs of its customers?
  • Which of the previous technologies are absolutely necessary for operation?
  • Which of the previous technologies have alternatives?

Answering these questions will help you determine which concessions can be made during the marketing automation platform selection process.

Usability and Training
Getting the most out of any marketing automation platform means being able to onboard your team quickly and allow them to tackle problems and manage data effectively. If the marketing automation platforms you’re looking at aren’t immediately understandable and usable, then you may face issues during the training and onboarding process.

The last thing you want is your team to get bogged down with unusable processes or time-consuming tasks. When you’re getting demos of these marketing automation platforms make sure you ask yourself these questions:

  • What onboarding and training guides do they offer out of the box?
  • How intuitive is the platform you’re looking at?
  • What kind of customer support do they offer?

Remember, take members of your team, from multiple levels, with you on these calls to get a sense for how they evaluate the processes and features. The last thing you want is to select a marketing automation platform and find out that your marketing coordinators can’t do basic functions easily or the processes are so convoluted that it takes much longer to do something.

Pricing
Pricing and the bottom line is the number one factor when selecting a marketing automation platform, bar none. Your internal stakeholders and leadership will want to know the impact of the yearly costs and the return on the investment.

The big questions you need to answer:

  • How much are we willing to spend each year on a marketing automation platform?
    • What does that investment look like in three years?
    • What does that investment look like in five years?
    • What does that investment look like in ten years?
  • What is included in each package, scale, or baseline prices?
  • Are the training resources and knowledge base features additional costs?
  • Is ____ feature an additional cost? 

Most marketing automation platforms are priced based on a scale of features and training. As you’re vetting marketing automation platforms and companies, ensure that you’re always including the additional features and bandwidth, so you’re never caught off guard.

Other Important Features to Consider
There are so many other factors along the way that you may find impact your decision. While we can’t highlight them all, we can offer up some considerations that will help you in selecting a platform perfectly in-tune with your business.

eCommerce Integrations
If you sell products online, you’ll need a marketing automation platform that connects the actions users are taking to your POS systems, CRM and even your website. 

Social Media Integrations
If your brand or company is active on social media, it’s important that your marketing automation platform interacts with or even lets you post to those platforms. Replying to comments and logging interactions will be a huge plus if your marketing automation platform can do it.

Email Features
This is the main feature of most marketing automation platforms, but you need to ensure that each platform has the features you need. The inclusion of features like A/B Testing and Template design can be incredibly important for iterating and optimizing your process.

Content Marketing Features
There are many types of content that your brand needs to share with the world to increase awareness and garner a loyal following. Landing pages, forms, videos, blogs, internal pages; all are important to consider in a marketing automation platform.

Need Help Deciding on a Marketing Automation Platform for Your Company?
DWebware has you covered. We’ve helped numerous companies integrate their chosen marketing automation platforms with their websites and other backend systems for close to a decade. While it may seem like a daunting task, our experts can walk you through your options and help make the process easier. If you have any questions on if the current solution you have is the right one for you, contact us today!

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At AKC Marketing we honestly assess the perception of your company. We push to market you above your competition. We do this by igniting your inner brand - focusing on what your true value to the marketplace is. To make it impossible to be ignored in your industry.
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