Marketing automation solutions can revolutionise the effectiveness and understanding of your campaigns, but choosing the right one is critical. Many put off the decision for as long as possible due to the investment required both in man hours and finances so when the time comes and you need to bite the bullet you want to know you have selected the right one for your business.
Here I share with you my 6 advices for a quick evaluation of marketing automation platform. If you follow these key rules you will have a platform that is fit for purpose and meets your marketing requirements:
What do you actually want the platform to do for your business? Sounds like a simple question but it’s easy to get distracted by the advanced features some platforms offer. Be really clear on what it is that you need it to do and only look for the features you will have an use for.
The amount of time you have to implement a new marketing automation platform will help you decide whether you go down the ‘built your own’ route or select an ‘off the shelf’ product. Both have their pros and cons but bear in mind that regardless of which route you choose it’s going to be at least eight to 12 weeks before you have a fully functioning platform.
How is the new platform going to integrate with any existing tools you currently use? If you have a CRM system it is worth talking to your existing supplier to see whether they have a suitable marketing platform as well. This could save time, cost and will ensure all of your on line tools work harmoniously.
Make sure you select a platform that can grow with your business. You are probably clear on the functionality needed today but what does your business look like in five years’ time and does the platform you are considering offer the ability to scale up when you need it to?
Ease of use
Despite all of us being IT savvy and more than capable of driving on line and self-serve technologies, make sure the tool you select doesn’t require a master’s degree to understand it! It only takes one bad experience to put an employee or partner off using a platform no matter how great it is so make sure you evaluate the user experience.
As with any marketing activity you need to be able to demonstrate success and ROI. Choose a platform that allows you to create, view and export reports that show how your campaign has performed and identifies trends that will shape future campaigns.