5 tips to select the right marketing automation platform

Sonia Slattery

17 December 02019

Marketing Automation has been one of the hottest marketing topics of 2017. And if you’re a marketer still juggling multiple digital platforms, desperate databases and inefficient publishing demands, then chances are you’ve been doing some research into automation platforms.

But, with the growing number of products available, such as HubSpot, Marketo and InfusionSoft, how do you know which is the right platform for your business? As an Inbound Marketing agency, we’re often asked to compare or advise on marketing automation platform selection for our clients. And although the answer ‘it depends’ is correct, we like to be a bit more helpful than that!
So in this blog, we offer five tips to help you understand your business requirements in order to evaluate the different marketing automation technologies in the market. Let’s go…

To get all our tips on Marketing Automation download our free eBook – A Guide to Marketing Automation.

#1 Keep in mind your company's goals & IT philosophy

Your business has its own unique goals, so take time to consider what the key priorities of the business are. How will marketing automation complement these priorities? And think about what relationship you want with your software provider to achieve these goals – for example, are you looking for long term support and engagement to ensure you’re getting optimal benefit from your marketing automation solution as your business evolves? Is your organisation comfortable with cloud-based services that are hosted offshore?

#2 What's your marketing strategy?

Your marketing strategy should define your requirements. Are you looking to use content purely for engagement purposes or do you have specific lead generation and sales conversion targets that need to be met? A full-funnel Inbound Marketing strategy that touches cross-channel acquisition and retention touch-points and needs to integrate with your CRM, will have very different technology requirements compared to a fast-touch FMCG marketing programme that uses content to drive in-store purchase.

#3 Who's going to be using the platform?

Have a clear understanding of who within your organisation will need to be using the platform. Is it primarily a marketing tool that you want your marketing team to administrate, or are you wanting to bring your entire sales operation across on to the platform also?

Tip: Often times we see the IT department making purchase decisions around marketing technology. Their view is important from a security/policy point of view, but it is the end users of the solution who should have the ultimate say in the purchase decision. Does the platform solve their problems and enable them to do the job they need to do?

#4 How will it support your sales function?

If you’re looking to marketing automation to support lead generation and sales conversion activity then critically, both the Marketing and Sales teams should be invested in platform selection and have shared goals in terms of what the programme is expected to deliver. We see time and time again the Marketing team delivering hard-earned, high quality leads, only to see them disappear into the void of the Sales department if the Sales team aren’t equal stakeholders in the programme.

And marketing automation is increasingly becoming central to the customer experience, extending beyond the marketing function alone. In fact, leading companies are already using marketing automation in new ways, including driving internal communications, customer satisfaction initiatives and channel optimisation. The most successful companies have navigated the responsibility of automation between Sales and Marketing functions with CRM integration, so it’s vital to do your homework with the Sales team to ensure they too see a future with the chosen platform.

#5 How easy is to use really?

There’s only one way to find out. Try it before you buy it. The platform Sales teams will all claim their platforms are easy to use – but what’s easy for someone with a tech background is not always as easy for a Marketer to use.

Some platforms allow you to trial the software before committing to a license. If this is available take them up on it! There’s no better way to get a feel for the solution. If this offer isn’t available, find out other companies who use the platform in New Zealand and reach out to peers in your position at those companies. New Zealand is a village - and that’s what LinkedIn is for!!!

And check out the training and support packages the solution provider offers. How comprehensive and intensive is it? Do they provide ‘self-service’ online training or will your team have to attend on-site training?

To get all our tips on Marketing Automation download our free eBook – A Guide to Marketing Automation.

Engaging Partners team

We think tech, but speak human