Marketing Automation platform selection

9 Tips from marketing automation experts

The hardest part about marketing automation platform selection is keeping focused on your requirements and not getting distracted by the buzzwords and shiny features. Take it from us, a marketing automation consultancy, who’ve been building marketing automation models for over a decade that there is no one tool that can do everything you want!

Not one tool will deliver all of your requirements

Depending on how you want your MarTech stack to look, you might find that marketing automation platform selection is a breeze because it compliments your existing stack, or avoids the requirement to set up a new vendor process – but make sure to follow these tips to avoid out-growing your tool.

Understanding pricing of marketing automation platforms

There is no secret that price plays an important role in marketing automation platform selection. Most of the major platforms are priced per contact and additionally what functionality you require.

A trick in the process is to buy in to the right platform, but not over commit on licence fee. This allows you room to grow as you build maturity and prove the platform and ensure your business case flies through the board room with no debates on cheaper tools.

#1. Understand or define your business objectives

The most important thing to remember when choosing any piece of technology is to align it with the 5-10 year business plan. Crazy as it may seem whilst marketing changes on a daily basis your marketing automation selection process should be focused on creating a central point to connect all of your marketing technology together. That means you need a strong interoperable marketing automation platform that allows you to centralise your entire marketing technology stack.

#2 Understand your entire business tech stack

Whilst we’re talking marketing automation platform selection, it’s important to consider how your platform will fit into the wider tech stack of the business. A key question to ask your potential marketing automation software vendor is what connectors does it have available out the box like CRM system integration.

#3 Have a marketing strategy that leverages automated journeys

Most marketing automation platforms are sold on the dream of true automation and get stuck with marketers using an expensive and powerful platform to deploy email marketing campaigns, build landing pages and automate event workflows. Rather than focusing on customer journey marketing campaigns that drive improvements to the customer experience,

That’s why we developed our readiness assessment program to make sure that your marketing strategy, team and business technology stack are ready for digital marketing transformation and customer experience automation.

More on digital transformation

Need advice on your marketing transformation project?

Driving maximum ROI from any marketing transformation project is always a top priority. Download our guide on how to make it a success and avoid the common pitfalls.

#4 Keep focused on major vendors

One of the biggest challenges of marketing automation tool deployments and maintenance is education and training for marketing teams. It takes time, it’s under funded and it’s hard to make technology experts out of excellent marketers.

By keeping focused on major vendors such as Adobe Campaign, Adobe Marketo Engage, Oracle Eloqua, Hubspot, Salesforce Pardot and similar marketing automation platforms you’ll be sure to find some marketing automation experts who can support you, and the marketing automation platform.

#5 Know your maturity stage, but buy for the future

This is the hardest part of marketing automation platform comparison and selection. Everyone wants to be doing the really cool exciting stuff such as ABM, Web Personalisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Reality is you may be starting from further back than that… such as trigger email campaigns.

In order to accelerate your marketing however you’ve got to invest in the future buying the right technology, and importantly buying in the right support whether full time hires or marketing automation consultants.

#6 Ensure Marketing and Sales alignment

At this point in the list you can have a laugh to yourself, but it’s critical that marketing engages with sales when buying a marketing automation platform. Tools like lead scoring and lead nurturing campaigns aren’t that exciting to sales, but combined with powerful tools like Marketo revenue cycle modeler, where they can predict time to close, you’ll start having a different conversation with your peers.

#7 Get a demo

Have you ever bought a car without test driving? Then chances are you’ll want to get hands on with the marketing automation platform you’re considering to buy. Few vendors have the capacity to give you a hands-on demo of an Enterprise marketing automation platform, so sometimes you get the best demos from partners.

As a Marketo partner we not only have access to demo platforms, but importantly we’ve got a million use-cases that we can walk you through to help better understand how you might use the technology.

Book a Marketo demo

#8 Play out a scenario

Whether you’re going to a marketing automation platform vendor or partner, always throw a curveball by getting them to design or develop a scenario within the marketing automation platform for your business. Or see if you can join any marketing automation platform training for free to get a real view on how the platform is in use.

#9 Get your support structure right

The most important of all of our tips, make sure you’ve the right support model in place. That isn’t just having vendor online/telephone support but importantly expert marketing automation consultants who can support your deployment and increase your time to market.

Our project success stories

Shipserv logo
Constructionline logo
Anaplan logo
Mc Graw Hill logo
Coats logo
TechData Logo