Does your organization need a marketing automation platform?

Marketing automation platforms are an essential part of the martech ecosystem for many businesses, providing many benefits by streamlining manual B2B marketing tasks including lead management, email campaign development and creating landing pages.

But deciding whether or not your business needs a marketing automation platform requires the same steps involved in any software adoption, including a thorough self-assessment of your organization’s business needs, staff, management support and financial resources.

Have we outgrown our current marketing system?

Marketing automation is often a solution for companies that are growing rapidly and need to scale up. If you have data in multiple databases that can’t be consolidated, or you’re using a messaging system that can’t provide the level of behavioral targeting you need, it might be time to upgrade. marketing automation.

Which marketing automation capabilities are most critical to our business?

Identify and prioritize your software requirements and the key features you will need in the new system. Do your sales reps need real-time access to marketing data? In this case, native CRM integration is a must. Do you have a sophisticated social media presence? Next, the management and integration of social marketing will be important. By knowing what you need, you’ll be in a better position to control the selection process and choose the platform that will benefit the organization the most.

What kind of marketing automation platform do we need?

Marketing automation is not a one-size-fits-all solution; finding the right fit is important. Almost every company offers the same basic functionality for email, website tracking, and a marketing database. However, additional capabilities vary, so it’s important to identify what you need. Is inbound marketing (social media, blogging, SEO) more important than outbound (email)? Are reports and analytics the key features you need? Is lead scoring a crucial part of your marketing process? Do you need greater audience segmentation and personalization capabilities?

What are our goals ?

It is essential to know in advance what your goals will be for the marketing automation system. Do you want to improve the quality of leads transmitted by marketing to sales? Or increase revenue by increasing conversion at key stages of the purchase cycle? Want to improve visibility into buying and selling cycles to optimize marketing engagement? Or do you want to reach the growing share of your prospects who are mobile users? Bring key stakeholders together to establish organizational goals.

How will this platform integrate with our existing technology stack?

Chances are you already have a tech stack (e.g. several standalone tools for social media management, SEO, webinar hosting, etc.). You’ll need to identify them all so you can ask the marketing automation vendor about the integration. Many vendors offer app marketplaces, which provide faster access to participating systems. Virtually all marketing automation vendors offer APIs, but they can be an add-on to the price of the platform.

Does management support this purchase?

Every marketer should have an executive sponsor to gain C-level support. If you’re not the ultimate decision maker on this purchase, you’ll need management to buy into the idea before going any further. Present a compelling argument demonstrating that the benefits of new software far outweigh the costs. This could include converting more leads, increasing sales effectiveness, and improving campaign ROI.

Do we have the necessary internal skills and personnel?

To maximize your return on investment, staff will need training and a willingness to develop and execute new business processes. You may also need to consider several new recruits. If your marketing and sales organizations have operated in silos, they will need to work more cooperatively on lead scoring and routing systems, lead qualification definitions, and more effective marketing materials and communications. Identify someone in the organization who will lead the selection process, as well as who will use the system once it is adopted.

How will we measure success?

This is one of the most difficult questions and it directly relates to understanding why you are adopting a marketing automation platform. If your goal is to increase conversions, you’ll need to know your conversion rate before automation to measure its impact. If it’s to improve email effectiveness, prepare with metrics on open rates, clicks, and more. In addition to measuring your marketing goals, it’s wise to measure the depth and breadth of platform usage. Many marketers only use basic email functionality, which ends up being an expensive investment.

Did we estimate the cost realistically?

Some marketing automation platforms are all-inclusive, while others offer add-on tools and services that can significantly increase costs. In addition to the cost of the software license itself, consider the costs of ongoing services and training, as well as overhead costs associated with getting staff up and running on the new system (i.e. i.e., more cooperation and data sharing between marketing and sales). If you don’t have your own IT or design staff, be sure to ask about the hourly cost of these services. For example, if the platform offers templates, find out how much and how much it costs to customize the template design.

Overview: Marketing Automation

For today’s marketers, automation platforms are often at the center of the marketing stack. These aren’t shiny new technologies, but rather reliable mainstays marketers can count on to help them stand out in a crowded inbox and on the web amid a deluge of content.

HubSpot noted late last year that marketing email volume was up 52% ​​from pre-COVID levels. And, thankfully, response rates also increased between 10% and 20% from their baseline.

To help marketers win attention, marketing automation vendors have shifted from relying on static email campaigns to offering dynamic content deployment for emails, landing pages, mobiles and social networks. They’ve also incorporated features that rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence for functions like lead scoring, in addition to investing in user interface and scalability.

The growing popularity of account-based marketing has also influenced vendor roadmaps, as marketers seek to serve the buying group holistically, addressing all of its members and their different priorities. And, ideally, these tools allow marketers to send buyer insights through their tight integrations with CRMs, giving the sales team a head start when it comes to closing the deal. . Learn more here.

About Madeline Powers

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