The ability of marketing automation platforms to improve business efficiency make them an invaluable tool for any business. With automation, you can streamline marketing processes and free employees from mundane tasks for more productive work.
It should be noted, though, that marketing automation requires serious investment, considering the cost and planning process required to implement automation tools. To ensure solid returns, it’s important to make sure the platform you choose can indeed improve and strengthen your marketing initiatives and strategies.
As there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to automation platforms, special considerations must be made when choosing marketing automation providers that will meet your specific business needs. If you have already established a business case for marketing automation, here are several points to consider in choosing a marketing automation platform.
1. Software capabilities
When evaluating your options, be sure to measure your platform requirements. Understanding your business needs from a technical and non-technical perspective enables you to compare the numerous marketing automation platforms available. A great marketing automation platform should offer a wide variety of tools.
Your marketing automation platform should go beyond the automation basics. It should be capable of adjusting processes according to business specifications. The goal of automation is to make your marketing processes smarter, executing functions in a sustainable, scalable process.
When budgeting for the right marketing automation tool, don’t simply look at the price. Certain factors play a crucial role in determining the right automation software for your business. Things like indirect and opportunity costs, as well as scalability, must be considered when adding up the cost of automation.
Positioning will also play a role in determining the right automation platform. With dozens of automation solutions available, platforms have been created to target small and medium-sized companies alongside enterprises, as well as those in B2B and B2C industries.
To establish pricing and costs, make formal inquiries with a marketing automation request for proposal (RFP). Sending RFPs to select automation providers enables you to make the right decision and establish a fruitful partnership once you’ve completed your final evaluation.
3. Ease of use
Marketing automation is only as effective as the capabilities of its users. When determining the right automation platform for your business, look for solutions that are intuitive, intelligent and easy to use. Platforms with constricting or complicated interface designs will create gaps of failure through your automation processes.
Additionally, difficult-to-use marketing automation platforms will create challenges in software assimilation with current marketing processes, leading to a loss of time and investment.
Similar to user accessibility or ease of use, your chosen automation software should seamlessly integrate to your company’s legacy systems. If your marketing department already operates with programs like CRM or social media marketing solutions, your business will want to avoid having to purchase new software that fails to integrate with your current processes.
Automation platforms should aid in streamlining the vast amount of marketing processes your business requires. If it imposes limits rather than empower strategies and processes, then continue looking elsewhere.
5. Tech support
Like any other form of software, automation is subject to failings. In the event of such incidents, your business will want a level of support that ensures troubleshooting issues are resolved in an efficient and timely manner. Tech availability and support are key to ensuring everything operates as expected without interrupting your internal processes and business operations.
When considering a marketing automation vendor, confirm that their total costs factor in tech support and troubleshooting diagnoses when needed. Your automation vendor should enable your business to immediately connect with their software experts to resolve a downtime if and when it occurs.
A final word on automation platforms
With so many choices currently available for marketing automation platforms, it may seem like a daunting task to find the right platform for your business. The considerations listed above should aid you in taking decisive steps to determine the right choice.
The key in determining the right automation software for your business objectives and current technological capabilities is to seek one that can meet the present needs of your business while scaling alongside the growth of your business, adapting as necessary, to continue meeting its future needs.