In 2019, an average of 51% of companies were using marketing automation, according to Emailmonday. Add that to the fact that more than half of B2B companies plan to adopt it in the near future and it’s clear that we’re entering a new stage of marketing automation dominance in the martech space.
However, with increased dominance comes increased complexity. The landscape of marketing automation tools is becoming increasingly crowded, and increasingly difficult to select which platform works best for your business needs. And it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
Marketing automation platforms are an investment, both financially, in implementation time, and in upkeep resources. Thankfully, there’s a clear ROI that will be gained from using marketing automation. According to Salesforce, 77% of companies using marketing automation report an increase in revenue and marketing performance.
So how do you grow your revenue and marketing performance with a new marketing automation platform, whether it’s being implemented for the first time or a rip and replace? You have to start with the basic question, which platform is right for your business?
The process of evaluating a new marketing automation platform involves looking at your business, your goals, your market size, and much more to determine a good fit in the plethora of automation options.
Here are four considerations to start with (from a long list of questions in our automation evaluation guide) when evaluating marketing automation platforms for your short and long-term marketing initiatives.
What are your goals?
It may seem obvious, but if you’re undertaking the process of implementing a new or replacing an old marketing automation system, you need to start with your overall marketing goals. What are you trying to support with your marketing automation system, demand generation, customer lifecycle marketing, lead nurturing, all of the above? What are the metrics you will hold your platform (and your team managing that platform) to, and what does success look like? In order to choose the right platform, and build a successful implementation and ongoing support plan, you need to have a clear picture of where you need your marketing automation platform to take you.
How large is your database and are you using a CRM?
The next question you need to consider is how large your database is. If you’re only talking to a small subset of your audience digitally, the feature set you need in a marketing automation system will match to that. Similarly, think about how you want your CRM and marketing automation platform to work together. Certain marketing automation platforms have better integrations with CRMs (or will need a custom integration built) knowing this information out of the gate will help you make an informed decision.
What campaigns do you plan to execute?
Now that you know what success looks like, who you’re talking to, think through where you want to communicate with that audience. Will you want your marketing automation platform to be able to track web interactions, social media form fills, or even integrate with your digital ad platforms? Outline your digital marketing campaign strategy and where you see automation playing into that, or work with a partner who can help you map it out based on your goals.
What’s your plan for implementation?
You don’t need to start out with a fully built implementation before you select a platform of course. But knowing how much help you’ll need setting up your instance will help you evaluate the partner and service that best fits your implementation style. Of course, we highly recommend working with a partner during implementation who has the experience of implementing the marketing automation software multiple times successfully and knows the best practices to implement, and pitfalls to avoid. They should also be able to help guide you through these questions (and more) to map out a full strategy tailored to your business goals!
These are just the basics to consider before thoroughly evaluating what each marketing automation platform has to offer, its features and capabilities, and mapping those to your unique marketing automation plans.
And you don’t have to go it alone. Leadous has helped many clients on the journey to marketing automation evaluation. Allow us to lead you to the best automation platform for all your marketing needs. Contact us for more information.