As marketing has moved from traditional channels to online, this has presented both new opportunities as well as new challenges for today’s marketer.
Online marketing provides the ability to utilize multiple channels, monitor campaign effectiveness and to quickly make changes in response. However, this ability to constantly monitor and revise presents a challenge as to how best to sift through the enormous amount of data to easily identify useful and actionable information.
If you have been conducting online marketing, it is likely you have multiple systems managing various parts of your digital marketing efforts. You may have separate systems for CRM, email marketing, PPC, SEO and web analytics, to name a few. It becomes extremely labor intensive and time consuming to manage each system and, more importantly, to develop a cohesive view of your company’s overall online marketing effectiveness.
Marketing automation software can be a powerful tool for today’s marketing manager, integrating information from different systems and providing information on the source, behavior and demographic profile of prospects who visit their company’s web site or interact with the company through its online communication channels.
The growth of the marketing automation software industry has exploded in recent years and today there are many vendors to choose from. With all of these options, this can present another challenge for marketers; which vendor to select. Comprehensive marketing automation software vendors typically include the following features in their service offering:
- Lead capture, nurture and scoring
- Automated email marketing
- CRM integration
- Reporting and analytics
- Social media integration
- SEO management
- Event management
Selection of the right marketing automation software vendor for your organization can be a daunting task. To help you navigate through the process more easily, we have provided suggestions for questions to ask and information to obtain before you sign on the dotted line.
- Does the vendor have expertise in your industry?
- Does the vendor provide CRM integration and how is this accomplished?
- Does the vendor offer more of a self service or full service approach and which is best for your organization?
- Is the software scalable to meet the growth projections of your company?
- If you actively use social media in your marketing mix, is social media integration offered?
- How is lead scoring done?
- Through what methods is lead nurturing accomplished?
- How are analytics on campaigns derived?
- Does the vendor understand marketing and a marketer’s information needs?
- Is the vendor an innovator, keeping up with trends?
- Is the complexity of the system compatible with your available resources?
- What training and support is provided?
- Is their pricing within your budget?
If a potential vendor can adequately and satisfactorily answer the above questions, you should be on the right track to selecting the right marketing automation software for your organization.
Our aim is to provide you with the latest trends, case studies and reviews related to marketing automation software to help you make the best and most informed decisions.