How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Vendor

POSTED BY Marleen Linares - 06.30.15 - Digital marketing, Inbound Marketing

iStock_000004994931_LargeTraditional outbound marketing efforts are losing their touch as consumers crave more genuine connections with brands. Marketing automation allows companies to target qualified leads and nurture them through the buying process. This is done through features like blog/content management, landing pages with lead capture forms, email marketing, search engine optimization tools, etc.

Marketing automation software can yield many benefits for your business and help streamline your digital marketing efforts. However, this software is not one size fits all. The different platforms range widely in price and features and it can be difficult to choose the one that will best serve your goals. Below are some tips to guide you as you choose the right marketing automation vendor for your business.

Assess Your Business' Goals

As with most marketing decisions, the first step to choosing a marketing automation vendor is assessing your goals. Determine where your opportunities lie and what efforts and tools will help your company take advantage of them. Do you want to qualify more leads to hand off to sales? Maybe you want to use your website to gain revenue by increasing conversions. Are you trying to increase your website traffic with email marketing? Laying out your goals for marketing automation will help guide your research into which platform will work best.

Identify Necessary Features

Once you've gauged and prioritized your goals, the next step in finding the right marketing automation vendor is deciding which features you need to execute on those goals. Most platforms offer the same basic capabilities but additional features do vary. Do you want comprehensive inbound marketing capabilities? You'll need integrated blogging, social and email tools. Do your sales reps need to access marketing data? Then you'll need a marketing automation software with its own CRM or CRM integration capabilities. Knowing what you need from your marketing automation vendor will position you to choose the platform that will benefit your company most.

Determine Your Price Point

Just like with features and strength areas, marketing automation vendors also vary in price. Some platforms are all-inclusive while others have a standard package with the option to add on extra features at an additional charge. The number of contacts you have can also affect the pricing.

Most marketing automation software can vary in features and some may be a better fit for your industry, budget and marketing goals.  For example, Act-On is more affordable than HubSpot but lacks a content management platform and sophisticated analytics, so it wouldn't be as useful for a content strategy.

You should first make a list of your own marketing capabilities to determine which you already have and what that is costing you. Prioritize the ones you don’t need, the ones you might want and the ones you can't live without. Then research the different features and setbacks to find the best fit for your business. This will help narrow down your options and gauge where your money will be best spent.

Another price point to consider is the cost of training and ongoing services. Using a marketing automation platform takes a specific skillset and many hours of training and ongoing management. You need to consider your current resources and decide whether you would need to hire additional staff or partner with an agency to manage your marketing automation.

Powered by the right fuel, using a marketing automation platform can be beneficial to many of your digital marketing and sales efforts. Need some more help? Fusionfarm is a certified partner with Hubspot, a leader in marketing automation and inbound marketing. We also have experience deploying campaigns with other marketing automation platforms. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can partner with your brand to achieve your goals.

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