For companies of all sizes, there will come a point – whether now or in the future – that it becomes necessary to consider automating at least a portion of their marketing efforts. The tasks involved with staying on top of social media profiles, preparing new content, creating blog posts and managing an overall marketing strategy are simply too complex and time consuming to handle using manual methods alone.
Fortunately, there are many solutions available for marketing automation, at all price ranges and suited for a variety of landscapes. Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot and Act-On are among the top vendors in the industry, but there are ups and downs involved with each solution. As you begin researching marketing automation software for your business, an overview of these options can give you food for thought.
It’s a good fit if… Your company requires a powerful, flexible solution with scalability to account for future growth. The features offered by Marketo cover a wide spectrum of automation options. The company’s innovation efforts are unparalleled and the monthly product updates take into account the comments and needs of actual users. Campaign creation is also highly efficient, with options like landing page templates and customised drip marketing tools.
Consider other products if… You’re new to the game and need simple, straightforward marketing automation software for your business. Marketo offers many high level features and a wide range of core operations that can help you drive marketing across the board; however, if you don’t know how to use all the bells and whistles, you’re not investing wisely.
A wise choice for… Companies that need to seamlessly integrate marketing automation with their highly developed, data-intense existing customer relationship management solutions. Eloqua enables users to segment their contact database to better reach targeted customers through their automation efforts; alternatively, you can opt to incorporate the solution’s native database application, with correlates 300+ fields to fine tune your marketing content.
Not a good move for… Those organisations that incorporate advanced lead scoring into their marketing approach. The solution can prove difficult when it comes to identifying common customer and lead criteria, which are essential to developing the target customer that the lead scoring process is founded upon. Furthermore, some companies report the learning curve as being high compared to other solutions. The more detailed functions can take some time investment for users who haven’t dealt with marketing automation technology in the past.
Get on board if… Your company needs access to external services that are components of your marketing strategy. Certain features provide a connection to your video platform, enabling you to see which videos are popular and how long prospects view them. You can also directly access Google Analytics to get a close-up look at activities on your website.
Don’t waste your money if… You need marketing automation software for your business that goes beyond email campaigns. Pardot is widely used for email marketing, so your marketing team will certainly spend a lot of time configuring the system for drip marketing and other message blasts. However, if you want to engage in other marketing automation efforts, you’re likely better off with one of the other solutions.
It makes sense for… Users who want a clear cut, easy to navigate dashboard that gives them an effective overview of their marketing efforts. Setting up and customising your dashboard is effortless, while you can also personalise reports on the fly when you want to see certain figures. It’s also an ideal solution when used to monitor and measure website activity. You’ll gain valuable insight into what search terms are working well and the identity of your referring sites.
It’s not quite right for… Any company that includes frequently used graphics in email marketing. Act-On features a variety of email templates, but it does not allow incorporation of advanced graphics, which can be a hindrance to companies that heavily rely on graphic depictions of their offerings. There are also challenges when you implement lead scoring, as many of the operations need to be manually input when a contact falls beneath a certain threshold.
Hopefully, identifying the features and highlights of each of these solutions will help guide you as you’re considering marketing automation software for your business. Of course, a more in-depth look will enable you to narrow down your list and find the right fit. Consulting with experts can also be useful, as these professionals can review your company’s marketing approach, goals and other considerations that weigh into the final decision.
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