A Guide to choosing an All-in-one Marketing Automation Platform

June 4, 2023
November 9, 2023
Demand Generation Strategy
"Guide to choosing an All-in-One Marketing Automation Tool"

Who needs it?

EVERYONE! Okay, that’s not true. But most businesses will benefit from an integrated approach to marketing automation. Small-medium sized organizations will really be able to get value from an all-in-one solution. They allow resource strapped organizations to take advantage of sophisticated marketing tactics with scalable prices. You don't have to go out and buy this hugely customizable software that can even butter your toast in the morning when your team is resource strapped.

Marketing Automation will allow any business to up their game when it comes to marketing. When resources are strapped, all-in-one solutions are much easier to setup and maintain than enterprise systems and they can accomplish many of the tasks that you need to automate. They ultimately allow smaller organizations to do more with less resources while providing a more personalized experience. One huge thing that marketing automation brings to all organizations is a great deal of data. You will have better insight into:

  • The buyer’s journey
  • How long they research before making the decision to buy
  • What kind of information will help them make the decision to buy
  • What pages on your website perform better
  • The best time to send emails
  • etc.

When employed well, marketing automation allows you to be aware of the evolving needs of your leads, and the behaviors and interactions they have with you across all of your marketing channels. Not just email. You will be able to look at how leads and customers engage with your brand, everywhere from your website, social channels and other content to give a fuller picture of their needs and challenges. 

What to look for in an All-in-One Marketing Automation Solution

An all-in-one solution will allow you to easily leverage all of your data in one place. Integrated solutions, like Salesforce and Marketo also do this well. But they are not a good fit for small-medium sized companies. 

It's always important to think about their history as a software company. What was their main purpose for being? Is it marketing or is it marketing adjacent like accounting or even sales to a certain extent. How they have evolved is another important element to consider, learning about where they are investing, are they growing by acquisition and bolting on new modules or developing in house. The answers to these questions speak to the robustness of the software. 

Niche software vs built-for-purpose

In an ideal world, when selecting an All-in-One Marketing Automation solution, you are probably looking at a solution that is niche to your industry. For instance, say you are a medical clinic. There are many nuance in addition to just picking a software and implementing it when dealing with health related data and so an industry specific-all-in-one solution would be great. But, usually these systems maybe do one thing well and the rest is just added on to tick the functionality box in their marketing material. 

That being said, they might be a fantastic health record, but not offer you the functionality you expect from a modern marketing tool. Be careful when going down this route.

I often recommend that my clients look for a built-for-purpose software that has the ability to share data with your other data sources. This way, you are focusing your effort on software that has been designed to accomplish what you are after: automating your marketing efforts.

Consideration when choosing an All-in-One Marketing Automation Platform

There are many questions to consider when evaluating marketing automation platforms.

  • Does the system integrate with your website?
  • Will it track website search history?
  • Do forms easily integrate with your website either through an embedded form, form handler or plugin or Zapier connection?
  • Does it have a built in chat feature?
  • Can you create AI-driven automated responses for chat?
  • Does the system send email nurture programs?
  • Can you set up personalized web, email, and chat experiences?
  • Can you create workflows that update your team on various lead activities?
  • Can you assign inbound leads and inquiries automatically to your team easily?
  • Can you trigger marketing material based on a lead’s interactions on your website?
  • Can you personalize landing pages for the customer’s buying journey?
  • How is onboarding and support provided? Where are they located?

These questions will help you to really determine if the software you are evaluating will hold water when put up to the task of automating your various workflows and marketing efforts. Investing in Marketing Automation is a great step for any business that will change how you interact with your potential customers.

To learn more about the evolution of Marketing Automation and trends to keep on top of, check out this blog!

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