So you’ve decided that Marketing Automation may be what your organisation needs. But which is the right one for you?
Are you B2B or B2C, are you selling online, or capturing leads? There are many factors that are worth considering before making your decision.
There is also a wide range of Marketing Automation software available. So how do you choose between them?
Here is where I should confess a bias towards our customer base which is B2B small to medium sized businesses. So, I would rule out the likes of Pardot, Eloqua and Marketo which are all typically $1000+ per month at entry level and aimed at larger organisations. See also what does Marketing Automation cost?
So, what does that leave us with? Well, it would be nice to see what actual users of the systems have said about it through some sort of standard review system, wouldn’t it? You can do exactly that at G2Crowd. Take a look at how the Marketing Automation Platforms are ranked:
There are 39 products to choose from above, which is a fairly comprehensive list.
What else can you do at G2Crowd?
As you can see from the above graphic if you were looking for well-reviewed software you might want to see a side by side comparison of two of these that best fit your needs: HubSpot and SharpSpring.
You can absolutely do this. Here is the comparison of how well the features are implemented:
The green highlights that this is the better score (compared to the grey). Remember this is based on actual users of the systems. What if you wanted to understand if it met their requirements, and how they rate the company for support and maintenance? You can see that too:
We have spent some time studying the relative merits of the various marketing automation platforms and would advise that you do the same. From our standing start, we picked three that we believe will cover the needs of the B2B SMEs that are our typical customers.
These are HubSpot, SharpSpring and Infusionsoft (not necessarily in that order).
I would recommend carrying out this investigation yourself, as marketing automation can be a significant investment, and you need to be sure that it meets your exact requirements.
Getting the Strategy Right
In a survey of companies carried out by Ascend2 the biggest barrier to successful implementation of Marketing Automation was a “lack of an effective strategy”. So be aware that choosing a marketing automation platform won’t help you with devising a strategy. The software itself will only help you with delivering it.
Approached correctly, a marketing automation implementation will save you time and money and should improve the way that you collect and manage leads, but it needs to start with building the right strategy.
If you need help in getting the strategy right, there’s no better way to review this than with The Marketing Journey:
If you have covered all of the ‘stops’ on the journey
You may want to build your marketing around an Inbound Marketing approach too, so I would recommend finding a marketing agency that has expertise in that.
Taking your First Steps towards Marketing Automation
A good place to start would be by fully understanding how inbound marketing works. Download our free e-book now.