In today’s world, marketing automation is becoming a critical component of many businesses. The software can help businesses of all sizes become more efficient and effective, whether you’re just starting out or you’re already a mature company with several hundred employees.
However, many businesses confuse marketing automation with automated email marketing, when in fact, marketing automation is much more. It’s a tool used to streamline marketing efforts across different platforms and channels, and automate repetitive tasks. It doesn’t necessarily mean your emails will be automated, but rather, that you’ll use the software to automate as much as possible.
In this blog post, we will discuss which type of business you should consider investing in and what features you should look for in a marketing automation solution.
Mature Or Start-Up?
When deciding whether or not to invest in marketing automation, it’s important to consider the size of your business. If you’re already a mature company with several hundred employees, you may not need additional help from the software side. You can probably handle all the inbound and outbound marketing efforts yourself. Or, at the very least, you can have one employee handle these tasks while you focus on running the business.
On the other hand, if you’re a startup business with a small marketing team, you probably don’t have the time to dedicate to understanding, utilizing, and monitoring the results of marketing automation. This is where you need to put in the extra effort to ensure you make the right choice and invest in a marketing automation solution that will serve your needs.
Which Type Of Business Should You Invest In?
An important decision you need to make when choosing a marketing automation solution is which type of business you should invest in. There are several different options available, so it’s important to understand what type of company you’re dealing with.
You should consider investing in a marketing automation solution for any type of business that can benefit from automation. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have all of these tools at once, but rather, that you can use the software to streamline and automate your marketing efforts across different platforms and channels. This way, you can ensure you’re always reaching your target audience and maximizing your marketing impact.
Here are some of the things you might consider when deciding which type of business to invest in:
Selling Online Vs. Offline
One of the first things you’ll want to consider is how much you’re currently relying on traditional offline marketing (i.e. billboards, posters, brochures, magazines, etc.) versus online marketing (i.e. social media, paid advertising, etc.).
If you’re heavily reliant on offline marketing, you may not need additional help from the software side. However, if most of your leads come from online channels, you can benefit from a marketing automation solution that can help you track the performance of your campaigns, analyze the results, and optimize future efforts. The software can also help you track the performance of your advertising campaigns, so you can get a better understanding of which platforms and media are delivering the best results.
To learn more, we recommend checking out this blog post from HubSpot, which covers the key differences between marketing automation and automated email marketing. You can also find many articles and comparisons on this topic across the web.
Small Business Vs. Mature Company
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a marketing automation solution is the size of your business. It’s one thing to invest in the technology for a tiny startup, but quite another to commit to such a large purchase as a marketing automation solution for a company with hundreds of employees.
If you’re a business which relies heavily on one product and doesn’t have the budget for additional marketing efforts, you may not need a marketing automation solution. However, if you’re a company which already utilizes multiple platforms for marketing (i.e. social media, SEO, and PPC), you can benefit from a single dashboard which monitors all these platforms, creating a 360-degree view of the customer-base you’re striving to reach. A marketing automation solution can help you track the performance of these platforms, so you can see which ones are producing the best results and which ones you should invest in further.
To find out more, check out this blog post from HubSpot, which covers the key differences between marketing automation and automated email marketing. You can also find many articles and comparisons on this topic across the web.
Features To Look For
When choosing a marketing automation solution, it’s important to find one that has the features you need. This way, you can get the most out of the software and don’t end up with a product which doesn’t meet your expectations. Here are some of the features you might want to look for in a marketing automation solution:
- API (Application Programming Interface)
- CRM (Customer Relations Management)
- CMDB (Channel Marketing Database)
- DMP (Double-Magnet Publicity)
- Flexible Content
- HCM (Human Capital Management)
- IM (Industry Marketing)
- OAuth (Open Authentication)
- Reporting & Analytics
There’s also the option to integrate your automated email marketing with other services, such as Google Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter. This way, you can use the software to pull relevant content, analyze results, and take actions (e.g. conversion tracking, email marketing, etc.) on the fly. The more integrations a product has, the more flexibility you’ll have in using it. For example, if you need to integrate your email marketing with HubSpot and social media, you’ll need a separate tool for each platform, but with an integration, you can have all your marketing materials in one place.
To learn more, check out this blog post from HubSpot, which covers the key differences between marketing automation and automated email marketing. You can also find many articles and comparisons on this topic across the web.
Security & Privacy
Additionally, make sure the vendor you choose is able to offer the level of security you require. Some vendors may sell low-cost solutions which are more affordable but have less security features than the big-name products. It’s also important to look for products which have been built using strong privacy protection technologies, such as HTTPS, VPN, and PGP, which help keep your personal information secure.
Support & Community
Last but not least, we have support and community. In the past, companies which offer products with limited support have often turned out to be unreliable vendors who don’t offer the quality of service customers expect. Make sure you do your research before buying such a tool, as there are many reputable companies out there which have excellent customer support. Moreover, make sure the community you choose is active and responsive, as it will affect your usage of the product. In the end, you’ll be spending a lot of time figuring things out, so you want to be sure the support is available when you need it. Small companies often turn to mailing lists since they can’t afford paying for support every time they need help with the software. However, with the growth of forums like Stack Overflow and Quora, where users answer each other’s questions, finding help when you need it became much easier and more convenient.
Choosing a marketing automation solution is not an easy task, as there are several different options out there which may fit your needs. Moreover, there are several factors you need to keep in mind, such as your budget, the size of your business, and whether you need additional support or just want a product which does the job properly.