Feature list Considerations
Choosing a Marketing Automation software is often a confusing task due to its powerful capabilities that bring together features from email service providers, social media automation, workflow automation, project management, customer relationship management (CRM), and analytics software.
A business can automate everything from their communication with customers to their engagement (including following up and scheduling), or their internal workflow using Marketing Automation software. Knowing which of these are important along with your priorities would help rank software best suited for your business.
A Marketing Automation software can help across key marketing activities such as lead generation, customer segmentation, lead nurturing, content marketing, cross-sell and upsell, customer retention, and measurement. Depending on the capabilities that you critically need, you can choose either a specialized software (like Content Marketing, Email Marketing) or a generic platform that can support various types of automation.
Additionally, there are so many Marketing Automation software options in the market today, that trying to find the one that fits your needs and objectives is an arduous task. According to Email Monday, spending on Marketing Automation tools will grow rapidly, reaching $25.1 billion annually by 2023.
B2B or B2C Business
This matters as the medium, type, and frequency of message/interaction, the channel all vary between B2B and B2C businesses. B2B businesses tend to focus on knowing their customer more closely and have controlled messaging to them based on their position in the customer company. They are more account-based and prefer outreach programs such as email. B2C businesses tend to be available on all channels their customers can be found on. These businesses need not only reach out to new customers but also need to use these channels effectively to service existing customers with inbound messaging.
Size of the company
Enterprises tend to have more decentralized teams that require greater coordination than a smaller business. Hence a Marketing Automation software that has more workflow features is ideal for a large enterprise. SMBs should focus on off the shelf, easy to deploy solutions that can be set up and deployed quickly without too much technical know-how.
Knowing which channels and media you will need to use is the first step, as automation solutions are often specialized for select channels. This should be based on market research, where your customers are and on what your competitors are up to.
Listing out your existing platforms can help you narrow down your search for a solution, based on whether it integrates with your existing platform.
Marketing Automation software that helps you identify new customers is different from those that help you engage with existing customers and increase revenue. Knowing your business goals can help you rank and shortlist preferred software.
Challenges in Deploying a Marketing Automation Solution
Marketing automation software is often confused with other marketing software such as sales tools, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and social media publishing tools, as they have overlapping functionality.
It is essential to understand exactly what expectations you have from your Marketing Automation software and ensure the solution you purchase integrates with your existing tools.
For example, you need your Marketing Automation software must be able to talk to your existing CRM and be able to access customer data. At the same time, you may want the flexibility to implement your own customizations as to how it interacts. Knowing what your final expectations are can help save time and money in setting up your automated processes.
Another challenge is managing internal expectations. Often Marketing Automation tools are considered a threat to marketing jobs, but that is not true. Marketing automation is a tool for marketers to be able to manage the volume of interactions in an intelligent and sophisticated way to impact their marketing objectives. It is neither a replacement for personnel nor a magic wand that delivers instantly qualified leads.
In the hands of an experienced marketing manager, the Marketing Automation software can help create contextual customer journeys based on each individual's needs, resulting in long-lasting customer relationships. However, without the context of where in the sales funnel the automation needs to be defined, incorrectly programmed automation can result in a disjointed experience for prospective customers.
ROI for Marketing Automation Software
In understanding ROI for any Marketing Automation software, consider the software that enables your team to perform more efficiently, drive qualified leads and help target the right customers at the right time. All of these activities can help push marketing attributed revenue.
There are several statistics that showcase the business benefits of implementing Marketing Automation. According to an Invespro article, Marketing Automation on average drives up to 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. 80% of Marketing Automation users saw an increase in the number of leads using Marketing Automation software, and 77% had an increase in conversions.
These numbers understandably showcase why according to Markets and Markets, the Marketing Automation industry is expected to continue growing at 8.55%, unlocking a market capitalization of US$ 6.4 billion by 2024.