Marketing automation software is the next and greatest step in the transformation of marketing into the digital realm, but not every marketing platform handles the same tasks equally well. Choosing the marketing automation system that’s right for your organization’s needs starts with a thorough understanding of what you want the technology to do and how you want your system to grow. Here’s a list of what you should consider when you’re in the market for marketing automation solutions.
Omni-channel Marketing Automation
Multi-channel marketing is critical to success in a digital environment because your leads stream into your sales funnel from so many different sources. Without a system that can coordinate across all channels and execute simultaneous campaigns on multiple platforms, you aren’t getting the coverage your multi-channel marketing strategy needs. Look for a system that handles email, social media, direct mail, and online/offline integration with ease. Most of the major names in the industry, including Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot, excel at orchestrating multi-channel campaigns effortlessly.
Lead Scoring and Development
Once you have your leads’ attention through an omni-channel marketing strategy, what do you do with them? How well do you understand their needs? How are you equipped to serve them better? Your marketing automation system is the answer to these questions – or at least, it is if you’ve chosen well. Lead scoring that enables you to pinpoint your most sales-ready prospects, lead nurturing that allows you to guide leads along their buying journeys, and audience segmentation tools that let you address your leads’ needs directly are key elements of a high-performance marketing automation system. Your automation tools should be able to help leads flow through your nurture program with ease and instantly alert sales when a prospect reaches sales readiness so customers are cared for throughout the process.
A fully functional marketing automation system is content-hungry. It needs new content to fuel each lead nurture stream and every part of your multi-channel marketing program. How well your automation technology lets you create and cross-reference content plays a key role in its success as part of your revenue marketing strategy. Look for a system that allows you to place gates to information with customizable forms, gather data about the people accessing your content, and develop content across multiple platforms so you maximize the value of everything your content creation team produces.
If you can’t access all the information your marketing automation system collects and put it in a readily comprehensible format, you may as well not collect the data at all. The analytical capabilities of your marketing software are a key component in their utility, so look for customizable dashboards and insightful design in the presentation of analytics. You should be able to look at your marketing activities on an individual level, campaign-wide, and overall so you can see your successes and capitalize on them.
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