If you’re in the process of looking for ideas and hunting your perfect marketing automation platform, it’s likely you’re feeling overwhelmed – like most – about the range of choice. Although we recommend Salesforce every time, we do want our customers to understand how to make the right choice for their business. Specifically, how do you know what to look for when you have little to no experience in this aspect of marketing? Let us help!
Check Your Existing CRM and Apps
While most marketing automation platforms are integrative and will work with most CRMs, it’s vital to check that the intended marketing automation platform functions in every way you need it to function. Does it work with your existing CRM? Are there known problems with a transition? What about apps you use on your systems and mobile devices? Most of these are third-party and you’ll need to check connectivity and compatibility before investing in a new marketing automation platform. However, you’ll only experience problems in a minority of cases. Integration and convenience are requirements rather than something to hope for.
Know Your Competitors
The second issue to consider is which systems your competitors use. If they’re all using the same platform (Salesforce, for example) then it’s likely that they’ve done the market research for you and it is the best marketing automation platform for your needs. There is wisdom in the crowds and if a vendor specifically aims their product at businesses in your industry and the types of problems that you are currently facing, then you’re almost certainly onto a winner with that marketing automation platform. Of course, that’s not to say you should automatically copy your competitors, it’s vital to calculate whether that system works with your existing platforms too.
The other big question on your mind is no doubt about the level of disruption you might experience. In the overwhelming majority of cases, integration and upgrades are straightforward and quick. Even if you do encounter a problem, in the case of Salesforce, you have a global community to help who have no doubt come across that specific problem. If you’re planning to use a new CRM it to integrate data from other teams such as sales, you can streamline operations with the right fit, making everybody’s jobs easier in the long run regardless of short-term problems. This is an investment designed to save time, money and resources.
What About Scalability?
Scalability is the potential for the platform to grow along with your business. As you grow over that vital couple of years, you need to ensure that it will grow with you. A marketing automation platform that is designed and works for start-ups with a handful of customers may be insufficient for your SME growing business when you have upwards of one hundred customers and prospects. Luckily, Salesforce’s modular system is highly scalable, you may scale up and scale down and add new functions depending on your business growing or changing needs.
Data Protection and Spam Compliance
GDPR introduced many changes for marketers and sales employees. Now, as a business and regardless of your size, you are obliged to abide by all EU regulations on this. Any marketing automation system you use must be GDPR compliant and you must use the system in a way not to violate the regulation. Most marketing automation platforms have been preparing for GDPR since 2016 when it was first announced. However, despite the compliance built into the systems, you will need to be your own guard on data compliance too. If the modules contain key standards such as SPF and DKIM and SPF, most bases are covered.
Flexibility and Personalisation
Does it do what your company needs it to do? Can it provide different functions and features for each of your departments and areas? The advantage of a truly great marketing automation platform such as Salesforce is its flexibility. If you’re in the business of marketing and sales, there are few functions it will not be able to provide for you. What about individual customer personalisation? Nobody wants to feel like a number. Tailoring individual needs is at the core of modern marketing.
We provide Expert Pardot Automation Services to our partners, check out case studies of how we successfully implemented Pardot Automation in more than a few cases.