Today’s marketers are relying more and more on automated marketing systems to execute and monitor marketing practices. With a number of marketing automation platforms (MAPs) available in the marketplace, how do you know which system will provide you with all the tools you need? Following years of platform development, we have found there are several components that you should seek when searching for the right system for your B2B company. Here are some functionality areas that should be addressed in your decision.
Outbound and inbound marketing tools should be fully integrated into the MAP and delivered through a single user interface. An integrated system allows users to launch email campaigns and other communication channels from one platform. Your MAP should automate most common functions and provide scheduling for multiple simultaneous campaigns. And a good system will seamlessly integrate with popular CRM platforms.
The MAP system you select should provide the capability to easily create, re-purpose or reuse web forms, landing pages, and other assets. Does it have an organized library for documents, templates, forms, etc.? Your content should be easily managed and the platform should allow permission-based access by employees and partners.
Drip campaigns, display ad routing, and trigger marketing tactics should all be achievable through a robust system. Lead nurturing practices will require message creation, a delivery schedule, exit conditions, and in-campaign updating. Your marketing automation platform should provide all these functions across multiple campaigns.
Your lists are your lifeblood. A good MAP system allows for easy list creation, import and export functions, and list prioritization. Of high importance is the capability to integrate your marketing databases with a CRM system, allowing for dynamic exchange between each platform. List segmentation is also an important function because such features provide sharper targeting.
Lead generation and management
Your marketing automation platform’s primary goal is to streamline and enhance lead generation, management, and distribution. Therefore, you should expect your system to be able to manage inbound leads and send autoresponders based on website visits and other online activities. And CRM-integration should provide seamless transition between the platforms for leads that must be returned to marketing for nurturing.
The system should score leads based on explicit (location, industry, etc.) and implicit (behavioral traits) data. The scoring matrix should be adjustable to allow for new parameters and modified weighting. Once a lead has received a score, the platform should automatically place new leads in the appropriate pipeline stage and responsively transition leads through the pipeline as additional engagements take place.
Reporting and analytics
An automated marketing platform should provide reporting capabilities. Robust platforms will deliver granular reports and the individual and group levels. The analytics functions should return data from disconnected marketing tools such as social media and user forms. Check for real-time tracking of online behaviors.
Whether your marketing practices include webinars, social media, email, or display ads, your MAP should allow posting, auto response, CAN-SPAM compliance, and personalized capabilities. Better MAPs also provide visitor alerts, behavior tracking, and prospect tagging.
There are many more functions that you should expect from your marketing automation platform. The bottom line is that the MAP system you select should provide you with a broad set of message creation, lead management, reporting, and channel integration tools. If you would like to learn how our Lead Management Automation™ supports your automated marketing practices contact one of our account representatives at 888 895 3237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.