It seems that the trend in the Marketing Automation Industry is for companies to become a Jack of All Trades. We all know how that story ends. If you don’t, please ask the next guy you see with a Member’s Only Jacket and Blackberry.
There are ways to tell your Marketing Automation “partner” is out for their best interest and not yours:
- They tout their CMS, even though 86% of the market uses WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. Good luck getting apps for that CMS, and if you do… they are going to make a pretty penny off you. If you don’t believe me, go look for apps in the Blackberry store. People don’t develop apps for closed environments with small market share.
- They sell you on their CRM tool as an advantage of buying their Marketing Automation Platform. Awesome! Now you get to tell sales that they are locked into a substandard CRM because your Marketing Automation provider decided that it would be more profitable for them to sell a CRM than to integrate with the best players in the space. Not a good business decision, and a horrible way to go about aligning sales and marketing efforts.
- They only offer one Email Service Provider. All-in-One solution providers LOVE locking you into their ecosystem. Even the best email solution providers today, may not be the best ESP’s tomorrow. Never buy from a company that is owned by an ESP (they are the copier salespeople of the industry) as they have not prepared for technical Armageddon.
- SEO and Marketing Automation are two very different beasts, with two unique skillsets. Your marketing department probably needs both; but they probably also need toilet paper and computers. I wouldn’t buy any of these items from the same company for obvious reasons. Bottom line: Either your MA or SEO will suffer (or both) if you buy from one vendor. You will save a ton of money and get much better results by choosing best of breed in each category.
- Your Marketing Automation product is being offered by an agency that is super proud of its “partner” status. The translation: They have invested a ton of time and money in a solution that might not be a good fit for you. Unfortunately, these “partner programs” dictate that they will recommend the company that they are invested in regardless of the value that it drives to your business. If you have doubt, demand an agreement with your agency that they will not have a financial benefit from working with any software provider. That should not only include your account, but all other account that such an agency works with. Otherwise, the Agency may shift its dollars.
You should also avoid the “All-in-One” solutions that focus on Real Estate, Flower Shops, and Supplement Companies. Even if you conduct business in these areas. There are a ton of these companies that prey on Mom and Pop shops. They advertise on Facebook and other consumer focused websites because they are looking for people that don’t have experience and won’t ask the tough questions. Some of their users will claim success because they don’t know any better. Others will be outraged that they were not able to achieve the required level of support, expertise and functionality for $ 200/month.
- A solid solution provider will help you build a story.
- Help you tie together all of the technologies that benefit your organization.
- Create a compelling narrative that you can share with prospects.
- Have a vested interest in your organization’s success.
If you have any questions about Marketing Automation or how your company could strengthen its efforts, I welcome your request. Even if my company, Lead Liaison, isn’t a perfect fit for you…I’ll point you in the right direction.