The cracks in your marketing automation platform may have been showing for some time. It’s difficult to use. Your team uses tricky workarounds to bypass processes that aren’t working. Or the solution includes so many features that getting the most basic tasks done is more complicated than it should be.
Yep, it’s time to switch.
But switching can seem like a daunting task.
And staying the course with your existing platform is tempting, isn’t it?
But you also know that the problems you’re struggling with won’t go away without action.
The good news is that switching marketing automation platforms doesn’t need to be overwhelming, especially when you have tips on what features to look for and what to avoid. We’ve compiled our favorites to support you during the process of making a switch.
Implement marketing automation that plays nice with your tech stack
No one likes a playground bully, do they? Nope. That’s why a new marketing automation tool should play nicely with your other MarTech friends.
We found when evaluating new marketing technology, approximately 80% of survey respondents said the ability to integrate with existing and new technology is their most important deciding factor.
When marketing automation integrates easily (we’re looking at you, CRM!), it eliminates the need for crafty workarounds, productivity slowdowns, and the frustrating roadblocks that made you want to switch in the first place.
Make a list of your most important MarTech tools, and let that serve as a checklist when considering new tools. A few to consider include your CRM, of course, but also things like analytics and data platforms, your CMS, webinar platforms, and any other functional tools such as survey apps, chatbots, and sales tools.
And if integration isn’t possible with your favorites? Consider negotiating and requesting integrations as part of your deal terms.
Implement marketing automation that doesn’t require “experts”
Hidden costs. They’re everywhere, right? You sign up for a new internet service, not realizing you need to pay extra for a router. You subscribe to a “free service” only to later realize the features you really want cost extra. In the context of marketing automation, watch out for tools that require fancy, expensive consultants to run them.
These experts will kill your total cost of ownership.
Sure, they can do some pretty amazing things, but so can other tools that are way more intuitive and allow your existing team to run them. A straightforward interface, for example, might include things like:
- Drag-and-drop editors that allow marketers to create customized content without the need for extensive tech skills.
- Pre-built templates for emails and landing pages to create a consistent brand look.
- Automated workflows that simplify the setup of lead nurturing and engagement campaigns without adding onerous extra steps to the process.
- User-friendly analytics and reporting that put data in a clear and understandable format that can be used to track campaign success.
Also, consider getting your team involved in demos to ensure an “intuitive tool” is what it promises to be.
Avoid add-ons that gobble up your budget
Paying for extra avocado on your BLT? Okay, we’ll let that one slide. But shelling out extra money each month for add-ons your team doesn’t use? Or even worse, functionality that your team does use but shouldn’t cost extra?
No, thank you.
Make a list that details the functionality your team needs from a marketing automation tool. Then use that functionality list as a guide to investigate potential solutions. Are those capabilities included or do you need to pay extra? And if so, how much?
And here’s a pro tip: Don’t get misled into believing that fancy features that aren’t on your “must have” list have an added benefit. If your team doesn’t use them, they can make it more challenging to get the more basic work done.
Implement marketing automation that supports your team
The fear of switching is often rooted in adoption and migration worries. How will you get started? How quickly can your team get up and running? And will you regret your decision to switch?
On that last point, the real question you’ll be asking with the right solution is: Why didn’t we switch sooner?
To achieve success, talk with potential solution providers about their migration process. Do they have a dedicated contact to guide you through that process?
Then ask questions about training. What support is available? If your team gets stuck, can they access real-time help? What onboarding resources exist? Having solid resources and real-time support ensures your team doesn’t hit walls, stumble around in the dark, and become frustrated.
Implement an automation platform that supports future growth
You have big marketing plans, don’t you? Of course you do! But as you execute those plans, you’ll want to ensure your new automation tool scales with you. Heck, it might even be the reason you’re making a switch in the first place.
As you consider what is needed to support scalability and meet your marketing goals, consider tools that allow:
- A clean and clear database. A unified view of data to support business growth.
- Lead-generation tools. Make it easy to track leads, no matter how many you have in your system.
- Behavioral tracking and reporting. Tracking and reporting that allow your team to understand details about who your audience is, the stage of the buyer journey, and more to build personalization and automated messaging.
- Lead scoring and segmentation. Automatically scores and has segments that lead to help with personalized marketing programs.
- A/B testing. Allows you to test elements like email subject lines, button text, and other elements, to optimize conversions.
- Customer journey building. Builds a positive brand experience at every touchpoint for leads and customers.
- Data and reporting. Collects data and constructs reports that help guide your decision-making and optimize marketing automation success
Ready? Time to reaping the rewards
Periodically, marketing leaders decide it’s time for change.
That’s where you are today, right?
Considering the tips above is a great starting point, and if you need a little extra guidance, we’ve got you covered!
Check out our comprehensive guide designed to help you every step of the way, so that when your migration is complete, you can take a deep breath and be happy that you made the switch. Following the tips in this guide will enable you to hit your “today goals” and have the confidence that meeting your “tomorrow goals” will be much easier.