Marketing automation is a life-changing purchase for most marketing teams. As with anything that’s even remotely life-changing, you have to be sure you’re making the right decision for your present and future efforts.
With that in mind, we wanted to explore and share a few questions you should be asking both yourself and marketing automation companies while evaluating marketing automation platforms.
So whether you’re hoping on a demo with us (we sure hope so!) or looking elsewhere, we hope these questions will help you make the best decision for you and your marketing team.
Let’s jump right in with…
“Why do I need marketing automation?”
This is one you need to ask yourself before hoping on a demo.
Marketing automation has become a “table stakes” kind of purchase. Marketers sometimes assume they need it. While they often do, the fastest way to use your marketing automation platform like a glorified emailer is not having the purchase solve a particular problem.
So, before you start looking at platforms, ask yourself the following: “what’s the problem I’m trying to solve? What does “solve” mean here? Why do I want to purchase marketing automation?”
If at all possible, try to put some numbers to your answer. For example, “If I put in place marketing automation at X cost, I’m expecting us to generate Y results and save us Z costs.”
“Who do I need to involve in this purchase?”
A marketing automation implementation involves marketing, sales, and often IT departments.
You should make sure you involve stakeholders from all these departments right from the get-go.
After all, you’re all going to be working with the marketing automation platform – you should all agree on the best purchasing decision.
I do recommend marketing (or, if you’ve got ’em, marketing ops) being the lead decision maker, but be sure to chart wishes and concerns from sales and IT, as well.
Craving more information on buying marketing automation software? Look no further than our free Marketing Automation Buyer’s Guide!
“What features matter most to my team and me?”
Purchasing marketing automation can be like picking out a new car.
Likely, if this is your first marketing automation purchase, you’re going to want (and think) you need all of the bells and whistles. As with a car, especially when it’s your first one, the basics will do just fine.
Don’t overly concern yourself with the ability to upload custom fonts or some other little niche thing that you’ll likely never use.
Instead, take a good hard look at your actual use cases and find the features that you really need in order to make those happen. Also, it’s important to ask your team what features matter most to them, as well! Everyone loves a consensus.
TL;DR: Don’t get caught up in the little features of a marketing automation platform — look at the big picture & work with your team!
“What’s the ROI of this marketing automation platform?”
You’ll be shocked how many marketing automation platforms can’t answer this question, but with such an expensive purchase, you are frankly owed an answer.
Here at Net-Results, we’re proud to announce that 95% of our customers report achieving a positive ROI in 12 months or less.
That’s unheard of within our industry, which is why (with any of our competitors), you’ll likely not get a straight answer to this question.
Don’t settle for that. You deserve to know how long it will take for your marketing automation platform to pay for itself.
“Can I try the platform before purchasing?”
Would you buy a car without driving it first?
Likely not 😉
But unfortunately, several major marketing automation platform vendors assume you will buy without giving ’em a go first.
Try to get hands-on experience with the platforms you’re considering, if possible. You’ll be happy to know Net-Results offers a free 14-day trial 🙂 (just be sure to ask about it during your demo!)
Purchasing a marketing automation platform is no small feat. If you’re struggling to find the marketing automation solution that’s right for you and your team (after chatting with our competitors), schedule some time with us.
We’ll be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions!
To your success,
Marketing @ Net-Results