You’ll obviously get a bunch of “pick me! pick me!” answers here. Now, I’ll do that, too (check out Net-Results! It will blow your mind!) , but I will also give you some pointers on how you can find the right platform for YOUR organization.

Create a shopping list…
Talk to your marketing, sales and IT teams. See what they would need to make your new marketing automation investment worthwhile. IT might have API requirements, sales might need functionality that supports their process. Be sure to distinguish “must-have” from “nice-to-have” as you list these things out.

Don’t get caught with your pants down wanting to implement your system of choice and then not having support from sales and IT. It will be awkward and much harder than it’d be with their support.

… and subsequently don’t be religious about it.
Especially if you’re buying a platform for the first time, you might end up getting too hung up on functionality. The truth is that there’s multiple ways to solve a problem. Every platform has its own approach.

If you stick to your list of functionalities too strictly, it’s quite possible you’re throwing away the child with the bathwater. Instead…

Look beyond features
… you should look at how a marketing automation vendor helps you solve your problems. This is the part you’ll miss out on if you are religious about your desired feature set! You can theoretically have all the functionality in the world and still not be able to solve your problem.

Instead, ask your potential vendor about customer training, on boarding and support. Some of them like to charge you extra for live support: best to know that up front.

Always ask for a trial!
Again, especially if these kind of platforms are new to you, you have got to make sure you like the way it works. The only way to tell is to get a free trial. Some vendors won’t give you one. I think that’s silly, since how else can you tell whether it’s for you? Get a trial and make sure the vendor helps you understand the system before you buy.

I got way more tips, but this post is getting too long as it is. Check out this guide I wrote recently. It will help you pick the right platform for YOUR business.

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Henrik Becker

Marketing Automation Consultant