3 Tips for Selecting A Marketing Automation Platform

Jon Ness, Campaign Architect

Marketing technology has evolved significantly over the last 10 years, especially marketing automation platforms. New products and functionality are unveiled on a regular basis, giving organizations increased control in the ways they engage and nurture customers, but also making it harder for marketing leaders to stay up to date on which marketing automation solution is appropriate for their unique business needs.

Listening to successful customers, we have identified three key areas to focus on when selecting a marketing automation tool.


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1. Identify your goals and pain points

This sounds simple enough, but what many people forget is that marketing automation can impact multiple departments across your organization. Therefore, it’s important to include diverse stakeholders to understand their goals, future objectives, and where they currently have inefficiencies. Marketing may be focused on ways to engage new customers or how to better personalize content, however, the technology team may like to consolidate technologies or automate operational processes.

Each team has a unique perspective and should be included in the conversation to understand how they will be impacted and how they can benefit from a new marketing automation platform. In the end, thoughtful collaboration across the organization will create a more thorough evaluation and valuable outcome. Ultimately, you will create a consolidated analysis of your business and technical requirements by engaging the right stakeholders.

2. Understand existing strengths and capabilities

Every company is different. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, knowing what your marketing strengths are will help you focus on the features that you want in a marketing automation tool. For example, marketers who have a deep background in content and UX design may want the ability to directly edit HTML of their emails, while others would prefer drop and drag functionality from a turn-key solution. Alternatively, some marketers may be very skilled at data mining and want a platform that provides the ability to write their own SQL statements rather than selecting predefined audiences.

By first identifying your team’s skill sets, companies can narrow their decision-making process to the platforms that accentuate their strengths and alleviate pain points.

3. Marketing tech stack fit

Marketing automation is one piece of a much bigger marketing technology picture. A typical marketing tech stack will have some combination of the following:

  • Marketing Automation (MA)
  • Content Management (CMS)
  • Optimization
  • Data Management Platform (DMP)
  • Demand-side Platform (DSP)
  • Customer Analytics

Understanding the current state of your tech stack and what you want the future state to deliver is important. The right MA tool should be able to integrate with your existing platforms and not be siloed. However, the ease of integrating should also be a consideration. Knowing which products play nicely together and which ones will require additional effort and budget to integrate can impact timelines and marketing goals.

Picking the right marketing automation technology for your organization is unique to your specific needs and requirements. As part of your digital experience foundation, the right MA tool can benefit many groups within your company. Understanding how it will fit into your team and existing technology stack should play a key factor in the decision.

There are many vendors that offer marketing automation products and determining which one is right for you can be a difficult process.

At R2Integrated, we have an experienced team that implements, manages, and provides strategy for Marketing Automation solutions. To help make the right decision, we offer a proven evaluation process that includes:

  • Collaborative workshops to evaluate your business and technology needs.
  • Goal driven product scorecards across industry standard categories and weighted against your specific requirements.
  • Industry leading vendor relationships to facilitate open communications and understand the latest product releases.

Considering a new marketing automation tool? Schedule a time to talk. We’re here to help.

About the author: Jon Ness

Jonathan Ness is an Atlanta based Campaign Architect at R2i.  He has built multi-channel marketing automation solutions for over 10 years across a variety of verticals including CPG, Retail, Pharmaceutical, and Financial.

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