As a marketer, you are constantly being challenged to do more: execute more campaigns; bring in more leads and conversions; drive higher social media engagements; execute across more channels, for more devices… the list of marketing challenges goes on and on.
How does a marketer keep up marketing acquisition and retention strategies across multiple channels across multiple segments and various points of the consumer journey? Your marketing engine needs to keep feeding that funnel, no matter how many platforms, formats, and technological devices get thrown into the digital marketing mix.
Fortunately, your salvation comes in the form of technology: namely, marketing automation systems.
Marketing automation refers to a broad range of software tools and platforms that enable marketers to automate and streamline repetitive tasks and processes —like list segmentation, lead scoring, measurement, A/B testing, and more. By specifying criteria and desired outcomes, these systems can be configured to interpret, store, and execute on specific needs, increasing your efficiency and effectiveness.
Marketing automation systems represent a huge opportunity for digital marketers to maximize the value of their overall marketing investment. So huge, in fact, that IDC predicts the overall market for automating marketing will grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $4.8 billion by the end of 2015.
But make no mistake: Working with these robust tools requires a considerable amount of leg work and learnings — from evaluating which features and functionality you need, to selecting the right solution, to integrating it into your existing systems and workflow, to learning how to configure the software to achieve the best results.
We at Prove understand that getting started with marketing automation can be an overwhelming endeavor. And while we provide our own clients with a full range of marketing services that complement and maximize the value of their automation investments (including lead generation management, customer retention strategy development, and email marketing campaign creation), we wanted to do a little more to help make the selection process easier for everyone to manage.
To help marketers make more informed decisions, we've compiled a very useful and comprehensive comparative checklist of available features and costs for a wide variety of the marketing automation solutions on the market. Our new Marketing Automation Platforms Matrix profiles 26 of the top automation suite products available (those that provide a full range of marketing capabilities, rather than being targeted toward one specific area of marketing, such as email or social media).
The data is based on trustworthy G2Crowd business software reviews, reorganized to make it easier to narrow your choices to those with the best potential to fit your needs — and your budget.
Of course, no marketing automation platform can produce effective results on it’s own. At Prove, we work with our clients to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy before executing a marketing plan on an automation platform. Not only will a clearly-outlined execution strategy make it easier to fully take advantage of your automation solution, it provides the road map for all the decisions that get made as part of your day to day marketing operations, ensuring that the initiatives you automate will help your business reach its overarching goals.
If you are currently shopping around for a marketing automation solution, we hope you'll find our Prove Marketing Automation Platforms Matrix useful in your search. And if you would like additional guidance to help you determine whether automation would be a good fit or if you need a team to help make the most out of your automation platform, we can help with that, too — just let us know what you need.