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5 things to consider before choosing a marketing automation tool

December 13, 2019 3 minutes reading time
Farkas Dániel
Farkas Dániel Partner

More than 70% of people reach their favorite digital platforms from more than one device. This number indicates for marketers that they not only have to create flashy powerpoint presentations about omni-channel communication, but they have to actually achieve the “sending the right message at the right time to the right person” strategic goal. If you would like to get to this point and raise your marketing team’s effectiveness, a good way for this is to invest in a marketing automation tool.

A marketing automation tool can help you to have a cross-device communication strategy, which according to 84% of marketers can higher the success rate of corporate communication strategy. This new technology allows marketers to target their future consumers with surgical accuracy and provide them with highly personalized messages.

Selecting a marketing automation tool

The market is full of SaaS solutions, so it can be a challenge to select the right system. There are a lot of technical, business and campaign requirements that need to be specified before selecting a marketing automation system. In our experience, a lot of companies concentrate only on the technical requirements and they don’t consider if the system is actually user-friendly and if it will be easy to use by the marketing colleagues. If you don’t pay enough attention to this, you can find yourself in a situation that your new system is a perfectly working system technically; however, nobody uses it.

So what should you consider besides technical capabilities when selecting a marketing automation tool that you want everybody to use in your company?

choosing a marketing automation tool

1. Change your strategic mindset

Introducing a new system can mean that you have to rethink your product and communication strategy. Marketing automation will help you understand your target markets and provide them with relevant, personalized offers. With new insights into your business, you will start to sell and market so far, less relevant products in bigger quantities and you will make connections based on new reports that you have not been thinking about so far. These new measures will force you to rethink business workflows and your organization structure, so be open to change and do not be afraid to let go of outdated marketing practices.

2. Define KPI’s

First of all, you need to define your KPIs from the beginning.  Without this step, departments in your organization can have different KPIs, which can lead to conflicts. Make sure to coordinate goals with the stakeholders of the project.

KPI’s to think about:

  • What is the overall vision of the new system? To build a better customer relationship, to build brand awareness or to increase sales figures?
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of the system? Define your metrics.
  • What teams are responsible for the system? Marketing, CRM Team and/or IT?
  • Do you have an attribution model that can divide sales between the offline and the online sales channels?

3. Laws and regulations

Before starting the purchasing process, consider what data you would like to collect in the system and what permissions and consents do you need for these from your customers.

You should involve your legal and compliance experts from the beginning and you should define your consents with a Marketing Manager. Believe me, your work will be much easier after this.

4. Data collection and analytical capabilities

The best system can be used without constant support from the IT team, what is more, it can visualize data in a way that everybody in the marketing team will understand. It should also collect data about your customers from various sources and display the data in the system in a clear and personalizable way.

Consider these questions:

  • Can the system recognize customers based on ID-s, like cookies, or analytics IDs?
  • What kind of data can the system collect about your customers? Can it collect transactional, behavioral or event data?
  • Is the system able to consume external data ( i.e.: data sets created by your data team)?
  • Can the system define new metrics and define new data from raw data?

5. Automated marketing campaigns

One of the advantages of a marketing automation system is to create marketing campaigns based on the collected data fast and easily. Ideally, your system, can create scenarios based on data triggers and allows you to optimize campaigns on results with the visual editors built in the system.

However, you have to evaluate your existing campaign processes before you try to automate them. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a need to rearrange the campaign flows and customer journey in a more logical sense?
  • Do you need more resources in the marketing team, IT team or CRM team for this?
  • What channels should you distribute your campaigns on for the highest efficiency?

The conclusion

Selecting and implementing a marketing automation tool is not only a technical project. With the appropriate budget and the right team, technical questions can be answered; however, for the project to be successful, you need to change your team’s mindset, you have to define KPIs, pay attention to regulations about customer consents, plus consider data collection and campaign creation methods. 

We, at Pattern have been involved in several marketing automation projects over our years of the digital transformation experience. If you need help in your selection and implementation process, write to us.

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