At last count there were well over 100 vendors who claim to “do marketing automation.” Many of these are little more than email publishers, but we know of at least 22 valid and solid marketing automation vendors.
The marketing automation system is the easy part. It’s just a machine that does what you tell it to do. Tell it to do the wrong (or ineffective) things, and that’s exactly what it does. Start with bad data (wrong contact info, wrong person, etc.), and you’ll get equally bad results.
Before you evaluate marketing automation platforms, you need to understand what you need the system to do for you. That means you need to know your product’s value proposition, your customer buying cycle, what constitutes a sales-ready lead, and how you want to communicate the status of leads to your sales team. Given these parameters, you can begin the evaluation process.
Evaluating and Comparing Marketing Automation Vendors
Download the Raab 2012 B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool (VEST). It draws on nearly 200 data points for 22 B2B marketing automation vendors. The list price is only $795, and it’s well worth the cost. The guide is actually more up-to-date than many of the vendors’ websites.
Video Walking You Through the Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool
Hint: To display video at full-screen, click the ‘X’ in the lower right corner of the video control bar.