Don't Buy Marketing Automation with a plan to grow into it

This was something we all heard from our moms when we were kids.  Whether you were inheriting something from an older sibling or cousin, our just trying to get a jump on next year by buying at the end of a season, this was always a common approach for stretching the family clothing budget.  However, as a strategy for purchasing a Marketing Automation package, it’s not such a good idea.  Over-buying a complex system with bunches of features you will never use is a sure way to burn your budget.  It can also doom your Marketing Automation implementation as you run out money before your programs have time to be effective.

Of course, the opposite approach of starting small and planning to move to something bigger and more feature rich in the future can also be the death of your effort.  Skimping on features (particularly in the areas of analytics and ROI tracking) can leave you vulnerable to NOT being able to prove the efficacy of your programs.

Hidden Costs of Making The Wrong Marketing Automation Choice

The other hidden cost in both of these strategies is the cost of switching to a new solution “when the time is right”.  Forms, workflows, nurture campaigns, and many more elements will all have to be reimplemented when it’s time to make the switch.

Going Too Big

We recently moved a company from one of the major Marketing Automation platforms into something that was more “right-sized” for the them and ended saving them at least $20,000/year.  When making their initial selection, they were sure they would eventually need that big solution and would grow into it fast enough, but that never happened. It took a team of three and lots of support to migrate them to the new platform.  The savings on this project were substantial, but sometimes the payback period on a platform migration is just enough to make you regret your initial platform choice, but not enough to go through the pain of the migration.

Going Too Small

We also have a client who went “too small” and selected a Marketing Automation package that did not have an effective integration with AdWords.  They are still spending between $5K-$7K per month without any idea of how or if that spend is impacting sales.

Make The Right Choice The First Time

As with any software purchase, understanding both your long term and short term goals is key to selecting the right solution.  As this market matures, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of options with varying features and levels of integration that can meet your needs.  Take the time to find the right one.  If you don’t have the time or experience to make the selection on your own, feel free to ask us for help.

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