Like most modern marketers, I enjoy frequently perusing various online publications for tips, insights, education, and rousing discussions. One of my favorite publications is Forbes. I enjoy this publication not only for its outstanding industry insights in many areas, but also because of some of the unique features of the site such as a large, easy-to-read font size and inspirational and funny daily quotes.
My respect for the publication and its industry relevance is what caused my furrowed brow when I came across a recent article, “Are Marketing Automation Tools Right for Your Business? 5 Insights”. The title immediately caught my attention. I thought for sure that I was misreading the headline and was confident the article would be offering tips on determining which marketing automation tools are right for your business.
The article starts out with the author singing the praises of marketing automation for its ability to offer end users increased efficiency and profitability. So far so good. But after the introductory paragraphs, the author takes a shocking turn by presenting the question, “Do I need marketing automation tools?” The author’s answer: “It depends.”
While the bulk of the article does, in fact, advocate the benefits of marketing automation, I was still shocked at the author’s questioning of whether or not a business needs such an essential resource. The author may as well be asking, “Is the internet right for your business?”
While I’m fairly confident that a business could hobble along somehow without use of the internet, surely, no business today would purposefully elect to attempt to conduct business without use of the internet. The executive team would see that such a vital tool is a minor expense to pay for something that offers countless benefits and immeasurable advantages that ultimately support the success of the organization.
Similarly, I agree that it’s certainly conceivable that a business could operate without a marketing automation system in place, the questions shouldn’t be, “Can a business operate without it?”, but rather, why would it?
I’ve had the privilege of conducting interviews with numerous corporate marketers, all of whom hold positions at some of the nation’s most successful companies. Despite the numerous and varying challenges they each face, the one commonality that they’ve all shared and attributed their marketing success to is the use of marketing automation as a core element of their marketing efforts.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that marketing automation success is not linked to one platform in particular, but rather requires taking the time to review the features and functionalities of each and then determining which platform is right for your organization and using it to its full potential—a topic that may be more timely and relevant than what’s addressed in the Forbes article.
Be sure to check out the links below for resources that offer comparisons of some of the most popular marketing automation platforms:
- VentureBeat: somewhat outdated, but a basic review of four of the most popular mid-market vendors: Eloqua, Genius, Pardot and SilverPop
- Marketing Automation Times: a side-by-side chart of how eight vendors compare in 10 different features
- BeWhys Marketing: compares 24 different vendors in the most detailed and thorough review I’ve found to date
- Ombud: an incredibly thorough and easy-to-use visual comparison that allows customizable vendor comparison