Marketing automation is a solutions market populated by dozens of vendors. As with any product, the features of individual solutions are going to vary as you go from vendor to vendor. Email automation, lead scoring, lead segmentation, reporting, and landing page customization are all popular features included in the top tools, but what about some of the other, more obscure functionalities?
It can be easy to fawn over the more flashier product offerings available today, with less focus on others that are equally as important in the long run. Today we will take a look at some of the more overlooked capabilities in an attempt to provide you with a well-rounded view of the software space.
We’re not exactly sure why solution providers don’t make a bigger deal about this one. The General Data Protection Regulation Act was passed into law last year by the EU and the tech world hasn’t been the same since. The law requires enterprises to obtain express consent from customers when using/storing any of their data. Otherwise, the business cannot legally hold or utilize that information. In the months since it went into effect, it seems that most customers are choosing to opt out of common data collection techniques.
As a result, companies that do business with EU citizens have had to completely revamp their data collection strategies. Non-compliance can result in large fines that could spell doom for smaller organizations. Given the paradigm shift that GDPR has caused in terms of how companies market their products, and the fact that there are rumblings of similar legislation being passed stateside, it’s a bit of a wonder that more vendors don’t heavily advertise compliance in their products.
Technical hiccups are part and parcel when it comes to deploying a new marketing automation tool. Post-purchase support mitigates those growing pains and is what separates good vendors from the best providers. The levels of support will vary from vendor to vendor, but you want to avoid providers with barebones or non-existent post-purchase assistance. For any science buffs out there, just remember Murphy’s Law: anything that can and will go wrong. No one will understand their product like the folks who sold it to you.
Customer Relationship Management software is another type of software designed to aid in the marketing and sales pipeline, with a focus on the sales side of things. Easy integration with CRM is hugely important for a marketing automation solution, as the application of both solutions will prove massively effective for enterprises large and small. However, not all automation solutions are created equal, and some have lackluster integration options. This should be a key point of focus when purchasing a marketing solution, even more so if your organization is already using CRM. There is no worse feeling than realizing your new solution is incompatible with your current technology stack.
Ever wonder who’s visiting your website and when? Wonder no longer because marketing automation can tell you. Another feature with a surprisingly low amount of buzz about it, certain vendors give users notifications regarding new visitors to their site with included tracking capabilities. The usefulness of such capabilities should speak for itself, especially where marketing is concerned, but it is still one of those features that doesn’t receive as much press as other automation offerings.