Q&A: Finding & Implementing the Right Marketing Automation Platform

In this Q&A excerpt from the recent Webinar "Six Truths About Marketing Automation," Manticore Technology VP of Marketing Christopher Doran and Bulldog Solutions Director of Field Marketing Amy Bills answer some audience questions about how to find and implement the right marketing automation platform to best support your process.View the entire Webinar.

Question: How does Manticore Technology differ from other Marketing Automation Platforms?

Answer (Christopher Doran): When you are looking at marketing automation platforms, you're looking at the combination of power to meet your business needs vs. usability. Despite what others say - you can't have it all. You're always giving up one attribute for the other.  For the past 9 years Manticore Technology has focused on delivering marketing automation solutions that find a delicate balance between power and usability (hence our tag-line "Simply Powerful Marketing Automation).  When looking at solutions, dig into the details.  Remember - make sure it meets your business process!   That's where you get the value of marketing automation (not sending emails and creating landing pages).

Question: What other resources can you recommend for implementing a marketing automation program for those of us who do not have a budget for a demand gen specialist?

Answer(Christopher Doran): You don't necessarily need to hire a dedicated system operator to manage your marketing automation system.  Ease of use varies significantly from vendor to vendor.  If you don't have the budget to hire a person to manage the system, choose a vendor that offers an easy-to-use platform and ongoing training and support at no cost.  You can have a team member with other responsibilities manage the system or you can divide the responsibility among your team.  Many of our users have other responsibilities within their organizations and are still able to effectively manage the platform and achieve their goals.

Question: We are small company, less than $1 million. Can we afford the marketing program that you are presenting? What CRM system would integrate with your marketing program?                              

Answer (Christopher Doran): Manticore Technology intergrates with Salesforce.com and Oracle On Demand CRM systems.  The price of a marketing automation platform varies based on the provider, number of contacts, and in some cases, what features are included.  You would have to discuss your specific needs and budget with a provider to determine affordability for your organization.  A few questions to ask yourself to determine if you would benefit from a marketing automation solution at this point are: 1. Do you have more inbound leads than your sales team can contact in a timely manner?  2.  Do you or someone on your team spend a significant amount of time manually sending leads over to sales? 3.  Do you have enough content (or the time and resources to create it) to implement functionality, such as lead nurturing?  If your answer is yes to any of the these questions, you would probably benefit from a marketing automation platform.  If you don't have any of those pain points and are more interested in using it for lead generation campaigns and customer communication, you could probably just use a less expensive email marketing tool for the time being and implement marketing automation down the road.

See More Q & A from the Event on the Bulldog Solutions Blog.