The world of B2B marketing is broad, encapsulating many different channels, strategies and techniques. To properly understand the success of current efforts and plan effective future strategies, many businesses turn to marketing software. It’s usual for a single channel to combine several software solutions to help design and execute campaigns whilst gathering essential metrics for measurement and analysis. Though the number of solutions on offer is ever-expanding. When looking to invest in a marketing software, how can you be sure to choose the best option for your team and your strategy? Make the perfect purchasing decision, by understanding these eight key software elements.
1) Cost vs budget
This seems highly obvious but understanding the cost of a marketing software is crucial for many reasons. You will of course be keen to understand how this cost aligns with your budget, and how much return you expect to make investments worthwhile, but there’s another key reason understanding price is important. If this form of marketing software is new to your strategy and your team, knowing how much this service is worth informs your negotiation and choice. When purchasing a software, you don’t complete an empirical transaction, meaning it’s difficult to see when a software is damaged or faulty- especially prior to purchase.
By doing some research into customer reviews and similar products, you can better understand the universally identified price point for the software services in question and understand where the solution you’re considering sits. With B2B marketing software, you often get what you pay for, so a software that seems cheap is likely to offer your team a weak usability and minimal useful features.
As 1 in 3 decision makers work remotely in our modern marketing world, ensuring a software is widely available for your team to access is important- especially if it’s a solution those regularly attending events or off-site meetings will need to use. When investigating a new solution for your team to maximize, understand how they will access the software, when they can use it and what devices are needed.
If a large number of team members need access to the solution, it’s important to understand any extra costs surrounding additional logins or downloads. What sort of access will your wider team require? What times will they need to use the software? Answering all these questions helps you practicalize marketing software options, so you can gain insight into how it will function for your team on a daily basis, ensuring you select the most appropriate software solution.
3) Product limits
Whilst a software may look perfect for your marketing strategy, it’s vital to recognize any limits it may carry. When looking to invest in an email sending platform, you’ll want to ensure there’s no limit to the number of campaigns you can send or contacts you can manage. Some solutions charge your business high amounts of money for ignoring product limits, without properly informing your team of what they mean. A perfect solution may in fact hinder your marketing progress with various limits, causing you to waste money investing in a solution that cannot provide the desired return.
Always ask for transparency when choosing marketing software, ensuring you fully understand what they are offering for the prices quoted, and where that solution carries limits. You may find the more expensive solutions offer your business better return opportunities; after cheaper solutions bear additional costs due to various limitations, you may gain more from a larger initial investment.
Just as you need to discover limits of the products you wish to consider, don’t forget to understand limits of your own processes, and which integrations may be essential to keep your department running. Businesses are keen for their many marketing software tools to integrate with their CRM enabling seamless data transfer, as this has been proven to increase team productivity by almost 30%. Be sure to understand which integrations are essential to a new software purchases, and which are additionally beneficial.
Whilst some integrations will be imperative to ensure the smooth running of daily processes, the software you’re interested in may also integrate with other marketing solutions used by your wider team. Before you get excited about multiple integrations connecting many differing solutions together, take time to understand how these will affect your current pipeline and intricate marketing processes. Does this save your team time? Or does it actually hinder their ability to properly analyze performance and produce accurate reports?
5) Support networks
When choosing a marketing software, the capabilities of the product in question are important, but so is the customer service and support offered with the solution. The best tools come with a detailed and attentive customer account manager; someone you can contact whenever needed to guide you through problems and quickly resolve technical difficulties. Some solutions go the extra mile, and help your team build a strategy around your new software, ensuring you have a high chance of achieving the desired results. Others may be less inclined to help, preferring to leave installation, integration and daily usage up to your team.
The software you choose will take some responsibility for producing an exceptional department result, so it’s key to ensure the support you may require can be delivered in a timely fashion, to any team member that may need it. Engage with reviews and current clients to understand the support offered by different software providers, and gauge whether this is enough to ensure consistent results.
6) Additional features
All marketing software will have a core function, but many continue to develop and offer additional features, boosting marketing performance and improving overall software usability. These additional features can create impressive accolades, and when choosing software solutions, they can sway your opinion to favour specific products, but don’t be dazzled by a vast amount of capabilities.
Make your software selection based on core functionality and see the additions purely as bonuses. Some software solutions may spend so much time developing their additional features and bolt-on extras, their key product focus weakens as less attention is given to improving that specific software area. There’s little point purchasing a tool that tries to do too much at one time; get a solution that offers an exceptional individual service, instead of providing a selection of mediocre functionalities.
7) Ability to grow
Your business will have expansion goals, and as the years go by, your department will grow along with the results required from each of your team members. This is a very exciting prospect that needs to be considered in software purchases, asking “can this software grow with my business?” If you’re signing up for a contract length of time, you’ll need to understand what your business may look like in 12, 24 or 36 months.
Whilst you won’t know the exact numbers needed for the next five years, it’s worth understanding your current rate of growth, and ask what this means for your upcoming targets. This offers a window of insight into the results your team may require from a software in the next few years, better outlining software essentials. Seek out solutions with various pricing plans and packages, as they are usually built to combat business growth, offering your team an ever-evolving software journey.
8) Trial periods
Making a purchasing decision is never easy, especially when the cost is high, and your team will aim to use the software for the foreseeable future. Therefore many providers offer a free demonstration or trial period, so you can be sure a software provides the results you want and meshes well with your team’s current processes. Lead Forensics for example are passionate about evolving the world of marketing, providing a solution that identifies anonymous website visitors for high-quality lead generation and exceptional website analysis.
We provide a free demonstration, so you can see exactly how our software works and ask any questions you may have before starting your free seven-day trial. We can show you the amount of exciting new business opportunities visiting your website every day that without Lead Forensics, you would never discover. Kick-start your marketing success today, and discover a software guaranteed to provide incredible return- book your free demo!
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