During most of March and April I’ve been consumed with selling my house and purchasing another. From inspectors for this and that, to contractor estimates, to selecting the service providers who will move my household goods and furniture its been an overwhelming process of specing needs, soliciting bids, evaluation and final commitment. Aannd….you ask: How the heck does this relate to marketing?
Here’s the analogy. Just as with the process of selecting a moving company, the selection of a marketing automation vendor should ultimately come down to not just what they will do (pricing, timing, truck size, man hours) but how they will get you from point A to point B. In the case of moving, ease of packing, management of the move, pre-move check lists, online resources and helpful hints, turnaround time to answering my queries, the number of folks involved in my move are the soft factors that provide the sense of security I need to undergo this fairly stressful change. I’ve selected a company who will choreograph this event freeing me up for other details that I’m better at.
In the case of the selection and implementation of marketing technology, it’s really only partly about the technology and mostly its about the process. Most vendors solutions – without respect to scalability – are quite similar and well rounded. In terms of what they will do (technical capability, data sourcing, APIs, scope of software, pricing, man hours) you will be hard pressed to see the differences. You need to take a hard look at how they will get you from point A to point B. You need to look at the soft factors (implementation management, project priority, number of man hours associated to training, responsiveness of vendor staff, project planning, communication styles, etc.) which indicate their process to know if you can work with that vendor team. Post-implementation support – not consulting hours – is going to be critical because, just as with my move, you aren’t the expert here. Yet.
You will be making a major investment, so work with a true partner. One that will do what it takes to ease your move to marketing automation rather than just delivering hardware and software.
Enjoy, Ann McCartan DBMCatalyst.com
Let me know what you think?