Are you a B2B marketer looking to replace your current marketing automation platform? This can be a daunting task, and it is important to be aware of all the factors that should be taken into consideration. It is essential to understand the capabilities of your current platform and the features offered by a new platform in order to make an informed decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the key elements to consider when replacing your current B2B marketing automation platform.
Define your requirements
When you’re ready to replace your current B2B marketing automation platform, the first step is to define your requirements. Start by looking at the functionalities that your current platform offers and determine what you need from a new one. Make sure to pay attention to the integrations with other parts of your martech stack, such as your CRM, data visualization tools, and so on.
Many popular B2B marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot, Act-On, Marketo, and Pardot, provide a wide range of features and capabilities that can help your business reach its goals. Consider the features of each platform carefully and determine which ones are the most important for your particular needs. It’s also important to take into account the budget for implementing a new platform – consider both the initial cost and the cost of maintenance over time. Once you have a clear idea of the features you need and the budget you’re working with, you can begin researching your options.
Research your options
When researching the different options for replacing your current marketing automation platform, there are many factors to consider. Your first step should be to define your requirements, such as the size and capabilities of your marketing team, the kind of (local) support you need, and your budget. From there, you can start to research various platforms. Popular options include HubSpot, Act-On, Marketo, and Pardot. Make sure to compare features and costs to ensure that you select a platform that fits all of your needs. Additionally, if there are any preferred brands within your company, be sure to consider them in your search.
Evaluate the costs
When looking for a new marketing automation platform, it is important to consider the total cost of ownership. Different platforms have different pricing structures, so it is important to carefully evaluate all your options before making a decision. Here is an overview of the pricing models for some of the most popular marketing automation platforms:
HubSpot: HubSpot offers several tiers of pricing plans based on the number of contacts and features needed. Prices range from free to $3,200/month for Enterprise plans.
Act-On Software: Act-On offers pricing plans starting at $800/month, with discounts available for customers who pay annually. Enterprise plans are also available and are priced according to contact volume.
Marketo: Marketo offers several tiers of pricing plans based on the number of contacts, features and usage limits. Prices range from $895/month to $1,795/month for their largest plan.
Pardot: Pardot offers several tiers of pricing plans based on the number of contacts and features needed. Prices range from $1,250/month to $2,000/month for their largest plan.
It is important to compare not just the upfront costs but also the ongoing maintenance costs, as well as the cost of any additional services or integrations you may need. Make sure to factor in these costs into your evaluation process when selecting a new marketing automation platform.
When comparing the features of different marketing automation platforms, B2B marketers should pay special attention to the specific needs of their organization. Small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) companies may require more basic features, such as email marketing, lead scoring, and contact management, whereas corporate companies often need more advanced features like webinars, A/B testing, and campaign automation.
The features that you should consider depend on the size and scope of your business. In general, look for a platform that offers features such as:
- Email Marketing
- Lead Scoring
- Contact Management
- Social Media Integration
For Corporate Companies:
- Automated Campaigns
- A/B Testing
- Multi-Channel Communication
- Advanced Reporting
No matter what platform you choose, make sure it meets your company’s specific requirements. You should also evaluate how easy it is to use the platform so that you and your team can learn to use it quickly and start utilizing its features as soon as possible.
Test the new platform
Before committing to a new marketing automation platform, it is important to test the system and ensure it meets your expectations. Testing allows you to experience the platform in action and evaluate the user interface and features. It is also an opportunity to explore any integration options with your existing systems. This can help you avoid issues with data transfer later on.
To get the most out of your testing phase, make sure you plan ahead and provide yourself with enough time to evaluate the platform thoroughly. Depending on the complexity of your setup, you may need to set aside at least two weeks for the testing phase. Additionally, consider involving stakeholders from different departments in order to get multiple perspectives. Finally, involve experienced marketing automation users who can accurately assess the system and provide valuable feedback. Testing a new marketing automation platform is an essential part of the process and should not be rushed. It is important to provide yourself with enough time to accurately evaluate the system and ensure it meets your needs.
Migrate your data
Migrating your data from one marketing automation platform to another is a critical step for any B2B marketer who is replacing their current platform. The entire process should be handled with extreme care, as mistakes in the migration can lead to inaccurate and incomplete data, which can have serious implications for the success of your campaigns.
To ensure that your data migrates correctly, there are several steps you should take:
- Identify the data you need to transfer. This should include customer and lead profiles, contact lists, segmentation rules, email templates, landing pages, workflow rules, and other marketing-related information.
- Use a third-party tool to facilitate the transfer of your data. Many platforms offer an automated data migration process that can be used to move data quickly and accurately between platforms. It is important to make sure the tool you choose supports both your existing and new platforms.
- Conduct a thorough audit of your data before and after the transfer. This will help you identify any inaccuracies or inconsistencies that may have been caused by the migration process.
- Verify that all data fields are properly mapped between platforms. It is essential to make sure that all of your data is being transferred correctly, as any discrepancies could cause problems down the road.
By following these steps and taking extra precautions to ensure accuracy, you can successfully migrate your data from one marketing automation platform to another. Having up-to-date and accurate information is essential for the success of any B2B marketing campaign, so it is important to take the time to ensure that the migration process is completed properly.
Train your team
Before you go live with your new marketing automation platform, it is important to ensure that all users are properly trained on the system. Depending on the size of your team, users will need to be trained on the basics of daily use, data visualization, integrations, and any other important features. It is important to distinguish between training for technical users and training for marketing and sales users.
Technical users should be trained on topics such as the system architecture, data flow, user profiles, workflow setup, and the various coding languages used by the system. They should also be familiar with how the system integrates with other applications.
Marketing and sales users should be trained on topics such as creating campaigns, lead scoring, customer segmentation, email optimization, content delivery, and analytics. They should also understand how to use customer data to inform their marketing strategies.
In order to make sure that all users are comfortable using the platform, it is important to provide them with ample training materials and resources. You should also create a designated help desk or support team to answer any questions they may have. Finally, it’s important to provide ongoing support and training for new users in order to keep everyone up-to-date with changes in the system.
Now that you’ve chosen the best marketing automation platform for your needs, it’s time to make the switch! Going live is a big deal, and can be a bit of an undertaking. Here are the key steps for a successful transition:
- Begin the migration process – If you’re transferring data from your old platform, this will take some time. Make sure you leave plenty of time for the migration.
- Test the new system – Before you go live, you want to make sure everything is working as expected. Test all of your processes, campaigns, and integrations in a staging environment to ensure they’re functioning properly.
- Train your team – Provide ample training opportunities for your team to become comfortable with the new platform. Have them practice sending emails and setting up campaigns before going live.
- Celebrate – Finally, celebrate your success! Going live on a new marketing automation platform is a big deal and should be acknowledged with a team celebration or recognition.
By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition to a new marketing automation platform. Good luck and happy automating!
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