When is it Time to Switch Marketing Automation Platforms and When is it Not?

Marketing automation is a powerful, complex software solution with many capabilities. Can it help you grow your business? Absolutely. Can you set it up and leave it alone? Definitely not. Regardless of your specific software vendor; you get out what you put in. Thus, investing the time and energy needed for MA success is vital and always an ongoing process. That being said, there are some legitimate reasons for considering a new platform. A 2014 study by VentureBeat found that “38% of marketing automation users were actively considering switching marketing automation systems in the coming year.” If you are considering switching your marketing automation platform, read this post for some expert advice around when it’s worth it and when it’s not. Our goal is to help you either avoid unnecessary hassle or advocate for change from an educated perspective.

Balancing Cost and Scalability

Some platforms base their pricing structure on the total number of contacts. This means that the price for the software increases as your database grows. This can be a good strategy to begin with, but long-term it may not be worth it; you’ll need to weigh your current needs and future priorities. Ultimately, marketing automation can allow your business to scale, but with tiered pricing the ROI will decrease over time. Though cost-prohibitive initially, choosing a platform with pricing independent of the number of database contacts can help you realize greater value as you grow.

Optimizing Workflows

Anything that jeopardizes the efficiency of your internal workflows isn’t worth keeping. Investing in marketing automation is a move towards improving efficiency and scalability. That being said, you should try using your marketing automation platform for at least a year before deciding to switch because it may take some time to become proficient. In addition, it’s unreasonable to judge performance too soon when many users have long sales cycles. No matter which platform you use it will take a while to get up and running and see growth, so don’t start panicking three months into a new system.

Considering Alternative Platforms

As more marketing automation vendors enter the arena, the discrepancy between established, costly platforms and more affordable startup platforms increases. Which will work best for you depends on your needs, but while the feature sets may look similar, the differences will become apparent in other areas. Problems such as a poor user interface, a lack of critical integrations and inaccessible support are all compelling reasons to switch because these aspects of the software directly impact workflow efficiencies. If these are your concerns there are plenty of competing marketing automation platforms available with solid user interfaces, robust integrations and quality support, so there is no need to settle for what you have.

Realizing Growth Potential

To reiterate, investing significant time in your marketing automation platform is vital to its success. If your organization hasn’t realized the type of growth you expected after implementing marketing automation, this is likely a symptom of a problem that goes beyond the software you’re using. Don’t switch platforms unnecessarily. Instead, focus on fixing the root cause of your dissatisfaction.

Still not sure if you should switch or not? Get in touch. We’ve got lots of experience using, evaluating and recommending marketing automation software and we would be happy to help you make the best choice for your needs.

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