What’s in a System? The Marketing Automation Guide

Blog, marketing strategy

When your boss hears the words “marketing automation system” he/she sees dollar signs, increased productivity & profit. When you hear the words “marketing automation system” your head starts throbbing. This is probably because you, not unlike many marketers, have had a terrible experience.  More than likely, the higher-ups purchased a system that really didn’t meet the needs of your company, wooed by shiny promises and fancy buzzwords. If they’re set in this decision, there may not be much you can do but scour the online forums for advice. If, however, they’re open to hearing you out, or haven’t made a buying decision yet, you’re in luck. Here’s the Intelechy Buyer’s Guide for 5 of the most popular automation systems.

The Candidates

  1. Marketo
  2. Pardot
  3. Hubspot
  4. Eloqua
  5. Silverpop

The Criteria
Small vs Large Business: Some are simply made to function better w/ one or the other.

Cost of Ownership: A Marketing Automation system is supposed to MAKE you money, so don’t overspend on features or systems that you will not likely use.

Ease of Use: There can be a learning curve, but it shouldn’t take a week to sort through. It should be fairly intuitive after a day or two of exploring all the options.

Features: Don’t be distracted by quantity here, some “features” are more appropriate for marketing fluff than practical application. And some core features you really shouldn’t sacrifice. The top 2 features you want focus on here are ease of use and platform stability.

Support: How responsive is their team to your inquiries? How’s their follow-up? If you signed up for more information and never received a phone call or email, or if the response came two weeks later, guess what? Their support won’t be improving upon purchase.

The Winners
Small Business: Hubspot (both an inbound marketing platform AND marketing automation platform)
Medium Business: Pardot
Large Business: Eloqua

Cost of Ownership (from best to least)
Pardot, Hubspot, Silverpop, Marketo, Eloqua

Ease of Use (from best to least)
Pardot, Hubspot, Marketo, Silverpop, Eloqua

Which systems have worked for your team? Have you found one easier to integrate than another? Would you like help monitoring and growing these systems? We want to hear from you! Let us know @IntelechyGroup