Evaluating Marketing Automation Vendors - Look Past Features and Functionality

Updated: January 26, 2011

Vendor Viability

Beyond the matrix of whistles and bells and the latest functionality, prospective customers MUST also look into the business viability of Marketing Automation vendors and the support they will receive to help ensure ramp up and long term success. Marketing execs don't want to be left holding the bag with a vendor who lot funding and has no road map for updates. Avoid the career limiting move!

Ask Tough and Fair Questions

I believe in asking hard questions. Many times vendors in any space won't or can't answer some of the questions due to confidentiality. But, the way a vendor answers the questions can be very revealing. Do not be reluctant to ask hard questions!

Here are the business viability questions you should ask when evaluating marketing automation platform players.

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Do you have any customers? (especially important with all of the new vendors)
  3. What can you share about your product/solution roadmap?
  4. What companies do you actively partner with? (CRM, O/S, B.I. etc.)
  5. How extensive is your solution provider network?
  6. What customer training is provided?
  7. Do you have a Customer Success Manager program?
  8. Have you laid off staff recently? If so, why?
  9. What is your service level agreement for technical support? (Tier 1, 2, 3 troubleshooting procedures)
  10. Do you have references we can talk to?

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