Evaluating Marketing Automation Platforms: Insights from a 16-Year MAP Veteran

October 26, 2021 Chuck Leddy

There are so many marketing automation platforms (MAPs) out there that can do so many things for different companies, whether they’re small, medium-sized, or large. It’s become a massive challenge to even understand what’s available - let alone evaluate which MAP is right for you. One size, and one MAP, definitely does not fit all.

You’ll need to begin by understanding where you are (what tools you’re currently using), what goals you’re seeking to reach, and how you’re performing today versus what’s available to reach your goals.

As with any major purchase, it’s wise to seek guidance from experts before you invest your money in a MAP. Karin Pindle (aka KP), Senior Marketing Automation Consultant at Sojourn Solutions, has 16 years of experience working within the MAP landscape. And not just working for a MAP provider, but also helping B2B and B2C companies select and implement the right MAP for their needs. In Sojourn's popular monthly webinar (titled, “Which MAP is right for you?”), KP meticulously compares and contrasts the four of the largest MAPs:

  • Eloqua (Oracle)
  • Marketo (Adobe)
  • Pardot (Salesforce)
  • HubSpot

MAP Evaluation: 6 key categories

KP evaluates each MAP in six different areas that are typically most relevant for MAP users due to their automation focused features:

  1. Apps, APIs, and CRM integration (asking how well each MAP “plays with others” within your stack
  2. Data Management and Retention, asking how long your data is stored and how the MAP helps you manage your data
  3. Custom Objects, asking whether the MAP allows you to easily create and use COs that help you build and scale campaigns
  4. Campaign Management, asking how easy it is to build campaigns
  5. Scoring, asking how the MAP supports lead scoring so you can understand and better target customers based on their behaviors and attributes
  6. Other criteria, asking what else each MAP might offer that may be relevant to your needs

As she concludes her monthly MAP evaluation webinar, KP typically wraps with this final tip: “Product features help solve your challenges and achieve your goals. But a strong implementation is needed to set up those features and create processes and governance for your users.” So yes, you might have a perfect understanding of your team’s needs, and then purchase the perfect MAP to address those needs. However, if you don’t understand how to implement and optimize the tools you’ve bought, you’ll be wasting much of your investment of money and time (and also moving forwards toward achieving your goals).

See related blog post: 4 Pitfalls of Self-Implementing a Marketing Automation Platform

If you’d like to attend the webinar in-person, please register for our next "Which MAP" webinar on November 17, 2021, at 11am ET.

Want help in evaluating, selecting, and implementing the right MAP for your needs? Interested in learning more about optimizing the use of your existing MAP? Reach out to us to get started. 

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