Over the past several weeks, our team has been evaluating marketing automation systems, which will help us have quantifiable measurements of our campaigns, a more systematic way of nurturing prospects and scoring leads and a better idea of ROI. I wonder about the adoption rate for these technologies. Our customers range from extremely sophisticated with complete marketing processes and supportive technology in place, to being unaware that these technologies exist. This sophistication seems unrelated to the size of the company. A good friend of mine is struggling to bring his large financial services company up to speed. They are very slow to adopt the processes of tracking, managing and measuring their campaigns. Changing his company’s culture to include measuring marketing success has been a long, exhausting process requiring patience and a lot of yoga. I like working for a smaller company like ReadyTalk because yes, we have our challenges, but being resourceful and implementing economical marketing solutions is definitely not one of them.
We are still in the final stages of choosing a vendor, but I’d like to recap the main decision criteria for our team. Customer support and trust in the vendor's sales team was probably most important, followed by product functionality and usability and then cost. We love how a particular vendor does not make us sign yearly contracts, yet still has a 95% customer retention rate. In my experience, there is a definite trend toward supporting the smaller, nimble, responsive vendors who want to earn your business. It is even possible to overlook a few missing features if you believe in the company and want to do business with them.