With the increasing popularity of automated marketing software, most marketing departments are feeling the pressure to implement a technology that will help them better generate, nurture, and close leads. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and clamor to purchase the first thing that claims to “make life easier!”
But before the shopping process starts, it’s important to stop and ask, “What is marketing software?”
That doesn’t mean you should look it up on Wikipedia or do a massive Google search, but you should define what marketing software means for your organization. What problems are you looking to solve and what expectations do you have of the software? This will help your marketing team decide what type of software is right for you.
Here are some different types of software to evaluate during your search:
- Internet marketing software: This type of software will usually help you implement and identify ways to improve your search engine marketing. It may suggest certain keywords to target or websites to solicit backlinks from. It might also help organize or run PPC campaigns.
- Inbound marketing software: These solutions will help with blogging and content distribution. For inbound marketing, the goal is to find people who are further up in the funnel and compel them to interact with your content.
- Social marketing software: This software is typically pretty specific – it will allow you to search the social landscape for people who are mentioning certain keywords on social media and it typically enables you to schedule posts through the software.
- Lead analyzing software: This software will allow you to see who is visiting your website and how they are interacting with it. Unlike Google Analytics, this surfaces data in a personalized way.
- Marketing automation software: Marketing automation is the combination of many of the softwares mentioned above. It should have inbound, social, lead generating, and lead nurturing capabilities.
Sometimes a department just needs social marketing. Other times, lead data is all that’s needed. Not even mentioned above is email marketing software – but it’s pretty obvious what that does. Marketing automation takes all of these different softwares and combines them so that the data and systems exist in one place.
Make sure you understand all of these different options before beginning the vendor search for marketing software. Otherwise, you could end up with just SEM software when your CMO really wanted a complete marketing package.