I’m doing a lot of shopping for important items right now, and it has left me so confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, and downright cranky that I’ve about given up on some of them.
I’m shopping for a new car. My current one has a recall, so once it’s fixed, it’s getting sold and I’m getting a new one.
I’m shopping for a new house. I love my house, but I am outgrowing it because of the reason below.
I’m shopping for a day care. I’m expecting my first bundle of joy and will need somewhere for her to play and learn (and sleep and eat) while I play and learn at work.
And finally, I’m shopping for a stroller. And by the way, this one is probably the most confusing and overwhelming! How many freakin’ stroller options are there? This is more complex and maddening than buying the new car.
All I want is for someone to give me an easy checklist to help me make some decisions on these items!
So, amid all of this researching and digging and asking and touring and trying, I was helping one of our clients shop for his next important item: a marketing software.
And it got me thinking …
You probably want your own checklist to provide some guidance and relief when you get to the point where you want a CRM, marketing automation tool, or combination of both. So read on, my fellow buyers. This is your how-to guide for investing in marketing software.
Checklist Item 1: Do You Want To Walk, Bike, Or Fly Across The Country?
First things first: Let’s define what a true marketing system software is, does, and has. A true marketing system software will be a combination of both a customer relationship management (CRM) system and a marketing automation tool.
CRM: The most valuable assets in your business are your list and your customers. A CRM system will be your software that pulls them together and organizes all of the info about your contacts into one database and one platform. This enables you to manipulate that data to do smarter marketing. No more spreadsheets, no more sticky notes, no more “only in your salesperson’s head” data, and no more chaos. If you’re using one (and your PSA tool is not a CRM, so it doesn’t count), then good job! You’re walking!
Marketing Automation Tool: The ol’ Wikipedia defines a marketing automation tool as software that “streamlines sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions.” Basically, we are putting marketing on autopilot and setting up push-button marketing. Think automating the follow-up when someone opts in for a free report on your website. The software automatically sends the email with the report, assigns a follow-up call to you, sends a few more emails to follow up, and keeps track of all the interactions. If you are using a marketing automation tool, you’re moving faster — you’re biking!
Marketing System: This is a combination of the two: a CRM to house all the data about your contacts with the ability to automate all your marketing. This is the Infusionsofts, Marketos, and Eloquas of the world. Now you’re flying high above your competition.
I see no point in investing in just a CRM or just a marketing automation tool. That’s like me buying my new car without the engine, the house without the roof, the day care without the teachers, and the friggin’ stroller without the wheels. Pointless, useless, ridiculous, and a waste of money.
WHO Needs A Marketing System Software?
The quick answer is this: anyone who wants to automate much of the building and maintaining of relationships with their clients/prospects and wants a single place where all contact info is stored.
If the answer to any of the following questions is “yes,” then you need a marketing system:
- Does your data live in many different places right now (spreadsheets, PSA, sticky notes, etc.)?
- Are you trying to use your PSA or Excel spreadsheets as a band-aid CRM solution?
- Are you struggling to cobble together multiple software systems to get your marketing out the door?
- Is your marketing disorganized, chaotic, sporadic, and lackluster with minimal results?
- Are you doing everything manually, and is it taking forever and utilizing everyone on your team?
- Or even worse (and probably more common), do you end up doing no marketing or true lead generation because you don’t know how or where to start, and, quite frankly, running your business and taking care of your clients keeps pushing marketing to the bottom of your list?
WHEN Do I Need A Marketing System?
If you answered an exasperated, exuberant, or sheepish “yes” to any of the questions above, you’re overdue for a marketing sdystem. And really, you need a marketing system the day you open your business.
Think about it this way. Did you wait until you had a batch of managed services clients to invest in an RMM tool? No! You invested in the tool first and then got the clients.
It’s the same with marketing software: You don’t wait until your list grows large and unmanageable or until you’re wasting time doing marketing manually. You invest in the tools from the start to set a solid growth foundation that keeps you from wanting to pull your hair out later.
We’ll get into the detailed checklists of what to look for on each side of the house (CRM and marketing automation) for your marketing system in future editions of “MSP Success,” but your very first checklist item will be:
- Is the marketing software I’m looking at a CRM and a marketing automation tool — a true marketing system?
Are You Interested In Setting Up Marketing Automation In Your IT Services Business?
Technology Marketing Toolkit offers Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), an MSP-specific marketing automation and CRM tool that will enable you to get more leads, sales, and revenue with fewer people, time, and resources. Get an INSTANT, customized quote at www.MSPMarketingCRM.com and see how you can finally get “push button” marketing set up in your MSP business.