This year when evaluating our marketing stack, we decided to make a big change. Actually, to be honest, we’re making a lot of big changes, and all of these changes are due to one simple fact … We can’t keep doing what we were doing and hoping to be successful.
Anyone who has worked with me before knows that I’ll choose a simple, highly-optimized stack over a complicated hacked together every time.
A limited tool stack means that every tool has to have its place, has to be able to meet very specific needs, and has to fit into our top-line strategy. Anything that doesn’t do that, is a waste of time, budget, and my team’s attention.
Every year when I reevaluate the tools in my stack, they will fall into one of two categories. The tools that are evolving with our needs, and the tools that are not.
Marketing is by far the most rapidly evolving practice in business. Strategies for gaining the attention of potential leads changes monthly if not daily. When vendors lose touch with that reality, their tools lose value.
I would argue that almost 50% of the tools we use this year will be out of touch with our needs by next year.
(This is why it’s so important for companies to dog food their products … more on this in a future post)
Reevaluating Our Marketing Automation Platform
At the core of our marketing stack is our marketing automation platform. It’s what really drives our efforts and makes modern demand gen and customer acquisition for companies in the B2B software space possible.
The more focused on account-based marketing you become, the more dependent you become on your automation system. This year we are pursuing a heavy account based strategy. As I evaluated the features and abilities we would need our automation system to provide, it became clear that our current system did not provide us with what we need to be successful.
To get the functionality we needed, required third-party integrations and purchasing additional modules. At the end of the day, it had to go …
Looking for Alternatives
Knowing what we needed and what our current system can and can’t do allowed us to do a very targeted search for a platform that could — keep in mind that there are less than five major players in the marketing automation space to choose from, so it was not an extensive process.
The systems we looked at included Marketo (which we already had), Eloqua, Pardot, Hubspot, and Mautic.
They all have the same basic functionality … Emails, segments, forms, landing pages, basic analytics, integrations with major CRMs, and email automation. As we evaluated we realized that Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot are apples-to-apples and that if we had to pick, the best option would be to not change and simply try to over-optimize our Marketo.
The two platforms that were distinguished were Hubspot and Mautic. Hubspot fell short when it came to meeting the needs of an Enterprise B2B organization. Its top-of-funnel analytics are overly simplified and it’s ability to execute in-product marketing based on user behavior seemed underwhelming.
This is where Mautic really began to shine. It’s analytics, reporting, and tracking are on a whole different level compared to Hubspot and the others, allowing us to really dig-into lead sources and attribute them accurately. As for features, we were really impressed with the ability to create dynamic email content based on segments and the ability to build SMS interactions into our automation campaigns — we think this will come in very handy when we do webinars.
Most appealing, however, is that Mautic is open source. You can really see the benefit when you look at the integration partners. Additionally, looking at the handful of unique features that they have, you can really tell that the individuals investing time into the platform, know what they are doing and why they are building what they are building.
About the Author: Jesse Williams is a young entrepreneur, husband, father, technologist, and SaaS marketing expert. You can follow him on Twitter and learn more about him and his projects here.