Here’s A Key Mistake That Many Marketing Automation Buyers Make

penny or fifty

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Posted: March 13, 2014 | Marketing Automation

Too often, I see first-time marketing automation buyers focus too much of their attention on relatively small differences in cost, rather than growing the top-line opportunities that the right automated marketing solution can provide.

For example, for a database of up to 100,000 contacts, most vendors charge somewhere between $2,900 to $3,995 a month. The difference between the lowest and highest-end options is $1,000. When you think about it rationally, that’s not very much — we’re talking one penny a month per contact. Many companies probably spend around $50 for a business-to-business lead. Would you really let $50 slip through your fingers for the sake of one more penny?

You would never buy a Tiffany’s ring and present it in a box from Target, just to save a few dollars, or purchase an expensive piece of art, and put it in a shoddy frame. And yet, many marketers make just this kind of error when comparing the price of marketing automation solutions.

It’s About the Value of Your Tools, Not the Cost

Ironically, you’ll win when you take the opposite approach. If a particular automated marketing solution has even a slightly higher chance of turning a lead into a customer, it’s worth the slightly higher price tag.

Rather than worrying about a price difference of a few hundred dollars, shift your focus to creating value: converting leads into actual customers. In other words, focus on the return on investment, not the raw cost. Ultimately, the risk of not turning your $50 lead into a sale is way more costly than your marketing Software-as-a-Service subscription.

What many don’t recognize is that the real cost of marketing automation is in what’s lost when companies use cheaper, “good enough” tools. Even if a company offers you free marketing software, you might still be losing money. If it doesn’t help you turn leads into opportunities, the cost of that “free” software is actually extraordinarily high.

Start thinking rationally when you’re shopping for marketing automation software. Of course, not every lead will convert. But for a penny, a solution with even a slightly higher fraction of likelihood-to-convert is worth the extra investment.

Want to learn more about the risks and costs of buying the wrong solution?  Download our ebook, Dangers of a “Good Enough” Marketing Automation Solution.

danger of good enough solution cover

Jon (@jonmiller) is a VP and co-founder at Marketo. He is the author of multiple Definitive Guides including Marketing Automation, Engaging Email Marketing, and Marketing Metrics & Analytics. In 2010, The CMO Institute named Jon a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250 million revenue. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Would you spend $50 to save a penny? Find out the REAL cost of 'good enough' marketing automation. @jonmiller

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