The Best Inbound Marketing Automation Software for Businesses Looking to Scale
As your business has gone through a period of rapid growth, you’ve naturally introduced new systems to meet your organisation’s changing needs.
It’s an entirely standard action, and practically every entrepreneur will find themselves operating within a multi-system environment at one point or another. The American Marketing Association estimates that the average business uses 15 different marketing tools.
So what’s wrong with each of your departments using a different system?
After all, introducing new marketing automation software will mean spending time implementing and getting to grips with the system, and you don’t have time to learn new skills, right?
That may be true, but the truth is that sticking to an old multi-system approach could be having a much more significant impact on your growth plans than you think.
If you’re looking to scale, using multiple tools not only increases the risk of errors, inconsistencies, and discrepancies but may also create capability gaps, leading to missed opportunities.
The Benefits of Marketing Automation Software
Comprehensive marketing automation software which enables businesses to manage their inbound marketing efforts directly through a single interface can address these problems, as well as bring notable benefits.
Tom Davenport, Deloitte Analytics Senior Advisor, believes that marketing automation software is more important than ever before as ‘marketing activities and decisions are increasing far more rapidly than budgets’.
Davenport states that
‘there are too many marketing decisions involving too many complex variables and too much data for humans to make effectively without aid’.
Reports by insights firm McKinsey echo this sentiment, with the organisation suggesting that it now takes ‘4 or 5’ attempts to design a message that achieves just 80% of its potential.
You may not have time to learn new skills right now, but do you have time to waste reworking messages over and over, making mistakes, and tones that fail to engage?
If you’re keen to stay ahead of the competition in terms of lead generation, lead management, and personalisation, it’s time to automate.
However, it’s been reported that just 8% of marketers say that they are ‘highly engaged’ with the effectiveness of marketing automation.
One of the biggest problems affecting satisfaction is that marketers are failing to use the right marketing automation software for their needs.
You’ve got to where you are by making quicker than average time-bound decisions that have kept you ahead. Still, when it comes to marketing automation software, it’s worth thinking through and crunching numbers before making a decision.
The Best Marketing Automation Software
While each business will have different needs, we’ve identified a truly comprehensive inbound-focused solution that can help you automate your processes across key inbound activity areas.
Things that will help your team deliver on the promise of your social media strategy, fulfil essential lead nurturing tasks and deploy useful email sequences.
Ranked #1 by tech marketplace G2, HubSpot makes it to the top of our list because it’s one of the only solutions out there engineered around the inbound model, rather than having the inbound methodology squeezed into the structure.
Therefore, it truly is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for inbound marketing, with all aspects created, managed, tracked, and analysed through just a single dashboard.
The HubSpot Growth Suite is comprehensive, with automation features for:
- Capturing and converting leads
- Campaign optimisation
- Traffic measurement
- Email marketing
- Ad management, and more
However, with this comprehensive nature comes a small degree of complexity, and there is a learning curve.
To derive the most value from the HubSpot Growth Suite, we recommend working with a HubSpot partner (like us!) for demos and ongoing support. There are also lots of free training resources inside the HubSpot Academy for users to work under a self-paced learning environment.
The Best of the Rest
The HubSpot Growth Suite is the only fully comprehensive package for all aspects of inbound marketing automation.
However, there is a couple of other customer relationship management (CRM) systems that offer automation worth checking out.
With marketing automation software solutions such as these, it’s important to remember that they won’t be able to tick every box. In many cases, there will be a need to use other systems to ensure you’re taking a comprehensive approach to inbound marketing, and you’re getting the very best return on your investment.
Here are two other good choices for marketing automation software:
A G2 Summer 2020 Leader, Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), was ranked as one of the best solutions for small and medium-sized businesses by the Technology Advice platform.
Unlike HubSpot, Keap wasn’t built around the inbound methodology, so while it does offer features for inbound marketers, it takes a broader approach to marketing as a whole.
You’ll find that it lacks inbound link tracking and on-page SEO, for example, but it does offer powerful email automation functionality.
Don’t be put off by the low cost; Keap famously offers marketing automation features that are above its price tier.
ActiveCampaign is a G2 ‘Top 50’ marketing product which is primarily an email marketing tool.
While it lacks the diversity of HubSpot and Keap, it offers plenty for marketers who want to specifically target their email campaigns through their new marketing automation software without the ‘noise’ of additional functionality.
Although email marketing was once said to be dying, the HubSpot Nov/Dec 2019 Global Survey reports that 78% of marketers have experienced a Year on Year increase in email engagement.
Email alone isn’t enough to scale, but ActiveCampaign is inexpensive and easy to use.
All three of our choices for best marketing automation software is featured in the ResearchAndMarkets Global Marketing Automation Solutions (MAS) Market Trends, Growth, and Opportunities report.
They are expected to be instrumental in driving the predicted rapid growth of the marketing automation industry between now and 2025.
Implementing Marketing Automation Software
While having the right marketing automation software onboard is an essential factor driving success, it’s also necessary to ensure that you’re implementing your new software in the right way; in a way that ensures you’re deriving full value from it.
There’s a 4-stage approach to getting the most from your marketing software:
- Strategy - Ensure your business objectives are linked with your automation approach
- Culture - Build a company culture founded in automation as an opportunity enabler
- Organisation - Take time to engage your inbound marketers with automated topics
- Capability - Upskill your team to ensure they can scale your automation initiatives