Where to start? According to Capterra’s Buying Guide, we need to articulate our software needs based on our business goals. I decided to call one of my favorite experts on the topic—Cari Baldwin. Cari is the Founder of BlueBird Strategies and was a speaker at CapCon (Capterra’s Software Marketing Conference) a couple years back. She shared so much great information in her CapCon presentations, but since we weren’t really ready for Marketing Automation, it didn’t mean much to me at the time.
My colleague and marketing partner in crime, Katie Hollar, and I went into a conference room, notepads and pens ready, hoping for some guidance. After catching up on kids and dogs and home renovations, it was time to get down to business. Cari’s first question had to do with our CRM: do we use one of the big, popular products that many companies use? That would certainly make things easier, since a lot of the Marketing Automation tools are built to integrate with those. But we don’t; Capterra’s tech team built the system we use to manage our customer contacts. Cari tells us that integration with our system will be the most difficult part of our selection process. She mentions things like SOAP (which I now know has everything to do with the integration and has nothing to do with how well the marketing automation vendors bathe), and gives us a few things to ask our tech team. Read the rest of this entry »