Marketing automation platforms are designed to manage and automate repetitive tasks for marketing professionals and organisations. As a hospitality business owner or marketing employee, we know that correctly structured marketing plans require forethought and a long term strategy. Much of this can be planned, scheduled and actioned using a marketing automation software tool.
Below are five of LeadDigital's preferred marketing automation software platforms in 2017:-
Pardot by Salesforce | Pardot.com
Pardot is the popular B2B marketing platform brought to us from the huge CRM provider Salesforce. Pardot focuses on the lead generation side of marketing automation, and is structured towards creating more meaningful conversations with existing and new clients. Going beyond features, if you're a Salesforce CRM user, this platform is ideal given its air-tight integration with the CRM.
Pro: All the features you could need. Tight integration with Salesforce.
Con: Doesn't play well with others, few additional integrations. At the higher price end for a marketing automation platform (standard £800/mo).
ActiveCampaign | Activecampaign.com
ActiveCampaign are a much more affordable marketing automation provider, perfect for small hotels or events venues. They may be less known than some other platforms, but it's very hard to critique AC. They have a huge feature collection including the ability to create automated workflows and the various integration possibilities.
Pro: Cost effective, from around £15/mo for their basic package. Lots of features and a strong focus on email marketing.
Con: Some areas of the tool feel outdated, such as the email builder, when compared to alternatives available.
Act-On | Act-on.com
Act-on believe their niche comes in the form of "outstanding experiences for customers". Much of their marketing automation capabilities are around lead nurturing, and their support for clients is very highly rated. We would like to see some improvements to their reporting features, but otherwise this is a strong, easy to use contender.
Pro: Flexible platform, built for marketing teams not developers/engineers.
Con: Reporting is somewhat limited, some tools can be quite basic.
Marketo | uk.Marketo.com
If you're somewhere between the small hotel and enterprise-sized corporate events company, then Marketo could be the right tool for you. It's not for the faint hearted, but is very intuitive and offers solutions that go much deeper than many of its competitors. We particularly like how current they are, regularly developing new services to match the digital landscape.
Pro: An industry leader, huge range of solutions, always updating services.
Con: In the higher price bracket, considered to have limited reporting & analytics abilities.
HubSpot | Hubspot.com/Marketing
HubSpot is very features rich. It's a platform that can do basically everything, and in our opinion, does it all to an incredibly high standard. Although they do offer HubSpot Marketing as a separate platform, when combined with their CRM and Sales tools this software becomes an all-in-one tool for complete business management.
Pro: Easy to use, designed for small businesses, lots of support and educational learning facilities available. Always trying to help clients get the most from the platform.
Con: Expensive compared to alternatives. Some features only available at additional costs, and often there are lower cost software options that provide the same functionality.
Whilst we only name five platforms here, there are various other tools available online today which can serve the same or similar marketing automation tasks. The important thing to consider is what your hospitality business actually needs, what you will actually use, and choosing a platform that fits.
At LeadDigital we have experience working with a wide range of marketing automation software tools for various clients, so understand the best ways to get more from the software.