Looking for the best marketing automation tool for your company’s needs? DMI, the specialist in marketing automation, is
your ultimate partner to assist you in your selection process. For comprehensive reasons, we identify 3 categories of tools, based on their key use and abilities.
Each tool is assigned to one of these categories, even though some overlapping is possible.
E-mail marketing tools
Inbound marketing tools
Omnichannel engagement tools
1. E-mail marketing tools
E-mail marketing tools are geared to send out personalised mails, driven by segments or triggers. A sequence of triggers
can be applied to create customer journeys. Contacts in the database can be segmented, but since data
is stored in ‘flat’ tables, best practice is to aggregate transactional data before synchronisation or
import. Frequently, basic lead generation and customer dialogue functions are included. Often web tracking
is built in and the tools are accessible from all common browsers.
The big advantage of Mailchimp is the rich feature-set offered at a low monthly fee for smaller databases – a free version
is available, containing severe limitations however. It is very easy to use, and no technical skills
are required. A mobile app with limited functionality is also available. Mailchimp is GDPR compliant,
but the data is stored in the USA. Contacts with an info@-type of e-mail address are prohibited and
e-mail addresses have to be unique. A good solution for small(er) consumer-facing web shops.
Belgian based company Flexmail provides a comprehensive e-mail automation suite that is easy to use and deploy. Although
more expensive than Mailchimp, you are offered a network of locally based partners, resulting in
excellent support in Belgium. Flexmail is a good solution for starters in retail or services.
Inbound marketing tools aim to collect, nurture and score leads and transfer them to the sales department after proper qualification.
Integration with major CRM tools like Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics and Sugar CRM is often standard.
After combining website tracking, landing pages, e-mails and (event) flows, leads are funnelled to the
salesperson to close the deal.
The features of e-mail automation tool are present as well as advanced features for lead generation
automation like retargeting, scoring and advanced profiling.
One of the most known and popular marketing automation tools. Very easy to use with no need for technical knowledge, therefore
it is often the favourite of Brand Marketing agencies. It includes a free CRM limited to contact
manager functionalities. Hubspot is a good choice for small and mid-sized companies focussing on
acquiring new leads and is ideally suited for a first experience with marketing automation.
As one of the pioneer lead generation automation tools, Marketo is still leading this field. No technical skills are needed
to operate the tool. However, an initial set-up by Marketo or a partner is necessary. Marketo is
geared toward companies actively focussing on acquiring new leads. An added benefit is the availability
of an add-on marketplace to enrich Marketo.
Where Salesforce CRM is all about sales automation, Salesforce Pardot is an extra module to help collect new leads and –
after qualification – transfer these leads to Salesforce CRM. Both tools work best when implemented
Where Microsoft Dynamics CRM is all about sales automation, Click Dimensions is an extra module to help collect new leads
and – after qualification – transfer these leads to Dynamics CRM. As above, both tools also work
best when implemented in tandem.
Eloqua is a very advanced tool for lead generation automation. The scoring module is by far the most comprehensive when compared
with competing tools. While the use and implementation are more challenging, it remains user-friendly.
The extensive possibilities for campaign management are noteworthy.
3. Omnichannel engagement
Omnichannel engagement tools combine the features of e-mail and lead generation tools. Omnichannel is the name of the game
here. Website, e-mail, social push and dialogue, mobile push, web messaging or geolocation, these tools
allow you to set your company apart from your competitors by giving your contacts the best customer experience
possible. Every and all interactions with your company are combined into a unified profile. This 360°
profile is the engine to create moments between your brand and your customer while on his engagement
The strength of Selligent? An almost unlimited flexibility; with advanced configuration and an open SQL database that allow
you to create flows that accompany your customers on their engagement journey. With the launch of
the new marketing cloud platform, daily tasks are easily performed by your marketing department,
but for advanced configuration, expert skills could be required. Selligent is suited for companies
wanting to implement advanced marketing automation without having to worry about hitting the boundaries
of the platform.
Adobe Campaign is part of a very complete suite for marketing orchestration; from creation to asset management, website builder,
campaign execution and analytics. As a stand-alone tool, Adobe Campaign is suited for mid-sized companies.
But by implementing more parts of the suite, the coordination of large (international) marketing
teams is where the ultimate strength of Adobe lies.
Where Salesforce CRM is all about sales automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud extends into engagement automation. Both tools
work best when implemented in tandem. Salesforce MC is frequently used by companies where the engagement
is an extension of the CRM use; insurance companies, service centres and such require this symbiosis
to guarantee a seamless integration between customer facing employees and automated engagement.
IBM’s Watson Customer Engagement has advanced marketing automation functionalities. A strong, pre-built scoring system, the integration
with other tools from IBM (web shop, content management, website analysis tools, …) and the AI marketing
assistant powered by Watson, make for a good solution for medium- to large-sized companies.