When it comes to all the functionality you need for lead generation, I came up with about 16 must-have marketing technologies- and that's just for starters. Truth be told, there are many others I wanted to include, but the list was getting too long.
Regardless, it's a LOT of stuff. Every technology costs money and they take time to learn. Worst of all, dorking around with technology can be a real barrier to actually doing marketing and generating leads.
Creating a marketing system that has all the functionality you need can be a challenge. You have 3 options for efficiently pulling all of these marketing technologies together.
1. Cobble Technologies Together
With this approach, you get all of the marketing technologies individually and try to create a plan for using them cohesively.
- Get it as you need it:You don't have to get everything all at once, especially if you aren't ready to use that piece yet.
- Less expensive: Some would say this option is less expensive. When pricing it out, be sure to include your time and resources trying to create a process to use them cohesively. It could be significant.
- Hidden costs:There are hidden costs associated with learning curves, process development and integration.
- Reduced functionality: With a cobbled-together system, you won't get the same functionality as a system that has a majority of components integrated together.
With this approach, you may find yourself spending more time on developing processes rather than on actual marketing.
2. Develop an In-House System
This is really only an option for very large companies that have access to good programmers.
- You can get everything you want.
- Programmers aren't marketers: You can't rely on programmers to direct product development because they're not marketers. They need clear instruction and direction, and you have to be able and available to give it to them.
- Re-inventing the wheel: There are already programs out there than can probably do 90% of what you want, so you are spending time and resources re-inventing the wheel.
- Time consuming: While you're working with programmers and waiting for things to be developed, you're not marketing and are losing out on opportunities.
- Expensive: This approach is probably the most expensive way to go.
With this approach, you may find yourself spending more time developing the program rather than on marketing the company.
3. Get an All-in-One System
You'll never find one system that does everything single thing you need. But - you might find one system that does 90% of what you need, and integrates nicely with the other 10%.
- Increased functionality: When the components are integrated together, you can do things you wouldn't otherwise be able to.
- Better marketing: You've got everything at your fingertips to started marketing campaigns right away. You don't have to "hold off" on anything.
- Less learning curve: It's a lot easier to learn one system than to learn 16!
- Deal with one company: Deal with one company or 16? No brainer.
- It won't do EVERYTHING: As mentioned, you will still probably need some additional technologies, but not nearly as many.
- You're "stuck" with them. I hear this a lot, but I don't think it's a valid disadvantage. It doesn't matter what system you use - it's always a challenge to switch.
- It's expensive: Your marketing costs might go up, true. But it's because you are doing more marketing - you're doing marketing activities that you weren't before because you didn't have the functionality.
If you can't tell, I'm partial to the all-in-one. I use HubSpot as my tool of choice. I love it because I have almost everything I need at my fingertips. I have a single company to call if I have questions or need help. They invest millions in R&D and are on the forefront of marketing technology and strategies.
And most importantly, I can focus on marketing instead of process.
If you need help evaluating your technical capabilities for lead generation online, let us know.