You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Automation Solutions for SMBs?

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You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Automation Solutions for SMBs?

Dan asks, “What are your suggestions for an inexpensive marketing automation platform that integrates with SalesForce and either scales well or can easily be migrated to a more powerful platform down the road.”

This depends on what you mean by inexpensive. How large a marketing budget are we talking? At Trust Insights, we use self-hosted Mautic because in the early days of the company, we literally funded everything out of our own pockets. We chose Mautic because we had the technical knowledge to operate a server. Choose based on your budget and skill level – watch the video for some guidelines.

You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Automation Solutions for SMBs?

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In today’s episode, Dan asks, What are your suggestions for an inexpensive marketing automation platform that integrates with Salesforce? And either scales well or can easily be migrated to a more powerful platform down the road? This is a good question.

There are no surprise hundreds if not thousands, of marketing automation platforms, if you refer to Scott breakers, infamous martech loom escape or the martech landscape.

There’s 8000 solutions on there, and at least a couple of marketing automation.

So there’s no shortage of choices out there.

The question is, what do you have for resources and resources with marketing automation comes in two forms one, technical knowledge to money.

Most people are pretty familiar with money right? So My guideline on that is it should be, you should spend on marketing automation, approximately 25% of your data and analytics budget, remembering that from the most recent cmo survey, most marketing departments have spending somewhere between seven and 11% of their overall marketing budget on data and analytics.

They should be spending a lot more but can’t fix that.


So let’s be generous and call it say data and analytics should be 15% of your marketing budget.

Right? That’s that is optimistic.

Of that 25% of that number should be your marketing automation budget.

So that you have money left over to help you with other things you don’t have specifically knowledge.

When Katie am I started Trust Insights two years ago now almost Wow, that went fast.

We Show is a platform called Monique Monique is an open source marketing automation platform.

They have a cloud hosted version that looks and works very similarly to, you know what, what all the other major cloud marketing automation providers have.

But the pricing on that is comparable.

We chose the self hosted version because the early days of the company, we were literally funding everything out of our own pockets.

But we were literally paying for stuff out of our personal funds to get the company going, that’s startup life.

So we chose Baltic because it was the least expensive solution for which we still have the technical knowledge.

In order to deploy a self hosted model means you have to start a server somewhere virtual server someplace on a VPN or whatever.

You have to install the software, yourself.

You have to configure the server yourself and you have to firewall and do all the things that you’re supposed to do in order to make sure that the server is working correctly.

That is a pretty heavy lift for a lot of companies.

But the trade off is that our total costs for marketing automation are somewhere around $8 a month, right? In the beginning days of the company that is manageable, that is affordable when you have no cost at all.

That is that is great news.

Now, that system does integrate with Salesforce, no better or worse, I would say than any other platforms.

But it is super easy to migrate because you have the server, right.

So as long as you have some idea of what you’re doing when it comes with to databases, you can literally work directly in the database.

You don’t need to go through the software, the interface and all that stuff.

You are as close to bare metal as possible.

And that is a wonderful thing when you’re talking about migration.

Because when you look at every other platform out there like HubSpot Hard on Mark Hedo, Eloqua, you name it, they don’t let you get direct access to the server ever get a it’s a security risk and be there is some incentive to make it more difficult to migrate to move on.

When you run your own systems and servers, you have the total control over the environment for good or ill now that the ill side means you have to maintain that environment yourself and you’d better have some technical knowledge or your server will end up getting hacked sooner rather than later.

And that’s not a good thing.

So, my recommendation if you are literally like rummaging through the couch cushions, looking for spare change to run your business, your marketing department, things like that.

My recommendation would be Monique, it is the best overall choice for super affordable startup environments to to run marketing automation.

Now, depending on scales and issue with Monique in the sense that when you provision a virtual server, you get certain limits like disk space and things like that.

And you would better be working with a hosting company that allows you to scale up your instance, I’ve had to do this on my own personal Monique server.

I have my my email list is now like close to a little more than actually has more than 40,000 subscribers.

Guess what, that generates a tremendous amount of data, which means that it takes more disk space to store more record, the database has to be optimized more often.

And the bills will start to increase as scale goes up.

That’s okay.

You would, but you need to be working with a hosting company that allows you to scale up your server otherwise, you’re going to be in a really bad situation.

In terms of if you don’t have the technical skill.

And you do have the money.

My second choice, really, I mean, it would have to be HubSpot.

HubSpot Software is expensive for a small business 800 bucks a month for the pro version.

But it is seamless.

It is well engineered, it works.

It offers all the usual compliance stuff everything you want it you need and want for compliance.

So if you’ve got the cash, go with HubSpot.

There are other providers you know Flavio and Active Campaign drip and all these other providers.

I have not used them.

I can’t speak to them, whether they’re they’re good or bad.

Most of the review sites put those companies in reasonably good standing with each other.

It’s actually funny.

Monique is in pretty poor standing because again, it’s extremely technical, to make it work well.

We were making the trade off we have the knowledge we don’t have, we didn’t have the cash at the time.

If you don’t have the knowledge or the cash, you’d better figure out which one to go after.

First, I would strongly suggest you get the knowledge because the knowledge lets you build the infrastructure.

You Need to Ben generate the cash.

If you are a an entrepreneur and you don’t have the knowledge, either learn it before you launch your company or partner with somebody who does have the knowledge who can fill that gap because it’s extremely important that you have that.

So I would say those would be my two recommendations for today.

That may change.

And if you’re a marketing automation vendor, and you want me to review your software, we’re happy to chat about that will at least test it out and see, see what’s under the hood? As long as you’re okay with feedback that you might not like? So, for the comments in the comments box below.

Please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter, I’ll talk to you soon take care.

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