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BEWARE of discounted marketing automation – here’s why

23 October 2018
by Adam Oldfield

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We all know how important pricing is when it comes to business decisions, and investing in martech is no different. But choosing a marketing automation platform on the basis of cost alone is becoming increasingly tricky. Here’s why…

Initial discounts

A heavily discounted software license may certainly sound appealing – ‘90% off’ could even make a marketer think it’s worth a ‘punt’! But it is crucial to remember that marketing automation should be a considered, long-term investment. The brand will become entrenched in the platform – as their entire marketing comms infrastructure will move to exist within it – so when the discount ends, the real prices apply!

The ‘whole life’ cost of marketing automation must therefore be calculated using the figures stated on the core price list.

Upfront payments

Some platform providers choose to charge according to the full term of an agreement, rather than a subscription-style pricing model. On the one hand the fee is nice and clear, but at the same time the figure will no doubt total a fairly hefty sum which feels more like a capital investment! A three-year £35,000 contract paid upfront, for example, would be difficult for many organisations to bear.

Fixed monthly payments are far more affordable for the majority of marketing teams.

Exchange rates

The US ownership of many marketing automation solutions makes true pricing even harder to calculate. For example, a number of tech vendors have capitalised on the ongoing Brexit debate and switched their pricing to dollars – even for UK customers – to leverage the weakness of the Pound. Look for pricing in GBP for absolute clarity.

Look for hidden costs

Some price lists fail to include all of the ‘added extras’ that will soon inflate the true cost of a marketing automation investment. Marketers should therefore be clear on things like data purchasing fees (per thousand) for example, as well as ongoing account management support. Savvy martech brands that care about customer service should also offer a lifetime of free training, so check that this is included.

Factor in cost SAVINGS

It’s easy to look at only the price tag of marketing automation but when analysing the bottom line impact of the investment, the savings should be considered too.

If marketers select the right platform, for example, they may find that their subscriptions to social media scheduling, IP tracking and email marketing tools soon become redundant. It may even be able to shave some spend off the services of external full-service marketing agencies. All of these savings contribute to a far more attractive business case for the marketing automation platform, beyond the more obvious monthly fee.

Interested in starting – or optimising – your own marketing automation journey? Take a look at our pricing or contact us for a demo.

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Adam Oldfield
Managing Director & Founder

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