All-In-One Marketing Solutions for Integration, Intelligence, Improvement
Rachel is a serial entrepreneur and is currently Founder & CEO of Comparz.com.Comparz.com is the "Yelp" of business services.Rachel also launched and grew the Data Services business at U.S. Cellular to a $100 Million business. Rachel’s was also previously Founder & CEO of econfidant.com, a dating and relationship advice site, which was sold to Innovive. Rachel also led Product Management at crowdsourcing site InnoCentive.com and had a consulting practice dedicated to online customer acquisition and strategic business growth. Rachel also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Latest posts by Rachel Blankstein (see all)
- HubSpot Has Your Marketing Needs Covered - October 29, 2014
- All-In-One Marketing Solutions for Integration, Intelligence, Improvement - August 24, 2011
- Add This Term to Your Business Vocabulary: API - August 15, 2011
All-In-One Marketing Solutions take your marketing efforts to the next level by incorporating many important marketing tools into a single integrated program. They help you manage your entire marketing funnel by offering key functions such as:
- lead management
- search engine optimization (SEO)
- social media management
These solutions include advanced reporting functions so that you can continuously test and optimize your marketing, creating the opportunity for ongoing improvements to your marketing results.
Sounds like a dream come true for practically any small business owner, right? Well, before you rush out to purchase one of these solutions, you should first weigh the pros and cons and confirm if this type of solution is a good fit for you.
These solutions are typically for the more advanced user with previous marketing experience. One reason for selecting this type of solution would be that you want an all-in-one tool instead of investing in many platforms that don’t integrate. Another reason for opting for an All-In-One Marketing Solution is the broad functionality across many marketing areas instead of deep functionality in one area. (Keep in mind that if you currently love working with a certain stand-alone tool, a comprehensive solution may not be for you.)
After deciding whether you need an All-In-One Marketing Solution, choosing one can be just as difficult. There are numerous vendors to choose from, each with varying degrees of functionality at different price points. To decide which solution is best for you, start by asking yourself the following questions.
How Advanced Are Your Online Marketing Capabilities?
Businesses that are newer to marketing may want more basic functions and fewer complexities to deal with. Similarly, companies that excel at traditional marketing but have less experience online may not be considered advanced users. These solutions may be a bit over your head if you have little-to-no online marketing experience.
Is It Important to Have an Integrated Tool?
If you were previously focused on just one marketing channel, an All-In-One Marketing Solution may have extra functionality that you either don’t need or you aren’t prepared for. On the other hand, if you have already been managing many functions at once, these tools will help you coordinate your efforts and save you time.
What Functions Are a Must?
More advanced users will need higher levels of customization and will get the most out of the broadest toolset. Not all vendors offer the same functions, though, so you can quickly eliminate the ones that do not include the functions that are most important to you. Also consider if you need your solution to integrate with any of your existing applications – some vendors have pre-integrated applications or offer APIs that allow your programs to talk to each other.
What is Your Budget?
These comprehensive solutions can be a bit pricey (compared to standalone tools), so you need to be willing to spend at least a few thousand dollars a year. Think about if you prefer month-to-month pricing with no contract or a signed annual contract. Cheaper solutions tend to sacrifice some functionality, so be prepared for a trade-off.
How Much Customer Support Do You Need?
Each vendor offers different levels of support from 24-hour live phone help to email query responses to basic online self-support. If you are a beginner or you need complex customization, you may need more personalized help. Be aware that some vendors may charge extra for additional support. Also, consider how broad the user base is for each product. Products with a huge following often have venues for community support or may even be supported by outside consultants.
While there are a wide variety of solutions in this market, three vendors to consider are HubSpot, Optify and Raven Tools. You can find out more information on these products and how to further evaluate these solutions at Comparz.com.