Investing in a New B2C Marketing Platform?

Here’s the scenario: your team has determined it’s time for a new marketing platform. You’re ready to make the switch, and then it hits: where do you start?

For most B2C marketers, this means sending out a Request For Proposal, or RFP. Unfortunately, it can take a significant amount of time to create an RFP that addresses all of the individual requests a robust and innovative marketing team may have. How do you know what to ask? What key points should be included? How can you justify this purchase to your executive team?

If these questions sound familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many marketers struggle with the RFP process because, quite honestly, it’s a pretty big deal.

Making the decision to choose a new marketing platform and invest in new technology is not to be taken lightly. There are so many different aspects of marketing technology solutions and RFPs in general, and with the marketing technology landscape changing rapidly, it can be difficult to know what to include for future innovation.

1. Does this marketing platform address the goals and objectives we are trying to accomplish?

If there is one overarching question all RFPs (and any buying process in general) should answer, it’s whether or not this technology will help a marketing team achieve, and even exceed, their goals.

The overarching question when buying new #B2C #tech: will it help my #mktg team achieve & exceed goals? CLICK TO TWEET

Most marketing teams looking for new solutions have hopefully already made a list of critical goals and objectives, so it should be relatively easy to add these goals into an RFP in the form of questions. If a team is looking to boost social media marketing, for example, a good question to include in the RFP would be something along the lines of “what types of social media connectors or widgets are available on your platform?”Asking specific questions results in specific answers, which can, in turn, expedite the RFP process.

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2. Can this platform solve the problems our marketing team is currently facing, or may face in the future?

Marketers can also ask questions directly related to current issues or future innovation ideas. This is where marketers can begin to assess what makes a certain platform really stand out from the pack. What advantages, strengths, or unique features does one platform have that differentiates it from competitors? Can one specific solution help your B2C marketing team overcome the challenges you’ve been facing? It’s important to look ahead at potential future obstacles as well, to justify costs and long-term ROI.

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3. What kind of experience does this platform have with marketing teams similar to ours?

It’s important to ask how platforms have worked for other customers in the past, to not to only ensure they’re credible and reliable, but also that specific aspects of the platform are what your team is looking for. This commonly includes references, but it can also refer to how specific aspects of a platform impact certain types of marketing teams, from B2C to digital solutions. An email marketing platform that works for one marketing team may not work for all; it’s critical for RFP authors to make sure the offered solutions perfectly align with team wants and needs.

4. How will this new marketing platform handle the types of data and information we want to access?

As a B2C marketing team, data is your greatest asset. When it comes to researching and identifying new solutions, don’t shy away from asking explicit questions around how your consumer and historical data will be collected, aggregated, and analyzed on the end-user side. How will consumer data be gathered from a range of sources and housed in this new platform? How will end users access and utilize this data? And how can your team glean specific metrics from this aggregated information? These are all good questions to consider in an RFP.

Considering new #martech? #Data is your biggest asset – ask how it will be aggregated & analyzed CLICK TO TWEET

You should also look for specific examples of analytical capabilities, such as send time optimization, A/B testing, and email marketing metrics. If a specific feature or capability is extremely important to your team, don’t hesitate to devote a whole question in an RFP to it, this is the time to single out the top-tier contenders from the mass of options out there.

5. If we do decide to invest in this marketing platform, what will the process look like once we’re clients?

In the hustle and excitement of choosing a new marketing platform, many marketers tend to forget to look ahead and ask questions about what happens once the deal is signed. After spending a good amount of valuable time researching and deciding on a new solution, the last thing a marketing team wants is to be disappointed upon implementation. There should be a few questions in any RFP about onboarding, implementation, expected results, and how the account will be managed throughout the lifecycle. It’s never too early to start worrying about challenges that may arise down the road!

Final Thoughts

While these are five very important questions to keep in mind while choosing a new B2C marketing platform, every marketing team is different, and will therefore be looking for different options.

Figuring out which solution is best for you is not an easy process, but one that will inevitably need to be undertaken for such a pivotal, long-term investment.

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