Finding the Right Local Marketing Automation Partner

Once your brand has determined that a local marketing strategy is crucial to your business, or will provide you and your local partners with new demand and revenue sources, the next step is to spend time researching and evaluating vendors and their software platforms.

 

Folding any new software into your marketing mix takes time, especially when procedures change on your team. With enough planning and research, the process can be made smoother from the get-go. We’ve taken a few moments to gather up a to-do list for national brands and their agencies to complete before implementing an automated solution.

  1. It’s important to start with a list of your critical requirements. These can come from stakeholders, be informed by existing non-automated solutions, or most importantly, emerge from your own research on local marketing best practices specific to your industry.
  2. Research the local marketing automation market and make a list of potential vendors. To save time and effort, consider purchasing a report from an analyst firm such as Forrester Research, who will break down strengths and weaknesses, usability, and product roadmaps for all the top platforms.
  3. Contact the vendors that you want to interview and provide them with information about your local marketing automation objectives. It’s incredibly helpful at this juncture to prepare and circulate a Local Marketing Automation Self-Assessment which will help you articulate your goals, get buy-off from stakeholders, and identify existing assets to potential partners.
  4. Ask each vendor to conduct a live software demonstration, and invite stakeholders that have a vested interest in the specific features and usability of the platform.
  5. Create a list of questions before the demonstration occurs, and ask for a follow-up with a recap of the answers after the demo.  Questions could include:
    • What types of data would you need us to provide about our local channel partners?
    • How does your software enable or restrict creative template customization/localization?
    • How long does it typically take to implement your local marketing automation system? What resources are required?
    • What level of ongoing account management is provided, both for our corporate marketing contacts and our local channel partners?
    • What type of metrics, analytics and reports does your software provide, and at what frequency?
    • How do you price your software? Is it subscription-based or do you provide seat licenses?
    • How do you price your services and what level of service is typically required?
    • What types of customer and technical support do you offer post-implementation?

For information on the vendor selection and vetting process, including implementation best practices, a guide of local marketing strategies, and a worksheet to determine expected return on investment, download our latest guide: The National Marketer’s Guide to Local Marketing.

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