How to Choose a Campaign Management Service?

You have a very clear idea of what you’re looking for in a marketing agency, and you’ve managed to narrow the choice down to two. Now it’s time to make the important decision: which one to select? Here’s a short guide on how to choose a CMS.

Features

Does the agency offer any features that you can’t find elsewhere? Does it have a unique spin on offer that makes your life easier? You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of each platform before selecting one over the other. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Functionality
  • User Experience
  • Integrations
  • Costs
  • Additional Features
  • Reputation
  • Security
  • Pricing
  • Deployment
  • Support

It’s important to bear in mind that, although you may not need all the features listed above, each agency will certainly have a spin on what makes them special. So, consider all essential features and the unique selling points that set them apart.

Costs

As with any other major purchase, you’ll need to consider the costs of employing a marketing agency. When weighing up the costs of different platforms, consider the following.

  • Cost of the CMS (Campaign Management Software)
  • Cost of the SAAS (Software as a Service)
  • Cost of the DB (Dedicated Back-End Database)
  • Cost of the Delivery Method (How will you receive the software? Will you download it to your computer?)
  • Setting Up The Platform (How long does it take to get up and running?)

You’ll need to decide how important it is to you to have everything installed and ready to go, or if you’d rather spend a little more time customizing and tweaking the interface to get the most out of it. It’s also important to bear in mind the maintenance costs that come with using a CMS. These can range from simple fixes and backups, to full on updates and training.

User Experience

What’s the experience of using the agency’s website, or the app, like? Is everything laid out clearly and in an intuitive manner, or do you find that you have to go hunting for information or that actions aren’t connected to the results you’re after? The UX is really important, especially when considering a website or app for customer-facing purposes. It can make or break your user’s experience, and that experience will have a direct impact on the success of your campaign.

  • Navigation
  • Usability
  • Content
  • Interactivity
  • Customization
  • Attractiveness
  • Depth
  • Clarity Of Purpose
  • Accessibility
  • Repleteness
  • Reduced Frustration

Look at the pros and cons of each option and ensure that the one you choose offers the best UX. It may not be the easiest or cheapest option, but if it feels right then there’s no reason to look elsewhere.

Integrations

Does the agency offer any integrations that make their software unique? Integrations are important because they allow you to connect various systems, apps, and data together. It’s all about having the right connections in place to be able to maximize the benefits of the software. This can range from integrating email marketing platforms, to connecting store data and offering up relevant coupons, or comparing orders from different fulfillment centers and ensuring everyone goes home with a purchase.

  • Shopping Carts
  • Payment Acceptors
  • Social Media Marketers
  • Digital Marketers
  • Email Marketers
  • Analytics
  • Performance Marketing
  • Content Management Systems
  • Marketing Automation
  • Pricing Systems
  • CRM
  • Lead Generation
  • Tracking
  • Audience Targeting
  • Web Hosting
  • Back-End Systems
  • Front-End Systems
  • API’s

As with any other essential part of your online marketing stack, consider the integrations offered by the agency you choose and ensure that they have the platforms, services, and APIs you need in place. Don’t just look at the immediate availability of these things, but also whether or not they offer integrations with the systems you already have in place.

Delivery Method

How will you receive the software? Will you download it to your computer, or will you have access to it online? Having it delivered physically is usually the most cost-effective way to go, provided you’re okay with taking the plunge and investing in the tool. However, having access to the tool online is not a bad thing, and in many cases it can be the cheapest and most convenient option. The key is really in the delivery method and whether or not you have the option of trial and error before committing to a purchase. Trial and error is always a good idea, but especially when investing in a tool that is not very well known. Ensure that you’re comfortable with how the tool works before making a decision.

  • Local Installation
  • Local Use Only
  • Cloud Use Only
  • Cloud Installation
  • SaaS Use Only
  • No Install Necessary
  • Web-based
  • Mobile App
  • Desktop App
  • Both Web-based and Mobile App

Each option above offers various degrees of delivery platform, and it’s important to bear in mind that the type of software you’re ordering will dictate the delivery method. Whether or not you have access to the tool locally is also important, as some tools need to be installed locally to be used. This can be a sticking point if you live in a country where internet usage is restricted, especially if you need to rely on a cyber cafe to get online.

Additional Features

Beyond the four features discussed above, does the agency offer any additional features that you’re particularly after? If so, then you should probably look elsewhere. It’s rare that a reputable agency won’t have everything you could need, but it just makes research that little bit easier. Ensure that you’re not getting sold a dream and that you’re aware of all the additional costs that come with the tool.

  • Training
  • Support
  • Updates
  • Maintenance
  • Version History
  • Licensing
  • Reporting
  • Marketing Material
  • Demo’s
  • Customization
  • Additional Costs
  • Change Logs

Each option above, aside from the Cloud-based services, comes with various degrees of additional costs attached. Do your research before committing to a purchase, as again, it’s important to have everything in place before launch day.

Reputation

How established is the agency in the marketplace? You’ll need to consider this when weighing up the costs of different platforms. Consider whether or not you’re willing to take a leap of faith and put your trust in an unproven entity. You’ll also need to look at their track record, as there’s no point in purchasing a tool from a dubious source. Ensure that you do your research, as a little bit of internet exploring will give you all the information you need.

  • Google Reputation
  • Bing Reputation
  • Yahoo! Directory Review
  • DMOZ Review
  • Review Sites

As with any other essential purchase decision, ensure that you’re comfortable with the choice above, and that you make the right decision for your business.

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