The true cost of marketing automation
we look at cost drivers, implementation spend and ongoing expenses
The benefits of marketing automation couldn’t be clearer. Quicker turnaround on campaigns, more precise targeting and personalisation, deeper insights after the fact and significant time-savings from automating manual tasks and streamlining key workflows. If you’re not using an automation platform already, you’re missing out.
Of course, it’s not quite as simple in reality. For most businesses, taking on a marketing automation solution is about balancing the benefits against the cost, disruption and energy involved with implementation and ongoing use. That equation must be calculated before you decide to move forward with automation.
As with any tech solution, the cost of an automation platform depends on several elements – from the size of your business and the complexity of your data to the internal training and support needed. While there’s no way to determine an exact cost before you start, we’ve laid out those elements, the cost involved in an automation solution and ballpark cost estimates for each.
Here’s what you need to know:
what influences the cost of marketing automation?
Every business has unique automation needs that affect the cost of its solution. Here’s a look at some of the factors that impact pricing:
How much data and how many messages are we talking about? The volume of your data and the number of messages you need to send through your system makes a difference to the cost of your marketing automation solution. Where and how your data is stored matters too – more data sources can make integration more time-consuming and complex.
Your marketing automation goals will also make a difference to your costs – how in-depth is your targeting of an audience segmentation? How many campaigns do you need to migrate from your current system and manage with your new platform? Which channels need to be integrated? How many web forms, landing pages and other permissions and capture forms are required? The more complex and detailed your needs, the more your solution is likely to cost.
Implementation and support
Another cost driver is the amount of guidance you’ll need from your automation provider. This comes in during implementation, training and ongoing support. While some providers don’t offer much guidance, we’ve found that the most successful implementations and transitions happen when a truly supportive partnership is established first. Having continual advice and support on hand means you can maximise the use of your automation platform and solve any problems as soon as they emerge.
Add-ons and extra features
Most platforms start with a bare-minimum price point, with extra costs for special features, third-party add-ons and integrations.
Self-managed vs support
Working with an automation provider will cost more than simply buying a software package and managing it on your own. However, the extra support and customisation you get with an agency are often worth the expense. Working with an agency enables a faster platform development process, helps you avoid common pitfalls, and pushes you forward so you can start using your platform as soon as possible. Without that level of input, it’s easy to let issues slow you down and underutilise your platform.
What will the platform cost?
Most marketing automation platforms don’t have a single price point – instead, costs are calculated at different points based on the volume and complexity of your needs. If you work with an implementation and integration partner – like Datamine – there may also be costs associated with its work.
Costs are applied at these stages:
1. Application license costs
This is based on the volume of data you’re migrating to the platform, the number of messages or emails sent each month, and/or the range of people using the platform.
2. Implementation costs
Implementation steps can include:
- Discovery and platform selection
- Implementation and build
- IP warm-up
- Go live
Cost estimates: $35k to >$100k (excluding extra elements like a CDP).
3. Ongoing support
Finally, you have ongoing subscription and support costs. These vary depending on the platform chosen, the size of your business, the level of support you need and the number of campaigns you’re running at any one time.
Support costs are usually heaviest during the first few months – your team may need extensive training and guidance as you embed your new platform and transform marketing processes. Later, you may need help to ramp up campaigns, review your automation strategy and analyse campaigns to optimise results.
Of course, support is also where the magic happens. When you work with an automation provider like Datamine, you get help with the technical build elements and support with implementation and setup. We can help you overcome internal friction and unexpected hurdles, take you from walking to running with your new platform, and make sure your system is set up to flex and scale to your needs. Best of all, our extended support bench means there’s always an expert at hand.
Cost estimates: 20k-40k per month.
Case Study: animates leverages automation for personalised digital experiences
Animates noticed an increase in many of their shoppers moving to online channels and wanted to make sure their focus on customer experience was reflected in their own online channels.
By working together, Datamine and Animates transformed the way Animates communicates with their shoppers and improved processes for employees. Automating personalised content for each online customer means that the business can deliver a consistently positive experience, no matter what channel they’re using.
Training with Datamine meant that all employees could deliver the same level of service, contributing to a better customer experience and reducing the impact of employee turnover at the same time.
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Expert automation support with datamine
Selecting and implementing a marketing automation solution can be daunting. There are thousands of systems on the market, hundreds of features, add-ons and third-party apps, and many agencies and providers offering support. It’s a lot to navigate, particularly if you haven’t used an automation system before. Because it’s not a cheap option and offers so many benefits for your business, it’s crucial to get it right rather than picking the first software you see.
That’s where Datamine comes in. As expert data solution providers with over 25 years’ experience, we know our stuff when it comes to marketing automation. We’re system-agnostic, working with most key platforms and integrating almost any legacy system as long as it works best for our clients. We can do anything from a simple implementation to a complex, multi-faceted build with custom integrations and data management. Our team is big enough to manage your migration, integration and campaign ramp-up while providing background training and guidance as you learn the ropes of your new system.
It’s about ensuring you get a marketing automation solution that meets all your needs and improves outcomes for your business – so your investment is worthwhile.
Find out more about the costs and benefits of marketing automation now. Talk to the team to find out more.
MARKETING AUTOMATION SELF-ASSESSMENT
To know where your Marketing Automation function compares with other companies & for some insight on where to start, fill out the short self-assessment and receive a personalised 2-page report compiled by the Datamine team that outlines how far along your marketing automation journey you are.