Sure, it can be overwhelming to consider all of the options when you’re shopping for a marketing portal. The terminology is inconsistent from company to company, making it more difficult to figure out what a particular portal solution will provide.
So we thought it made sense to create this checklist for key features and functionality of a sophisticated marketing portal. And while you may not need every feature right away, it’s wise to know what the possibilities are. When the day comes that you need every feature, the portal you invest in should be able to handle it.
Let’s start at the logical beginning: what matters to you?
1. What’s important to your company? Consider the following:
- Integration (be specific) – can a portal integrate with other systems you have in place at your company or will want to use in the future
- Tech support
- Digital assets, printed assets, and campaigns for both
2. Types of Reporting
- What reports will management and sales need?
- On what are the reports based?
- Behavioral triggers?
- Event triggers?
- Site visit triggers?
3. Is the portal customizable? How so?
4. How easy is the portal to use and to train others to use?
- Is training built into the price?
- You may need to give off-site team members (like channel partners) access to the portal, and they’ll need training. How will this be handled?
5. Are print campaigns and other tangible assets integrated into the portal?
- Can both be customized?
- Can you support your event marketing?
6. Shopping cart functionality
- On-the-fly pricing?
- Freight fees – including multiple shipping options?
- Are different time zones considered?
- How are different currencies considered?
7. Is the portal configurable to match your brand ID?
8. SaaS vs. installable solution: What are your options?
9. How secure is your data on the portal?
- You’ll be keeping massive amounts of sensitive company and customer data on this portal. Ask about password security, credit card data, and data back up protocol.
10. Technical support.
- A portal might be easy to install or access, and even fairly intuitive to use once your team is trained. But ask about technical support availability; you’ll need it.
11. Is the portal device- and platform independent?
12. Who’s currently using the portal?
- Are their customers in your field? They will be resources for you to contact if you’re serious about a particular solution.
Add your own concerns and technical requirements to this list to aid your research and product evaluation. Poll your management and your sales teams, as well as key channel partners, when you’re fleshing out your list of marketing portal requirements. It will be a helpful guide as you evaluate providers.