Dear Marketing Experts, I'm an independent software developer and I'm *nearly* completed a software project that I'll soon be launching from my website. I'm looking at one of these "all-in-one", "automated" marketing software platforms to help me with the PPC marketing and other modes of marketing... because as a one man operation, it's just too much work for me to try to wear all the hats... it would leave me no time for further software development. Anyway, googling around, there seems to be quite a few of them out there - SeoSamba, Marketing360, Marketo, Acquisio, etc. I had a good talk the other day with a rep from Marketing360 and checked out all their videos and literature on their site... the fellow sent me their Pricing Plans as well:
It actually looks almost *exactly* what I'm needing - essentially a "right-hand man" that will take care of all the advertising and marketing for my new software - PPC, Display Networks, creating and testing ad copy, optimizing ads, retargeting, etc. I'm no marketing expert by any means, but I know a bit and at least on the surface, am familiar with most of these things. As part of their base package, they even offer some services that I really wouldn't need :
"Call Tracking" (I won't be trying to acquire leads/sales over the phone)
"Local Listing Ads"
"Top Rated Local"
"Web Hosting" (I have my own webhost)
As I plan to sell my software online internationally, I don't have any need for any of those "local" advertising options - I don't think they're applicable to me. I asked the rep if it would be possible to "swap out" some of these items I don't need in lieu of other services but he was totally inflexible and said they are not an "a la carte" service. That was disappointing. Something also I really didn't quite understand under the Marketing360 Pricing Plans, was the concept of the "Fuel" for SEO ($150) and PPC. Well, for SEO I suppose it is simply their monthly charge to do SEO work for my site, I get that... but the varying amount ($250, $450, $750) for the PPC "Fuel" was a little confusing. Shouldn't I be allowed to decide on what to spend for my own PPC campaigns? Also, the rep said that I would pay them first, then they would buy my PPC credits. I don't feel quite right about that... for a couple of reasons. First, I'd like to be able to have control of my own PPC account and buy my own PPC credits directly. Secondly, would the Marketing360 people be taking my FULL $250 (.. or $450, or $750) and spending that on PPC ads - or do they pocket some of that money as part of their "fees"? I'm leery about that...
Anyway, I guess the bottom line of what I'm trying to get at is - is the Marketing360 platform a good deal, and suitable for my situation. Or would another option like SeoSamba be better and cheaper (as at this point, my budget is tight)? The thing with SeoSamba is they don't appear to do PPC at all. Should I even be *entertaining* the notion of getting involved with one of these "automated marketing" platforms... or are they not worth it??
Would appreciate any guidance to steer me through this whole big crazy minefield!!