Great features, excellent advanced email delivery and tracking capabilities, all hosted platforms I have worked on have had over 97% availability. The managed services offered by Adobe is top of the line. The deliverability functionality provides an incredible amount of control with the ability to pass spam filters and ensure emails get delivered. There is also a deliverability team who are renowned experts in this field that can provide optimal configuration if required. Neolane was one of the first campaign management tool to provide mobile app integration with personalised push notifications. For the 'techies', there is also an unlimited amount of customisation that can be done.
What I like the most is that there is an unlimited potential as to what could be achieved with this platform when it comes to Marketing Automation due to the sophisticated workflows, combined with Campaign and Delivery through multiple channels with email, mobile app, direct mail (with a printing partner), SMS (with a messaging partner), Interaction (inbound channel) and social marketing (synchronising contacts from your Facebook page).
No other competitor offers such all round capabilities, although they do require the right level of expertise to fully utilise.
Some have complained about the steep learning curve. However, this can be offset by a comprehensive implementation strategy. Bring in the right expertise and slowly build up internal capabilities with proper training of your own CRM, IT and Marketing teams.
Previously with Neolane what was gained in advanced customisation capabilities, could have been lost in intuitiveness and usability. However, following the acquisition by Adobe, the platform has matured over the years. Businesses that now use the platform and properly and follow best practices have been able to thrive with their marketing.
The usability also used to require improvements, but through the integration with other Adobe products such as AEM, content management can now also be handled with a breeze.
Reporting might be the weakest link, however there are some good out of the box reports available. For more advanced reporting, businesses can always integrate the data (post campaign execution) with other tools.
I have now implemented several of these solutions and happy to share my experiences.
The best advice I can offer is that the more time that is spent on the planning, discovery phase and design, the smoother your implementation will be and the higher return on investment. It is crucial not to cut corners or reduce the size of the team required to cut costs. The right expertise is required from Adobe, their partners and your internal teams. Data SMEs should be made available for all your source systems to help with the implementation.
Also plan for what should take place post-implementation and all your non-functional requirements. What is your marketing strategy? How will your content be personalized to become more relevant for your customers and prospects? How good is the quality of your data and where are improvements required? Most of the implementations that fail do so because they don't take their time to analyse and solve all these questions prior to implementing this tool.
In addition training of your own internal users, it is also crucial to follow the best practices recommended by Adobe and avoid doing a lot of custom coding (which can be challenging to maintain in the future) unless it is really necessary. No need to reinvent the wheel.
The business problems are prospects conversion, customer retention, reducing churn, automation of marketing campaigns and increasing customer loyalty.
Benefits included but were not limited to, increased control of customer life cycle, reducing un-subscriptions by getting customers to go through a short survey, increased conversions by triggering marketing campaigns based on customer behaviour and very useful tracking capabilities of received emails through open and click-rates and much more.