Now that you have made the decision to implement a marketing automation solution where do you go and how do you ensure success as you move forward? It may seem simple enough to say flip the switch and scream “It’s Alive” but it’s not. Just having the technology is not enough to achieve the right results, process, people and an eye towards long term results will ensure you have the correct elements to succeed with your new investment. Here are five things that are crucial to succeeding with your new tools:
1. Process: Whether it is understanding how data is governed among your various systems, how a lead is managed from “suspect” to “closed-won” or how sales and marketing are helping each other and handing data back and forth process is the number one thing you have to nail down for an effective implementation of a marketing automation solution. Process will help you define how you should implement your system, it will help you define goals and KPIs for reporting and will also be crucial when you decide to integrate your marketing automation platform (MAP) with your CRM.
2. Consensus: Diplomacy and bridge-building will be instrumental in reaching the end goals with your implementation. Many different parties are involved in a successful implementation, from IT to Marketing to Sales and the C-Suite. You will need to establish shared goals and a plan to execute that brings all parties to the table to end up with a system everyone respects and values.
3. Content: Just because you have the technology to send emails and drive web traffic does not mean you have the content. Don’t forget the adage that Content is King, while it is oft overused it is still true. Without quality content you aren’t magically going to be generating leads so take stock of your content, map it to your personas and the buyers journey and then deploy it appropriately. Don’t be afraid to weed out old and underperforming content in favor of developing shiny new assets.
4. Data: If you think of your MAP and CRM as the engines that drive your business goals then data is the fuel. You wouldn’t fill a fancy new car with crappy fuel, you would put in the premium good stuff, so don’t try to run you campaigns off of badly segmented, poor data. Make sure your database is quality and that you are segmenting accordingly.
5. Community: Remember, you are not alone in this. Whether you are using Eloqua, Marketo or something else entirely there are great communities associated with your tools where users are constantly sharing success stories, challenges and solutions. Engage in the communities and don’t be afraid to reach out to partners, the eco-systems that support these tools are rich with people who have built out complicated (and simple) solutions to almost any problem you can dream up.
Have I forgotten anything? What was crucial for your company to succeed with its MAP tools?