Marketing automation platforms can add real, quantifiable value to the way that you do business. As we have discussed before, marketing automation platforms like Marketo make it easy to create, test, segment, and analyse your marketing campaigns. They work for all kinds of businesses, and the right solution can be tailored to your business–and its specific sales and marketing needs–to ensure you get the most ROI.
But, there’s a catch: For all the ROI that sales and marketing automation can provide, marketing automation implementation has its own particular set of challenges.
Before you decide to jump in head-first and join the growing number of companies that use some form of marketing automation platform (MAP), you need to ensure that your company is ready to tackle the marketing automation implementation process and that you are ready to strategically align where you are, what you want, and what you need from your MAP.
Consider these three challenges carefully and you´ll avoid the most common pitfalls that companies encounter when they transition from their current sales and marketing systems to a MAP.
1. Is the Timing Right?
Folks, timing is everything—and in more ways than one. Before considering investing in a MAP, you need to take ask yourself three critical questions:
Where is my business in its lifecycle?
You don´t need a multi-million budget to get a high ROI from a MAP, but your company must have a certain lifecycle maturity for marketing automation to make sense. In other words, you need to have a certain amount of data to work with to take full advantage of what a MAP offers. This is not to say that your business must be highly mature and fielding only high-end leads! However, unless you already have a base quantity of crucial data, many of the MAP´s key features may not work optimally for you… yet.
Do I have the time to test and implement a MAP?
You need time to set benchmarks and goals that align with your company’s business strategy and to test and implement the MAP in view of these strategic plans. What data do you have, and what data do you need? Do you know the kinds of output your MAP needs to deliver? How will the MAP fit in with your sales and marketing plans? How will you measure success, and how will your MAP help you quantify it?
Will I have the time and resources to maintain our MAP?
Once you have set your benchmarks and goals, you need to dedicate time and resources to training your sales and marketing teams in this new technology and to make sure that the platform is being used in the ways that best help YOUR teams do their work.
Fortunately, we can help you find out if your business is ready for marketing automation. We can assess your needs and suggest the right platform for where you are right now–and where you want to go in the future.
2. Can I Handle Segmented Leads?
A MAP can give you highly detailed data about your leads and where they are in their buying journey. However, there is no use in having this data if all leads will eventually be treated in the same way!
Before you decide on a MAP, think about how you will handle the segmented data that a MAP can provide. Assess and evaluate your current capacity to nurture leads by interest and profitability, and consider whether you can develop tailored protocols and content specific to the high, medium, and low-end leads that your MAP´s lead scoring will help you identify and prioritise.
Rest assured—you are not alone! We can help you tailor your MAP to ensure you are getting the data you need and craft effective protocols to optimise your leads efficiently.
3. Which MAP is the best fit for me?
Sure, access to features like multi-touch campaign creation, customer behaviour tracking, automated sales alerts, and social analytics can net you a better ROI for your marketing and sales efforts. You can get a MAP with enough bells and whistles to make your head spin.
However, the best solution is not necessarily the one with the flashiest features—it´s the one that best integrates with your existing CRM and data processes.
Not sure how well a MAP will fit in with your current software? Our expert team can develop integration solutions that will work for your business. We´ll flag up—and solve–possible compatibility issues.