Marketing Automation Deployment and Implementation

Marketing Automation Deployment and Implementation

Avoid failures in your marketing automation strategy

As ever, there are two schools of thought on technology implementation: those that go the in-house route, and those that outsource it. We’ve all heard horror stories from both kinds of implementations: they never get completed, they cost an arm and a leg, or they just don’t work – sometimes all three at once.

Numerous studies have found that data hygiene, automation knowledge, content, and attribution were the key challenges of a marketing automation transformation (after securing the budget for marketing automation).

But why? It all comes down to marketing automation strategy and the need to create a clear plan of what realistic outcomes are for the first 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. These depend on the 3 P’s (people, processes and platforms), on buy-in from senior leadership, and on teams being self-aware enough to ask for help when they need it. That’s why we developed our readiness assessment programme to ensure we’ve got clear business objectives, requirements, user journeys and all the other elements that feed the marketing automation strategy and later the marketing automation implementation plan.

Developing your marketing automation roadmap isn’t a simple task either, especially when you don’t know what you need in the first place (or you don’t know what potential use cases currently exist in the business).

Top 3 marketing automation implementation tips for CMOs

  1. Understand your business’s readiness for marketing automation software, keeping in mind the current state of play versus what the future vision is. There’s often a lot of ground work to be done ahead of choosing a tool, let alone delivering a marketing automation implementation!
  2. Align sales and marketing to ensure that the customer journey is mapped, agreed and understood and that lead quality, service level agreements (SLAs) and feedback loops are built into the process.
  3. Involve IT and technology teams if they own core systems that will need to be integrated. This allows you to leverage their support and get them onboard from day one, rather than throwing your requirements their way – and potentially never integrating.

Working with a marketing automation implementation partner

Marketing automation isn’t really a new concept: it’s the evolution of customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing, web analytics and a bunch of other marketing technology combined in one platform to make life a bit easier!

Choosing a marketing automation platform is a tough job – made all the more difficult because a marketing automation vendor will try to sell you on all the bells and whistles. Working with a marketing automation implementation partner will not only help you understand if you’re ready to implement, but will help you choose the correct technology for your needs and ensure you develop a long-term marketing automation strategy that goes well beyond implementation.

Why education needs to be top of your marketing automation strategy to-do list

This new world of marketing automation isn’t just about marketing. It’s a cultural shift, and your marketing automation strategy and implementation plan should account for different audiences: everyone from your senior leadership, to your sales teams, back office and, just as importantly, the day-to-day users of the technology.

The art of the possible

This is an overused phrase, we know. But securing buy-in from all your different stakeholders for the marketing automation journey will not only enable easier integration with other business systems, but will help all business units and teams understand the possibilities of using marketing automation across the customer journey, resulting in a successful marketing automation implementation.

Go beyond teaching the toolset

In our experience of over 15 years in the world of marketing automation, we’ve seen many marketing automation implementations fail outright, and many more marketing automation strategies fail to deliver on their promise.

Your marketing team doesn’t just need technical training on the product and toolset of choice: they may also require better knowledge of what best practice marketing automation really is (which automated workflows work best and why, how to develop engagement and manage leads) and, just as importantly, appreciate that marketing automation best practice doesn’t happen overnight.

Long term education

We’re all busy and whilst training is engaging in the moment, we often end up stepping out of the training environment and back into the day-to-day forgetting some of the key details required to deliver best practice.

Developing a long term education plan as part of your marketing automation strategy will not only help your marketers get up to speed in bite-sized chunks – it will also help your marketing team deliver better quality over time.

Our marketing automation implementation services

With too many marketing automation deployments under our belt to count, we’ve built a range of clients (from software startups to global financial services clients) with our mission top of mind in mind: driving revenue growth through predictive marketing performance.

When it comes to marketing automation implementations, we ensure you’ve developed a clear understanding of where you are now and where your want to go in the short, mid and long term, aligning closely to your business objectives and your budget.

We’ll assist you in developing a marketing technology requirements list for today and tomorrow, with a clearly-defined roadmap to target key areas of the customer journey – and we’ll even help you identify the content gaps, types, methodology, and best practice tips for driving true engagement across all your marketing channels.

Our goal is to develop a long-term partnership with our clients to deliver best practice marketing automation solutions and campaigns, ensuring that we’re reviewing, recommending and enhancing your team’s daily activities on a regular basis to ensure efficiencies and cost savings.

Delivering a best practice marketing automation implementation

Every business transformation project is complex, and that’s typically for several reasons. Often, organisations talk about business transformation projects using the 3 Ps (People, Processes & Platforms), with each area having different kinds of pain points. In other words, a business needs to have a robust strategy to make the transformation truly work.

Marketing automation is no different – with over half of marketing leaders saying they’re not seeing value from their investments.

The #1 challenge of marketing automation implementations

Unsurprisingly, the number one issue is the complexity of marketing automation platforms and software integrations. In the Ascend2 and Research partners Marketing Technology Survey, 25% of respondents stated they have not integrated marketing automation with their CRM, while 53% noted they had marginally integrated and 25% reported they had extensively integrated.

Why does successful implementation rely on integrations? Because the immediate power and benefit of providing better sales and marketing alignment depends on the real-time, immediate transfer and handover of intelligence and prospect data – all of which is facilitated by CRM integration.

Overcoming CRM integration challenges

Integrating your CRM system doesn’t need to be a blocker of your marketing automation implementation. In fact, it should be an enabler and ought to be identified as part of your marketing automation strategy.

Most major marketing automation platforms integrate with the CRM giants like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP. If you’re not using one of those tools there are alternatives available for custom CRM integrations.

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