THE 5 KEYS TO SUCCESS
Implementing marketing automation
5 STEPS FOR SUCCESS // THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MARKETING AUTOMATION
There is a misconception that Marketing Automation is a plug-and-play tool and that its implementation is a walk in the park. Implementing such a system requires time, patience, commitment, training and a willingness to embrace change within your organization. This may seem like a daunting or impossible task, however, following the critical steps presented in this e-Book will help you implement marketing automation smoothly
and successfully, and make your life much easier.
As experts in the field of Marketing Automation we have helped many companies implement this powerful technology, improve the effectiveness of their marketing processes and increase revenue. The following sections show you what we have discovered through previous experience - are the cornerstones to achieving success with your Marketing Automation platform. The actions taken in each of the five key steps represent a logical approach to the alignment of sales and marketing functions with strategic business goals and a fundamental requirement for quickly maximizing your return-on-investment, ensuring on-going
improvements and securing future profits.
Enjoy the read and for more information, visit www.engagementfactory.com
Team Engagement Factory
TABLE OF CONTENTS
// This document provides the following information.
6 KEY 1 PREPARE
People, Processes, data
8 KEY 2 DECIDE
Choose the right tool and set
10 KEY 3 COMMIT
Be committed and commit others
12 KEY 4 PERSONALIZE
Stop spamming, use inbound
marketing and focus on content
14 KEY 5 MEASURE
Make the most of available metrics
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Be ready for change. If you are thinking about implementing a Marketing Automation platform, you need to first prepare for more than a wind of change. Your team will undergo drastic changes as it shifts from its practice of traditional marketing to modern marketing techniques. You will experience a cultural transformation, replacing your current way-of-working with a more collaborative model. All those involved in the implementation of the platform will need to accept the evolution of their working practices.
// People, Processes, data
KEY 1 PREPARE
When gathering and defining internal requirements you should include other areas of the business, such as sales and IT. These teams will work closely with you and benefit from the use of Marketing Automation. Explaining to each team the reasons why the organisation chose to adopt MA, as well as the benefits and affects on individual roles, will improve support and collaboration. Since IT plays a significant role in the product evaluation and later on during configuration and deployment, they should be involved from the very start. Demonstrate to your sales team how Sales Enablement will provide relevant data and tools to help close deals and increase revenue quickly.
Without structure and processes in place you will have very little to automate and will waste valuable time and money automating any poor processes. It is crucial to review processes in order to understand what is currently in place and either define or (re)-define them, or build the right ones to start with. All parties involved should be included in the process review to ensure alignment between teams and that handovers are within scope. Prioritize together the processes you want to focus on and strengthen your alignment.
An up-to-date database is a valuable resource and essential to effectively implementing Marketing Automation. You have heard the saying what you put in is what you get out, or garbage in garbage out; this analogy applies well to computer systems. It is very important to create a clean CRM database before it enters the Marketing Automation platform. To do this easily, implement standardized formats and cleanse data by searching and fixing errors or inconsistencies. For example, working together with IT to setup a Data Quality Compliance Process will enable you to match data entering via different channels upon system implementation.
Get teams engaged, ensure a full buy-in Review your processes Clean your database
- Bill Gates | Microsoft
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied
to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that
automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
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Forrester Wave evaluation of lead-to-revenue management platform vendors (1) helps marketers select the right Marketing Automation solution, warning them to resist the temptation of a quick decision and to understand in-depth the differences between the solutions available. The survey examines how vendors support traditional lead management capabilities as well as the emerging needs in cross-channel execution, social campaigns, and real-time, contextual triggers, optimization, and analytics. Companies that have implemented an automation platform have seen results in both organizational maturity and business impact with users contributing more to the sales pipeline, showing higher levels of process maturity and collaborating better with their colleagues.
// Choose the right tool and set realistic goals
(1) The Forrester Wave: Lead-To-Revenue Management Platform Vendors, Q1 2014. Due Diligence Required: These Vendors Are Great At Marketing by Lori Wizdo. Forresters evaluation of lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) platform vendors
identified the most significant solution providers and researched, analyzed, and scored them. The report details their findings about how well each vendor fulfills the 75 chosen criteria and where they stand in relation to each other.
There are numerous vendors delivering Marketing Automation platforms, however their cost and functionality may vary dramatically. This is due to their focus on specific target markets and it is worth doing the research to find out which one serves your organization the best. Your choice will depend on the size of your company as well as the budget and resources you have available. Focus on more than just the
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KEY 2 DECIDE
features and capabilities of the tool, look at how well this new partner will fit into your organization and meet the needs of the business. Do they have the knowledge and understanding of your business goals, and of your industry sector?
The integration of the Marketing Automation platform with your existing IT infrastructure and systems is critical. Make sure your needs and goals are clear and aligned between your IT, Marketing and Sales departments before you discuss in-depth with a vendor the integration of your CRM. Databases need complete synchronization, so it is useful to discuss first how the integration will take place for example, how they will map the fields between the systems. You must make sure you have the necessary integration support from your chosen vendor.
Integration with CRM to raise the power of both systemsCreate achievable targets with timescales and communicate these well to your team, then fine-tune them accordingly throughout the implementation. Be realistic about resources and check their availability. Although campaigns and activities are often easily adapted and amended, developing a clear, systematic plan with precise goals and expectations can make the whole process easier to manage. Produce regular reports (see key 5) on progress versus goals; this enables you to make adjustments and to share success, which will further encourage teams in their efforts.
Plan your implementation realistically
Links to media and analysts sites to help you in the first steps of your research:marketingautomation.com | siriusdecisions.com | digitalmarketingdepot.com | marketingautomationtimes.com | gartner.com | forrester.com | raabassociatesinc.com
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// Be committed and commit others
New status quo
KEY 3 COMMIT
Change is the only constant, and how well you manage change within your organization will determine your success. Due to advancements in technology, the pace of change is increasing rapidly and your ability to quickly manage and adapt in todays workplace will be a valuable asset. This is where processes come in and help us to understand and communicate what we are doing, when and how, enabling other job functions to flow as a result. The ultimate goal of change management is to move from an old state into a new, more desirable position. To do this the processes in place must work correctly, everyone involved needs to understand them and they need to accomplish a mutually beneficial outcome. Most importantly, they need to be adaptable and regularly reviewed by all involved for their effectiveness.
The ultimate goal; move from an old state into a new.
Implementing Marketing Automation requires commitment and hard work, but the rewards are worth it. Start with the alignment of Marketing, Sales and IT departments by establishing common definitions and objectives together. Marketing, Sales and IT each play a role in the setup, configuration and deployment of the automation tool and it is therefore essential to align objectives. Share all definitions, processes and ways of working to optimize the use of the tool. The integration between the organizations CRM and Marketing Automation is essential: discuss the topic with IT from a technological point of view and with Sales from a business perspective.
Align management and decide on common language
Lead management is one of the foundations of Marketing Automation and you should dedicate time with Sales to discuss it in detail. Unless Marketing and Sales align and share the same definitions, key terms and understanding of leads, the implementation of the tool may fail at some point. Create success metrics and define what a successful campaign should look like together. Agree on the metrics for lead management, definitions of leads, sales-ready leads and lead qualification criteria. Define how you will implement your nurturing and scoring processes. Develop a back-up plan to attract more leads in the event you do not have enough leads coming into your funnel. Marketing Automation will not create leads for you. Finally, define a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to agree with Sales on the follow-up of leads.
Align on lead management process
As with most new technologies, the user may experience an initial learning curve and will need time and patience to understand what the tool does and how to optimize its use. Training is crucial: make time to train teams on the new system, accounting for individual user roles and training requirements. Your provider or implementation partner should provide access to sufficient training and educational resources, as well as technical skills and best practices in Marketing Automation.
Setup a plan and assign roles to the relevant employees, then communicate this to everyone involved. Start small and build your success gradually. A couple of months after implementation you will start to see the rewards of your hard work, so have patience and do not be disheartened if you see no immediate benefits.
Training is crucial for success
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// Stop spamming, use inbound marketing and focus on content
KEY 4 PERSONALIZE
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that draws your prospects/customers toward your business by aligning the content you publish with their interests. Buyer Personas help you understand the needs of your customers/prospects and their place in the buying journey. We use this information to create customer-centric campaigns with personalized content that will meet their individual needs and help nurture them through the sales cycle.
Marketing Automation is ALL about content and making sure you deliver the right content, to the right place and at the right time. Whether you communicate your content through websites, blogs or email campaigns, having a solid content strategy in place will help you to get the most out of Marketing Automation.
How to you do this?Map content to your Buyer Personas and use a well-balanced mix of inbound and outbound marketing. The idea is to move away from pitching or hard selling and instead create a dialogue with your customers. Listening to their needs and providing relevant, reliable and valuable content will empower them and improve engagement.
The Buyer Persona
What are your buyers pains and needs? What goals are they looking to achieve? What type of information are they looking for and where do they go for this content? Which websites do they visit and why? What kind of webinars do they attend, if any? Which topics and themes interest them and what documents do they download?
A decisive cornerstone of successObtaining a solid understanding of your Buyer Personas by researching and compiling information on their profile and behavioral data is crucial to understanding how, when and where your prospect/customer consumes content.
By compiling explicit (name, title, role) and implicit data, for example Digital Body Language (email responses, website interactions, event registrations, downloads), you can effectively grow the profile of your buyers and their journey.
The Buyer Journey
The importance of growing your customer base highlights the need to run campaigns to convert prospects into customers but this should remind us that neglect and loss of existing customers will usually undo this work and may even damage your reputation. Always develop innovative nurturing programs targeted at specific Buyer Personas and relevant to where they are in the buying journey. Once you have worked on your Buyer Personas you will be able to see where your prospects/customers currently sit in the buying journey and the types of campaigns that respond best to their needs. This information enables you to easily tailor your content and gain a better understanding of how you can use Marketing Automation to help you.
Buyers today are self-educated due to the vast amount of resources available online; customer/analyst reviews, social media, news portals, corporate sites, e-tailers and even universities all deliver content. Therefore, buyers are much more knowledgeable and powerful and the content you create must be fresh, unique and memorable. Once developed, you can decide which content is most significant to a particular audience.
This alignment of buyer personas with content ensures campaigns are relevant and better targeted, consequently increasing the lev...