A recent post on the Eloqua blog highlighted some key strategies for maximizing your marketing automation investment. The strategies focus on three key areas for success:
Prove the value of adopting marketing automation, before a tool is selected. Focus on specific benefits and process improvements. Involve key stakeholders in discussions about the different software options, and enlist a team of enthusiastic supporters to broadcast the benefits of marketing automation.
Keep people updated about the how, what and why of the implementation. Ensure that benefits are communicated clearly, and highlight the champions who are driving and supporting the changes.
Hold discussion forums to identify and address concerns, and keep people in the know. Provide time and resources for team members to train and feel confident with the new tools. Make sure that training happens at the right time – early enough to allow enthusiasm to build, but not so early that team members grow tired of waiting to use their new skills.
Based on our experience leading clients through the implementation process, we’d like to add a few of our own tips to this list:
- First and foremost, choose the right tool or technology for your business. Ensure you consider things like the level of support included in the package, and how the software can integrate with your existing tools, need-to-have features vs. nice-to-have features, etc. Check out our Marketing Automation Vendor Comparison Guide for a checklist of questions to ask before choosing a system, and an at-a-glance comparison of the most popular tools.
- Make sure you have the people required for a smooth implementation. This could mean training a couple of existing team members to be experts in the tool prior to implementation. OR it could be a matter of bringing in implementation specialists to help with planning and fulfilling the software adoption, and then enriching your marketing processes to make the most of your new tools.
- Consider using project management software, or a project management expert for the implementation. Documenting schedules and deliverables will help keep everyone on track. If you engage an implementation consultant, they should provide you with a list of project tasks and a timeline.
Most importantly, remember that there are always specialists out there to help if you get stuck. Tasks like choosing a vendor, overcoming management concerns, and executing a flawless first campaign are infinitely simpler when you have a great team of consultants (like the DRs!) in your corner.