As MarTech consultants, we have the privilege of working with clients in a wide range of industries, with a wide range of technology. We’ve worked with these clients friends through immense growth, unfortunate market turns, and everything in between.
With that, we’ve celebrated as their team members enjoy promotions and move on to their “dream jobs”. We’ve also stood by those friends when they land those “dream jobs” and realize they’ve inherited an incredibly messy tech stack, marketing automation platform (MAP), or a spaghetti nest of an attribution model.
No one has time to spend their first 6 months on a job “getting their bearings”. As such, we’ve rounded up the top 6 tasks to tackle in your first 60 days of inheriting a tech stack or MAP platform.
1. Know your stack and data flow
While some technology may not be under your control, it is incredibly important to understand what technology your organization uses, AND how the data flows between these systems. If you are not able to obtain an outline of your tech stack to include features, functionality, owner, and data details for each piece of technology, MAKE ONE! Be the hero and create one for your company. More importantly, keep it maintained!
2. Audit your marketing automation platform
- If you are lucky enough to have documentation from previous system owners, read it. If not, dig in, or obtain a full system audit to truly understand what you are working with.
- If you have team members currently using the system, or that previously used the system, sit with them to understand their processes and procedures.
Now is not the time to make judgments on what you find, just gather all the details you can!
3. Implement marketing automation best practices and “red flags” from the audit
In rare instances, best practices are not viable or practical. However, for the most part, if you uncover glaring areas where best practices have been ignored without reason, in the features/functionality that are already being used, get it cleaned up! They’re called best practices for a reason – generally they are a baseline, common denominator that allows for more efficient and automated use of these platforms.
No one likes to run uphill backwards trying not to spill their water! These best practices should be quick wins that make life easier for all involved. Similarly, move quickly to resolve any “red flag” issues identified during the audit.
4. Get users trained
It is often terrifying to me when a client inherits a MAP and a team, and then tells us that no one on the team has had formal training on the platform.
I’ll say this loud for the people in the back – THESE SYSTEMS ARE POWERFUL!
Now, don’t get me wrong – I am self-taught in a lot of things (ask me about our new deck one day) – independent learning can go a long way, but it only goes so far. With so many nuances in these systems, while your team may know enough not to break it, or not to send an email to the entire database, they may be missing key functionality that could be saving hours of time! Even when we train teams that have used the platform for a year, on system basics, we hear several “Ah ha!” moments.
5. Streamline processes
After a full system and tech stack audit you will now likely be able to start seeing areas for process improvement. This may be room for improvement for specific processes, or room for improvement among your team, and who manages what aspects of the platform. The key here is to improve efficiency and reduce errors.
- Focus on saving time and automating once manual processes.
- Find the task that takes your team the longest to execute and remove the barriers.
- Any recent errors or concerns? Determine the root cause and put processes in place to mitigate future concerns.
6. Develop a roadmap
Now that you’ve established a baseline and cleaned up any glaring issues, where do you go from here? That tech stack isn’t cheap, and neither is your MAP.
Develop a roadmap to tackle issues identified during your system audit and ensure you are maximizing the features and functionality of the systems. On a marketing maturity scale, develop a plan to execute advanced programs within these systems so you can hit those marketing KPIs with greater ease and efficiency.
I think it goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, make sure your attribution reporting is locked in tight so you can prove marketing’s contribution and provide detailed data for spend planning.
About the Author:
Margy is a passionate marketing professional with over 16 years of experience in marketing strategy, operations and project management who found her passion for marketing automation after her first SalesForce.com implementation 10 years ago. She has been helping for-profit and non-profit companies evaluate, implement, and maximize marketing automation systems and processes since. You can follow or connect with Margy on LinkedIn.