A well implemented Marketing Automation system can create a lead generation machine and create a definitive competitive advantage. A poorly implemented marketing automation can put your entire business in jeopardy.
While there are lots of things consider when implemented a marketing automation system, there are 6 important factors that should be at the top of your list.
- Select the Right Platform – There are a number of factors that will impact the marketing automation system you choose (e.g. scalability, functionality, cost, industry.) A marketing automation system that is designed primarily for business-to-business (B2B) will not be priced appropriately for a business-to-consumer (B2C) that’s marketing to extremely large numbers of people.
- Strategy First – Map your customer’s buyer journey; create content that ties to the journey; create conversion offers that appeal to your buyers. Marketing automation systems should simplify the process of giving prospects the information they need at the moment they need it. Mapping vague, meaningless processes because they’re what you’ve always done negates most of the advantages of having marketing automation.
- Marry Sales and Marketing – Marketing should drive sales leads. Sales revenues should fund marketing initiatives. The marketing automation system should be, to the greatest degree possible, seamlessly integrated with your sales team’s CRM system. This will provide the sales team with visibility into the marketing team’s activities and results. This will also allow marketing to make sure that leads are being followed up in a timely manner as well as allowing them to see the amount of revenue a particular campaign generated (imagine having accurate marketing ROI!)
- Automated Workflows are Your Friend – Nearly all mainstream marketing automation systems have the ability to create automated workflows. These are automatically generated responses to a particular event is triggered. For example, once a prospect responds to a call-to-action, the system can be set up to initiate a series of follow up emails to spur additional engagement and qualification. Many systems even allow to create automated responses that involve a decision tree type of logic. This allows you to tailor offers specifically to a prospect’s particular interests.
- Policies, Practices and Procedures – It’s critically important to create policies, practices and procedures on how the systems will be used. User roles should be defined. Reporting frequency and the metrics that are to be tracked. The rules for what would constitute a lead sufficiently qualified to initiate a sales initiative.
- If You’re Not an Expert, Find an Expert – If you’ve never implemented a marketing automation system, you should pay an expert to help you. What’s the most expensive software system? One you pay for but never implement! Find someone with a demonstrable track record of successful implementations.
This list isn’t exhaustive, nor it intended to be. These are a few of the most important factors to think about. If you’re at the point where you need a marketing automation system, you’ll pay for it whether you purchase it or not. Properly implemented, a marketing automation system can be a game changer. Are you at a point where you’re looking systems and need guidance, contact us!