The second in a two-part series; you can find the first part here. WHO Who should be involved in a move to marketing automation? Like any major IT project, implementing marketing automation will involve many stakeholders across most areas of the organization.
- Typically, the Marketing team will be the primary drivers of the project, bringing in their “customers” – Sales and Executives – frequently to gain buy-in and solicit feedback.
- Naming a specific Executive sponsor is always strongly recommended, to motivate everyone to stay on top of their implementation tasks and to mobilize the resources you’ll need for success.
- IT and/or your CRM administrators must be closely involved as well, to advise on your current data and business processes and to provide perspective on the more technical elements of your implementation.
Overlooking the needs of any of these participants from the outset of the project will lead to significant, detrimental issues with user adoption and support down the line. In terms of outside resources, most marketing automation vendors will provide a project manager to guide your team through the overall implementation process and deliver basic, generic training as needed. Many companies will additionally elect to work with an outside consultant, specializing in their marketing automation system of choice, who can provide more specific customizations and ongoing recommendations for the individual company’s unique needs. WHEN Most marketing teams would love to have a marketing automation system in place – but when is the right time? An upgrade to a marketing automation system can be made at any time, but we often see companies taking the leap in natural conjunction with:
- A CRM migration/upgrade
- A prospect database cleanse
- Marketing or Executive leadership transition
- A new fiscal period with newly allocated Marketing/IT funds
A full, new implementation of marketing automation software can take 3 months or more, plus initial and ongoing user training to keep momentum and drive adoption. If you have a particularly busy marketing/sales season each year, be sure to plan at least 6 months ahead to ensure everything is working seamlessly before crunch time. HOW How do you take the plunge into marketing automation? There are several key ingredients to have in place before considering a marketing automation implementation:
- A database of prospect emails
- A variety of resources to be sent to different prospects at different times, depending on certain criteria
- A Marketing team
- IT, Executive, Sales, and Marketing teams with the willingness, availability – and budget – to take on a major new project
If you have those building blocks in place, your next step is to research the different marketing automation systems out there and begin speaking to vendors about your particular needs and goals. Current or future Salesforce customers should start by looking into Pardot, Salesforce’s own marketing automation system which offers native CRM integration and many great third-party integrations. If you would like to learn more about how to maximize your marketing effectiveness – with or without marketing automation – we’d love to help. Contact us for a free consultation.