As we have already stated in our previous article, Marketing Automation offers a set of powerful opportunities to online marketers so they can manage their marketing programs in a more efficient way. But it won’t be that successful unless you come up with an elaborate implementation strategy. Thus, to fully realize the potential of the software, one should have a clear how-to vision and adopt detailed tactics right from the start.
You might have played with lots of demos, watched a number of educational videos and asked Quora about “the best Marketing Automation tool available”, and you think you’ve got your homework done. Wait a minute, don’t be speedy in choosing. The thing is that a proper implementation of a solution may be a little overwhelming because it concerns too many aspects of your business and involves a bunch of team members and workflows. To make sure that your efforts are targeting your prospects with the right content at the right time, a professional integration of a marketing automation platform into your website is a must. As for many marketers, adopting this technology may be a brand new experience, so it’s vital for you to understand how to make the investments into software worth every dime.
Set your goals beforehand
Before you proceed to the implementation of the software, you should ask yourself: “Why am I doing so?”. Despite the fact that MA is a global trend for marketers and everyone seems to be so deeply into it, you have to know what requirements you have for the software and pinpoint the goals you’re looking to achieve.
Modern marketers are one step ahead from being associated with the old-fashioned slide presentations or simply hanging out at the exhibitions while “networking”. Nowadays, due to the rising competition in all sectors, companies want their marketing teams to concentrate on driving revenue so the knowledge of using a marketing automation tool must be solid.
Before you make a purchase, be sure to set your goals and objectives according to the revenue perspective. Once the implementation occurs, use the solution along with your CRM reporting to track, benchmark, and report on the pre-defined metrics. When properly managed, Marketing Automation serves as an all-in-one solution so the consolidation of your tools will not only speed up your process but can cushion the expense of the software for budgeting.
Choose the right solution
Once you have defined requirements and the budget, it’s time to choose the software. And it could be a bit of a task as there’s a variety of tools on the market. Some of them are user-friendly, the other ones are quite complex to the point they require a special training for your marketers – the choice is yours. The question here is to evaluate all the potential options with maximum benefits for the company you work for.
When choosing the software, there are 5 main points to consider. In our article on Top 4 Marketing Automation Software for SMBs, we have already covered the pros and cons of some platforms so you can have a detailed picture if you revisit the blog post. Below comes the list of important features no matter what your choice of a solution would be:
- Ease of use: we assure you – a sophisticated mechanism of use won’t make your day. Each solution provides its own way of sorting out things, so stick to the one that requires the least possible amount of learning and training.
- Functionality: most of the automation platforms on the market have a similar set of functionalities, such as automated programs, website visitor tracking, lead scoring, etc. Even if it’s nearly impossible to find an ideal solution, go for the one that meets your requirements in fuller measure.
- Integration with 3rd party solutions: most marketing automation platforms can integrate with various 3rd party systems like Salesforce or AdWords. Consider what integrations are critical to your marketing/sales teams and select a solution that has the tightest integration with those systems.
- Support: regardless of your requirements, the support of your new tool must be top-notch. Do not ever miss this point.
- Pricing: the pricing models do vary. Think about the balance between functionality and price.
Have a detailed implementation plan
Designing a meticulous plan is crucial if you want your implementation to be a success. We advise to develop a well-defined documented plan and consider the following points in your planning:
- Identify the admins, users, and rules for governance
- Contact your sales team to define the qualities of a lead
- Migrate contacts, opt-outs and hard bounce lists from your current email platform
- Integrate contact forms/subscription forms/lead gen forms on your website
- Set up subscription management
- Add visitor tracking code to your website
- Design email and landing page templates in accordance to your brand identity
Do not rush from the start
As you’ve managed to successfully go through the setup process, you might be willing to use all of the new tools and features instantly. Just imagine: now you have email marketing, event management, SMS messaging, forms and landing pages, surveys, web tracking all at your disposal. With so many valuable tools suddenly available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed right from the start.
The best piece of advice here is to start doing what you are regularly doing and think about adding new cool features only when you feel ready. Concentrate on supporting your current needs (the ones you’re familiar with) and gain some confidence with the solution. The more experienced you become with the solution, the easier it would be to learn from analytics reports and alter your future activities based on your newly-gained skills. The point is that you don’t need to try every possible feature of your marketing automation platform just because you’re paying for it – a common enough mistake. It is important to remember that businesses differ and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, even a particular business department within a company may have a completely different implementation than the other, so planning and realistic expectations are crucial.
P.S. Are you interested in getting your own Marketing Automation tool developed? Contact us and let’s discuss your project.