digital marketing automationBusinesses are increasingly feeling the pressure to adopt new technology in all areas of their business to increase sales and improve profitability. Marketing is one area in particular which has seen exponential growth in availability of technology tools to help businesses thrive. In order to manage marketing data and processes from multiple digital marketing channels, more marketers are sourcing and implementing marketing automation to manage marketing complexity.

Failed marketing automation implementation has far-reaching consequences

I’ve seen this story time and time again…. the management team decides to implement a marketing automation tool.

Let’s implement this new automation tool. We really need it!

Great, we’ve got budget – we are doing it.

Six months later…

No one is using the tool because it was never set up and customized properly, key staff didn’t have enough training to properly use and leverage the marketing automation tool, and the management team is furious that the investment has gone “belly up” which causes future tightening of marketing support and technology budget. As you can imagine, this is bad news for the business.

Before jumping into the deep end of marketing automation, it is important to fully assess several things:

    • What are you trying to achieve by implementing marketing automation?
    • Do you have internal buy-in and support from all of the relevant teams to ensure the marketing automation will be implemented properly and used consistently to obtain full value?
    • What is the real cost of implementing the tool? Think about implementation, set up and customization, training, organizational process change, post-implementation costs like upgrades/maintenance and monthly fees.
    • Do you have the internal resources with the expertise to set up and execute using the marketing automation tool for maximum effectiveness? Or, are you willing to invest in training?
    • What tools do you need to deliver the information you need to make an impact on your business?
    • How will you determine if the implementation of the marketing automation tool is successful and worth continued investment?

When choosing a marketing automation tool platform, you need to ask yourself these questions because it helps direct you to what you really need. You might be best off with an all-in-one- tool, but you may be good with one or two stand alone tools.

If you really want to explore automation tools and which ones might be the right fit for your business, Search Engine Land offers and excellent B2B Marketing Automation Platform Buyers Guide that will walk you through:

  • Marketing Automation Market Trends
  • Marketing Automation Platform Capabilities
  • Choosing the Right Platform
  • Marketing Automation Vendor Profiles and more

You can download the complete report for free at B2B Marketing Automation Tools 2014: A Marketer’s Guide.

But are you really ready for marketing automation?

Marketing automation does not solve the problem of understanding the buying and sales process… it only magnifies it. There are a lot of things that marketing automation can NOT do for you that you need to consider:

  • It’s can’t think for you
  • It can’t provide strategy
  • It doesn’t know your customer
  • It can’t create content for you
  • It is not an analytical brain
  • If you don’t get the results you are looking for, it won’t tell you what to do next.

So, before implementing, investing or even exploring marketing automation tools for your business, there are 4 main questions you need to tackle:

  1. Do I need marketing automation?
  2. What data should I have before I launch into marketing automation?
  3. What roadmap should you use to understand the requirements for marketing automation?
  4. What additional resources do I need to consider before jumping into marketing automation?

Are you really ready for marketing automation? Please fill out the form below to get your copy of the Marketing Automation Guide:

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