Nope, I don’t mean Marketing Automation Platform. I mean your marketing automation PLAN? Too often companies decide on a technology purchase and chart a marketing course to sail hand in hand with these tools. But they are thorny and require a constant flow of content, true dedication, skills specialization and steady attention to be successful.
Sure, you can stand up a marketing automation system in a day or two, architecting some general inbound or outbound workflows. The standard plug-in into Salesforce.com is easy enough to get up and running – but will it serve your overall business need? Did you define what that need was prior to purchasing? Was it that you needed to get some emails out the door? More leads in general?
Marketing automation’s value comes with its rigorous functionality set designed to keep your message and brand in front of customers on strategically timed intervals whether you choose to proactively include someone in your program, or they are an inbound registrant. Success requires thoughtful answers to several questions we outline below:
• Have you put someone in charge of your marketing automation strategy?
• Have you designed a series of 90 day content plans to make sure you have fresh offers coming off the assembly line for your database of prospects and inbound marketing efforts?
• Have you designated a person on your team as responsible for being the tool guru? As important, have you set their expectations and role definitions to allow the needed time to achieve this goal?
• Have you set a series of benchmarks defining what success “looks like” quarter by quarter?
• Have you defined what a ‘lead’ means to sales and documented the criteria?
• Have you secured buy-in for your sales team on the exact process they will follow when pursuing leads your marketing automation plan produces?
As you continue to vet your marketing automation plan, keep these questions in mind. Taking time and answering them, sometimes with tough decisions, will make your initiative a success.