Humans need an equilibrium to survive. For example, too much rain results in floods, destruction of life and crops, etc. Too little rain leads to a drought. You get the idea. Similarly, a marketing organization needs an equilibrium of the “old” and the “new”.
Too much “old” and the organization misses on the latest innovations in technologies and marketing channels. Too much “new” – the organization misses on decades of proven fundamentals and experience of marketing 101.
The trick is to maintain the “right” balance that enables a constant flow of marketing fundamentals that are applied in new and different ways that leverage the latest channels and technologies.
A Marketing Automation Platform has the ability to quantifiably and unambiguously turn a marketing organization from a cost center into a revenue center. However, choosing the “right” platform is critical because the credibility of the marketing team rests in how it delivers on the expectations.
We all want to tame the beast to our advantage. Yet more often than not, I run into clients who lack a structured approach to go about selecting the “right” platform that not only addresses their needs, but also optimizes the spend, minimizes the learning-curve and scales with the organization.
So in that vein, the following is a 50K-foot view of a process to think through when rolling out a MAP:
- Analyze the legacy business processes –
- Determine which ones stay, which ones go, and which ones need altering
- Map the desired processes across all departments (Marketing-Sales, Marketing- Exec Staff, Marketing – IT Staff)
- Prioritize which ones need implementing first to get some quick wins
- Business Objectives/Requirements –
- How will marketing be gauged in the short-term?
- Map out a short-term and a long-term goal
- Get a buy-in from all parties (Sales ,IT, Exec Staff) on-board
- Set clear expectations with appropriate teams –
- Exec Staff – wins, ROI
- Sales – definition of a sales ready lead? Volume of leads, etc.
- Audit all existing databases –
- CRM Systems
- Prospect Databases/External Lists –
- Completeness of data fields?
- How recent is the data?
- Level of engagement with the prospects?
- Buyer Personas?
- Marketing Plan –
- How many campaigns?
- Which channels?
- Frequency of prospect touches?
- Time frame?
- Tracking and Metrics –
- Custom dashboards to determine:
- Optimal budget allocation
- Lead Velocity through the process
- Revenue Performance
- Engagement behavior across the channels, etc.
- Stay away from analyses-paralyses
Remember…a Marketing Automation Platform, like marketing, is a journey and not a magic wand. So explore, evaluate and scale …
Marketing – an Art or Science? This has been an age old debate especially lately given the proliferation of Marketing Automation Platforms & CRM Systems. They enable metrics such as Lead Life-Cycle, Revenue Performance Velocity, Marketing ROI, etc. Such technologies do have obvious and clear advantages but on the flip side, do they morph the skill into a mechanistic and competitive approach of domination over co-operation?
Could it foster a culture of an “assembly-line” where every marketing team is measured with standardized metrics and the best result wins? Too much of anything is harmful so let’s be mindful of the “right” equilibrium.