Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
Before you dive into this ever evolving, shifting, and globalizing world, be sure to draft your own internal marketing automation plan. The great thing about marketing automation technology is all of its capabilities, but the frustrating thing about the tool can also be, all of its capabilities. This is why planning and staying focused is so important for getting the most out of marketing automation.
You would never buy a car without researching and test driving it first, right? Walking into a random dealership and hurling your credit card at the salesperson across the table from you is a sure fire way to leave with a money-sucking disappointment. Sure, it has 45 cupholders, but you really wanted four-wheel drive. And you’re not going to take 45 caramel mocha macchiatos on your off-roading trip.
It’s the same when it comes to researching marketing automation softwares. Choose the first tool you see and you’ll end up with the wrong capabilities for your company and lacking the features you really, really had your sights set on.
Here are some starting points to prep marketing (and everyone else) for marketing automation:
- Take inventory: Make a list of all of your content, images, formatting, and CRM data that you have floating across various platforms and folders. From here, decide what information you want to move to your new marketing automation tool and what can be throw out. You had to do this eventually anyway! Two birds, meet one stone.
- Make a wish list: What manual processes are you doing that you physically, mentally, emotionally can’t handle anymore? I bet it’s a long list. Having this information at your fingertips ensures that everyone who will be using the system feels involved in the buying process. You can also cross check what your company needs vs. what each vendor offers on their websites’ marketing automation software guide.
- Schedule it into your workday: Throughout the research phase, testing, and initial implementation, your marketing automation group, or ‘power users’ will have to integrate using the tool into their daily routine. Luckily, we’re automating previously manual processes, so everyone will actually have more time… once they know how to use it. To ensure a smooth transition, set aside time each week to play around with marketing automation – you’ll become a master even faster.