So, you’re thinking of giving marketing automation a try. There are certainly many excellent reasons to do so. Marketing automation can help to make your workload much more efficient while also delivering a positive return on investment. On the flip side, marketing automation can also increase your workload and be a drain on your budget, if it is not handled properly. The difference lies in how well you plan the implementation of marketing automation.
Develop a Plan for Implementation
The most important step you can take before adding marketing automation to your current projects is to ensure you have a plan for implementing it. While this might sound simple enough, this is a step that is too frequently ignored. Far too often, business owners get carried away with all of the many benefits that marketing automation can provide. That may be true, but in order to take advantage of those many benefits you must make sure you have a high-level plan in place.
Begin by ensuring expectations are established. In the past, marketing and sales were often completely different functions. Today, the line between marketing and sales has become blurred thanks to marketing automation. More and more, tasks that were previously handled by sales is now being moved to marketing. This also means that marketing and sales divisions must understand and agree on how their responsibilities will be handled. Try using a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to align sales and marketing.
Start Off Small
Additionally, it is important to make sure you start small. There can be a lot of excitement surrounding the implementation of marketing automation. It can be tempting to want to go big and take advantage of everything marketing automation provides at once. Even so, trying to implement all of the features provided by marketing automation as soon as you get started will usually only result in failure. It is much better to start slow and small by choosing one specific audience and working to build your first marketing project around that audience. Testing is a common practice in the world of marketing and it maintains its importance in marketing automation. The information you glean from your first trial run with marketing automation can prove to be invaluable to the success of later campaigns.
Remember that organization is the key to succeeding with marketing automation. If your operation is already inefficient, marketing automation is not going to change that.
Know What You’re Going to Do with Leads
It is also imperative to ensure you have a system in place for handling the leads that will inevitable result from your marketing automation efforts. This is the ideal time for Marketing and Sales to work together to determine priorities and goals. If your company already has an effective sales team in place, they probably already know how to handle new leads. If not, this may be an area you need to address.
While the prospect of implementing marketing automation might be overwhelming, the right help can make all the difference. Find out more about how you can effectively implement marketing automation today.