When selecting a MA system, marketers often go through a checklist of desired product features and CEOs identify expected results. These, of course, are basic steps to successfully automate your marketing processes. But there's more.
For a MA system to perform satisfactorily, here are three more criteria often overlooked when talking with providers. These criteria can mean the difference between your loving, or hating, your Marketing Automation system.
Realize That Marketing Automation is a Strategy
A starting point when buying a MA system or deciding whether or not to invest in MA at all is to have a strategy: measurable goals and a plan to achieve those goals. Define and rank your goals, for instance (a) track leads from click to close, (b) increase qualified leads, (c) enhance cross-channel communication, (d) shorten the sales cycle, and/or (e) reduce marketing-and-sales costs.
If you are not operating now with a good strategy, manually or with a non-MA system, then adding a MA system will merely amplify what's not working right. And you will join many others who are pondering why their MA system isn't meeting their expectations.
Keep in mind, you are managing customers and not just the product or service that you sell. Look for strategic ways for your business to grow from satisfied, loyal customers.
Thoroughly Understand How You Currently Find and Serve Customers
Hand-in-hand with your strategy is a thorough understanding of your current processes for finding and keeping customers. With this in mind, your MA software and technology will then harmoniously support your strategies.
In detail, walk through all of the ways you do business now, from marketing and selling to keeping satisfied customers. Think outside of the box.
Before starting to work with their new MA system, every user should be trained. This will help to assure that everyone accepts the system and uses it most effectively. Training should be for both how the MA software works (product features) and how processes will be performed. The "how processes will be performed" ties back to the previous criteria for understanding current processes.
Companies that have successfully employed a MA system find that rehearsals or practice sessions before putting the new MA system to work can resolve uncertainties and identify areas for specific concerns. Successful MA users also budget for and devote adequate time for initial training which continues for new employees and new processes as they arise in marketing, sales, and customer service.
What Your Marketing Automation Provider Can Do to Help You Get the Results You Want
Along with determining software features and technology, a MA provider can help you to:
- Develop a strategy with measurable goals.
- Thoroughly understand your current processes (thinking outside of the box).
- Train all of your MA users.
- Integrate your MA system with a current (or future) CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, if applicable.
InfoGrow would like to be more than your Marketing Automation provider – We want to be your partner. We expect you to achieve the results that you anticipate with our services. The best way I know to meet our obligation under this position is by never offering any service or product that we don't use in our own business. If you would like to benefit from having a successful Marketing Automation System, give us a call at 330-929-1353.