The need for a marketing automation software solution is no longer debatable.
Companies must implement solutions to grow revenue or they risk extinction. But, making the choice to implement a marketing automation software solution, and using the solution to its fullest extent, are two separate matters. In a 2011 survey, 50 percent of respondents said they had yet to realize the total value of their investment (Focus Research). According to The Experts Bench, “Only 33 percent of companies who use both CRM and marketing automation said the two integrated well.” Houston, we have a problem.
How can an organization solve these problems to fully utilize their marketing automation tools?
- Training: Your marketing automation vendor should fully implement your solution and provide the training necessary to ensure your organization’s self-sufficiency. Documented best practices and tips are a requirement. Also, make sure you identify your company’s power user – an internal resource responsible for managing the platform – to ensure consistency.
- Data Aggregation and Mining: Automation campaigns are only as effective as your data. Take the time to clean your data before you begin adding it to your system.
- Marketing and Sales Synergy: Your marketing and sales teams need to work hand-in-hand. Meet with both functions and determine a process that will ensure leads are handled smoothly. Ask questions: How is marketing qualifying their leads? What information does the sales team need before they’re ready to approach a lead? Answer these questions and better align how the two teams are being measured early in the process to avoid bottlenecks down the road.
- Get Organized: Your company needs a consistent system – including naming conventions, documentation processes, measured metrics, and overallstructure – so all marketing automation campaigns can be easily found, understood, and compared. A solid organizational methodology leads to better productivity and efficiency.
- Seamless Integration: Are you using a CRM? A POS system? A BI database? An ESP? If so, how is your marketing automation softwareintegrating with those systems? Determine your organization’s process for identifying how you store and share data. Remember, not all data should be in all systems, but you do need a central hub for all the significant data that’s going to drive your marketing automation campaigns
Marketing automation solutions offer tremendous value, but your organization must optimize the investment. The data is irrefutable: Nurtured leads make 47 percent larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group). According to Gartner Research, companies that automate lead management see an increase in revenue of 10 percent or more in 6 to 9 months.
Is your company struggling with these problems? If so, using these tips can both better prepare you before your marketing automation solution purchase, as well as help your business make the most of its marketing automation solution once implemented and start down a path to proper utilization.