How to Start the Conversation about Marketing Automation - dummies

How to Start the Conversation about Marketing Automation

By Mathew Sweezey

As with any new investment in technology at a company, implementing marketing automation requires a lot of steps. The first step is to get the conversation going in your organization. Here are a variety of ways you can get people talking to start generating interest and momentum:

How to identify the stakeholders in marketing automation

The stakeholders for marketing automation are a pretty wide bunch of people. You’ve got your marketing team, your CRM team, your website team, and your sales team. Getting all these people together can be a challenge, so here are a few keys to identifying and approaching these stakeholders:

  • Marketing team. This goes without saying. Your e-mail, blog, website, social, mobile, and offline strategists will all need input on your marketing automation tool, so make sure that you include everyone on your team.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) team. Integrating to your CRM is a big aspect of marketing automation. If you do not have a CRM tool, you can use one of the many marketing automation tools that have a built-in CRM. If you do have a CRM, you need your CRM admin to be involved at each step.

  • Website team. You must have a website if you use marketing automation. If you do not have a website, take care of getting that first. Your website will usually need to be updated with new forms, landing pages, and some JavaScript added to it.

    This means that your web admin needs to be involved in conversations so that he or she knows what changes will need to take place and whether these changes are possible with your current technology setup.

  • Sales team. The sales team can be the most vocal, so you have to involve them. You should begin with your highest-ranking sales staff and get them to buy in. It will not be hard if you can easily prove that their staff can cover more ground, get better leads, and close more deals.

    Do make sure to keep their knowledge focused on only the sales-facing technologies, such as CRM integration and sales enablement, and on what they will need to know and see. You should not involve them in general demonstrations, but rather have a specific sales demo done by your vendor just for the sales team.

How marketing automation isn’t just for marketing

When you’re asking upper management for another tool, you have a better shot at getting it if you can build a buzz around the impact to the organization as a whole, not just to your department. One of the best ways to do this is to share the ways marketing automation can help your colleagues in other departments.

Here are the departments and topics you need to discuss in each department:

  • Lead intelligence for the sales department: Marketing automation has a big impact on the sales department. Talk to the sales staff about the value of lead tracking and lead scoring, and let them talk to each other about all the things they can do with the information, such as:

    • Know when hot prospects are on the website

    • Know what white paper a lead read

    • Know every page a lead checked out on your website

    • Know in real time when a lead is researching your products

  • Activity reporting for the services department: Invite your services team to discuss the ways the team might use lead visibility reporting to help mitigate churn rates by using lead tracking. This allows the services staff to see which customers are not using the product so that they can proactively reach out to ensure that they retain these customers.

    Ask the services team for input on using lead nurturing tools to stay in front of clients during a long life cycle.

  • Revenue prediction for executives: Being able to predict future revenues is important for C-level executives in every company.

    To get your executive team talking, ask a colleague or a sales rep selling marketing automation tools to provide a sample revenue forecast from her marketing automation tool. Then ask your executive team to evaluate the benefits of knowing more details about how much money they are going to make next quarter and how the information might be useful in board meetings and business projections.

Marketing automation has many more benefits to get your organization talking about, but you need to start with these three keys. You should also find webinars to help spread the idea of marketing automation. Many vendors have webinars, white papers, and ROI calculators to help you.