Top Two Areas of Struggle in Marketing Automation Implementation
So you’re in the market for a marketing automation platform. You’ve gone through the Step-by-Step Guide to Selecting a Marketing Automation System by David Raab. He takes you from defining your requirements to making a decision and then (Step 7) directs you to “Invest in Deployment.” Good advice. Better advice: start investing in deployment well before you choose a platform.
When you succeed with marketing automation, you win big, but when you fail to achieve the revenue increases, cost reductions, and increases in accountability and agility (as a third of implementations do), you are probably only using a small fraction of the platform functionality. You got stuck early in your implementation because you shied away from the fundamental transformations needed in order to market effectively to today’s customers. You spent the money and maybe put your career on the line. The results aren’t there. No one is happy.
When you look at the advice — and there is plenty of it — on how to succeed in marketing automation, it looks like a laundry list for the marketer who has little else to do. The key question is: WHERE DO YOU FOCUS?
I’ve started to explore that question with major suppliers of enterprise platforms for B2B marketing automation and show in the chart below the skills, processes and organizational practices at which less successful customers struggle the most. Four out of the five suppliers reporting to date say their less successful customers come up short in:
- Lead management processes
- Clear objectives, performance measures and metrics
These are NOT practices that marketers can come up with in a flash AFTER selecting a platform. The objectives, in fact, should come FIRST. The work with sales on lead management processes takes time to build understanding and explore needs and viewpoints. Take a look at the illustration below (courtesy of Patricia Seybold Group and McKittrick Associates) and think about implementation before you get deep into selection.