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Marketing Automation: Is Your Organization Ready?

Marketing Automation: Is Your Organization Ready?

Is Your Organization Ready for Marketing Automation?

Let’s first acknowledge my bias. I help companies implement and improve Marketing Automation, Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing strategies. I’m pretty passionate about why companies should be leveraging technology particularly, if they operate in a B2B environment.

But often I surprise companies that get in touch with me when I tell them they aren’t ready yet. As much as I’d like to work with them and help them get value out of a Marketing Automation, they don’t have the prerequisites in place to see an ROI and over time they’ll waste money on it (which is ultimately bad for my reputation).

Food for Thought

Before making any investment, consider the following:

1. Have you outgrown your existing email marketing solution?
By this, I mean does your current solution lack the technical capabilities? If your issue is with lack of effectiveness such as high opt-out rate, low click rate, no measurable impact on sales, difficulty attracting subscribers, etc., “automation” isn’t going to solve your problems, just add a costly expense.

2. Is your sales process complex and lengthy?
For environments where prospects require multiple touches before coming to a buying decision, marketing automation can play an essential role, supporting both efficiency and effectiveness. If however, you’re in the business of selling low-cost widgets, the hefty investment in Marketing Automation may not be necessary.

3. Do your buyers require nurturing (engaging and relationship-building with prospects that aren’t yet ready to buy)?
Marketing Automation can support lead nurturing in a way that allows you to allocate high-touch resources (sales personnel) on the most qualified of leads while the needs at the top of the funnel are managed through automation.

4. Does your marketing team make data-driven decisions?
Perhaps you’ve noticed the ever-increasing number of job posts for “Marketing Analysts.” Traditionally dependent on communication strategies, creativity and PR, Inbound Marketing is driven by data analysis. If you do not currently have a data-driven marketing organization, an investment in marketing automation will fall flat.

5. Does your department have the necessary resources to support Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing?

  • Content – develop ebooks, blogs, social media
  • Engagement – consistently drive social media engagement, brand advocacy, and relationship-building
  • Design – create landing pages, emails, compelling graphics
  • IT/Development – manage integration with CRM and Web assets
  • Operations – create and manage workflows, analyze performance, report outcomes.

If you can answer yes to the above, the next step is to ensure you have commitment from the Senior Leadership Team because marketing automation will impact all areas of the business. Get the buy-in and include them in the process before actually investing.

 

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