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Even the seemingly best marketing automation platforms and end up being a nightmare to roll out if you don’t prepare yourself for a successful implementation. Today we discuss 4 common reasons this happens and how to avoid them.
People have such funny relationships with marketing automation software. On one hand, you have the people that love because it truly makes them more efficient and able to get grow their businesses more efficiently. On the other hand, you have those that think marketing automation software is the single biggest waste of time, money and sanity. They swear that they were sold a bill of goods when the salesperson sold them on the software and that it truly never actually works as they demonstrated. So who is correct?
As with all things in life, the answer is that they are actually both correct. While marketing automation isn’t a superhero save all product, proper planning and implementation of a good marketing automation platform can indeed make your life exponentially easier and more efficient. And if you haven’t had luck with a marketing automation system, don’t lose heart. It can be very daunting and difficult to get off the ground. The good news for you is that your system most likely can do what you saw it do when you did a demo of the system. You just need to take some key factors into consideration to turn your situation around and turn your marketing automation nightmares into bliss.
The real key to all of this is to just know what to prepare for. A lot of the preparation comes in the beginning stages. Once careful initial setup and implementation is complete, there are ongoing maintenance issues that can trip you up, but a good initial implementation strategy is often the key to success.
With that in mind, today I want to share with you four common frustrations, and key tips that will help you and your team avoid headaches and make the most of your marketing automation software implementation from the very beginning.
You have big plans in mind when you are viewing a system demo, but when the system is yours you hit a wall when figuring out how to implement it
It’s natural to understand that you will get super excited about a new platform when you watch the software vendor demonstrate it. After all, they are the experts at the platform, they know all the shortcuts around the system and they have the “perfect installation” that makes everything look like a breeze.
When you sign up for the system though, you may be stuck sitting there, wondering how you are going to go about setting up the system to perfectly accomplish all the things you want it to do. There are so many aspects to implement. You may have lead scoring, you may want automated behavioral workflows, funnels, ad platforms, and even CRM integration. It can be very consuming.
The best way to approach implementation is to take your time to do it properly and with the right coaching and support. Whether you need to send yourself and your team on a training course, hire a new employee, or partner with a consultant, having the skills and knowledge to use your marketing automation platform correctly from the start is essential to future success.
Your data is a total mess
One of the things I am constantly telling clients when helping them set up and deploy their marketing automation systems is that ANY system is only as good as the data you put into it. If you take a great system and import data that is missing important contact details, has tons of duplicate records, or even conflicting/outdated information, you are going to find yourself in serious trouble, before you even get out of the gate.
The lifeblood of any marketing automation system is data. Poor data will be your downfall. So to avoid this, do your due diligence and perform an audit on your data up front. Get rid of duplicate records, delete dead records you don’t want anymore, standardize fields that need uniformity (e.g. contact type), and make sure overall that everything is intact. Doing this BEFORE you import your data and/or turn on the sync between your marketing automation software and your CRM will make your implementation infinitely easier.
You are lacking the content to drive your campaign(s)
As important as clean data is, if you don’t have content loaded into your marketing automation platform to fuel your campaigns, you are dead in the water. Content is king! You not only need lots of great, quality content in your system. You also need specific content for all the different personas you are marketing to. Additionally, you have to have a strategy for when to cycle out content that is no longer relevant, as well as a strategy for constantly creating new content so the well never runs dry.
One great tip to ensure you avoid this trap is to create your content strategy and actually create all the content you will need to roll out your marketing initiatives BEFORE you actually purchase your marketing automation software subscription.
Some companies have a marketing arm and this task is relatively simple. If you do not though, I highly recommend you hire an experienced digital marketing agency to help you create the perfect content marketing plan and content that is engaging and on message.
You are not seeing the results you want from your campaign
Given the amount of time (and money) you’ve spent developing content, cleaning your database and purchasing your marketing automation platform subscription, showing a quick and large return on investment is of course at the top of everyone’s list. Sometimes that doesn’t happen though.
An important thing to remember is that even though you were sold on a platform that was deemed to be incredibly efficient at making lead generation and nurturing easier, no platform can ever guarantee results.
While it’s easy to blame the automation software, 9 times out of 10 when we work with a client and they say they are upset about the ROI of the platform, we find that there is a gap in the process where the client expects the marketing automation software to do all the work for them. Remember this:
Your Marketing Automation Software Does Not Replace The Marketer
You need a lead generation and nurture strategy. You need to consider your buyer persona’s customer journey and make sure that you have content that tracks closely to that journey. You need to make sure that marketing and sales are in agreement with what is a lead and what makes a qualified lead. Marketing and sales also have to reach a consensus on lead scoring and when the system should alert sales that they need to jump in to handle a lead.
Once you have these things in place, document them. Make sure everyone on your team (both in marketing and sales) is on board and in agreement with these things. This will give you the highest percentage of probability that you will net positive ROI on this technology investment quickly.
Successfully implementing marketing automation platforms is tricky. There are lots of moving parts and missing even one can make the difference between a successful rollout and a complete failure. That said, you don’t have to go it alone. If you are interested in rolling out a new marketing automation platform, or simply want help tuning up or even completely overhauling your existing marketing automation platform, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule a brief consultation. We’d love to learn about your business and your needs and show you how we can quickly and easily get you to the next step.