How to Jump Start Your Enterprise’s Move to Marketing Automation

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Posted: May 13, 2014 | Modern Marketing

No one has a better seat at the intersection of ‘digital’ and ‘customers’ than marketers. That’s why CEOs today expect their CMOs to be leaders in digital business innovation and growth.

But even though marketing automation is at the center of the marketer’s ability to lead digital growth, enterprise marketers are some of its slowest adopters. In fact, only 25% of Fortune 500 B2Bs currently use marketing automation software, while across all B2B companies, demand is expected to reach a penetration rate of 50% by 2015. Enterprise companies have an enormous amount to gain — clearly, the revenue and business growth potential vastly exceeds the obstacles.

But obstacles have a way of seeming insurmountable without perspective. Luckily, perspective — plus a solid business case and a strategic plan to move forward — is precisely what a strategic consulting team provides.

That’s why enterprise marketers should strongly consider using marketing automation consultants, such as those offered by Marketo’s INNOVATE program. These consultants formalize the approach up front, so that you’re immediately rewarded with a value-based assessment and a tactical action plan. Armed (and dangerous!), you can move toward marketing automation confidently, with all cylinders firing.

The Challenge of Being the Biggest and Best

Marketing automation is well on its way to dominating digital content delivery across the board. But enterprise companies have a certain set of challenges when it comes to adopting marketing automation software:

  1. Matrixed marketing organizations reach into multiple regions and markets, which makes change management arduous and complicated.
  2. Many marketing leaders today still don’t carry a revenue number — although this is slowly changing — so it’s hard figure out what you should be measuring, let alone make the case for improved metrics.
  3. Getting leadership and peers to see the ROI of marketing automation might be the challenge that stops you cold in your tracks.

Here’s the irony: the hurdles that might stand between an enterprise company and implementing marketing automation are the very same hurdles that marketing automation addresses so very well: modulating company-wide marketing, providing better metrics, and proving the marketing team’s ultimate value to your sales department.

Making the Case for Marketing Automation

As more and more enterprises adopt marketing automation tools, the pressure to use these tools better than your competitors will naturally grow. Choosing your platform wisely is just the start. According to the Marketing Leadership Council, transformational marketing requires your success in three areas: tools, alignment, and methodology.

  • 20% of your success comes from the marketing automation features and tool
  • 30% comes from the particular methodology that you choose to use cross-functionally
  • 50% comes from organizational alignment and structure

In other words, how you implement your technology makes all the difference in the success of your marketing automation endeavor. It’s inevitable that your organization will switch to marketing automation at some point. But when? And how well? These are the questions that strategic consulting can answer. The best way to capitalize on your platform’s potential is to craft a long term transformational marketing strategy that’s tactically tailored to your specific company. And the best way to draft that plan? Go to the experts.

An external team of marketing automation pros can give you the leverage to build a proactive business case for marketing automation, while simultaneously laying the groundwork for an effective process.

The Four Pillars of Strategic Consulting

At Marketo, we break down our strategic consulting process into four pillars, which we use to assess your current state of marketing and provide verifiable recommendations on a strategy and tools. This is not just a high-level, theoretical discussion. We arm you with tangible actions, and a plan you can enact boldly and immediately.

1. Marketing Strategy
First, we look at your organization’s current marketing strategy and assess how well it’s working. What stage of marketing automation — if any — have you reached to date? Is your marketing team logistically ready to take a bigger leap into marketing automation? Are they emotionally ready? That’s important too. During this stage, we take your team through a refined exercise to evaluate your organization’s marketing maturity and benchmark your existing practices. We’ll immediately supply you with strategic recommendations for a proven methodology.

2. Cross-Functional Alignment
The next step is to actively align marketing and sales so that both teams are working toward a unified goal. Cross-functional alignment (CFA) exercises create synergy so that both teams can get on board with marketing automation drivers.

3. Measurement and Reporting
A consulting team will assess your key reporting metrics with the objective of better measuring future success. Ultimately, this aspect of strategic consulting is the one that builds your business case — a tangible deliverable you can show your leadership team, which includes a competitive analysis and full return on investment analysis.

4. Systems and Technology
Finally, we’ll evaluate your technology stack to understand the impact it’s currently having on your marketing automation strategy. We’ll make succinct recommendations on what technology will best serve you as you dive into marketing automation full throttle.

In the end, you’ll walk away with an implementation road map that includes key milestones and checkpoints to keep your team on track for marketing automation success. And by the way, this entire process will be complete within 3–4 weeks.

Your VIP Team = Sales + Marketing Stars

Ah, but who is your internal consulting team, exactly? Enlisting the right personnel to take part in your consulting engagement is the very first imperative. It’s sort of like creating a seating arrangement for an exclusive dinner party: if you pick the right people, the conversation will flow. Handpicking crucial roles from both marketing and sales ensures you buy-in from everyone who is invested in your marketing success.

In most enterprise companies, the team will look something like this:

Marketing Sales
VP MarketingDigital Marketing Leader
Campaign Strategist (Email and Events)
Social Media Director
KPIs/Analytics Leader
Technical Marketing Leader
VP Sales
Sales Ops Manager
Sales Director
Field Sales Manager
Inside Sales Manager
CRM Administrator

Tangible Takeaways

A strategic consulting engagement with a marketing automation team of experts gives you a bespoke plan tailored to your enterprise’s particular business needs. This plan will empower your enterprise with three tangible takeaways:

1. Stronger Alignment Between Sales and Marketing
A synced funnel strategy, higher scoring, and strategic service-level agreements are all outcomes you can expect from internal alignment around your marketing automation strategy.

2. Critical Recommendations to Make it Happen
Consulting gives you insight into how your campaigns compare to those of your competitors, and to industry best practices. From here, you can define a precise future strategy for marketing initiatives with an agreed-upon path to success.

3. A Solid Understanding of Why Marketing Automation Works
Had you any doubt, a strategic consultation will provide you with a true understanding of how marketing automation will positively impact your business. You’ll walk away with a comparative analysis of your success metrics and a complete ROI case study to present to the other leaders within your enterprise organization.

While all of the benefits I’ve outlined will be critical to your competitive advantage, the real value of your consulting engagement will be unique to your organization., and every enterprise has unique challenges and solitary business goals. The one thing they all share, however, is the need to prove marketing ROI — two-thirds of CMOs believe marketing ROI will be their top effectiveness measurement by 2015. Engaging with experts like ours will create a direct strategic route that’s explicitly and intelligently designed – just for you.

To find out more about how Marketo’s INNOVATE program can help you evaluate your marketing strategy, cross-functional alignment, measurement and reports, and technology, email innovate@marketo.com.

Shyna is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Marketo, where she's responsible for Enterprise-level go-to-market, content, strategy, execution, and story-telling. She seeks to improve the way people and businesses communicate, work, and live.

Read Shyna's Blogs

Enterprise marketers can only gain from #marketingautomation. Here's how to jump start your enterprise's move.

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