Marketing Automation

Help! I’m New To Marketing Automation – Where Do I Start?


B2B organizations are looking at ways to improve marketing and sales integration, increase revenue, and decrease costs while achieving better marketing ROI. For these organizations, the answer is: marketing automation.

Starting on the path of this upgrade to your business can be confusing. Where do you begin? What do you start looking at when you want to use marketing automation for lead management?

Below are 4 simple ways to get started with marketing automation:

1.  Define Your Needs – When you begin looking at this solution, you first need to start with your needs. What does your business specifically need to automate in it’s marketing?

Try to start with only what you need and work out from that point instead of getting everything at once – this only leads to confusion, additional costs and additional resources that you may not require for years to come.

Questions to consider at this point are:

  • What’s the current process look like and what needs help?
  • What specific areas need automation – lead generation, lead nurturing or even sales and marketing alignment?
  • What areas are already using automation?
  • How fast is information going through the organization and how quickly can that be processed by your team?
  • How do you track and measure the success of the current process?
  • How much does it cost for the current marketing process?

2.  Figure costs and savings of your solution – Now that you have your needs assessment completed, it’s time to look at the costs and savings of your new solution.  Since you already know what it costs to run your current marketing process, you are able to compare costs and savings of the current to the new process.

 Consider these questions when comparing costs:

  • What is the cost of purchasing the total solution for your business? What about the TCO (total cost of ownership)?
  • What are the potential cost savings and/or revenue by purchasing your solution?
  • What costs are incurred as ease-of-use increases with the solution?
  • What are the costs and how fast can personnel be trained on the new solution?
  • Are there additional costs for integration into the current automated processes?

3.  Work Together – Having your needs, costs and savings out of-the-way, you need to pull together all areas that will be a part of this automation. From beginning to end, you need to involve those that will interact with the process.

Some areas to consider pulling together for an overall approval of your solution would be:

  • Sales – When you look at using Sales 2.0 and integrating marketing with sales, they will be the most important area to pull in.
  • IT – Depending on the marketing automation solution you choose, you may need help from IT.   Make sure you ask the right questions to know how technical implementation will need to be.  Regardless, decide up front who is going to implement the solution?
  • Operations – Who is going to run and supervise your solution?

4.  Start out simple – After you have gone through and purchased your marketing automation solution, you need to start simple with what gets automated. Look at some high impact areas to integrate and start with those so you get familiar with the process

Begin with simple workflows such as form submission emails. Once you get the hang of more basic processes, start working on more advanced workflows.  Many want to do a lot up front, but it’s prudent to become versed in simpler elements before you dive deeper.

For more information on how to get started with marketing automation, download the Marketing Automation Buyer’s Kit.

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