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Need marketing automation? Start with the ecosystem | BtoB Magazine



So how did we do it, and what did we learn?

Air cover helps. Though the task was daunting at first, having the entire company behind you and a decent amount of money to make it all happen can help solve a lot of the problems you are going to face in the process.Humans first, machines second. Before I started looking for the right technologies, I looked for the right people. I hand-picked key talent: the smartest pair of digital marketing technologists in the company; a marketing automation and CRM integration "black belt"; a savvy couple of battle-tested marketers to run the demand center; three brilliant ex-editors/journalists to build a strong content foundation; a killer digital designer, and many more super support personnel.Internal navigation. A very experienced and disciplined project manager made a huge difference in our ability to move fast through the maze of privacy lawyers, IT security experts, IT infrastructure "police," data retention specialists and others who were assigned to make sure we didn't break anything while bolting on these new systems and processes.Assume marketing automation ignorance.  Before you embark on your marketing automation initiative, make sure you put a short, picture-heavy presentation together that clearly articulates what and why you are trying to do, and how fast your company can become irrelevant if you don't rapidly automate your marketing operations.Do your homework. Take your time to establish a rigorous selection process and clear, unambiguous selection criteria. Marketing automation technology has really matured recently, but when you consider your specific needs and business requirements you will immediately start to see a short list of vendors emerge.Support afterward. Buying a maintenance/technical support agreement from your vendor is a no-brainer. In addition, you will need an internal help desk to triage requests and inquiries from different users.


Don't be the product, buy the product!