You’ve decided that your organization is ready for marketing automation. But where to begin? Your first task is to assemble a team that will be responsible for the selection, implementation, and adoption of your marketing automation solution.
Throughout the process of assembling of your team, you will likely play the role of evangelist to help educate key decision makers and stakeholders about the importance of marketing automation in order to remain a competitive organization. Your goal is to include a representative from all areas of the organization that you plan on integrating into the system in addition to sales and marketing, such as operations, finance, customer support, and human resources. All team members should be experts in their fields, open to improvement and change, and respected leaders in the organization. During deployment, this group must be the positive voice for the change.
A tiered approach to implementing marketing automation is often successful, with one to three dedicated decision makers at the top and, depending upon the size of your organization, anywhere from 3-15 people assigned to work on the project part time or full time for as long as it takes.
At a minimum, you should include the following on your team:
It is possible to move forward with buy-in from only the CMO. However, your implementation will likely remain in a silo and will not maximize your investment by integrating with other areas of the organization unless you have support from the CEO, the head of sales, and other C-level executives. If marketing automation is considered a priority from the top down, then the likelihood of success dramatically increases.
Sales & Marketing
Sales and marketing team members not only can help you define needed functionality, but having users involved in the process early on will increase user adoption and help create a balanced implementation that truly reflects the needs of your sales and marketing divisions from top to bottom.
Although marketing automation solutions are typically cloud-based and require no software installation, your IT department is likely responsible for user hardware and as well as integrating marketing automation with other systems in your company. Your IT department also may have the expertise to help evaluate marketing automation solutions from different vendors.
Organizations that implement marketing automation also typically increase social media efforts as a way to better connect with customers and gather valuable data. The influence of social media has caused many companies to hire “community managers,” such as IBM’s Chief Listening Officer, who are dedicated to monitoring and responding to Facebook, Twitter, blog posts and other social posts to manage the brand in a real time, conversational way. Other organizations are ramping up their content generation teams by contracting with numerous writers, bloggers and videographers to enhance their brand with a steady stream of relevant content. In addition, it’s likely time to create or revise your company’s social media policies and guidelines that all employees must follow.
As you gather the right people, a vital group to consider is your implementation partner. They will be your trusted guide through the entire process. A strong implementation partner will not only have years of experience with your chosen platform but will also be able to provide consulting, training and best practices for a more holistic approach.