Upgrading from Email to Marketing Automation: How to Get Internal Buy-in
Christina Davila, Director of Customer Implementations, Real Magnet
As an Implementation Manager, I’ve had many conversations with clients who see promise in a new tool, feature, or service but then get stalled due to internal hangups. Often times the biggest challenge is properly articulating the benefits that the new tool or service would provide the organization.
Let’s walk through 5 steps that have helped some of our clients not only get internal buy-in, but be successful in implementing Marketing Automation.
Strategize on the Benefits
When you’re making a case for any new tool, start by documenting why you think it’s a good idea for your role, department, and organization. Be specific by writing out examples of what current processes that could be improved, eliminated, automated, etc by moving forward. Be realistic in your expectations and make a roadmap that starts with small victories that can lead to very big projects. For example, start by illustrating the lack of data that you have at your disposal to make educated, strategic marketing decisions, then explain how Marketing Automation can help provide additional data on your recipients’ interests and actions that would help you plan better, more targeted marketing outreach programs.
Take Note of Challenges
If you’re struggling to share your vision for Marketing Automation with others within your organization, identify the reasons why your colleagues aren’t sharing your vision. These challenges are specific to your organization, but there are definitely some common trends that we see, such as:
– Low product adoption
– Budget constraints
– Staff workload
– Unrealistic implementation timelines
Embrace these challenges by documenting them and discussing them with appropriate staff. Combine this list of challenges with your benefits list to assess if Marketing Automation is a realistic fit. When you consider both the benefits and challenges together, your discussions aren’t just focused on what you want out of a new tool, but also the practical aspects of implementing the tool successfully.
Strengthen Your Case
It’s always helpful to get more information. Reach out to your vendor to talk about avoiding implementation pitfalls, or talk to other users who have implemented the tool. Focus on getting additional information from outside resources like review sites, compare feature sets between email services and marketing automation, and also look internally to other departments or colleagues who see value in your vision and can help champion the cause from a different perspective.
Discuss Your Plan
You’ve done a lot of prep work and thought through the benefits as well as challenges of adding Marketing Automation. Now is the time to find the right mix of decision makers at your organization and state your case. Start by laying out your plan in a methodical way with examples of current workflows. Articulate the challenges in these processes and how Marketing Automation can assist with each. Now isn’t the time to drop a report of your findings on someone’s desk for review, but it is the time to start discussions, get feedback and then update your plan.
Once you’ve gotten approval and started implementing your Marketing Automation solution, don’t forget about all of the planning you did in order to get internal buy-in.
Review that information after your first campaign and make a presentation of your findings with statistics on new data you now have at your disposal. Update your colleagues and superiors regularly moving forward, once you have a comfortable understanding of your new average performance metrics using Marketing Automation. Keeping people up to date on the project, even at a high level, helps them see that the value of the tool really did materialize and that it’s being used successfully. One of my favorite client success stories about implementing Marketing Automation is with a client that took a full six months to fully implement, with lots of internal planning, but the investment then paid for itself on their very first automated campaign!
No matter the type of business you work for, your request to purchase a new software tool will need to be budgeted in and account for. Upgrading from a basic email service to marketing automation can be a nuanced sell; coming into your discussions with decision makers armed with a well thought out plan that covers benefits, challenges and potential improvements to current processes will go a long way towards getting internal buy-in to help you move forward with your plan.