• Ready For Marketing Automation? Not Until You Ask Yourself These 10 Questions

    Source: Derek Bridges

    Before jumping into marketing automation, every organization should address the following ten points:

    1. Do the Sales and Marketing teams agree on what constitutes a viable sales lead?
    Making sure both teams agree on what constitutes a lead will help you set the parameters of your marketing automation campaign and ensure its success.

    2. Will you be using marketing automation to contact existing customers, prospects, partners, or all of the above?
    Defining the target for your marketing automation program is the foundation to all the additional steps described below.

    3. Where are the gaps in your data? (e.g., how many contacts have viable email and/or phone?)
    Take time to build, update and append new information in order to increase the efficiency of both sales and marketing.

    4. How clean is your data?
    Once your data is up to date, make sure it is accurate. The data may need to be cleansed or authenticated to make sure it is at least 90% accurate before starting marketing automation.

    5. Can you locate and segment your data by prospect/customer/partner?
    For optimal results, the data should be normalized in a way that allows you to easily segment it by region, industry, title-type, sales rep, sales status, and contact-type.

    6. Is your content clearly categorized?
    Your best bet is to build a content repository classified by the type of asset (data sheets, whitepapers, presentations, videos, etc.) and audience to identify and address gaps.

    7. How deep is your content?
    The content should address the buyer’s needs for the different stages of the buy cycle. For long sales cycles, be prepared with content for each stage and the expected length of the stage.

    8. What do you expect from marketing automation?
    The sales and marketing teams should be aligned on expectations prior to the roll-out of marketing automation. Define success for your project, and identify how marketing automation will help you reach it. This will provide a structure to your campaign.

    9. Should you perform marketing automation in-house or hire an agency?
    If you decide to deploy your marketing automation project in-house, allow 12 to 18 months to address all the 8 points detailed above. If this sounds overwhelming, contact an agency and let them drive the process to deliver results in a shorter timeframe.

    10. Will you be augmenting your sales team’s work with outbound calling?
    If you decide to outsource marketing automation, also consider outsourcing outbound calls in order to relieve your sales team and allow them to focus on closing deals.

    Out of these 10 points, which do you find most compelling or relevant to your organization? Share your comments and thoughts with us on Twitter (@InvenioMS).

    Photo by Derek Bridges