The journey toward marketing magnificence can be an exciting but nerve-racking adventure. The path to inner peace and profit is not always smooth and there are many potholes that can derail you from achieving automation and scale.
Today, I'd like to point out six potholes to avoid when choosing and implementing a marketing automation tool. Think of this as your map to getting the most use out of your platform.
Not thoroughly researching your needs and options. Jumping into any decision too quickly could either work out just fine or end up being a failure. Would you buy a house without getting an inspection first? Would you jump into a marriage without understanding if your interests and core values mesh well? Of course, some may say yes to these questions, but why take the chance? Think of licensing a marketing automation platform as a long-term commitment and do your research!
Thinking the technology is all you need. Technology can only get you so far. You can buy the most elaborate sound system for your home entertainment center; but if you struggle setting it up and turning it on and rarely entertain, then what's the point in even having the fancy system? When evaluating technology, you need to balance it with the right mix of people. You can't buy technology and expect to have your problems solved. You need people to drive your business forward.
Trying to run too fast. Bringing on a new solution can take time and effort. With new technology and people, you need to be sure a solid foundation is laid. Would you buy a house that was built in two months but had a lousy foundation? Probably not. And you shouldn't take shortcuts with your marketing automation practice.
Underestimating the database. Underneath our people, technology, and processes, the core to our marketing programs is the database. Just like a car is only as good as the engine within, our marketing campaigns can only be as successful as the database we are marketing to. If we put poor data into our campaigns, all we can expect are poor results out.
Lack of content resources. Campaigns can't go very far if you don't have much to say. A strong message can get people to actually open your emails and take the desired action. Coming up with impactful content such as research, stats, case studies, etc. will take time and resources. Plan accordingly so you can get solid results!
Not aligning with internal teams. Within our marketing teams, we can have lots of great ideas and plans. However, as one of my "4 Yoga Lessons to Apply to Your Marketing Practice in 2012," alignment with other teams in the organization is key. Regardless of how great our ideas are, they need to support the overall organizational goals. Otherwise, efforts may be wasted.
As you're chugging along the highway to high performance, take a moment to pull over to the side of the road and look in the rear-view mirror; are you in danger of encountering any of these six potholes? If you answered yes, it's never too late to course-correct and get back on the right track.
Stacie is senior director of marcom and PR at Kenshoo, a digital marketing technology company backed by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance, and Tenaya Capital. Kenshoo powers nearly half of the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks.
Prior to joining Kenshoo, Stacie worked as director of client strategy and development at Resolution Media, an Omnicom Media Group Company. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the growth of key accounts, in addition to leading Resolution Media's account management practice. During her tenure, Stacie led relationships with brands like Bank of America, Gatorade, Norwegian Cruise Line, Restaurant.com, Sirius XM, and State Farm, while working with partner agencies to ensure all search programs are integrated into the overall marketing mix. Prior to Resolution Media, Stacie worked as an account manager at Nielsen Claritas. There she was responsible for managing and growing relationships with key clients, such as Sprint, US Cellular, Alltel Wireless, and Charter Communications.
Stacie graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in Marketing. When she's off the clock, Stacie enjoys yoga, rooting for Wisconsin football teams, and exploring her new state, Colorado.