Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We All Want It and We All Want It Now!


 You’ve labored for months, maybe even years, working at a large enterprise company in finally securing budget to purchase your Marketing Automation Tool. 

Despite all the internal challenges, approval hoops, endless committee meetings and ROI calculators, it is finally, finally a reality. Not only is it approved but the shiny new tool is now installed! It’s been a long, long road but it’s time to celebrate!

But wait.  Even before the champagne stops bubbling it starts. Word gets out. Suddenly C-Level wants it, sales divisions all want it, every marketing division and business unit wants it, APAC wants it, Latin America wants it, EMEA wants it, partners, distributors and resellers all want it…in short, now everyone wants it. And they all want it NOW. In fact everyone is suddenly desperate to start using it.

SCENARIO 1:

You start by kindly saying NO. You explain that you need time to formulate new processes, provide training, manage the change. But no one takes NO for an answer.

“These are desperate times and we NEED it NOW!”, is the mantra from above and below. So after constant bombardment and pressure, you finally give in and (gulp) release it to the world. You are everyone’s best friend.

Fast forward 1 year later…

The data apocalypse takes up permanent residency, making a huge mess. Bad data is overwriting good data. Data is deleted. CRM integration is full of errors and unresolved failures. Divisions upload bad lead lists because they can no longer nurture and grow their own. Hard bounce rates go through the roof. Deliverability is down the drain. Files are all over the place, with new folder structures appearing daily.  What’s left of the good database is being bombarded with multiple emails from multiple divisions offering multiple deals. Subscription management is nonexistent as no one could ever agree on the right process. Unsubscribes are rampant. No one knows where to allocate budget. Sales and marketing no longer have confidence in the tools they used to use. Sales must revert back to the old days of mostly cold calling, prospecting for leads. A global Marketing Automation “Do-Over” is eminent. You have moved on.


SCENARIO 2:

You somehow manage to hold your ground. No means NO. You launch the tool systematically one division at a time. You work out the kinks. You fully vet the scoring and nurturing programs. You evaluate the CRM integration for effectiveness. You wait until sales enablement tools are up and providing value. Only 1 division is best friends with you.

Fast Forward 1 year later…

Data is standardized globally. Checklists and processes are consistent. Dynamic content is maximized. Training is routine. The global marketing calendar is monitored, measured and analyzed to constantly improve message relevance and value. Sales and Marketing adore each other. Revenue goals are exceeded. Budget allocations are a no-brainer. You are everyone’s best friend (and hero). Three other companies want to hire you.

Summary:

Trust your instincts. Don’t give in and don’t give up. Ask anyone who has lived through Scenario 1. They will usually start the conversation by saying…”if there was one thing I should have done differently…”

Steve Kellogg
Certified Marketing Automation Best Practices Consultant

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