Evaluating marketing automation platforms

Yay. You’ve evaluated and selected a marketing automation platform.

Umm. Okay. Now what?

When you were evaluating marketing automation platforms, your sales rep should have explained it for you. If he or she didn’t explain it, we will. Generating leads won’t be easy or fast. It will take some time—probably a year or more. In fact, a survey by B2BMarketing and Circle Research suggests that “only 8% of companies see increased revenues within 6 months of adopting marketing automation. After one year of MA use, 32% claim to see increased revenue. For those to have been using it for more than two years, the figure is 40%.”

However, new revenue is not the only reason for adopting marketing automation. With a proper plan in place, organizations that adopt marketing automation platforms see rapid alignment of sales and marketing teams, have an easier time executing against a clearly articulated strategy and implement processes that simplify and automate time consuming tasks.

After these immediate benefits, generating new revenue from inbound really depends on the maturity of your marketing organization.

Be patient. If your marketing/sales processes are still in their infancy, it will take time.

If you aren’t generating leads before you adopt marketing automation, there is very little to automate. Marketing automation success will take some time as you build your marketing competency and begin automating time consuming tasks such as lead scoring, lead follow-up and other processes.

On the other hand, if you have a solid lead flow and if your marketing/sales processes are well documented and optimized, it will take less time to start seeing results.

The problem is that many organizations think of marketing automation as simply a new technology platform. Marketing automation is an enabler and revolves around a process that is ongoing, buyer-centric and content heavy. It requires lots of thought, a great sales process, clean CRM data, talented people, process, content, technology and alignment. To see success, you must continually feed the beast.

This takes time.

Probably the biggest problem is how these systems are sold. The marketing automation vendors do a great job explaining the bells and whistles but spend little time explaining how those bells and whistles can enable amazing strategies, efficient processes and smart tactics.

In other words, marketing automation isn’t a cure for what ails you. It is simply an enabler that will automate whatever process you want it to automate. Unfortunately, if your process is dysfunctional, and now automated, you have made things worse. Before you select a marketing automation platform, process and strategy must come first. The technology merely makes it happen.

 

ABOUT MACON RAINE

If you are evaluating marketing automation and don’t have the staff or the time to do it right, Macon Raine can help, and save you money with free marketing automation software (a value of $800/month) when you become a Macon Raine content marketing client.

To get started, schedule a quick call with Macon Raine – the marketing automation agency. Our experts will review your current content marketing programs, help you define a scalable sales/marketing process and quickly show you how to increase the tempo of your content marketing efforts and dramatically improve inbound lead volume.

Did we mention, there’s no charge and no obligation for this review?