What to Look For In Marketing Automation, Part 1: People and Process

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Are you considering marketing automation software for your business? Marketing automation is only as good as the people and processes behind it. Make sure that you know your company’s business goals and brand personality before you even begin evaluating marketing automation systems. You’ll need to decide what you want to get out of marketing automation in order to use it effectively.

Marketing automation can’t solve basic cultural problems – for example, a lack of common understanding between sales and marketing about what you’re really selling, or what your company’s core values are. And all the technology in the world can’t compensate for a lack of urgency or commitment.

But marketing automation can solve the problems that technology addresses. It can enhance lead generation, closing rates, and revenue, often by helping your marketing people be more productive and delivering more detailed, actionable business intelligence.

Before you begin evaluating marketing automation vendors:

  1. Identify your goals and objectives. Determine your resources and budget, including the staff you’ll need to oversee the effort in various stages. Given that you’ll be automating some processes that are manual now, will you save enough time that your current staff has the bandwidth to manage it?
  2. Evaluate what you already do that can be automated (for example, email and form creation), and which point tools you already use that could be bundled into an automated solution (perhaps webinar management). Can you automate some repetitive or onerous tasks?
  3. Think about what capabilities you don’t have but would like to grow into, and make sure you include these in your consideration.
  4. And finally, think about how your salespeople and marketing staff work together today. Look for a marketing automaton platform that supports the processes already in place, or creates new easy-to-use opportunities for communication.

Actively researching marketing automation? Here’s a handy buyer’s checklist for marketing automation to help you evaluate your options. Learn more about Act-On Software, register for a free marketing automation demo

Up Next: What to Look for in Marketing Automation, Part 2: Email Capabilities

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