Here are four simple questions that will help you evaluate your practices and readiness for marketing automation, and ultimately pave the way for success.
1) Are you prepared to automate?
At the end of the day, marketing automation solutions are only tools. Purchasing and implementing an automation solution — even the best one available — will only provide value if other parts fall into in place.
2) How effectively are your marketing and sales groups aligned?
SiriusDecisions estimates that prospects only connect with sales when they’ve made it through 60 percent to 70 percent of their buying cycle. This means that both your demand generation and sales teams must clearly understand buyer paths leading to engagement and be fully synchronized around common definitions of an MQL, SAL, and so on. Together, they can act fast to take advantage of those critical moments when buyers are finally ready to connect.
3) Can you generate enough content?
Marketing automation is a beast that feeds on content, functioning best when it has enough content to lead customers through the sales funnel. Companies that don’t have a “content factory” are sometimes hesitant to move forward with marketing automation, but they shouldn’t be, because there are many ways to repurpose existing content to nourish the system.
4) Do you have the bandwidth for ongoing improvements?
Successful companies continually invest in improving their marketing automation — tweaking and optimizing campaigns to get the best results. Your marketing automation solution will provide insight into prospect behavior and automate lead nurturing, but there’s a manual component. Before you can achieve bottom-line results, be ready to invest in ongoing optimizations, process fine-tuning and content repackaging.