It is not surprising that in 2018, McKinsey’s analysis of more than 400 use cases showed that Marketing was a domain where AI contributed the most.
Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) in enterprises are rapidly embracing Marketing Automation but only a few are able to realize its potential. Out of the many reasons, one of the important factors is that CMOs in those enterprises still need to understand the stepped approach of implementation of Marketing Automation.
The best possible approach to automation implementation would be starting with a simple rule-based, non-customer-facing, stand-alone process that helps the marketing/sales team make better decisions and boost the productivity of the team. Once the team gains confidence in the process and Marketing Automation, we can get on to deploying more complex and integrated customer-facing processes. The “Crawl - walk-run” approach is the key to the success in implementation.
Sometimes companies end up starting the project with the most critical, tough, and customer-facing process to automate. These processes may take time to automate, or may not be possible to automate, which can lead to customer dissatisfaction and team demotivation.
Before getting into implementation, the leadership team needs to identify all the use cases they are planning to implement and then prioritise the use cases and place them into phase-wise implementation. The “Phase-wise implementation is the key to success”.
We have seen that often despite successful implementation, companies fail to reap the benefits from Marketing Automation, as they do not foresee the user adoption challenges. Organizations should plan the after-implementation user adoption strategy and deploy a responsible team. In most cases, organizations, big or small, fail to understand their capacity for change. Over-estimating this power may lead to failure in user adoption, and under-estimation of this metric may delay the implementation. Before getting into implementation it is necessary to plan and build user adoption champions in the team/organization to take care of the post-implementation maintenance, support, and user training for adoption. The “User-adoption is another key for the success of the implementation”.
To achieve the above approaches, asking the right questions is necessary. Answers to those questions can help in strategising the implementation phases, identifying independent vs integrated processes, segmenting the customer-facing vs non-customer-facing processes.
What is the end objective of the Marketing Automation implementation?
What are the departments and stakeholders involved in this implementation?
What are the KPIs of individual teams?
What are the most important priorities of this project?
How will the success of this project be measured?
What are the estimated timelines?
Listing down as many use cases as possible according to the current process
What should be the best use case to implement as the Proof of concept (PoC)?
How will we scale up the Poc as a holistic implementation?
What are the triggers/alerts in the project?
Who will drive the team adoption and how?
The best practices suggest starting small, picking a stepped approach, and planning user adoption beforehand. Consider answering all of the above questions before strategizing your automation implementation.