Marketing Automation tools are in abundance these days. At last count, Forrester Research noted over 6,500 technology products in the marketing automation stack. If you've already gone through all your options and chosen software, I'm sure you're thinking the hard part is over. But the truth is, implementing a marketing automation tool is a long, evolving journey. Choosing the tool is only the beginning.

Once you've purchased the license and installed the software, the next steps are the trickiest and the most crucial.

The 3 Most Common Mistakes in Marketing Automation Implementation are:

1. No strategy or goals have been identified

People recognize a marketing automation tool will help them with lead nurturing and lead generation but most often don't solidify a strategy or goals for measurement up front. The most common mistake we see is people starting with the email marketing function within their tool. People think this will drive "open end traffic" to their website but they have not mapped the buyer process to their website or identified a next step in the conversion strategy to understand if the email drove the person to convert for proper tracking. Therefore you must first determine what your goals are. Are you trying to just keep in touch? Are you looking to see if the person is actively looking for your type of solution? Are you trying to add people to the pipeline?

Identifying your business goals before implementing a marketing automation tool is crucial because it provides important decision points in how you set it up. Just adding a list and tracking email sends is often not enough to achieve sales results. Deciding on the goal helps you align your sales and marketing functions. From their you can build out more specific goals about where you want to drop people into the sales conversation but more importantly you are doing so when they are ready. This saves time for the sales team and gets everybody in sync on what the actual goals of a campaign should be.

If you're stuck and struggling how to identify your goals or what strategy would best help you meet your goals a digital marketing audit is a great starting point. Learn more about what a Digital Marketing Competitive Analysis can do for you.

2. No documented sales process to align with your Marketing Automation Tool

If you have not properly set up your CRM and mapped out your sales process then implementing a marketing automation tool is likely too soon for your business. You will need CRM data and sales process planning before you are able to align it with a marketing automation tool. Having people download something on a landing page is not a "lead" unless that content and the fields you ask for in the registration process have been identified as part of the sales process. When we say sales process planning we are referring to things such as identifying the buyer journey, creating lead scoring and outlining a lead nurturing plan that the sales team has agreed to. Without these types of issues identified, you can't use the tool for much more than a glorified email marketing platform.

Check out our podcast with Rick McCutcheon, Dynamics 365 MVP and sales expert to learn more about aligning sales and marketing and how to map your sales process.

3. Lacking a "Power User"

Implementing a marketing automation tool is never a simple DIY project for one person. You should be gathering a group of people to engage in this project. It is recommended you include people from sales, customer support, marketing and often an outside consultant that has a framework for implementation and can help the marketing people project manage all activities in the mix. Many marketing automation tools come with an extra on-boarding fee or 24/7 support- both are really helpful for technical expertise but not always useful in getting your plan developed or getting alignment on the sales and marketing front. Your marketing automation tool likely comes with a directory of Partner Agencies that are able to assist you in managing your tool from setting up workflows to creating marketing strategies- use them! Investing in a marketing agency to help run your tool will not only give you marketing leadership and support, but will also help you with your long term online strategy. This will help you invest in someone on your team to go through training and ensure you have a Power User in house making adoption much more successful for the company as a whole.

Marketing CoPilot is fully stocked with Power Users for B2B companies needing marketing automation management and support. We're a certified agency partner on many tools and we welcome conversations from companies struggling with strategy and execution regardless of the product you are interested in using.



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