Don’t Let Your First Be Your Last
In all likelihood the most important choice you’ll make in marketing automation adoption is the choice of the first product to promote. Choose the wrong product and the whole effort may have a bad name and little organizational support. Choose well and you will be at the head of the parade.
Stack The Deck for Success
In most organizations marketing automation, lead generation and lead nurture skills exist but may not be at the level of refinement that marketing automation requires for assured success. Choosing the right product can go a long way towards making up for any potential shortcomings in marketing automation adoption.
The High Cost of Failure
Picking the wrong product can make it too hard for an unseasoned team to succeed. Failure at this stage invariably casts an unnecessary pall of doubt over the team, the effort and the application. Two failures in a row often bring any investment in marketing automation and direct marketing to a screeching halt.
What is the right first product for marketing automation adoption? Consider the following variables:
Sales & Management Commitment
- The sales team is willing to collaborate and provide feedback throughout the development process.
- When a lead meets the agreed upon sales-ready lead definition the sales team is willing to follow-up and provide feedback
- Management is fully behind this product and will provide the necessary funding and resources
- The product has some degree of exclusivity (there is at least one important aspect of the product that is unique in your market)
- The product has less competition than other products from which you can choose
- The product is highly differentiated in the market (there is clear separation between you and your competitors in at least one aspect)
- The product appeals directly to existing needs, wants or desires of your target market
- You have enough data (lead database) to ensure that with reasonable conversion rates, you’ll produce sales-ready leads at a volume meaningful to the sales organization
- You have the data representing this target market in a database and you know the data is valid
Staff & Resources
- You have time and resources to research the user’s buying process
- You have time and resources to create buyer personas
- You have time and resources to create the product value proposition
- You have time and resources to write 12 or more emails and produce three or more longer marketing assets (white papers, reports, infographics, etc.)
ROI & Sales
- The product has shown an ability to deliver a positive ROI
- The product has sufficient sales history to understand why and how it sells
- You have verifiable and substantiated proof that the product works for your target market
- The product has a good reputation in the market
Experience with Product
- You know your conversion rate history
- You have experience marketing this product successfully
- You have customer testimonials
- You already have relevant and effective content (assets), such as reports, white papers, articles, Webinars, etc.
- The content you have is tied to the customer buying process
- The content you have has been proven to be effective in converting and nurturing leads
Of course no product is going to meet every criterion above. To the extent that you can get some or many of these criteria met is the extent to which you will assure the likelihood that your program is effective and has the greatest chance of succeeding.
he most important of all above for successful marketing automation adoption is that the product is appealing, is differentiated and produces a good ROI. This is followed by enough of the right data and great content/offers.
Start Well to Earn Forgiveness Later
Success on the first program will start you on your way to a good reputation for you, lead generation, lead nurture and marketing automation. After two or three solid programs you will find that any subsequent failures or shortcomings will be much more likely to be tolerated or forgiven without incurring damage to the program or your reputation. We all need a bit of success in the bank to draw against for the eventual misstep.
Are you ready for more revenue and better ROI? Contact Eric at 503-635-2319 or firstname.lastname@example.org