Automating workflow requires granular detail to make sure technology does its job. This is a critical distinction many marketing organizations — and marketing technology consultants — miss. Whether you have the technology you need, or need to source new solutions, it takes a detailed approach to integration and process alignment to assure success.
When it’s time to tackle marketing technology it pays to start by taking a broad view of your operational and customer-facing technologies and develop a vision and implementation plan to align technology and process across the organization:
- Assess capabilities of existing marketing information systems, including marketing resource management (MRM); multi-channel campaign management (MCCM); digital asset management (DAM); content management; financial planning and procurement; and reporting and analytics.
- Conduct a gap analysis. Determine what exists works, what doesn’t, and what additional capabilities will facilitate full marketing lifecycle management. Get a handle on what it will take to link various technologies with other marketing solutions and the enterprise.
- Consolidate requirements across business units, brand marketing and marketing shared services for planning purposes.
- Interface with IT to understand resources, development timelines and legacy system issues, and with finance to understand investment thresholds and accounting hurdles.
- Study the industry environment continuously for best marketing technology practices.
- Create a business case to justify investment of dollars, time and human resources. Include expected ROI.
- Develop an RFP, and process for selection, taking an application-agnostic stance. Procure the right technology.
- Establish a plan for operation and maintenance that clearly outlines roles, responsibilities and expectations of those in marketing (marketing operations) and IT.
- Plan and schedule a post-implementation diagnostic that measures progress and results.
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