As many of you may know, the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2015 (#MKTGNATION) is this week. As I was preparing for my trip, I started thinking about the importance of marketing automation and the challenges we face as marketers when trying to express just how essential it really is. The benefits of marketing automation are obvious—well, at least they are to you. Your boss, on the other hand, may still be on the fence about whether to invest in it; so there you are— stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Let’s face it: it’s difficult getting the budget approved for new technologies, especially when executives are already breathing down your neck to justify spend. But building a wicked strong business case—one that clearly demonstrates how valuable marketing automation can be— is a good place to start.
Below are four steps for creating a compelling argument for marketing automation, with tips for making sure your message is heard loud and clear:
- Clear up misconceptions: To those who have never been exposed to marketing automation, there can be big doubts around whether marketing automation software is a waste. As a user of marketing automation for close to a decade, I can assure you it’s not… but don’t take my word for it. Find out what misconceptions exist, and clear them up with research. Better yet, reach out to marketers in your network that are using marketing automation, and have them preach the gospel for you. The bottom line is that you NEED marketing automation, so don’t let inaccurate information get in the way.
- Create a sense of urgency: Did you know IDC predicts that the overall market for marketing automation will grow from its 2010 level of $3.2 billion to $4.8 billion in 2015? Or that 78% of high-performing marketers say that marketing automation software is responsible for improving revenue contribution? I bet that you’re aware of those compelling statistics, but is your manager? When building your business case, develop a sense of urgency that will make executives believe that they HAVE to invest in the software or you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage. Because you will be.
- Sell the benefits: CFOs and CEOs don’t care about the latest email campaign open rates. However, they do care about generating revenue and saving money…immensely. When selling the benefits of marketing automation to the C-Suite, be strategic. Sell them on the benefits they care about most—for example, ways the software proves campaign ROI, simplifies approvals, ensures compliance, and allows you to connect with your audience on a 1:1 level. Another tip? Ditch the complex marketing jargon and speak their language. Increased efficiency. ROI. And dollar dollar bills y’all. Sidenote: This Boston resident and ATL native feels perfectly fine using “y’all” and “wicked strong” in the same blog post.
- Share case studies: To make an impactful argument, you might have to reinforce the idea that other companies in your industry or those with growth patterns you want to achieve are seeing a return on investment with marketing automation. After all, no executive likes the thought of his or her competitor reaping big returns from a technology that he or she isn’t using. Look for case studies that highlight how someone used the software to solve a problem your own company recognizes as a pain point. Painting a clear picture is often the best way to prove a point.
- Prepare options: Depending on how formal your company is, the deep-dive analysis of each platform may come before or after you’ve gotten the C-Suite on board. But one thing is for sure: executives love options. You’ll want to evaluate several different platforms., so be prepared. Do your homework ahead of time and have a pre-vetted list of a few different software options that you think fit the company’s needs and budget. Then, when it’s time to go through the formal selection process, develop a spreadsheet that allows you to compare features. This can include things like shared IPs vs. dedicated IP all the way to how easy it is to create landing pages. Really, really new to this whole process? No problem. Send me an email at LBrubaker@netprospex.com and I’ll share my checklist with you.
Alright! Now you’ve got the basic steps to help you convince your company that you (desperately) need marketing automation. Next step? Drum up the courage and go for it. Good luck! If you’ve got questions about this process, leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @B2BLauren.
PS. If you’re attending the Marketing Nation Summit this week, be sure to visit us at booth #701. Swag alert– we’ll be giving away an Apple Watch, gift cards, and marketing superhero t-shirts. Hope to see you there!
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The 5-Step Process for Building a Marketing Automation Business Case
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