NOTE: This is part two of a three part series regarding best practices for martech adoption. Previously, we discussed key elements to consider when initially planning to implement new technology within a marketing organization.
As we interact with demand marketing and join them on their journey to implement marketing technology, we identify many best practices, trends, and key imperatives that promote success. One of the most common success factors is communications. Why?
Technology adoption almost always equals change management. And change management translates into fear of the unknown and uncertainty, a normal human reaction.
Based on working with many varieties of Martech rollouts, I can suggest ways to bolster your internal and external communications so you rally the team and more quickly reap the benefits of your marketing technology.
Promote Transparency and Personality
Implementing new technology is, at its core, change. The new software is likely to change processes and everyday norms that have been in place for years or even decades. Those changes will directly affect the users, typically more than management or the c-suite.
With that in mind, you must clearly communicate goals and objectives to the team. Get them to rally around this initiative and always keep them focused on the “why”. The more transparent you are with your team the more effort they will put into the project. This honesty and enthusiasm for the future will help curb the constant urge to pine for the comfort of the old ways. In my previous role, I experienced a large marketing automation implementation as a user. The “new way” always starts bumpy and the natives can get restless!
Change management can be difficult; try to give it some personality and make it fun. Something simple is having key players involved name the project or gamify parts of the training to get the team more engaged and bring the outcomes to life. Also, having a “going away party” for the old system/technology/process can provide a fresh take and signal a new exciting chapter.
Visualize and Bring the Benefits to Life
We’ve spoken at length on previous blogs regarding marketing tech blueprints. Share these types of visual charts and diagrams that the management team has created with the implementation task force. Show them, for example, how lead velocity is hampered currently and what the future will look like via the new tech. Those who are visual learners can then clearly see why the initiative is important. Additionally they may see how some of their own manual processes can be removed, regaining precious time for strategy and other key functions.
Make External Your Internal
The tech provider will ideally surround your team with the resources needed for a smooth implementation and ultimately successful utilization. However, you need to communicate with them frequently to fully leverage their knowledge and experience. Our most successful implementations occur with customers who contact their Customer Success team regularly. Not only should you seek their guidance, but shed as much light as you can into your own business processes and objectives. The more they know about you, the more helpful they can be.
In addition be sure to dig deeper into their experience. Ask simple questions regarding past implementations and best practices. I bet you’ll be surprised at the plethora of ideas and solutions you discover from that effort.
Spread the Good Word
Marketing often has a “black box” stigma associated to it. Most people in the company know that marketing is having an effect on the business but aren’t sure how much or what they’re really working on. We can change that by not only aligning marketing with sales but, just as importantly, keeping the entire organization abreast of plans, milestones and results. When implementing technology go broad with your internal communication, providing high level insights such as:
- Information about your project/software and the large goals you hope to achieve
- General progress updates along the way
- Results, wins, efficiencies gained once implementation is complete
Keeping the company in the know has a positive ripple effect as well. Down the line you may need IT resources for custom integrations, as an example. Their prior knowledge of the project will make them more likely to get on board and quicker to bring up to speed. Additionally, we often find that other departments, when in the know, can find a secondary utilization of the marketing technology to create an efficiency which only increases the ROI of the software (i.e. streamlining an accounting step).
Communications is a critical success factor in the rollout and adoption of marketing technology. Be creative, have fun and communicate often. And, if you have any interesting project names or stories, please share below.