Integrate has published several recent posts on the topic of selecting the right marketing technology for your team:
- Choosing MarTech Is Like Selecting The Right Wine
- 2015 Budget Prep: Finding The Right Marketing Tech Providers
- How To Efficiently Assess MarTech Business Value Alignment
But making the monetary investment is only half the battle. After you have your new solution in place, you must make another investment in time and energy if you want to reap its full value.
Keeping these four best practices for MarTech adoption in mind is the best way to ensure sucess:
Select the right pilot program
The first program that utilizes the new technology will be the measuring stick of success for not only the software but also the team that implemented it. It’s important to choose a program that’s not overly complicated, because becoming proficient with your new software will take some time in itself, and it’s bound to include a bit of trial and error.
It’s a good rule of thumb to launch with an initiative that includes enough components so that efficiencies and other value can be realized. Try to avoid, however, using a program that may be too sophisticated or has too many segments, because this may cause frustration or delays as the user gains experience.
I like to compare this process to training for a marathon; you want to build strength and confidence before taking on the 26.2 miles. Start with a few 5Ks, move on to 10Ks and then perhaps a half marathon. At Integrate we refer to this approach as crawl, walk, run, and it has proven very successful for our customers. Biting off more than you can chew in the implementation phase can rip the breeze out of your sails and have a poor effect on the outcomes of your marketing program.
Choose your power users
A key part of your success is having the right individuals in the power-user and end-user roles. These folks should be well-trained and have the best knowledge on how to implement programs and navigate the system. Some core qualities to seek out for your power users include:
- Quick learners and tech-savvy
- Skin in the game – they should have accountability for program results, so they’ll be more committed to a successful implementation
- Experienced in managing marketing programs, understanding the value and benefits the new software can deliver
- Excited to take on the role and create new success for the organization
Take stock of deliverables
Invest time before the launch to gather and list out all the deliverables required for implementation. Your software trainer will be an excellent resource to help determine what’s needed well ahead of launch time to avoid last-minute scrambles and delays. This is your first real experience with a new system and, frankly, you don’t know what you don’t know.
It’s common for a software rollout to involve multiple trainings prior to launch to flush out process and deliverables needed. All stakeholders should be involved in the initial training sessions to ensure all relevant program information across departments is shared. Data that lives outside of marketing (such as finance or sales) may be required for program analysis later on; so it’s important to have representatives from all pertinent departments involved upfront.
Clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) are fundamental in determining the value derived from your recent software investment. Performance metrics should map back to goals that were pre-defined and agreed upon by the stakeholders. Goals that are comprehensive to the organization, spanning across multiple departments, will show the most value.
Success metrics are most useful when they’re specific and quantifiable. If your goal is simply to improve results, be sure to measure before implementation to have a clear understanding of how the software affected your performance. Here are some examples:
- Marketing: generated 30% more prospects
- HR: decreased the number of man hours by 15%
- Sales: increased pipeline opportunities by 16%