In her recent Marketing Automation Software Guide (marketingautomationsoftware.com) blog post “How To Convince Your Boss to Buy Marketing Automation”, Kim Roman of G5 Search Marketing does an excellent job covering the key business factors that are important to include when pitching the purchase of a marketing automation platform to your boss. She covers everything from KPIs and ROI to possible objections and more. Kim makes it clear that while marketing automation requires a new plan of operation, training, and upkeep, the benefits to be gained from such a transformative platform are worth more than the direct and indirect costs of implementation. She accurately identifies the combination of hard facts and real buying concerns that will make the case for why your company needs marketing automation.
While Kim focuses on tangible, economic benefits in order to get approval, there are also less tangible, emotional factors that play into convincing management to get enthused about your plans. Here are few additional things to think about:
- Look Good to Your Buyers: B2B buyers have dramatically changed the way they purchase products and services. Resistant to overtures from sales people early in their process, they rely on web research and social media to create a short list. Marketing automation platforms allow you to create the inbound and outbound programs that engage B2B buyers in digital conversations that match their buying processes. Without it, your competitors that utilize marketing automation will look much better to your prospects.
- Look Good to Sales: The flip side to engaging with B2B buyers through a marketing automation platform is that it will dramatically improve the efficiency of your overall sales process. Tracking the content consumed by a specific prospect, the timing and duration of his web visits, and response to email marketing offers will tell you precisely where a buyer is in his process. The information allows sales to only be engaged with prospects that are really ready to buy, increasing sales efficiency and decreasing overall sales cycles. The CMO will look GREAT to his sales counterpart.
- Maximize Content Marketing Efforts: A 2011 survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that B2B marketers spend an average of 26% of their marketing budgets on content marketing. Without a marketing automation platform, however, it is difficult to deliver the content to the buyer in the right form at the right time. If marketing automation is the engine, content is the fuel – spending money on fuel without an engine to burn it makes no sense. Investing in marketing automation will make the money already being spent on content marketing much more effective.
For further information on investing in marketing automation see: Whitepaper: Five Fast Payoffs for Investing in Marketing Automation and eBook: The Quintessential Marketing Automation Guide