Automation is seen as a cost-saving measure and most industries are looking into it. The marketing niche also seems to have caught the bug as marketing automation implementation seems to be a trend. Now, although automation is great, it is not without its challenges. Without an appropriate plan and budget, the chances of succeeding with marketing automation are very slim.

It is always more important to do the groundwork first before adopting the new system. In this article, we will show you how to create a marketing automation implementation plan and budget.

What is Marketing Automation?

Since we are talking about groundwork, defining market automation is a good place to start. Marketing automation refers to a piece of technology that helps to manage marketing processes. It also manages multi-functional campaigns automatically across a variety of channels.

With this technology, businesses can now target their customers using automated messages across different channels. These channels include text, social media, web, and email. Marketing departments already make use of this technology to automate online as well as sales activities and campaigns such as B2B and B2C email marketing. The result of this is better efficiency and increased revenue.

Now that we understand what market automation is and what it brings to the table, let’s move ahead. To get a better understanding, we will discuss the implementation plan and budget separately.

How to Create A Marketing Automation Implementation Plan?

Many businesses begin by choosing the vendor first. Finding the best marketing automation consultant is undoubtedly important. What is even more important is the marketing automation implementation plan. This is where the key to the success of your next campaign lies.

When you come up with a plan, it helps you to achieve the following:

  • Mitigate risks.
  • Align with your stakeholders easily.
  • Track the implementation process.
  • Prepare the users for the impending change in workflow and adopting the new software.

What Are The Steps to Follow While Implementing Marketing Automation?

Here are some helpful steps to adopt when drawing up your implementation plan.

1. Select your team

This is the first thing to do after you have concluded on adoption marketing automation. Who should be on your implementation team? You should have at least one representative from the departments that are concerned with the system. This means that every department involved in marketing automation should be well represented.

For certain firms, their implementation teams include:

  • Content creator(s)
  • CRM admin
  • Email/web designer
  • IT leader
  • Marketer handling analytics
  • Marketing program manager
  • Sales leader
  • Webmaster/developer

Who else would you add on your end?

Steps to follow for implementing marketing automation

2. Determine the Implementation Components

After setting up your team, you should prepare a marketing automation implementation schedule. While you draw up the framework, your vendor can provide help with the duration of each module. Check out our example of an implementation schedule below:

  • Design – Determine what features you need and how to integrate them.
  • Initial installation – Install your automation software within a test environment. If you are working with SaaS, then you can create an online account instead.
  • Configuration – Define the different fields and processes that you’d be using.
  • Integration – Add a tracking code to your company website then connect all the other necessary applications.
  • Segmentation – Draw up a list of the different segments.
  • Workflow design – Determine the actionable events for the different segments then create a workflow for each.
  • Import data – Load both the customer and prospect data.
  • Testing – Test your new marketing automation system.
  • Reporting setup – Create your reports.
  • Train users – Ensure that all the stakeholders are comfortable with using the system.
  • Launch – Push your new system online.
  • Manage – Monitor the adoption of the system, processes, and reports closely. If there is a need to, re-train the users.

You don’t have to run all the integrations and workflows at once. To avoid getting overwhelmed, it is best to start simple. You can then add the integrations and workflows as you get better with the system.

3. Identify Critical Success Factors

After committing to your marketing automation implementation, it is time to evaluate your success factors. Many companies fail to do this which is why they end up failing through the process. There are several critical success factors to watch out for.

If you do this properly, you will enjoy the benefits of the implementation system.

Critical Success Factors to Consider When to Address
 User AdoptionPoor usage will result into inefficient data collection leading to feailure. Design, Training, Testing, and Management.
Content Creation - There must be a commitment to constant creation of quality content. This will yield more leads.  Ongoing. 
Budget - Marketing automation requires ongoing expenses. Do you have a proper budget? Ongoing
Employee Acceptance - How much do your team members believe in the project? Do they see the benefits for them and the company? Training, Design, and Ongoing.

Overall, you should ensure that you plan for the ongoing management of the automation system.

How to Define Marketing Automation Budget?

Now that you are done with the marketing automation implementation plan, let’s discuss budgeting. It is important to note that the budget is a very important aspect of the implementation process. You need to have an idea of what the new system costs in the first year and the years after.

For a basic automation SaaS tool requiring monthly payment, a basic budget will suffice. However, if you are adopting enterprise or department level automation, you need a detailed budget. This gives a clear picture of what each element of the implementation process costs.

While creating your budget, you should also project the return on your investment. Don’t forget, the more complex the automation software is, the more detailed your budget should be. Here’s a list of some typical cost items you should have on your list:

  • Customization cost – This covers the cost of creating and designing landing pages and emails to be sent out.
  • Software cost – This may be variable or fixed depending on the integrations and number of contacts. It can also be based on a monthly or yearly billing system depending on your vendor’s mode of operation.
  • Data integration cost – This covers the cost of combining CRM, email lists, and processing sales data.
  • Deployment costs – How much does it cost to deploy your marketing automation system and make it go live?
  • Training costs – What is the cost of teaching your team members and other users to make use of the automation system? We can break it down further to cover the costs of designing workflows and setting up different modules. It will also cover the cost of reviewing the results.
  • Reporting costs – This covers the cost of creating custom reports which are based on your workflows and measurements.
  • Cost of ongoing support – The vendor should provide you with this figure.

These are the basic costs you are likely to encounter when implementing marketing automation. You can add more based on the peculiarity of your plan and workflow.

Conclusion

Marketing automation implementation is not a difficult process once you get past the basics. We have shown you how to create a plan and draw up your budget. It is important to note that you shouldn’t bypass this process else, the system might end up failing.

Tags : Marketing Automation, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation Implementation, Marketing Automation Budget, Marketing Automation Implementation Plan


Written by

Maria De La Peña

Maria is a content writer with a keen interest in eCommerce and internet marketing. She is a communications graduate and understands what it takes to write persuasive copy and blog posts. Outside of work, you can find her mini-blogging about her life on social media.