As a certified HubSpot Agency Partner, we know the many benefits that implementing a marketing automation system can deliver because we’ve helped businesses of all sizes and in a variety of industries achieve them. From significant time savings and more effective marketing spend, to more productive sales/marketing collaboration and detailed campaign performance tracking, marketing automation tools like HubSpot give companies an immediate and tangible leg up in their market.
However, if you look back at the first sentence of this post, you’ll see that I used the word “can” rather than “will.” Marketing automation can deliver tremendous benefits, but that’s not guaranteed. A marketing automation tool, like any tool, can be used effectively or ineffectively, and how you implement it sets your organization on a particular trajectory—toward great success or… less-than-great success!
Preparing to Bring a Marketing Automation System Online
We’ve been working with HubSpot for many years now. And on our path from curious evaluators to vocal advocates, we’ve learned a great deal about how companies should undertake an implementation to maximize the impact of the system. Here are what we have found to be the key considerations for bringing a marketing automation system online:
- Align your marketing automation system with your business strategy. As powerful as HubSpot is, it should not drive your strategy. Rather it should support and enrich it. Be sure you and your team fully understand your business objectives before you dive into an implementation.
- Assess the total cost of ownership (and operation) of a marketing automation system. The ROI from the effective use of HubSpot or other marketing automation tools is truly remarkable. That said, the “I” in ROI does stand for investment, and that means both capital and time. While “automation” is in the name, marketing automation tools do require input from the humans that use them.
- Define your success metrics. One of the beauties of implementing marketing automation is that if you know what kind of results you are after, you can easily fine-tune both short-term campaigns and long-term strategies to achieve your goals. But you have to start with well-defined objectives.
- Have a content development plan. Marketing automation makes it easy to publish and promote the compelling content that is the heart and soul of your content marketing program. That is, if you have compelling content. Before you implement your system, you should have a solid content creation strategy and the resources to back it up.
- Establish naming and organizational guidelines. Marketing automation tools like HubSpot can help bring order to your digital marketing efforts. But without careful planning and preparation, and an ongoing commitment to policing the system, it can be a nightmare of unbelievable proportion.
- Educate your organization. Too often, companies focus exclusively on training their marketing automation system users and ignore the rest of the company. While you want your marketing team to know the system inside and out so they can fully leverage its capabilities, they aren’t the only ones who need to understand what it does. From the subject matter experts who will help produce the content that “feeds” your system to the executive team whose approval of the investment and ongoing support is critical, everyone in your organization should be onboard.
Laying a Strong Foundation for Future Success
Making the transition from conventional marketing campaign management to more effective marketing automation is very exciting. And there’s great temptation to bring a system like HubSpot online as fast as possible once you’ve made the decision to switch. But our teams in Colorado Springs, CO, and Springfield, MO, know from experience with clients around the country that preparation is the key to success. We also know that working with marketing automation experts helps you avoid potential pitfalls and maximize the benefits of a system. Learn more about how we can help you get your marketing automation implementation off to a great start. Contact us today!