The majority of marketers who are looking to purchase a marketing automation platform (MAP) are actually not prepared, as a company, for the change.  Fast forward three to six months after the purchase of the MAP and typically that marketer has winded up paying for an advanced solution for which they are not utilizing to the fullest. It is like they now have the keys to a B-2 fighter jet, but never took the time to learn how to fly.

How does this happen?

Most often the marketer did not go through the process of reviewing their MAP readiness checklist. And before you ask, the answer is no. There is no one, all-encompassing, checklist. Each marketers situation is different, but there are a set of common themes that I would like to share with you. Before purchasing a MAP, be sure to take the time to create your own checklist as this will help you to make a smarter decision.

The following list outlines some of the basic elements that should be included in your checklist.

  • Who is driving the need for a MAP?

The answer should not be upper management or based on industry trends. The answer must be your customers and your future marketing strategy.

  • Do you have a long-term marketing communication strategy?

Both a short-term and long-term strategy should be in place to better assess how you will be using a MAP solution. Understanding how you want to interact with your customers today and in the future will help identify the potential uses for your MAP.

  • Is there a process today that the MAP will ease or eliminate?

The answer must be yes. Several pilot uses cases for the MAP should be identified. This will clearly define what projects will be worked on first and keep the team focused.

  • Is your team ready?

Do you have the right skillsets on your marketing team to succeed with a MAP? Do you know what those skillsets are?

  • Do you have a content strategy?

The content development plan must be able to support the communication strategy timeline. One of the keys to a successful MAP solution is to have the necessary content ready to support the timing and automation of your marketing efforts.

  • Are you selecting the right MAP?

Does the MAP you selected provide the reports, analysis and campaign execution that you and your colleagues require?

  • Are there other systems that will need to integrate with the MAP?

If yes, what is the cost in terms of dollars, timing and people to integrate?

Are you ready for a marketing automation platform? Not sure?  I suggest putting together your own checklist to assess your readiness. If you have any questions, feedback or comments, please contact [email protected].