We talk a lot about the art of the possible at DemandGen. As a marketing technology consulting firm, it’s our mission to challenge the status quo and explore new technology, new channels, and new ways of doing things.
With all of the digital tools and technologies available today, it’s difficult not to keep chasing the next big thing. So, how do you balance being innovative with not biting off more than you can chew, so you don’t end up stuck with an unfinished or poorly executed project?
As a Client Engagement Manager, it’s my job to maintain a healthy dose of realism when leading organizations to the next level of marketing sophistication. It’s important to understand what possible truly looks like, and come up with a feasible plan to actually deliver on those dreams.
Below are my top four suggestions for shooting for the stars in a way that’s organized, efficient, and, most importantly, doable:
- Determine if your current MarTech stack can support your initiative.
You’ve found a solution that does exactly what you want it to do. Three months after you’ve sold it internally and are ready to buy, you discover it won’t work with your current marketing automation platform or CRM. Or, it will, but only after you do X, Y, and Z — all of which also require purchase orders.
And sometimes, there may already be a way to do what you want with existing technology. Give key stakeholders across the organization a head’s up about what you’re trying to do. Sometimes, the right tool already resides in a different department.
- Establish a detailed roadmap with achievable milestones — revisit it monthly.
Put together a detailed roadmap so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. If you want to be able to clearly show marketing’s contributions to pipeline and revenue, don’t add a single ‘Implement a Campaign Attribution Solution’ line item on a project plan or a to-do list.
It’s natural to want to skip directly to the end result, but there are often many interdependent steps and milestones you have to hit along the way before you get there.
- Identify the areas of the organization you need to engage to achieve those milestones.
Though it may feel that way sometimes, Marketing doesn’t operate in a vacuum. If you want to change campaign attribution, as in the example above, you’ve got to make sure the Sales team is on board.
If you want to change how Marketing interacts with any other team in any way, even if it seems trivial, include the head of that department very early on in the process. Let them know exactly what you’re trying to achieve and get their buy-in and support for the initiative. This will let their team know it’s aligned with their objectives and is a priority for the organization.
- Don’t skimp on organizational change management.
Often, the majority of people’s time is spent not on technology, but on change management — and for good reason. Modifying ingrained behaviors and daily habits is no easy task. Doing it in a way that doesn’t terrify people is harder still.
Build in the time necessary to prepare your organization for the upcoming process and technology changes. That way when your new solution does go live, people will actually use it.
Make sure you have the right resources
When kicking off a new initiative, look for people who have already been through similar projects and organizational changes and lean on them for insight. Sometimes those resources are readily available, and sometimes it makes sense to bring in outside help.
DemandGen offers the right blend of thought leaders and operational resources to help you find the perfect balance between what’s possible and what’s feasible. We offer a wide range of services, from consulting and best practices to planning and actually doing the work. And, chances are good we’ve already helped someone else successfully do what you’re trying to achieve.
As a Senior Client Engagement Manager, Ron Scrafano helps DemandGen clients adopt and optimize marketing technologies across their organizations. Ron was an early pioneer in the Marketing Automation industry starting in 2007 when he became an Eloqua certified expert and began to enable success for hundreds of B2C and B2B organizations.