There have been some high expectations surrounding the marketing profession this year. As 2015 drew to a close, statistics showed budgets had increased from 10 to 11% of revenue, on average, and budget growth was projected to grow further over the ensuing 12 months.
It’s music to a marketer’s ears. However, as research and insight specialists Gartner revealed: “...with this increase comes increased expectations; marketing is expected to drive profitable growth through the acquisition, retention and expansion of the most valuable customer relationships”.
There will no doubt be greater scrutiny surrounding the investments made. So, exactly how do you sell marketing automation software to your MD?
Here are some tips from the Force24 team, to help you get sign off for the budget you need:
- Set the goals for your marketing automation software and obtain the input of key stakeholders likely to have a say on the budget sign off.
- Show that you’ve done your research and have comprehensively scoured the marketplace for the marketing automation software best suited to your brand’s objectives. Key things to look for in a vendor include evidence of technological evolution to date, evidence that the provider has a landed UK support model and is fully localised for the UK market.
- As you shortlist your preferred marketing automation platforms, ask the vendors questions specific to your needs. Don’t settle for generic demos. You need to know this is the right technology for you and that it will save you hours a week in producing emails quicker, or build and report on journeys quicker.
- It’s important to build a clear, succinct and evidenced business case. MD’s don’t want to read reams of information – they’re looking for the facts. What benefits will the chosen technology bring, in terms of bottom line impact? Whether your priority is customer acquisition, spend uplift or client retention, do your sums before you start the conversation. A savvy MD won’t care so much about expenditure. They will prioritise the return. For example the average marketer saves 8 hours per week when utilising a well set up automation platform and generates a 16% higher return
- It may sound strange, but, before you automate anything, build a hypothesis and prove it, manually. If you can show your MD that the results are feasible, with time and effort put in, imagine the potential results if you were able to react quicker, personalise more, and continue the dialogue!
- Show you’ve thought about the tricky bits. If you already have a marketing automation platform in place, for instance, the MD may be concerned about system downtime and therefore the loss of earnings whilst the switch takes place. Think ahead and select a supplier that provides a swift migration service with no loss of data or learnings. The best vendors will offer this for free, with little or no disruption.
- Invite the marketing automation supplier to support you in your ‘pitch’. You know your MD better than them but they know the tech better than you. They should be able to supply you with helpful nuggets of information, insight into key successes with other clients and even initial suggestions to power more profitable conversations with your customers moving forward.
- If your MD still isn’t convinced, invite them to sit in on a demo of the marketing automation software. As the age-old saying goes – seeing is believing!
Armed with this advice are you ready to get started? Look at our marketing automation platform to see if it fits the bill!