Marketing automation, while important and impactful, is not an inexpensive undertaking. So of course you and your leadership team need to ensure every dollar of your marketing automation investment counts. A big part of ensuring your marketing automation investment is worth it, is choosing an implementation and support partner than can get you onboard quickly and fill any gaps in your team so your business starts seeing consistent results.
Where do you start when looking for a partner that is well-matched to your business that offers the right level of expertise, at the right price point? Here’s three steps to mark off your checklist.
1) Start with priorities
Start by mapping out your goals, drawing a connection all the way from your business goals to how those relate to your marketing team and marketing automation platform. Specifically, you should be asking:
- What specific results are you being held accountable for by your leadership team? Where do you have gaps to fulfilling those bottom-line business goals that marketing is responsible for?
- What’s your timeline to ramp up?
- What type of team do you have and what type of expertise are they bringing to the table?
- When you get down to the tactical details, what are your priorities based on the make-up of your team: technical implementation, content, campaign planning, data analysis, or all of the above?
- What’s your budget?
Once you determine where you’re going, and where you have gaps, it’s time to start screening partners with the matching expertise to help get you where you need to be. The platform provider you choose should be able to direct you to a list of their preferred partners to help start you on your search.
2) Think about the long term
After you get your list of partners to screen, ask for a quote for the specific priorities you mapped out from the above. And don’t forget to think about the long term, not just the short term of logging in and learning the ropes. Are you given options for flexible pricing that won’t break the bank? Are they offering flexible pricing models that take into account your long term goals to onboard your team or support and troubleshoot once you’re up and running? Think about how you want your partner relationship to look like in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and communicate that to the prospective partners. Make sure they’re coming back with a proposal that lines up with your targets (and once you hire a partner, schedule regular check ins that coincide with your timeline goals to make sure everything is on track along the way).
3) Ask for references
You wouldn’t hire an employee without asking for a reference, make sure to do the same for your marketing automation partner. Request to talk with a customer or two to hear firsthand what their experience has been working with the partner. It will give you the confidence that you’re making the right choice!
As always, Leadous is here to help with your marketing automation needs, no matter what stage of implementation you’re in. Contact us for more information on the services we provide!