Recently, Lauren Carlson sent me this really solid post by Kim Roman about how to best go about convincing your boss to buy marketing automation. I believe Kim does an excellent job laying out the key points of marketing automation, what it can bring to your organization, ROI, etc., as well as how to best approach your boss to get him/her to sign off on the purchase. While I appreciate what Kim was talking about as it pertains to the benefits of marketing automation, I feel that is was a bit off the mark in terms of what you should be convincing your boss to buy. Let me explain.
Marketing automation is the final piece of the puzzle in terms of an overall lead management strategy. It’s the tool you use to implement your process based on your strategy in order to scale your lead management with the use of technology. Well, ok, so why wouldn’t I have to convince my boss to buy the tool then? Great question, but if you are at that point of the equation you have already invested significant time and money (assuming you did things properly). Strategy is costly, especially if you bring in outside specialists. Process creation and execution are significantly costly. And, as Mr. Raab writes, content is expensive. Referencing a Marketing Profs survey, marketing automation licenses only make up 1-2% of an overall marketing budget, while content marketing can run as high as 34% of that budget. In the big picture, marketing automation is not expensive.
While I understand where Kim is coming from in her article, I do want to add my two cents about what I think you really need to convince your boss to buy… the entire lead management strategy, process and execution. At Net-Results, our most successful customers are the ones that have this in place, and are ready to utilize our user-friendly tool to maximize their processes. When they aren’t at that stage, we will advise them to go back a step and either do some in-house process changes or engage with one of our tremendous demand generation partners.
So, Mr./Ms. Boss: buying marketing automation is easy, and cheap. Buy the whole package though, and you will reap the long-term benefits.