One of the key challenges for Marketing Automation is the difficulty organisations have “adopting” a new technology.
This is often due to the impact the technology has on the business as opposed to the technical use of the interface itself.
Marketing automation is an especially challenging technology to integrate into a business as it requires a significant transformation of how the organisation undertakes ‘its’ marketing and, as such, impacts many departments including marketing, sales and IT. So, what are the pitfalls with software adoption, and more importantly how do you avoid them? This biggest mistake companies make is to start implementation without first having a strategy for how the organisation will adopt it.
It’s common for a new platform to be carefully selected, paid for and as far as the company is concerned all that is left to do is to tell the staff to get on and use it. IT department send out an email showing everyone how to log in and advising they stop working in the old way and start using the new platform. Two weeks later no one is using the new platform.
We’re all creatures of habit and simply announcing change doesn’t mean the change will take place. People are busy, they have deadlines, meetings that overrun so what do they do? They go to the path of least resistance and that is the way they did things before the change was announced.
You start by clearly defining who owns the adoption. It is not the role, as people often think, of the technical department. A technical resource managing change is the wrong type of person. They can implement the software as that is a very rational process, but they are not usually best suited to delivering the softer skills required for adoption. That’s the job of someone who appreciates the nuances that exist when it comes to asking people to change the way they have been doing something for the last ten years.
When you have identified someone to manage the adoption across the business they can then start to communicate the change, put into place a training plan and build a champions network. The champions are a group of people across the business who champion the change. They are positive, understand the reasons for change and get excited by it. The champions are people anyone can go to for advice and done correctly the champions become the conduit to change.
Business change isn’t something you can hire an outside company to deliver for you. An outside company like ‘HarveyDavid’ can run the workshops, sanity ‘check’ your strategy, help formulate a plan in partnership with the change manager and measures the ongoing success of adoption as well as offering advice and guidance along the way but the change needs to be lead from inside your business.
Software solutions like Oracle Marketing Cloud and in particular Eloqua can make a fundamental difference to a company’s bottom line but if an implementation is not strategically thought through it can end up as an expensive icon on someone’s desktop.
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