5 Things To Consider Before Implementing A Marketing Automation Tool
Updated: Apr 9, 2021
There is no doubt that when it comes to inbound marketing, tools such as HubSpot and Marketo work like magic.
For instance, combined with a killer content marketing strategy, we’ve increased the number of a client’s leads by 92% in a year after implementing HubSpot and they have spent significantly less time managing and nurturing their leads through automation.
In this article, however, I would like to emphasize five things you should consider before implementing a marketing automation tool. Although we have actively used and implemented HubSpot at our client projects (and the article takes HubSpot as the reference point), I believe these five points should be applicable to other tools like Marketo, eloqua, etc. in one way or another.
1. CRM first!
Which CRM you are using and how you are using it are probably the most important questions to consider before deciding on any marketing automation tool. This is because of the fact that certain CRM’s such as Salesforce can be easily integrated with HubSpot without any technical setup. Other CRM tools such as SugarCRM need a third-party integrator to connect your CRM with HubSpot.
One of our clients, for instance, was using a CRM which didn’t have native integration with HubSpot and I can tell you that the synchronization process was not a smooth one. To start with, they’ve had many custom fields at CRM which needed to be also created at HubSpot and properly matched.
Going through a third party integrator adds another system to learn about and use in order to use HubSpot. Not the ideal case.
HubSpot has also its own CRM and the free version comes with quite a good number of features to start with. I am not saying that you should opt for HubSpot’s CRM. But you may want to explore this option as well. Otherwise, I strongly recommend that you are using a CRM which can be easily and rapidly integrated with HubSpot.
2. Project management
As I have outlined above, unless you’re using HubSpot’s CRM or a CRM that can natively integrate with HubSpot, you need serious project management. Oftentimes, it may include several departments such as IT, marketing, and sales in an organization.
You need a project manager who can easily translate sales and marketing’s business needs into IT language and vice versa. There will be a strong collaboration especially between marketing and IT if you’re using it for marketing automation. So make sure you assign two project managers from each department who communicate with each other on a minimum weekly basis. Define in advance the roles, who does what, project roadmap and milestones before you kick-off the project.
3. The marriage between marketing and sales
Another important thing to consider is how HubSpot will be used by marketing and sales teams. One of our clients is for example using the HubSpot Marketing Hub for tons of marketing activities but they haven’t opted in to the Sales Hub yet.
When a lead is created (let’s call it a baby) through inbound marketing, the marketing team nurtures the baby and qualifies it in HubSpot. When the baby is mature enough, marketing hands it over to sales. The sales team then takes care of the baby and the related opportunities in the CRM.
While this is so far working quite well for our client as they also have all the opportunities created in the CRM synced to HubSpot, it would be better to have both teams’ efforts in one place and ensure an end-to-end process.
Particularly, when it comes to assigning tasks to sales, and checking how the baby has been doing (is she/he properly fed and followed-up?), it is impossible to see this directly from HubSpot. You need to go to the CRM and manually check the account activities.
So, consider integrating your sales team’s activities into HubSpot. Even with the Marketing Hub alone, there are numerous interesting features that the sales team can benefit from (such as having automated notifications if a prospect re-visits your website, automatic reminders if a prospect is not followed-up in X amount of time, etc.). Make sure to train your sales team from early on regarding how they can also use HubSpot and acquire value from it.
4. Landing pages and website
While this has not been a major concern, it is still important to know that landing pages you create through HubSpot may not harmoniously fit with the rest of your website design and company branding.
I admit that HubSpot is doing a fairly good job creating blog and landing page templates, which match quite well with your branding guidelines and website style. However, if you are for instance using Wordpress for your website and HubSpot for your landing pages, one can easily recognize the difference between your web and landing pages.
If you have a web designer or a person who can do basic coding in your team, you can significantly improve the quality of the landing pages and the blog template.
5. Managing events and webinars
My last point is about managing campaigns related to events and webinars on HubSpot. Unfortunately, HubSpot is not the best tool to manage event campaigns. Especially now that we’ve all moved to webinars and virtual events, you should know that certain webinar platforms such as WebEx do not have native integration with HubSpot.
You need to again go through third party integrators such as Zapier and LeadsBridge which connect the two platforms. Do not forget that this increases costs and makes you lose more time.
So, think ahead of time how you want to manage your events/webinars, through which platform (WebEx, Zoom, on24, etc.) and how you analyze the ROI, etc. And make sure you can achieve your objectives with HubSpot or any other marketing automation tool you choose.
If you would like to learn more about marketing automation or if you’ve any other digital marketing related questions, do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to get back to you.