So you’ve settled on a goal, a budget, and a marketing automation tool. Now, how can you be sure you’re getting the most benefit from all the time and effort you’re about to spend? Here’s a quick checklist, which will vary of course based on your needs, the size of your organization and the sophistication of your demand-gen effort.

Have You… Yes No
Assigned a single person to be accountable for the entire process? Congratulations. Keep checking in to be sure they’re getting the cooperation they need, and are developing strong links between marketing and sales. Do so immediately, or marketing automation project will sink to the bottom of everyone’s priority list.
Developed a content plan? Great. Now, do you have a system for tracking the status of each project, and commitment from the subject matter experts (or their bosses) that they will deliver it on time? Go back to your sales goals, and your target customer personas, and design content for each step in the sales process.  Without the right subject matter you’re toast.
Set aside time or money to edit,  improve your copy? We’re impressed. You must have been an editor or writer in a previous life. Do so now. Even professional writers need an outside eye to make sure their copy is clear, and we’re betting you don’t have a staff or professional writers.
Gotten buy-in from sales on your content plan? Did you get it in writing? If not, there’s too much room for confusion in the content creation process, and for finger-pointing if the content doesn’t work as well as you hoped. Do so now, and in writing. This is critical to establishing trust with the sales folks – and to making sure you’ll deliver the type of leads they need.
Agreed with sales on how to score leads? Great start. Now set a schedule for review your scoring metrics regularly as you see what works and what doesn’t. This is where the rubber meets the road, and the only way sales (your customers) will define success. A good scoring system will also help you fine-tune your content.
Linked your marketing automation system to your CRM platform (if you have one)? Have you tested the links to be sure they work, that the prospect information shows up in a form the sales rep can use, and that the rep can be alerted in the manner they choose (email, text message etc.)? Uh, how are your sales folks supposed to sell anything? Setting up this connection is a good opportunity to win their trust (and learn more about their needs.)

 

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.