Marketing Automation Implementation Evaluation Framework

How Do Vendors Help Their Customers Succeed?

January 27, 2011

Questions to ask marketing automation vendors during your selection process, to help you prepare and set realistic expectations for implementation.


Marketing automation platforms promise impressive return on investment from increases in revenue, decreases in cost, more accountability, and greater agility. Yet many customers have failed to realize those benefits because they haven’t used their systems as they had intended to when they bought them. Both customers and vendors suffer when this happens.

The root of the problem is quite common: the platforms are new enough that few organizations have prior experience upon which to base their implementation decisions. Customers often underestimate the amount of work involved as well as how much they need to change their traditional marketing functions. Most vendors do a good job of providing information, advice, and services to make each implementation successful. However, their enthusiasm about the competitive advantage that their platform provides often overshadows their explanations of the work and change involved. As a result, customer expectations about how easy the implementation will be are often unrealistic.

For customers to truly manage their own success, they need access to information from multiple vendors that will allow them to make decisions in their own best interests. This marketing automation implementation evaluation framework, unlike a product feature comparison framework, provides a structure for collecting implementation information from multiple vendors. That body of information can empower customers to take control of their success.

Customers can incorporate this information into their platform selection process so they can: (a) choose a vendor that is strong in the areas where they think they need the most help, (b) set expectations in the organization while getting purchase approval rather than after the fact, and (c) chart their course to a successful implementation...


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