By Susan Sauter
Author: Susan Sauter
As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of the children’s classic The Little Prince, said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” As you’re defining your scope and vision for an engagement platform implementation, you need to have a clear plan and change management processes in place to be successful.
My recent switch from the enterprise consulting team to the education team at Marketo has given me greater exposure to customers who are either brand new to marketing automation or switching from another platform. Typically, I’m training a core group of people who are responsible for driving a successful new implementation; oftentimes, training takes place before any type of discovery or kick-off with the professional services teams has occurred.
Crawl, Walk, Run
While new customers are in different places along their respective journeys, there are best practices that all organizations should consider for a successful implementation in addition to ongoing successful adoption. One of the most important things to consider is defining the overall scope and vision of your digital marketing or engagement platform implementation.
Typically, when companies get started with a robust solution, they are super excited and want to get up and running quickly–oftentimes with a goal of utilizing as many new features as possible. Lots of teams are either drawn to proving they are getting the most out of their investment quickly or they have upper management pressuring them to show ROI in nothing flat.
This is where you have to be realistic about how much change your organization can handle at once. Biting off more than you can chew can lead to frustration, confusion, and failure. Marketo suggests a “Crawl, Walk, Run” phased approach. By initially focusing on the core team and essential must-haves, you’ll ensure success and build confidence–not only among the core implementation group but with other departments like sales or IT–as they see a focused and organized team executing on a realistic plan.
If you’re in charge of spearheading your new platform implementation, ask yourself the following questions to define the scope and vision:
What do people need to start using the engagement platform immediately?
Training is key, and I recommend onsite training for your core power users, like your demand generation or marketing operations teams, who will need to use the solution right away.
But what if you need to educate a lot of people to satisfy either upper management, IT, or other stakeholder visibility? For some organizations, the cost of including a lot of non-core users in either onsite or paid virtual training can be prohibitive. Instead, find out whether there are free, online training resources available to educate those who are just curious about the solution, or simply need a general overview, but may not need to be trained straight away—if ever. This is a great approach if you have a sandbox, or testing environment, that allows users to ‘play’ or experiment without fear of making changes to a production, or live environment.
Even if you don’t have a sandbox, pointing people to Go to the full article.