Getting Buy-In for Marketing Automation

Meghan Curtin

Like all kids, one of my daughters really wants her own iPad, iPhone, iTouch — any electronic that contains an “I.” I told her to present her case to me on why she should have one.

Did you think I wasn’t going to make her work for it?

As a part of the business development team here for 13 years, I have been asked a time or two how to make the case for a product like Informz to my champion’s boss, executive director, or board.

Similar to my daughter’s presentation, association marketers that are tasked with making the case for an elevated email solution or marketing automation need to illustrate how it supports a strategic goal. Here’s how you can work on getting buy-in for marketing automation.

Focus on the Why

Does it help bring new members or retain current ones? Do you want to learn more about prospective members who are attending your events and visiting your website?

My advice on this topic is the same to both my daughter and you. When you’re preparing to win over different groups around your organization, focus on the “why” for each group.

Just like you focus on the “why” in your marketing message when speaking to different personas, honing in on the “why” with different stakeholders will help you to effectively drive home the benefits of the change. Be personalized to the different stakeholders and think in advance about their objections.

When speaking to your CIO, project the reduced IT workload. With marketing taking on some of the tasks that previously required IT — like landing page creation, building lists, etc. — that frees up IT time.

Paint a Picture of the Possibilities

Typically, your ED says the staff is spread thin with other initiatives. Marketing automation doesn’t run itself; it’s true.

However, our clients are finding success when they start small and with a single campaign that generates revenue for the organization immediately, like a lapsed member campaign. Who doesn’t have lapsed members and who doesn’t want them back?

A thoughtful and automated approach to winning back lapsed members, can demonstrate immediate ROI. As clients progress, they only need to spend a few hours a week in some campaigns, running reports or tweaking workflows. You get what you put in. Either way you are better with it than without it.

Your CFO doesn’t care about the latest email campaign open rates. However, they do care about generating revenue and saving money. Talk about the reports and 360 views that will showcase the actual revenue that was generated from a given campaign.

Have Supporting Evidence

Going into a meeting, be wary of offering generic benefits like “increased marketing ROI.”

It is best to support your case with real life case studies. This will help you answer the inevitable question, “This all sounds good in theory. How do you know it will work?”

I typically connect clients with one another to collaborate on how a campaign worked and the nuances to make the campaign successful. This is a great way to use case studies and supplemental testimony from your fellow marketers.

(My daughter used this tactic on me as well, suggesting I directly speak to other parents that broke down and got a data plan for their child, and provided their phone numbers!)

Before your pitch, take the time to understand each group’s own challenges and address how the new strategy and structure will solve those challenges. It will help ease your colleagues into change and more budget.

My daughter used this tactic brilliantly by sighting forgotten pickup times and lost emails that contained important school-related info. And my favorite: she could keep my husband updated on all his team’s sports scores and schedules.

Follow these tips and you’ll have stakeholders on board in no time.

PS: at the time of this article, my daughter has not received the electronic device of choice. Decision has been delayed to Q4.

About the Author
Meghan Curtin

As the director of sales, Meghan drives revenue and strategic partnerships for Informz. In her spare time, she enjoys running, being a mom to two busy, sports-minded girls, and eating Cheez-It’s.