Read these five tips before implementing a new CRM tool.

Marketing automation platforms continue to be a popular choice for companies looking to engage with their customers. Who wouldn’t want to create efficient and automated communication across multiple channels and reach their customer with the right message at the right time? A worthwhile investment for many, providing you plan, prepare and implement properly.

1. Understand how your data works today

Have a really clear view of how your data and systems all interact with each other. How your data flows from A to B, your data security requirements, the volume you wish to send and the cleanliness of your data. In addition, preparing a forecast for the next 2-3 years of contacts and mail volumes for each channel will go a long way. Getting the foundations right will ensure you choose the right contract, significantly speed up your project and ultimately reduce costs in the long run.

2. Ensure you have 100% buy-in

Getting buy-in from teams across the organisation (not just marketing) is fundamental to a successful and smooth project. This is a hurdle I have stumbled on in the past. Gather requirements and give people the opportunity to flag any risks. Socialise the project at necessary internal approvals forums sooner rather than later and get formal buy-in before you commit, to avoid an uphill battle later on.

3. Consider GDPR

It goes without saying that data use and storage has been a hot topic since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in 2018. Most of the well known cloud systems are now well prepared to support GDPR compliance, but that doesn’t mean you should gloss over this point. Be it single sign-in, particular data transfer mechanisms, or a preference centre, make sure you capture all of these in your requirements.

4. Don’t underestimate the preparation

Often there are a number of legacy systems to consider, requirements from multiple stakeholders to gather, send volumes to be agreed and creative to be transferred. The preparation is fairly intensive and absolutely crucial. Go in with your eyes open, use a specialist if needs be to help guide you through, and you will have a much smoother implementation and launch.

5. Ensure you consider the long term plan

It can be tempting to take the approach ‘we will cross that bridge when we come to it’ however for the system to work robustly as planned, you need to ensure you have the right people in place to manage the business as usual running of the system once the platform is in place. Think about this as part of your project budget so you don’t have the headache of finding further funds down the line.

Thank you for reading. For more help and information on CRM platform projects get in touch.