While your marketing and sales team view marketing automation tools as a way to convert more leads, your IT department will not be too concerned about the marketing aspects of this tool. Instead of focusing on benefits such as lead nurturing, lead scoring, market segmentation and other marketing based features, focus on the tools' omnichannel benefits, easy implementation, security and ability to create streamlined organisation-wide processes.
Your CIO's main goal is to speed up the adoption of new digital tools. Being able to deliver capabilities in a way that ensures a fast and simple adoption is vital. Technology that slows down systems can end up putting a great deal of strain on IT departments, which in turn has a knock-on effect throughout the entire company. Data security is another major focus area for most CIOs. One of the many faces that this department faces is the ability to ensure that employees are able to keep up with technology.
When it comes to the adoption of marketing automation tools, there are three things that your CIO will likely want to know:
- How will this tool increase data and overall system security?
- How easily can it be implemented?
- How much demand will it put onto the IT team?
Being able to answer these questions will go a long way in helping you pitch marketing automation tools to your CIO. If you are not sure what the answers are to any of these questions, it can be extremely valuable to consider scheduling a call or meeting with your software supplier to see if they are able to provide your CIO with a demonstration or a list of specs that specifically answer any questions that may arise.
Essentially, your CIO will most be concerned about any tool that takes up valuable resources. The IT department is typically one of the most overworked departments. Along with their primary roles, members of this team often have to put out fires and deal with issues on a regular basis. Having an implementation timeline that includes estimated hours required for each task will go a long way in preventing surprises.
Which features should you focus on when pitching marketing automation tools to your CIO? Let's have a look.
How to Sell Marketing Automation to Your CIO
As we mentioned above, data security, implementation and demand on IT team are the three biggest focus areas for CIOs considering marketing automation tools. Some of the things that you could mention include the following:
1. Increased Data Security & Accuracy
Marketing automation provides a highly effective framework that enables the enforcement of data privacy and security policies. This means that there is a far lower risk of data security breaches. Instead, data is used efficiently, and stored securely on the cloud for optimal accessibility. According to the 2016 Openprise MarTech Data Report, data hygiene is also a major concern for companies. In their study, 50% of companies considering marketing automation tools view data hygiene as their top data challenge. The top three problem areas relating to to poor data hygiene included data inaccuracy, incompleteness and decay.
2. Easy Implementation
The 2015 B2Bmarketing.net and Circle Research Benchmarking Report on marketing automation shows that 61% of companies agree that implementation has been difficult. Of those, 8% found implementation very difficult and 53% found it difficult. Only 1% found the process it very easy. Implementation is definitely going to be a concern for your CIO. Your IT team may worry that they will struggle to help departments understand the tools.
A 2014 Redeye and TFM&A Insights study titled The Marketing Automation Report showed that these concerns are not completely unfounded, too. In this report, 13% of marketers cited a lack of technical ability in their team as a major barrier, while 12% cited a lack of understanding as the main reason for not adopting these tools. The best way to tackle this problem is to show your CIO that the right tools can make all the difference.
Although many companies are concerned about not being able to use these tools, not all of them are challenging. In fact, what makes the Grapevine Digital Marketing and Communication tools so popular is that they are easy to use across the board. By showing your CIO how easily this challenge can be overcome, you will be on the right track. You could also suggest starting slowly, so that all departments have time to adjust.
3. Streamlined Processes
Processes are always going to be a concern for your IT team. Complicated, messy processes are never good for anyone. Not surprisingly, the lack of mature marketing processes is the top reason that respondents in a 2014 Aberdeen Group study titled State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce. In this study, 45% of respondents not using marketing automation tools listed a lack of processes as a barrier. Ironically, these tools can actually help you improve your processes.
If your CIO mentions this as a potential issue, focus on the tools ability to provide simpler, more effective processes that promote transparency and accountability, without wasting time and effort. On that note, our next point focuses on just how much time marketing automation can help your CIO, and the entire company save.
4. Cost & Time Efficiency
This platform provides a central, easily accessible database that reduces the risk of duplicated, broken or messy data. As the platform is designed to integrate, you also have the benefit of omnichannel marketing, which further saves time and effort. Instead of investing time and resources into a number of tools, each of which need training to ensure that they are adopted across the company, you have a single tool that can be used by marketing as well as sales and even customer service teams. The result is a notable reduction of time and cost. Integrated platforms also ensure a far more effective result.
The 2015 Ascend2 Marketing Technology Strategy survey showed that just 25% of companies have integrated their marketing technology systems, while 22% have not, and 53% have only integrated their systems to some degree.
By focusing on the issues that are most likely to matter to your CIO, you will soon be able to highlight the benefits that marketing automation tools have to offer. If you'd like to learn more about how marketing automation tools add value to your company across the board, get in touch today.