If your business or business unit is brand new to marketing automation, and you’ve decided to take the leap (after asking yourself some important questions
), you’re probably going to be having a lot of meetings. You’ll need to gather requirements from several different teams—anyone who has a vested interest in sales, marketing, software licenses, marketing budget, and information security will likely need to weigh in on the decision. In some businesses, this might be a committee of two; in others, it might be 20 people or more.
At Yesler, we recommend a formal requirements documentation process, even if your committee is quite small. To start, gather “user stories” from each team the marketing automation platform (MAP) will affect. User stories are used by Agile software development teams and are simple, short sentences that distill what an end user hopes to get out of the system. You can also use a more formal business requirements document (BRD), which will guide you to lay out a plan for several key areas like “business case” and “change management.”
Even if your company doesn’t require a formalized document, taking the time for this step can help immensely down the road, when you’re in the thick of implementation and must make decisions that will affect the people who use the system.
Need a more formal document? Here’s a BRD template we like
, and an example of what user stories look like.
Once you have recorded business requirements and user stories, it’s time to do your research. Sites like G2Crowd
can cut through the marketing noise and get you to user reviews, which can help narrow down your choices. At some point, it’s time to call a salesperson for a demo. You can use your user stories to ask questions from different user perspectives. This will help guide the demo to address your needs.
A few things to remember while you’re selecting a MAP: