When searching for a new software solution like through-channel marketing automation (TCMA), there are many considerations to make before selecting a provider.
Aside from the obvious considerations, such as type of technology, delivery method, and—of course—price, there’s one consideration that cannot be ignored by decision-makers during the buying process: implementation.
Implementation is the process of constructing, integrating, and installing your new software, which can have a profound impact on how successful the platform will be at delivering the positive outcomes you’re looking for.
For example, if implementation isn’t formally structured the process can be slow and disorderly, which may delay the official launch date and ultimately delay your return on investment (ROI)—or it could launch prematurely—resulting in a frequent need to fix bugs that could have been avoided and will likely be costly.
Conversely, a structured implementation establishes a strong foundation for the software’s launch and supports the success of the software in several ways.
How Proper TCMA Implementation Supports Future Success –
Improved Alignment to Objectives – to achieve success you have to know what success looks like and so do your software providers. A proper implementation process will involve steps that seek to understand your long-term business objectives more completely. These steps are necessary to determine which features and functionality will be most valuable to your team and whether there is a need for custom functionality to fully deliver on your business needs—now and in the future.
Greater User Adoption – your new software can’t successfully deliver desired outcomes if no one ever uses it. A well-laid implementation strategy will include steps to support the initial adoption of the platform, and it will establish a systematic process for onboarding new users and supporting growth following the initial adoption phase. This portion of implementation will help you and your team realize maximum ROI and sustain ROI in the long term.
Better Client-Provider Relationships – realizing long-term success, or ROI, is also dependent upon a solid relationship with the provider. A strong implementation strategy will establish clear channels of communication for candid conversations and continued collaboration. These channels are essential to maintaining the client-provider relationship necessary to resolve issues promptly and foster future advancement that will prolong the software’s effectiveness.
Shortened Project Timeframe – only one thing can delay ROI more than poor user adoption, and that’s a prolonged implementation period. Implementation timelines may vary from project to project; however, a standardized process prevents costly oversights, anticipates potential delays, and enforces accountability to streamline the operation. A shortened timeline will keep key stakeholders engaged—boosting initial adoption—and begin returning benefits sooner.
Reduced Long-Term Costs – nothing will ruin ROI (and your relationship) like incurring expenses that weren’t accounted for or anticipated in initial agreements. A fully fledged implementation process can prevent you from having to incur unexpected expenses associated with constant service outages, technological issues, and—on the extreme end of the spectrum—vetting, purchasing, and implementing an entirely new platform.
The Consequences of Ignoring Implementation –
Poor implementation won’t go unnoticed by executive leadership, and they’ll want to know why decision makers—i.e., you—didn’t better investigate this element prior to making their final selection.
Avoid the humiliation of having to explain that oversight by ensuring that implementation is added to your list of top considerations when searching for a new TCMA platform, or any other software for that matter.