All aboard for Onboarding 101 – your key steps to success

Richard Mather | Onboarding Project Manager
Making an investment in a new technology platform – such as marketing automation – isn’t just about the financial layout; it’s also about the investment in time to get your new platform up and running successfully. For many it’s a daunting task and can often come with a fair few challenges!

Having implemented 100+ marketing automation solutions for clients over the past 4 years,
I like to think I know what an effective and successful onboarding programme looks like.
As Onboarding Project Managers at RedEye, the team and I are here to ensure all our clients are given the best possible support and guidance they need.

Based on my experience, I’ve compiled my six top tips to onboarding success…

1. Know your team
It’s nearly always the people behind the technology that make the real difference in a marketing automation project. That’s why number one on my top tips list is ‘know your team’ - make sure you’re introduced to your onboarding team and their company culture from the outset. A good working relationship between supplier and client is crucial to ensure day-to-day campaigns run smoothly and that longer-term strategies can be formed.

2. Develop a realistic project plan
Whilst there’s not really one single, correct way of project managing a software implementation – project plans can take many forms – it should always start with an open, honest conversation to find the most effective and efficient way of working together to reach the end goal. Aligning on goals, expectations and requirements will help you to develop a realistic and achievable plan. Here at RedEye, our projects typically go-live between two and five weeks – but the focus for us is always on making sure any timelines fit with the clients’ requirements, their internal technical team and factor in other internal projects.

3. Get access to the right data
When we say, ‘We’re all about the data’, we mean it! Without enough useful data, a marketing automation programme will struggle to succeed. Afterall, it’s the data that enables you to deliver highly targeted and personalised campaigns. That’s why collating data from all your customer touchpoints (web browsing, inventories, online and instore booking locations, previous campaign engagement for example) into a single customer view should be a major focus. So, if you’re about to embark on a marketing automation project, make sure whoever you choose as your software supplier is going to be involved at every stage of the
data-gathering process.

4. Align your teams and communicate
A marketing automation project will involve several stakeholders sat across several teams, and quite often several locations. Having a single team responsible for planning project deliverables for all involved makes communication and collaboration a much smoother process.

Regular sprint calls, flexibility with availability and location are all factors to consider and questions to ask of your marketing automation software vendor. A good onboarding process should also provide all the technical advice you need, covering platform basics all the way through to the intricacies of data and site tag integrations.

5. Get back to the day-to-day quickly
At no point should your marketing automation project interrupt the day-to-day routine more than necessary. With all the steps taken above you should now be working towards an agreed go-live date with everyone involved aware of key tasks and deadlines well ahead of time. That then enables your onboarding team to focus on long-term usability and practical hands-on training using your new live platform.

6. Don’t stop there
You’re now up and running with your shiny new marketing automation platform. Congratulations! So, what now? Continuing success is now about good account management and client services. Always make sure your onboarding partner hands you over to a dedicated account manager or client services manager, allowing the onboarding team to gradually move away. The importance of a smooth transition at the final stage should not be underestimated.
 
So, there we are, Onboarding 101. No matter who you use for your marketing automation platform (we would of course love it if that was us!), always research your supplier’s approach and methodology to onboarding and ensure you have a dedicated project management team to support you along the way.

To find out more about RedEye’s Marketing Automation platform, get in touch with us here.
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