Written by: Maria Rummel
Congratulations! You’ve selected a new technology that has the power to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Life is going to be so good. But, now what?
Think back to the last time you bought a new cell phone. At one point, you were probably faced with an old device that held the keys to everything in your life and a shiny new one, still in the box with nothing on it. You were excited to get started with the new device (I mean come on, the camera on that thing is ah-mazing) but first, you needed to transfer your contacts, photos, passwords, and anything else saved on your old device.
Transitioning to a new marketing technology is very similar – except, sending out a “new number, who’s this?” text blast would be embarrassing for you and bad for your business.
Follow these steps to quickly, and carefully, get your new marketing technologies up and moving:
1. Determine the time frame of least impact
Choosing the right time to transition your marketing technology is arguably the most important step in this process, behind choosing the right product of course. Consider what will be needed to get things up and running during the implementation process, as well as the time needed for day-to-day tool management.
Choose a time that offers minimal disruptions to your teams’ workflow. The middle of a big launch or initiative is probably not a good time to transition. The quieter months for your business will generally be your safest time to implement new technology. However, it is unlikely that you’ll find a time where no disruptions will take place. For the unavoidable disruptions, ensure you have a plan in place for dealing with them.
THE EXCEPTION: IF YOUR BUSINESS IS GOING THROUGH A BIG CHANGE WHERE THERE WILL BE MANY DISRUPTIONS AND NEW PROCESSES WILL BE CREATED, SUCH AS A RE-BRAND OR MERGER, IT MAY BE SMART TO TRANSITION YOUR TECHNOLOGY AT THE SAME TIME.
2. Outline roles and responsibilities
Designate one person to own your implementation plan. This person (even if it’s you) will serve as the project manager. Although, the project manager is not single-handedly in charge of making decisions or executing the work in each step of your process. After you have identified your plan owner, identify the additional stakeholders who will assist in decision making and task execution. Assigning ownership to each part of your implementation process will help you make sure that everything is completed and help you identify gaps in the process.
3. Tap an expert
You’ve probably chosen new marketing technology to make your life easier, so don’t let a difficult implementation process or complex day-to-day management takeover your day job. Tapping an expert is a great way to ease the transition process and learn more about the capabilities of your new tool. Additionally, if you need help managing the tool down the road, you’ll have someone on hand, ready to go.
4. Clean your existing data
Don’t dirty your brand new tool with your old, dirty data mess. Transitioning to a new tool is the perfect reminder to do spring cleaning (even if it’s already October) to your data.
5. Evaluate your existing assets and processes
Take a look at all of the existing assets and processes you have within your tool. Depending on what kind of technology you are transitioning to, this could be design files, brand images, documents, contracts, lead scores or other reports. Now is the best time to correct errors and ensure that everything is on-brand, and archive outdated materials.
6. Determine if new assets and processes are needed
Every piece of technology is different. Do some research and ask your expert if the assets you currently have will be compatible with your new technology. From a process standpoint, it is important to determine if your new technology can read the data you have or if it requires new process foundations to be set. If you don’t have what you need, feel free to ask your expert for help.
7. Migrate your data & get organized
Did your old system of organizing your information in your tool suit your needs? Did you even have an organization method? This is your chance to decide how you want to name, store, and track your data. While choosing a naming convention and developing an organizational process may seem like a type-A thing to do, your future self will thank you when s/he’s looking for that one very-specific file six months from now.
8. Test it
Before shutting down your old tool and flying solo with new tool, run a few tests on the new one. Is the data your new tool is collecting flowing to the right place? Is there a trigger notification? Are all of the APIs configured and working correctly? You get the point. Once you’ve played around enough to feel confident, you’re ready to go.
9. Take a deep breath
Change is hard. And also necessary. You’ve got this.
10. Make the switch
Ta-da! You did it, congratulations!
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