5 tips for onboarding your marketing team onto a new platform

By Bek Agius
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11 July 2019

Building the best mar-tech stack for your organisation is a challenge that every marketing team will face.  With some careful planning, a set of rigid criteria and a well thought out onboarding process and timeline, you can easily reduce the risk of tech debt and ensure each new piece of your mar-tech stack adds to the success of your efforts and isn't just another expense.

5 Tips For Onboarding Your Team To A New Marketing Process

Anyone who has worked in a marketing team in any organisation has experienced a wealth of content marketing tools and various platforms that are no longer utilised or that only half the team have adopted. When you're in the process of adopting new tech and faced with a large amount of under-utilised systems, it can feel seriously intimidating. With some careful planning and an internal champion for each new platform can make the world of difference and ensure that your department budget doesn't go to waste.

Why is preparation for technology onboarding important?

Any technology worth its salt is designed to create efficiencies and aid accuracy within a team. In order for it to do so effectively, we must often alter our processes to make the new technology a part of our process. This can be a little disruptive to daily activity, primarily to the learning curve always associated with a new system. 

You can reduce the strain on your team by creating a plan between your internal stakeholders and your Customer Success Manager from the new platform with open communication, clear goals for the project and an internal champion to lead and own the project internally. 

The most important thing to remember is that for any business in our day and age to continuously improve efficiency and stay ahead of competitors, updating and adopting new technology is absolutely crucial. 

To help get you started, we've prepared 5 tips for onboarding your marketing team onto a new platform, based on our experience with a variety of organisations. 

Involve Your Team in the Software Demonstration and Assessment

Before you begin the research and development phase it is important to empower your team to provide a full list of requirements. It is imperative that these points come from the team experiencing the pain the tech platform must solve. The initial list may be extensive, especially if the problem you're trying to solve is a primary part of your teams role within the organisation.

Once the initial list exists, use a framework, like the MOSCOW Method, to refine the list of requirements down to the most crucial vs. the not helpful. 

Once you are at the stage of actively sitting through software demonstrations, everyone is aligned on the key points the new platform must address, and can feel empowered about their needs helping comprise these requirements. 

" We needed the solution to be a ‘one-stop shop’, to make it easy to onboard new franchisees and to give them freedom to create their own marketing while ensuring our brand remained strong. Outfit delivers this and is a key value offering for potential franchisees. "

Jonah Hales — Chief Operations Officer, 12RND

Find Advocates Within Your Team

Once you know what you are (and aren't) looking for in your new platform, it is essential that a project champion (or project lead) is assigned to drive each stage of the process to ensure the onboarding plan is followed and that the team is excited about it.

This champion should have the following qualities:

    • Be personally affected by the pain points that the new platform will solve
    • Be enthusiastic about implementing the right solution efficiently
    • Have time in their weekly schedule to dedicate to hitting key timelines

In addition to your primary champion, it is also important to line up some product advocates, both to excite the wider team into adoption but also to aid with training, role out and troubleshooting internally. 

Set a Timeframe for the Implementation Process

Requirements and a leader only become useful if used in conjunction with a clear timeline with measurable, attainable goals and some sense-checking checkpoint. 

This timeline and the goals within it should be agreed upon by the champion, management (where required), the team and your tech platform provider. 

This timeline will keep you on track and, with a little flexibility, ensure the right people are interacting with the platform at each point in the process where they're required. Your timeline should include at least the following elements:

    • A project scope
    • Training for administrators of the platform
    • An initial pilot period
    • A feedback period
    • A rollout (staggered or blanket)

Encourage Questions and Feedback

Once you're up and running on your new platform, a good practice is to conduct a retrospective session to allow your team to discuss what went well and what could have been improved. Where possible, your Customer Success Manager is a great addition to a session like this in addition to your core team who were involved in setup and implementation. 

It is a great opportunity to allow the team to air any grievances they had with the process in a constructive forum and also to learn and improve for next time you onboard a tech platform. 

In addition to an event like a project retrospective, it is important to ensure you touch base with employees regularly, especially those that may have been technically left behind. This will help foster an environment of openness and ensure everyone is heard.

Don’t Be Afraid to Show Off!

One of the best ways to encourage your team to embrace new technology, whether it be a brand automation software like Outfit or otherwise, is to celebrate every team member's work on the platform whether through an informal email or a presentation to the business. 

Lastly, a handy hint to ensure you don't lose track of all of the blocks in your stack, is to create a register of all your current platforms to make reviewing annually simpler. Obvious elements are name, users with access, contract start and renewal dates but others worth recording are purpose, team, project champion, user allowance and cost. 

With the application of some or all of the advice in this article on adopting new marketing software, your team will be well on their way to taking control of the next tech platform project!

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