How to convince colleagues and management to use marketing planning software

Michiel Destoop
December 18, 2018
⏱ 6 min. read

Is your marketing planning still in Excel or on a whiteboard? You may have encountered a number of problems and are now looking for a digital solution in the cloud. Maybe you are reluctant to convince your colleagues and management to invest in a digital tool that will simplify your work as a marketer and that of your colleagues. This article will assist you.

Introducing a new way of working in a marketing team is not something you can accomplish without effort. If you work in a healthy and motivated company, your suggestion to improve work processes will be appreciated. Blindly choosing a tool or 'trying' something carelessly are not to be recommended.

The tool 'as such' will not improve your workflow. A tool allows you to improve your workflow. Small nuance, but a big difference in the expectation pattern.

It is important to understand that new processes and tools cost money. Not only in the purchase or rental of the software, but also because of the time it takes to make this change possible. The larger the team, the greater the impact. If someone becomes at least 10 minutes more efficient every day, you have saved 1 full-time employee on a team of 50 people! If the new tool makes everyone work 10 minutes less efficiently, the opposite is unfortunately also the case.

These are equally things that the management is concerned with. Managers dare to take risks, but these risks need to be calculated risks. Business and team leaders realise that innovation is a way to make the organisation run more efficiently. The final goal: to make the results and the joy of working exceed expectations.

Marketer, the floor is yours!

The subjects below seem to have escaped from a strategic marketing plan, but they are perfectly applicable to convincing colleagues and management to use a (new) marketing planning tool.

  • SWOT analysis
    What is and what is not working well in your marketing organisation? Where are the opportunities and what do you have to pay attention to?
  • Market research
    What are the possibilities to better manage marketing planning?
  • Targeting
    Who are the stakeholders and what are their needs? And so: with which arguments will you best be able to convince them?
  • Budgeting
    How much will it cost and is this in proportion to the expected results?
  • Action plan
    How are you going to choose, evaluate, introduce and optimise this new tool?
  • KPI's
    Which figures do you need to pay attention to in order to make your project of change a success?



Very often Excel is (mis)used for marketing planning. However, it is certainly not the most ideal tool. If you want to read in detail why, download our whitepaper about Excel for marketing planning and discover the alternatives. This document can certainly also be of help in your market research.

 

It is important to know who to convince. Can the CMO, marketing team leader or marketing manager decide for himself which IT tools will be used? Are IT, financial managers and directors at the table? Then other arguments will be relevant.

Don't forget your colleagues. Not everyone is ready for change. However, they are the ones who will make the change happen.   

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

The best way to convince management and colleagues is to present a good plan of action. It shows that you have researched what needs to be improved, and also put thoughts into where to go.
 

Action plan
1. Analyse the problem
2. Draw up a list of requirements
3. Compare tools (features, price, support)
4. Draw up a shortlist and further research with a demo and/or trial period
5. Proposing a choice
6. Draw out the change process
7. Organise training
8. Evaluation moment

 

Analyse the problem 

What is going wrong and what needs to be improved? Be sure to involve your colleagues in this. Think about the frustrating moments of the past few months, which may have led to a conflict.

We most frequently come across this list in our conversations with marketing teams:

  • Working together simultaneously in the planning process
  • Having an overview, but being able to add and consult details
  • Viewing communication on a timeline or calendar
  • Only seeing relevant information after using filters
  • One source of information
  • Possibility to collaborate with others from the company, or with freelancers and suppliers
  • Reuse of the project approach
  • User-friendliness of the software

Comparing tools based on your needs

Make sure to make a distinction between need-to-haves and nice-to-haves. Can you create a matrix with the needs? If so, you can check with each tool whether this is possible, or indicate to what extent, with the help of a score. If there is a feature that the tool does not yet offer, evaluate its importance and check if it is on the roadmap.

You should also evaluate the degree of support provided by the tool's organisation. Are you on your own, or is it possible to get help in changing your processes?

Try to compare apples to apples. Because not every tool offers the same functionality, you may have to combine them. Each with their own costs and learning curve.

Read How much does marketing planning software cost? about the different pricing models and why free is not necessarily cheap.

Drawing up a detailed shortlist

Eventually, a few tools will be left over, which you can compare in detail. A trial period or a demo will be helpful.

The trial period is certainly not the easiest way, especially if you are still struggling with your integrated marketing structure.

A big red bow

If you are convinced of the choice, then as a marketer you have to be able to convince others. Right? If your homework has been done well, you will be able to win the hearts (and brains) of your colleagues and management without too many problems. Remember: the presentation is important.

If we only talk about Husky Marketing Planner, these are THE five arguments that will convince your colleagues and management.

  1. Marketing focus
    No project management system that can also be used by marketers, but a digital marketing planner that is tailor-made for marketers.
  2. Ease-of-use
    An online tool that works intuitively, is addictive and stimulates collaboration.
  3. Distinction between communication planning and task planning
    What do you communicate when, and what do you have to do to achieve this?
  4. Relationship between communication planning and budgets
    Not every part of your marketing planning requires a different tool.
  5. Information sharing
    Give readers access to the current planning or provide a PDF report for a snapshot.

Changing course and evaluation

At Husky, we have a great deal of experience with that. Especially in large teams, it is important to tackle the change in phases.

Most important tips for change management

  • Start with a small team that works out the structure.
  • Introduce the new tool step by step. First, focus on communication planning, then add tasks and finally improve with the budget, results and notes.
  • Organise internal training courses, or encourage the use of the training material provided by the software supplier.
  • Provide internal evaluation moments, but certainly share this feedback with the software supplier as well. Perhaps we are currently working on a new or improved feature.

Evaluating is not always looking for what needs to be improved, but also has to highlight the positive aspects. Colleagues who keep a close eye on their planning may serve as a prime example. Others can learn from it.

You are not on your own

Of course, at Husky, we are always ready to help you choose marketing planning software and/or convince your colleagues and management. Feel free to contact us!

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