How to Ensure Stakeholder Buy-in for Marketing Automation Success

by Matt Lincoln - February 01, 2019
How to Ensure Stakeholder Buy-in for Marketing Automation Success

You’d be forgiven for looking at any Marketing Automation project as a purely technical exercise and forgetting the most important element: the human factor.

After all, a Pardot implementation involves activities such as; the technical setup of email sending domains, integration with Salesforce CRM, and building HTML/CSS templates.

When an internal team evaluates Marketing Automation vendors, they may make a decision based on technical factors, for example:

  • Functionality of email builder
  • Level of CRM integration
  • Segmentation capabilities

However it is important to remember that these are not reasons for purchasing Marketing Automation itself.

Marketers should keep in mind that the overall success of a project depends on the buy-in and perception of the project from key stakeholders.

The Marketing Director

Depending on the structure of your organisation, a key project stakeholder could be the Marketing Director. They may only be involved in a project sponsor capacity rather than being hands-on with the implementation.

Marketing Directors are less concerned with the technical capabilities of the system than the rest of the internal team.

Instead, they typically want to understand how Marketing Automation will deliver more effective and better targeted campaigns, and greater visibility of Marketing ROI.

A Marketing Automation implementation is a perfect chance to work with the Marketing Director to redefine the prospect journey and get their buy-in.

The Sales Director

Sales Directors will be less engaged with the functionality of the platform, but more interested how Marketing Automation can help their team meet sales targets.

Work with them to understand what a good lead looks like to the sales team, based on segmentation criteria. For example, this could be based on the prospect’s territory, job title, seniority or industry.

Help them understand the impact of implementing a well-considered qualification programme. This includes demonstrating how lead scoring and grading can save time for the sales team, and improve sales conversion rates by getting your ideal target prospects in front of the sales team when they’re ready to engage.

The Managing Director / CEO

The size and structure of your organisation will influence your access to the Managing Director/CEO. They are unlikely to be involved with the project, but their perception of marketing automation could be a key success factor.

They will likely share the same motivations as the Marketing and Sales Directors. For example; wanting the organisation to be more customer-centric, gain a better understanding of Marketing ROI and deliver more targeted campaigns.

However the biggest factor influencing whether they consider the project a success, will be your ability to demonstrate clearly how Marketing Automation contributes towards two things:

  • Improved revenue and growth in your organisation
  • Retaining existing customers

In terms of buy-in, this could be a major factor in securing budget for continuing to use Marketing Automation in the future.


Bring stakeholders into the conversation at appropriate times, for instance during scoping and road-map development. This can make the difference in terms of a marketing automation project success.


Training sessions should be provided to the sales team in addition to the marketing team. This will help build their understanding of the sales enablement tools provided by marketing automation.

It’s important to ensure the heads of departments are in these sessions.


Consider how you can use both qualitative and quantitative reporting to clearly demonstrate the benefits marketing automation is delivering in your organisation. This can have a large impact, even from the first few months.

If you need help with aligning your Marketing Automation strategy across your organisation, get in touch with our experts.

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