Business transformation is well underway for many organizations, driven by the heightened external pressure to adapt to new conditions and requirements and meet business goals. When discussing the best approach, our customers often ask these two interrelated questions regarding process and Marketing technology:

  1. Do we need to have our processes defined and documented before we implement technology that will automate the process?
  2. Or can we use the implementation process to define the process we’re automating?

Business transformation is a process. All business functions, including Marketing, run on processes. Therefore, with very few exceptions, our answer is – Process First.

Why? Because technology is an enabler. It enables the automation of business processes. Some, or all parts of, a process have the potential to be automated. The right Marketing technology can improve your existing processes which ideally will help you deliver better customer and business results, the ultimate aim of any transformation.

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3 Requirements of Business Transformation: People, Processes, and Technology

The people, processes, and technology framework (PPT) was developed by Dr. Harold Levitt. Our perspective is that technology is only as effective as the processes it automates and the people who handle it. Poorly designed processes reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of your people. They’ll also negatively impact the ability of the technology to deliver on its promise.

This is why we recommend starting with the process. Follow these five steps for any process you’re considering automating.

  1. Identify and prioritize the purpose of the process, its intended results, the measures associated with the process, and the key steps that have the most impact on achieving the end transformation, process, technology, process mapping, marketing technology, marketing effectiveness, business success, transformation success, process automation, process improvement; marketing operations
  2. Decide what a good process would look like. It may be necessary to do some research around best practices for the process or to benchmark your process. Assess your process accordingly. If necessary, identify steps in the process that need improvement. This often entails mapping the process. Create a plan to address gaps and steps that need improvement.
  3. Determine when and where there are process exceptions. This will be critical if you decide to automate the process.
  4. Determine what processes are connected and their hierarchy and order. This will be very important as you go through the technology evaluation and selection phases.
  5. Determine how automating the process will add value to the customer experience and your business. When in doubt, don’t use automation customer-facing processes.

Processes Should Inform Technology Choice, not the Other Way Around

You’ve decided to automate the process and invest in technology, now what? The challenge now is to make sure your workflows aren’t so unique to your organization that the only way to use automation is with custom development; often a costly and resource-consuming undertaking. While the people who developed the technology may have an idea of how the process should work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the process they defined will work for you. A process-first approach will keep you from buying more than you need and ensure you choose technology that is best suited for how you want your organization to run.

business transformation, process, technology, process mapping, marketing technology, marketing effectiveness, business success, transformation success, process automation, process improvement; marketing operationsPeople do the work. Processes make this work more effective and efficient. Technology automates the process to enable people to the work faster and even more effectively. Before you buy, check out these six questions. If you do decide to buy a solution that automates the process, have a change management and training plan in place to help employees embrace the new technology.

Continuous Process Monitoring is a Powerful Transformation Success Component

Monitor your processes within the context of customer and market dynamics and business goals. As these dynamics change, it may be necessary to tweak your processes. That will have a ripple effect on Marketing technology, automation and people. Be sure the technology you deploy provides customer value, supports your people, facilitates operational excellence, and your organization’s ability to remain nimble and relevant.

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