How to drive adoption of new marketing technologies

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Banafsheh Ghassami, American Red Cross
Banafsheh Ghassami, American Red Cross

Revamping age-old marketing processes with cutting-edge data warehousing, marketing automation, and campaign management technology can be an overwhelming endeavor. Fortunately, there are ways organizations can drive adoption in the midst of great change. Banafsheh Ghassemi, VP of customer experience and CRM for American Red Cross, discusses the steps the nonprofit organization has taken to convince its marketers to update their customer engagement tools and strategies.

What's the first step to driving adoption of new marketing strategies?

There has to be C-level commitment to the deployment of new technology platforms and the standardization of processes. It can't happen at the junior level. For example, the American Red Cross' CMO, Peggy Dyer, has been tremendously aggressive about these new platforms being a necessity for today's marketers. That's number one: You have to have C-level commitment.

Process champions from your various teams evangelize the use of marketing automation and campaign management tools. How has this helped drive adoption?

These process champions became the voice and face of the project. They were the spokespeople for their team and its needs. And by championing the platform to their teams, there was really a sense of ownership among employees.

How do the organization's marketers today feel about the marketing technologies that it's deployed?

We have so much visibility now [into marketing processes], to the point that if you were to ask our marketers, “If we take this tool away from you, what would happen?” they would tell you that they could not do their job.

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