Build Your Proposal As You ReadInstead of just getting advice, download this Marketing Tool Proposal template and fill it in as you read (click File and Make A Copy to make a version for yourself to edit). By the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll have a full proposal that’s ready to pitch to your boss or your client.
Assess Your Current SituationThe first part of creating your proposal is figuring out what you want a potential new tool to do for your team.
What Problem Do You Want To Solve?What problem do you want your tool to solve? Marketing teams can face a variety of different problems like:
- Not having enough time to get stuff done.
- Inability to complete work manually.
- Missing deadlines.
- Not shipping projects fast enough.
Determine What Jobs Need To Be DoneThe next part of your reflection should be deciding what jobs need to be completed by your marketing team in order to be considered successful. These jobs should help meet marketing goals set by your team.
List Features That Your Team Needs To Help Complete JobsTake the jobs list that you created and figure out what types of features your team will need in order to complete those jobs. What features a tool has will become part of the criteria that you judge all the tools you find against. For example, let’s say that your team needed to post 25 social media messages a day. Your team would want a tool that would be able to handle that many social posts and make it easy for your team to schedule them.
Start Your ResearchBefore you dive into your Google search make sure that you are prepared to organize the information you find.
Start Your SearchInstead of just typing marketing tools into your search bar and seeing what Google pulls up, be more methodical in your search. You can search for marketing tools but add “with [INSERT FEATURE]: As you’re doing your Google search, look for curated lists. Not only will companies create a list of great tools to use, you can better back up the tools that you selected because they are coming from a company with high authority on the subject.
Find The Right InformationNow you’re on a tool’s website, what do you do? Start looking for and recording the features that will help your team complete the jobs that you recorded earlier in your spreadsheet: If a tool has more than one feature that will help your team solve your overarching problem and get work done, make sure you record that:
Create A Spreadsheet To Keep Track Of Your ToolsBefore you start searching open a Google or Excel Spreadsheet and type the names of the tools in the left-hand column: Make a list of features, add-ons and capabilities that your potential tool must have in order for your team to use it successfully: Your template also includes space to build a feature comparison table:
Schedule Free Demos and Trials Of Potential ToolsStart to schedule free trials or demos of your selected tools. Use Google Calendar to keep track of when your demos are or when your trial ends: As you go through your trials and demos, note which tools have the features and abilities you are looking for that you couldn’t find on their website.
Select Your ToolOnce you’ve gone through all of of your trials and demos, narrow your tool selection to one. This is the one tool that you believe will help your team solve the big problem that you are facing:
Overcoming ObjectionsAfter your pitch your new you’re going to face objections. Remember people naturally don’t like change, and now you’re pitching a tool that’s going to change the entire system! As long as you prepare yourself and address objections head on, you’ll be able to calm their fears and move on to a tool that you love.
The Price Is Too HighThis is probably going to be the first objection that you hear from your boss or your client. It’s normal because it can be scary to drop a bunch of money on a tool you’re unsure about. Remind your boss or client what you’ll lose if you don’t switch. Here are three points you can raise:
- Reduced efficiency. Explain that not using the tool will result in your team working slower and less effectively.
- Lower quality work. Explain that without using this tool, the quality of work your team produces won’t live up to its potential.
- Lose your competitive edge. Explain to your team that you may not know exactly what tool your competitors are using but without this tool your team will be unable to produce enough work to keep up with them.
- Make a list of your top five competitors.
- Observe and record what types of marketing tactics they are using to attract their audience.
- Note what is resonating with their intended audience.
- Make a list of what your competitors are doing that your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to tackle.
- Explain how your tool can help your team take on the projects that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to execute.
"But We’re Used To Our Old Tool And Don’t Want To Change"By sticking to what’s already being done you end up in a rut. You never want your marketing to end up stuck, especially since marketing processes are always evolving. So how do fight the “this is the way we’ve always done things” mentality? Start by calling out the following points:
- Status quo marketing produces status quo results. Explain that if your team keeps producing the same work over and over again, you’ll never have the chance to grow.
- Fear is a bigger intimidation factor than it seems. Explain to your team that fear of change is natural (in fact, there’s a whole part of your brain dedicated to it) but that they have to be able to fight back.
- Make a list what your current marketing tool does for your team.
- Then make another list of what you want your team do be doing.
- Compare the two lists and show your boss how the projects that you want your team to be doing are outside the scope of your current tool.
- Ask them to explain why they are scared to move to a new tool? Is it cost, time or a little of both?
- Remind them that you started searching for a new tool because something in the current process is broken and in order to be the best you need to fix that process.
- Demonstrate how the new tool makes fixing that process easier. This will make it more difficult to defend doing things the old way.
"Why Do We Need to Be Doing [INSERT TASK] Anyway?"You might have someone in your organization who doesn’t think the tasks your chosen tool helps with are necessary. Hopefully this isn’t the case, but someone might even be skeptical about your entire job function. That gives you an added challenge to getting the tool you want: proving that the work it helps you do has value, and that you’ve found the right tool to get it done. This could be social media marketing, SEO, project management, or any other area of need. The next step is to show your team how the tool you are interested in will simplify whatever task you’re hoping to perform.
Onboard Your TeamYou finally convinced them. Someone handed you a credit card, and you bought the tool you spent hours researching and convincing your boss or client that they need it. Your job isn't quite done yet, though. Tools won’t stick unless your team knows how to use them. How do you ensure the success of your team with this new tool?
Have Someone On Your Team Be The Expert On This New ToolThey should know the ins and outs, how features work and how to convert the current process into the new tool.
Host A Training SessionHaving your team go through a training session will not only help ease the fear your team has about adopting a new tool but it will also help make the transition into using it 10x easier. In case you don’t know where to start with your presentation, use this template to help you start.
Prove What You’re Doing Is WorkingShow your results! Use data to show that you’re performing better or are more capable of getting work done than you were without the tool. Use the following formula to help prove the progress your team has made: If there is an increase in your metric: Metric A (Y) - Metric A (X) = Z If there is a decrease in your metric: Metric A (X) - Metric A (Y) = Z Your starting point for Metric A is X. Through the use of the tool you have increased/decreased Metric A to Y. Then you need to determine what caused that increase or decrease. Start by writing a statement like this:
We believe that the increase/decrease can be attributed to [Feature, if applicable] which allowed our team to [benefit one], and [benefit two].For a hypothetical example, let’s say you started using a social media scheduling tool. Your initial Facebook audience was at 1,000 followers and it grew to 2,500 followers two months after you started using the tool. The following formula would look like this:
Current Facebook Followers Y (2,500) - Old Facebook Follower (1,000) = +1,500
Our Facebook audience was a 1,000 followers before we began to use [Tool]. Our current Facebook audience is now at 2,500. That increase can be attributed to the social media scheduling feature which allowed us to publish more posts and interact more frequently with our audience.