AKA: So, you didn’t know you needed to be a marketer.
When you launched into the position as Automation Leader you were charged with delivering automation to your organization. Obviously, right? Now you’ve delivered some automations and earned your first wins. Next, it’s up to you to communicate your program’s success. Whether it be to key stakeholders, other department heads, or potential business users in the automation orbit, it’s on you to spread the benefits of automation using your program’s results as proof of business ROI. Bet you didn’t know you needed to be a marketer too, eh? No fear – this is your chance to get important buy-in from the rest of your organization so you can accelerate transformation and deliver more impact to your company. Cue Automation fever.
When to Promote
You’ve delivered your first quick wins with automations, but how do you know when you’ve achieved enough to start shouting your success from the rooftops? Do your initial pilots or POCs carry enough clout? There are a couple of clear indicators to clue you in on when it’s time to launch a promotion roadshow. First, asses your need for promotional efforts. We recommend using the Hyperscale Blueprint Exercise from Automation Anywhere. Together with your team, you can color code each milestone [based on program maturity.
- Green means this milestone is complete or mature.
- Yellow means you’re in process
- Red means you are either blocked or haven’t started this milestone.
You’ll begin to see color-coded patterns that will guide you to the next phase.
If you’ve aligned the organization around a strong vision, had a healthy set of early automation wins, strong best practices in place and you’re getting staff trained up (think: green, green, green, green) then you’re probably ready to start socializing the impact of your automation investment. If you find yourself at an impasse with pipeline ideation, or are yet to deliver more complex and higher value automations (think yellow or red), that’s another strong driver to invest in some program promotion. You’ll also undoubtedly be receiving pressure from your C-Team or boss to keep the ROI momentum going. At that point it will be clear that it’s time to hit the ground running with a promotion and engagement strategy so you can establish your next big use case in another business unit.
Choose Your Medium
How do you best deliver your promotion strategy? Start in two steps. Step 1. Identify where your company and business users are most engaged. Meaning, where your message will not only have the most eyes on it, but also likely be given quality attention. It could be your organization’s intranet, or perhaps an upcoming town hall or stakeholder meeting where a presentation would capture the most attention. Think simple too—something like a blog post or email that gets mass distributed among your peers can work. Step 2. Select the channel with which you feel most comfortable communicating. If being on video or public speaking is not your jam, opt for a written communication like a blog post or email, or put one of your use case subjects on camera instead. Ultimately, if you are comfortable in the medium, you will more effectively champion your message. EXAMPLE: One customer automated the 1099 process in accounting and he put up a blog post on his company’s Intranet to promote its success.The story of business impact was powerful, but it didn’t get many eyeballs. So he determined a video would be more impactful, but he was uncomfortable on camera. He ended up shooting a quick interview with an accountant who now has 2 more hours back every day, thanks to automation. Boom! That Automation Leader just became an Automation Marketer.
Create Your Pitch
This should be the most straightforward piece of your promotion strategy. Pull your KPIs into a concise deck that demonstrates:
- The business problem you tackled
- How automation solved it
- Supporting metrics
- A customer testimonial
Showing numbers is so impactful: hours saved, reduction in errors, revenue saved or captured. Stakeholders drool over operational efficiency! Then share stories of your people. This will be your “Automation FOMO” firestarter. You want other people in the organization thinking: “If that crew is saving this much time with automation, I want to do the same!” TIP: This is your opportunity to squelch any concerns about “bots.” Those of us invested in transforming our companies, customer relationships and careers through the power of automation already understand its value. Your audience may not. Educating them on the power and potential of automation is essential. This is your chance to shift mindsets from automation = job elimination to automation = time gained from avoiding rote work and redundant tasks. Or having a powerful tool to reduce errors and increase revenue. Show the automation in action, how it works, and what it looks like when it’s executing tasks. Then, humanize it. Promote the idea of a “digital co-worker” rather than a bot; a partner rather than an adversary. Some clients give human names to their automations, as in: “Beth the Bot is saving me 500 hours a year.”
Use a Call to Action (CTA) Designed for Growth
At the end of the day, you’re promoting your automation program to achieve a goal—usually more growth, faster ROI, greater business impact or a combination of a few of these things. You need your audience’s help to achieve that goal or you wouldn’t be talking to them. Once your stakeholders are inspired and can see the power of automation through your presentation, blog post, video series or email campaign, it’s time to ask for their help. So wrap up every communication, in any channel, with a clear Call To Action (CTA). One of the most effective CTAs you can use in a promotion and engagement strategy is to invite sponsors and line-of-business teams to fill your automation use case pipeline with their needs. Every Automation Leader wants to invest in use cases that hit that sweet spot of low cost, low risk and high value. Your audience are experts in their lines of business, so get their partnership. Some of our Communities’ favorite CTAs to open up the use case pipeline include:
- Sign up for a Discovery Workshop (for follow up: create a sign up sheet or have people RSVP to an email and then hold a group workshop).
- Meet for a 1:1 “what’s in it for me?” session (for follow up: Arrange a meeting with your leadership team and your stakeholders’).
- Submit your top-ROI use cases and you could win! (for follow up: Create a company-wide contest, announce the winners publicly and share the results of your partnerships with them).
- Share your Automation Use Case! (for follow up: Create a submission form that’s easy for people to fill out and easy for you to share).
Fuel More Promotion with Automation Champions
If you’ve come this far, automation buzz should be spreading through your organization. Leverage people across the business who are stepping up and standing out as leaders of the transformation. You’ll know pretty quickly who is championing the value of automation in their respective departments, so harness their business know-how to make future automations successful. Don’t forget to acknowledge and reward them—here are some of our community members’ favorite ways to do it:
- Recognize Champions in a department or company All Hands Meeting
- Spotlight Automation Champions on your Intranet, Slack or Teams channels—or on posters you hang around the office
- Reward Champions with exclusive SWAG—a mug, hat or t-shirt—that only they can receive (it creates that FOMO!)
- Include your Champions in an existing Leadership Development program—or create a new one
Accelerate Engagement with Training and Upskilling
If you’ve done a successful job of promotion and creating Automation FOMO, then you need to make sure your people know how to use the technology you’ve told them they can’t live without. Automation Anywhere is here with all the tools you need to roll out an effective training strategy:
- AAU basics offers training for Bot Developers
- Go beyond the basics with more sophisticated training tools in our Booster Pack
- Encourage users to join a User & Peer Networking Group
The Result: A Culture of Automation
Everything you’re doing to promote the benefits of automation, and engage more stakeholders, will continue to gain momentum. Keep it up and you’ll realize the benefits of a culture of automation. And there’s still ways to push it further:
- Consider building a community for your Automation creators, contributors, and consumers to advance pipeline ideation
- Gamify the process by making a friendly competition for participants
- Maybe you recognize the Business Analyst who created the highest ROI use case last quarter
Suddenly, you’ll have developers finding a sense of identity and investing their time in this career track. There’s no turning back!
READY FOR HYPERSCALE?
If you’ve come this far, you’re at scale and ready for big promotion ideas to keep moving the needle forward.
- Create a digital coworker job board for users to “hire” digital workers.
- Approach new lines of business in your organization and partner with LOB Leaders to re-skill and train a dedicated cohort of Citizen Developers
- Design an automation hub somewhere within your organization (maybe a webpage on the company intranet) for easy, evergreen reference