People choices are a key driver in automation success
Marketing automation has been around for more than a decade, so you might think the industry is full of skilled people who know how to select and optimise best-in-class tools. But in reality a good marketing technologist is hard to find.
Many companies that succeed with marketing automation invest in dedicated resources, rather than simply assigning it to an existing staff member who has wider responsibilities. They realise it takes the right mix of skilled people to successfully execute and fuel an engine that produces a steady supply inquiries and pre-qualified marketing leads.
Three mission-critical roles
Recruiting a team of strategists, tacticians and technologists, then enabling collaboration between them, is the surest way to make marketing automation reap rewards.
You need people who know how to create demand generation programme strategies that work, whether they are prospect or customer focused. It requires a combination of segmentation strategy, calls to action, creative concepts, messaging and offers. Good strategists can pull all of these disparate pieces together and build strong programmes that work using best-of-breed technology and data elements.
Your strategists need to be closely aligned with the marketing objectives as well as the business units’ or product groups’ targets. Increasingly, today’s strategists are moving from driving tactical programme execution initiatives to focusing on the sustainability of a marketing programme to deliver a consistent flow of relevant content nurturing contacts through a customer journey
A strong marketing organisation needs people who can collaborate with marketing strategists to facilitate and execute the vision that they lay out. While they don’t necessarily need to possess technical acumen, tacticians do need to understand what assets and creative would be most relevant and effective. Assets range from the traditional White Papers and case studies to datasheets, webinars, offline and online events invitations. Tacticians are also managing the build of emails, infographics, landing pages and other digital assets. The tacticians are responsible for process mapping the journey and touch points of customers as they engage through the different layers of content. This can also extend to the scoring of inquiries and contact touches to enable prioritisation for further marketing and sales follow up.
Tacticians, or campaign project managers, can sit inside or outside your company. Either way, they require easy access to the strategists. It is imperative that these two roles work closely together to drive strong programme design. They may also need access to the teams responsible for building solutions to determine the content of a particular White Paper or datasheet.
Last, but certainly not least, you need strong marketing technologists to leverage the power of your technology for success. Technologists are deeply familiar with the power of marketing automation tools. Moreover, they understand how to manipulate data, deploy the campaign’s roadmap and ensure that CRM and associated tools are communicating properly.
Strategists, marketing tacticians and technologists all need to work in-step with each other. While they don’t necessarily have to sit under the same roof or wear the same badge, they should be working from the same playbook. Organisations are increasingly outsourcing some or all of these responsibilities so that they can access the required skills and build a scalable approach that is perfectly tailored to their needs.
Whether you build an in-house team or use an outsourcing partner, it’s vital to create a process for collaboration so responsibilities are clear and nobody drops the ball. In fact, establishing best practice procedures across the board is the next vital phase in optimising marketing automation. More on that later.