Marketing automation is difficult and many people admit that. There are 3 reasons why many marketing teams face difficulties implementing marketing automation solutions:
- It requires a full-fledged digital marketing team. The technology is borne out of large software houses so, whilst it’s definitely robust and proven, the recommended team structure are usually more relevant for the global headquarter.
- There is a lack of talent. The majority of the industry’s leading marketing automation specialists are US-based. This means that marketing automation talent elsewhere in the world, especially in Asia, are few.
- The learning curve is steep. The ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) model means that marketing automation providers typically plug you into the system and leave you to your own devices. It may require up to 6 months to fully grasp most enterprise-level marketing automation platforms and it is important to ensure that the adoption period do not compromise your marketing objectives.
While automation is suppose to make things easier, technology adoption and implementation within organisations is never an easy process. It is important to look for the support your internal team needs to properly automate your marketing process.
THE LEAN & MEAN TEAM
There are 4 basic roles that are essential to a successfully implemented marketing automation solution.
- Administrator. They will develop best practices and training, and work side by side with your program managers to achieve 100% adoption, and ensure that everyone is using marketing automation to its full potential. They must have a deep knowledge of marketing automation, working to both improve and demonstrate marketing’s contribution to pipeline and revenue.
- Program Manager. A program manager is responsible for creating smart, compelling marketing programs that support both strategic and tactical marketing and sales initiatives.
- Lead Manager. A lead nurture manager is the person who develops communications to a lead throughout the entire customer experience. He or she will work with your content team, mapping the right content to the right place in the buying cycle.
- Marketing Analyst. The analyst knows the right information to capture, analyze and report. He or she share insights and interpretations of marketing information that are meaningful to the executives at any level. The analyst and marketing automation administrator need to work closely together to review data sets, test hypotheses and ensure the marketing automation and CRM systems are capturing meaningful information for the CMO, CFO, and CEO.
If your organisation has a smaller marketing team, the most important roles to hire are the administrator and program manager. They will ensure that your organisation have strategic control and long term outlook of the direction of your marketing efforts.
Usually a smaller marketing team will require one person to double on both these roles. While this is possible, it is not an ideal situation. The roles are highly demanding and overloading marketers may reduce their work efficiency.
HOW TO ENGAGE THE HELP YOU NEED FOR MARKETING AUTOMATION
We recommend two approaches to engaging external help.
- Contract Model. Engaging agencies or marketing automation professionals on a short term basis. They will be engaged on a per hour basis for the implementation and execution of your marketing automation platform.
- Retainer Model. Long term contract, usually last for 6 months to a year. You are able to engage their services on demand.
Which model you should choose will depend on your marketing needs and budget. Contract model requires a lower level of commitment and you will be able to receive the full range of support in digital asset creation (landing pages and emails), marketing automation account management, and marketing reports. But if the effort demanded is large, the cost may balloon really quickly as the charges are on a per hour basis. For long term marketing campaigns, a retainer model is definitely more cost efficient.
Do you face a similar issue? Share with us on how your experience and we would love to hear from you!