By Brian Hansford, director of client services & marketing automation practice lead for Heinz Marketing
CMO’s and Marketing VP’s are in the throes of 2014 planning right now, even as they are driving towards finishing the sales year. And with the strategic planning on revenue targets and budgets comes the most critical resource of all – People.
I want to cover how marketing execs can plan to enhance and add to their marketing operations teams with three critical roles. Too often the responsibilities of these three roles are loaded onto a single person. Even mid-market companies should invest in expanding their marketing teams to cover these roles. All three have direct focus and impact on revenue generation.
The Most Important Resource
People are THE most valuable resource for a Demand Generation Strategy that is supported with Marketing Automation. Without people, Marketing Automation is just a shiny technology platform with cool features. What good is a Bugatti Veyron if you don’t drive it?
Marketing Automation initiatives require people with a range of skills and passions. Large organizations can hire squads of people with deep specialization in several areas while smaller teams require people who can do more in several areas.
One of the biggest failings is companies who place too much burden on one single person. An example of this is a Marketing Automation Manager who spends more time reporting from Salesforce CRM instead of administering campaigns. Another example is a Campaign Manager who develops decent content but can only use Marketing Automation in batch and blast emails because of a lack of training. Find the balance that doesn’t hinder performance.
2014 Challenge: Not Enough Marketing Automation Experience
The biggest challenge is finding people with Marketing Automation experience or skills in advanced demand generation. Too many marketers are still stuck in Marketing 1.0. Managers can and should expect to train people regardless of experience. Even experienced people should have access to regular training and valuable sources of information that help with skills development. With a limited talent pool, training is more important than ever.
2014 Attributes: Attitude and Aptitude
With the 3 roles I recommend, the people with the best experience and skills should have these positive attributes.
- Continually curious about customer behaviors
- Passion for using and learning technology
- Sharing and consuming ideas
- Curiosity for trying new things
- Eager to learn and experiment
- Not afraid to fail
- Team collaborator
- Understands the importance of marketing math and marketing science
- Eagerly uses technology for creating, sharing, and measuring ideas
- Focus on engaging customers to drive revenue
- A mind for marketing math and science – analyze progress and results
- Strong communications skills – especially written communications
- Project management
1. The Marketing Automation Manager
The Manager is one who gets under the hood of the marketing automation platform and CRM systems. (Yes, both!) This person understands how to work in content management systems for web publishing and how to get different technologies to work well together. It’s also critically important this person understands how to apply technology to support a business process and campaign workflows.
The Manager should have strong analytical skills with marketing science and work in close partnership with The Analyst. The Manager is the most technical marketing automation user on the team, but also possesses strong digital marketing and demand generation skills using a variety of technologies and platforms.
- Strong understanding of digital marketing and demand generation
- Expert Marketing Automation skills on any platform
- Intermediate to Expert CRM Administration Skills
- Business workflow
- Can test and analyze workflow, content, lead scoring and tactics for improvement.
- Keeps the lead flow highway efficiently moving between the MA and CRM platforms
- Web development and digital design skills (HTML at a minimum)
- API integration with CRM platforms and Web properties
2. The Analyst
The Analyst knows the right information to capture, analyze and report. Also, the Analyst can share insights and interpretations of marketing information that are meaningful to the executives at any level. The Analyst and MA Manager 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.
The Analyst in particular has specialized skills and knows how to set up both marketing automation and CRM platforms for synchronized reporting. If there is a Sales Analyst, the Marketing Analyst understands how to bridge the gaps when capturing and analyzing data from different perspectives. The Analyst also knows the right information that shows both historical performance but more importantly, how to help the CMO with forecasting.
The Analyst is arguably the most important Marketing Automation team resource for the CMO.
- Can develop and implement reporting programs in marketing automation and CRM platforms
- Intermediate marketing automation skills for developing and reports
- Big picture data analysis
- Focuses on data that accurately measures results, versus purely measuring meaningless activity
- Identifies demand generation performance patterns and future opportunities
- Can communicate with the CMO, CFO, CSO and CEO
- Collaborates with Campaign Managers to identify campaign opportunities
3. Campaign Managers
Campaign Managers design and run the marketing programs that are powered by the marketing automation platform. They understand the customer personas and how to provide Sales Enablement. Campaign Managers run the full life cycle of programs from initial planning, to development, content, rollout, and measuring results. Campaign Managers should have skills to build campaigns in the Markeing Automation platform.
When deeper technical expertise is required for customized development and systems integration, the Campaign Manager works closely with the Manager to ensure quality implementation. Campaign Managers are highly skilled in developing content assets which fuel marketing programs. The Campaign Manager also works closely with the Analyst to measure results such as Sales Qualified Leads, Pipeline Value, and Revenue Results.
- Customer marketing
- Content mapping to Buyer’s Journey
- Buyer personas
- Content marketing
- Multi-channel marketing
- Measuring results
- Sales enablement
This isn’t a comprehensive listing of Marketing Automation job roles. I intentionally left out any VP or Director roles. (That’s another blog post altogether.)
There are plenty of blogs and analyst articles that share impressive looking org charts for large empires, usually at the enterprise level. Before getting to that point most companies can incrementally add new resources which will help drive customer engagement and measurable revenue results. In my opinion the 3 I list here are the most critical to focus on in 2014.