Marketing Automation: What it is and whom you need

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Simply put, marketing automation is a way for marketing teams to not only drive revenue, but track and prove the ROI of their efforts and spend.  Isn’t that every marketer’s dream? Now comes the big question: "What is it and how do I build my team?"

A dynamic marketing engine

Many people dismiss this strategy as simply email marketing. Or they think it's a "set it and forget it" proposition. Nothing could be further from the truth; it's cross-channel, and can include mobile, email, direct mail, social media and more. And it requires a comprehensive strategy that pulls together your marketing, sales and other departments.

What skills do I need for successful marketing automation?

Putting together a team that has all necessary skills for a successful campaign can be a challenge. Ideally, your team members will embody the following traits:

Analytical: The ability to look at a situation, analyze it and develop a strategy based on data and feedback is key to successful marketing automation.

Flexible: Being able to make changes to your strategy as needed requires a certain amount of flexibility. Your team members need to be okay with refocusing their energies if your approach isn't working very well.

Hardworking: "Automation" sometimes implies that not as much work will be required. With this approach, team members will need to stay on top of how their efforts are working, and constantly evaluate to make changes as necessary.

Creative: There's a certain amount of creativity that's necessary in any marketing endeavor, and this is no different.

Strategic: You'll need strong thinkers who can get into the minds of your different customer personas.  Marketers need to understand customer behaviors and mindsets in order to position your product or service in the right way at all the appropriate times.

Tech savvy: Marketing automation requires the use of a number of tools where technical prowess is highly valuable. Knowing how to use analytics software, email marketing software and similar tools is vital to a successful automation effort.

Good communicator: Communication is the backbone of a good automation strategy. That includes both communicating internally with other team members, as well as creating effective communications to prospective customers.

What positions should I include on my team?

Now that you know the qualities required, you'll want to start assembling your team.

There are a number of positions you may want to consider recruiting for. These include a marketing automation specialist or manager, who can direct the rest of the team; an inbound marketer and content specialist, who can help direct the company's content marketing (including the creation of content like blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, etc.); and a business analyst who can help the team measure results.

In addition to those positions, you'll also want to make sure you have someone who specializes in social media marketing, and someone who specializes in email marketing.  Candidates with the following experience are likely to succeed:

  • Marketing automation software
  • Database management
  • Email marketing
  • List management
  • Lead generation

Why are these experts so hard to find?

While it's easy to make a list of the positions to fill, actually finding quality applicants can be a challenge. For one, true experts in these areas are in high demand. Those who really know their stuff and have proven track records, not just self-described "gurus" in these areas, are snatched up as quickly as they start looking for a new job – or even before. They can be picky about where they choose to work.

Many of the best candidates for the positions you need to fill are already working for another company in the same position, sometimes even your competitors. If you hope to attract one of these experts to your company, you'll need to offer a very attractive package, in terms of both compensation and intangible benefits.

If you have positions you can't fill internally, then you'll need to turn to your network to try to find the right candidates. That means asking for referrals and getting in touch with those who might know the right people.

Chances are you’ll need to go beyond your own network.  In that case, consider working with a staffing agency that specializes in recruiting for marketing positions with experience filling marketing automation roles.  Adecco Creative & Marketing has this experience, and we’d be happy to help you fill the roles on your team that ultimately drive revenue and prove marketing ROI.