In my first marketing job, we were using a very basic email service provider (ESP) to perform mass email marketing to our prospects and customers. My boss and I championed the idea of using a marketing automation software instead to take our digital marketing to a whole new level.
The good news? We were successful and got approval to purchase one!
The bad news? I was put in charge of choosing and being the admin for the new software. I had never implemented a brand-new software for any company. After all, I was less than one year out of college.
I was lucky and my boss guided me in the right direction and gave me tips to make sure I was successful. But, boy did I learn a lot! If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, below are four things that you will want to follow to be an effective software admin.
1 – Requirements Gathering
First and foremost, you want to understand your current needs and processes.
- What are you and other stakeholders responsible for doing?
- What are people constantly asking you to do?
It is best to define this in the form of a user story.
User Story Format: As a [job role] I want [feature] so that [reason].
These user stories will shape the direction of your requirement gathering. Once you have them all defined, you can prioritize them into ‘Must have’, ‘Should have’, and ‘Nice to have’ groups. You will then be able to understand the features within the new (or existing) software that are necessary to support your current needs and processes.
Combine this with the budget you have been given, and you will be well on your way to finding the right software to add to your tech stack that will make you and your organization successful.
2 – General System Set Up
Once you obtain the appropriate software, everything should be set up so that your day-to-day users have all the functionality they need to fully utilize it.
A big element of this is integrations with other software in your tech stack.
- Does it make sense for the new software to have any direct integrations?
- If so, then you will want to set those up and thoroughly test them prior to giving your users access to that functionality.
Last, but not least, don’t forget to document your set up!
3 – Managing Users
At this phase, you have to start asking yourself:
- Who should have access to the software?
- What type of access should they have?
- Are there any security requirements to consider?
- Any pre-requisites users need (such as training or certifications) before gaining access to the system?
- How long should they have access to the software?
These are all very important questions to consider. Depending on your business processes, there may be other considerations as well. Just make sure that you have a clear process for adding and removing users.
If possible, you may want to set up different profiles in your software with various degrees of permissions that you can assign to your users. Not every user needs access to all the functionality that your software provides. This is a very easy way to minimize security breaches or mistakes from happening to your data or software set up.
Document your user management process and what access-level is provided to each user. If you make changes down the road, make sure that your documentation is updated.
4 – Ongoing System Management
As business requirements change, it may be necessary to update the native system set up. Also, new features are constantly added to online software, so make sure you review these and implement features if they will benefit your organization.
Let’s talk about that tech stack again. It’s not uncommon for your tech stack to change over time. As technology is added or removed, you may need to adjust your integration settings within the software that you manage.
Once again, be sure to document any changes that you make in your software set up—you will thank yourself later.
Being the admin for a marketing software is not difficult if you: stay organized, make the set up scalable, and monitor usage to get ahead of any major issues that might impact your daily users.
If changes in the software set up are necessary, outline what exactly will be changing and get sign off from all the stakeholders—that way no one is surprised when it happens.
Finally, document EVERYTHING.
This may seem excessive, but it will keep you organized, accountable, and help to remind you one day why you did “XYZ”. Plus, you will hopefully get promoted or may even leave your company one day. You will need to spend less time training your successor and they will be extremely grateful to have this documentation to turn to in the future.
Looking to be a rock star Marketo Admin yourself? Attend our bootcamp!
Meet Cassie Coke
Cassie Coke has a unique combination of creative and strategic skills that make her invaluable to the success of your projects. She is a firm believer in leveraging performance data and user experience techniques to make strategic and tactical decisions. Cassie has ten years of experience in the technology industry, including roles in graphic design, web development, and marketing automation. She has her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communication from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While not working, Cassie enjoys being outdoors, cooking, and anything DIY.