Last week a client was telling me about her organization’s Halloween group costume tradition and reminiscing about past costumes, one of which was the Village People. This idea of having the cowboy, the cop and the construction worker all in one team, all working toward one common goal struck a cord with me, because whether your goal is synchronous dance moves or marketing automation optimization, success is always the result of great team collaboration.
Though some believe they can staff their organization with a single marketing automation practitioner who can do it all, that dream just isn’t reasonable. Marketing automation is a strange beast in that, although “easy” to implement and use, to use at a level that allows marketers to live the dream of sitting at the revenue table requires a high degree of expertise at various levels. And while there may be some overlap in skills and talents, generally you want to make sure people with the below skillsets are shaping every strategy and campaign:
- Creative (design and content)
Now I’ll admit that small organizations can sometimes get away with as few as two people. That said, don’t skimp on experts. If you have the resources, it’s more than worth your while to invest in the right team. Our CEO wrote about this a month ago, with his recommendations for the five key roles you should try to have as part of your MA team – I’ll add a 6th here in the spirit of our webinar tomorrow with Marketo:
- Marketing Strategist: Someone who combines MA and funnel experience with general marketing expertise to create execution strategies.
- Graphic Designer: Your content and MA templates need to look professionally polished, not pasted together.
- Content Writer: Despite what many people think, writing good content is a professional skill – and not everyone has it. Invest in a good writer; you’ll see the difference in your conversions.
- Technology expert: Most of the top marketing automation systems require someone with expertise in development and database management to really maximize the features. The approach known as “we’ll just figure it out” usually ends up in at least half of the features being ignored, which is money left on the table.
- Analyst: It’s essential to have someone who can analyze data and identify what’s working and what’s not—and more importantly, why. Again, don’t view this as a back burner duty that anyone can tackle. The right analyst stops you from repeating mistakes, and steers you toward the road to revenue.
- Social engagement expert (bonus): It’s not enough to simply socialize content online these days – you have to form real connections. This applies both on and off line. A lot of organizations call this ‘thought leadership’, we call it being interesting and building trust.
Once you have your dream team in place, make sure they stay happy by promoting collaboration at every turn. MA only works when these people are working together well. More importantly, your MA team must understand that they are better together. It’s ok to have self-starters who work independently, but you don’t want people who feel they can do everything better on their own. A sense of collaborative strength and group ownership is essential for great results.
And when everything is up and running on all cylinders you can think of this blog and perform a rousing rendition of YMCA to celebrate.