Marketing Automation requires talent. There is a combination of different disciplines involved in successfully connecting with and nurturing a potential or existing customer. This talent can be part of an existing marketing team or hired via a marketing automation agency. Too many organizations focus on the tools and their feature sets and overlook the most important aspect of a successful marketing program – talent.
Here are the areas of talent which need to exist:
- Strategic Thinking: Marketing automation campaigns involve thinking creatively about how the buying process works. Understanding the buyer and their mindsets is critical for success. Gaining attention and relevance must be mapped strategically by the successful marketer.
- Information Technology: The systems involved in delivering messaging and triggering actions requires a knowledge of how workflows are executed. A systems thinker who can understand the cross-impacts of changes and the repercussions of links, landing pages and database management helps to ensure not only a speed of execution but clean management of leads. The setup of various campaigns requires talent in the area of system navigation and management. It is the skill of both an architect and an engineer.
- Graphic Design: If the artwork, layout and presentation are not appealing and remarkable, then the communications of a marketing automation campaign will suffer obscurity and ineffectiveness. Skill in graphic design is a must when there is so much noise hitting people’s inboxes and there are too many websites.
- Thought Leadership: Writing is a key differentiator. Poor copy will result in wasted effort and is also a reflection of your brand. Writing to sell turns off the buyer. Writing to persuade and bring value positions your company and offering. The talent of articulation and bringing a relevant message are critical to connect with a buyer. This is especially challenging in an age where there is a plethura of good and bad content.
- Leadership: Marketing automation is not a fulfillment function. If it turns into menial output, then the marketing will die a rapid death. Buyers today are too sensitive to their inbox and exert triage on their information world. They are looking for leadership. The most important ingredient is to lead the customer and your team with conviction around your brand and offering. A person who is only seeking to accommodate has very little chance of bringing an effective connection with an audience that is starved for leadership, conviction and clarity.
In all, the realm of marketing automation is cross-disciplinary. There is a convergence of various talents. It is rare to find this in one person, much less two or three. Typically, a team approach which creates the results of effective marketing automation is what is required.
Larger organizations may have some of the talent pieces within their own time that comes from traditional means for engaging the marketplace. Often times, the gaps need to be filled with outside consultants that have the expertise to augment the existing team for true success.
If you are making decisions for implementing successful marketing strategies, pay much more attention to what is required in talent than in the tools. The former makes more of a difference. The tools are approaching parity and can enable what talented teams can drive via their ingenuity and passion.