There are a number of very good solution providers, consultancies and agencies who can help deploy, integrate and operate your marketing automation system. They bring deep and wide-ranging experience across many implementations in different businesses and sectors, which is invaluable as you bring automation into your own organisation. An external solution provider should also have good bench strength, avoiding reliance on a single point of failure in the event that a particular individual is unavailable.
However, it can get expensive very quickly and it rapidly becomes worthwhile bringing a resource on board to handle day-to-day activities inhouse. It certainly makes sense to retain the back-up of an external provider, but having someone in your office, immersed in your business, really understanding what’s going on and working with your other marketing staff is very powerful. An individual in this role can live-and-breathe marketing automation, learning your system and implementation inside-out and always ensuring you get the most out of it.
In today’s wide-ranging marketing environment, it’s incredibly tough for a marketing manager to develop genuine expertise across every aspect of the function. Expecting one individual to learn a complex and sophisticated piece of software on top of everything else is a big ask. This frequently leads to “mañana syndrome”, where a marketing manager says, “I know I should be running a segmented, multi-wave, behaviour triggered lead nurturing campaign with personalisation and responsive follow-up, but I really have to get this email out today. I’ll do it properly in the email I send tomorrow…”
Someone dedicated to your marketing automation platform can ensure tomorrow happens today, and actually drive leading practice within your marketing activities, ensuring adoption of the full range of capabilities that your system provides.
– Bring on board a marketing automation specialist at the earliest opportunity who can learn your business and implementation and cost-effectively get the most out of it.
– Consider also retaining external resources as a back-up and for when you need additional expertise that a less experienced internal resource may not yet have attained.
– Push your internal specialist to drive the adoption of leading practice and in particular avoid “mañana syndrome” by ensuring your marketers are making full use of the capabilities of your system.
Written by: Simon Daniels, Head of Marketing Operations, Hanson Wade