About once a week I receive a note from a subscriber asking about how to learn marketing automation, Marketo, or martech. Often, the question is about learning Marketo without access to an instance. However, Marketo isn’t necessary to learn marketing operations or technology or automation. What’s required is a mindset to learn new things.
Marketing Automation Rockstar – a marketer who works at the intersection of Sales, Marketing, and Technology; marketer who uses marketing automation well.
The real reason people ask about the learning martech is because they want a job or a better job. As I’ve suggested before, this is a good career decision for a marketer looking for accelerated advancement.
From experience, your path might look a bit like this:
|Today, Without Knowing Marketo||After Learning Marketo Basics|
|Making $80k or less||On the way to breaking $100k|
|Cost to your manager||Revenue center your boss needs|
|Just a marketer||Demand generator and marketing automation expert|
|Your team is barely functioning to put out campaigns with Marketo||Well oiled machine with multiple Marketo power users.|
|Marketing specialist or Manager – forever?||Accelerated career and options at multiple companies.|
|Sales hates you and the leads you came in with.||Salespeople take you out to dinner and it’s not even a trade show.|
I strongly believe that everyone can operate Marketo well enough to do their marketing job. Technology is not something to be afraid of. Yes, you will make some mistakes. Yes, it takes some time to learn the best ways to do things with the tool.
All marketers can benefit from learning the concepts behind Marketing Automation. Brand marketers, direct marketers, designers, and coders can all learn something. Today, marketing technology is in a rapid explosion and marketers who refuse to join the party are going to be left behind. Yes, even if you are “just a creative type” you will lose out to colleagues who understand the interaction of marketing automation components and what they do. For example, I have been hiring staff to handle coding and love it when someone comes in with any experience of a MAP because they understand the issues I face when building templates and coding across systems.
How do you learn a system like Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, or others?
The most important thing to know is to keep learning and playing. Any martech tool, whether it is analytics, a datamart, a DMP, or a microservice can be learned effectively within weeks or months. You do not need to be a techie, nerd, or computer geek to grasp these tools or know how they could be used at your company. Let’s go through some of the steps to learn and how you can do this at any age (or stage of your career).
What does a Marketing Rockstar do well?
Rockstars know how to think
Do you know how to think through a project or a task you do in Marketing? Good! You are on your way.
Rockstars understand basic logic
Logic sounds complex. It sounds a bit like that math class we never quite aced. Or maybe we slept through that class.
The good news is you do not need to learn complex logic like Aristotle or Einstein. All you need to know are the key Boolean logic operators: And, Or, Not.
These operators are the foundation to successful marketing.
Logic is used to select leads and other data in the powerful databases martech relies on. Logic is used to make decisions about how to react to a lead’s behavior. Logic is used to design the process charts for nurturing. Whether you use artificial intelligence or not, there is logic you need to build out before the computer handles the job.
Rockstars “Play” to learn
Each person learns differently. Successful marketers largely “play to learn.” They test new ideas; they implement small changes rapidly; they do regular AB testing of content and distribution. I bet you learned your current job through a non-deliberate journey – trying out ideas on colleagues or your boss; receiving instruction from your manager or others. Learning a new software tool follows the same path – but only if you are willing to fail a little by testing.
I spend a lot of time on the Marketo forums. I do my best to show people the way or answer clearly how to do something in Marketo. The biggest mistake I see people making is not to try first. Someone will ask a questions like “How do I run an AB test for time zones?” which they could have figured out themselves had they only spent a few minutes with the docs or just looking around.
Here is a critical question to ask when learning any tool:
I want to do X, and I know this should be possible, so where is the button that says “XYZ”?
Even if you do not find the exact button, then you can go to the documentation or do a search to see if someone else tried to do that too. Once you are done, you will either have
- The Answer
- A path to solving it yourself
- A clear question to ask everyone else
Remember, until you turn on a workflow or see a red “Are you sure?” dialog, nothing bad can happen. So just try things!
Rockstars understand tools are all similar
Do you understand other technologies used in Marketing or at the office? Think of the tools you use in your job and how they are similar to other technologies.
- MS Office
Any of the marketing disciplines use tools that could be considered martech or just technology. Guess what? Martech like MAPs, etc… are just another application or tool to learn. They are a “third screen” as some thought leaders have said.
Rockstars make time to learn
Will you take the time to learn how to become a marketing rockstar technologist?
Learning new tools can take time. Where can you take that time? Is it–
- Part of your job?
- Taking a course online?
- Asking a colleague?
- Finding blogs and videos online
- Participating in user forums and events.
Rockstars help others get up to speed, and share their knowledge
The best marketing technologists I know of share their knowledge freely on forums, blogs, user groups, and more. They help others up and into this amazing new world. You can share knowledge of your tools anytime. If you are a marketer and you aren’t blogging or sharing your experience in some fashion, then you may not be seen as a marketer one day.
If no one knows you’re an expert, are you an expert?
Learn martech today. You’re already using it.
What if I’m a __________ Marketer? I don’t need martech.
Martech is typically associated with demand generation and marketing operations, however, building a customer experience relies heavily on developers, html designers, html coders, copywriters, event marketers, branding, content, and more to make it successful.
Every day I see new postings for marketers working at the intersection of different areas. I work at the intersection of “Sales-Marketing-Technology,” which is great for Marketing Ops and Demand Gen. I also see postings that need Developer-Marketing-Design or Business Intelligence-Databases-Marketing; or Brand-Technology-Graphic Design. The point is – there’s a role for you in martech no matter where you begin.
The more you know about how the customer lifecycle (or journey) works and is impacted by what you do in your role, the more your company will value your contribution.