In the new year, do you want to learn Marketo?
Do you want to learn the principles of marketing automation that will serve you well no matter which platform you use?
Good! Read on…
To become a Marketing Automation Rockstar is an attainable goal for anyone willing to work at it. In the past, I have defined a Rockstar as
“A marketer who works at the intersection of Sales, Marketing, and Technology; a marketer who uses marketing automation well.”
No worries if you haven’t worked directly in all three areas, but you should strive to learn each area through reading and interactions with colleagues. In July 2014, I spoke about becoming a marketing automation rockstar and I’d like to share some of these thoughts again as you plan your career for 2015, even if you already think you are a Marketing Automation Rockstar, you might learn a thing or two here.
Know Sales Well Enough to Attain Alignment
If you have worked in Sales before, at any level, then you can help Marketing align with Sales. If you haven’t worked in Sales, then it is important to understand a few key things about salespeople.
- Sales cares about revenue booked before end of month, end of quarter, and end of year. They will do anything within the rules to attain that number.
- Revenue booked means commissions in the paycheck and salespeople keep their jobs this month.
- Sales will think you are amazing if all they do is receive emails and phone calls from people who have a check today.
- Salespeople will find leads from anywhere if they do not get them from you.
- Salespeople rarely care about permission marketing.
Thus, salespeople are motivated by commissions on revenue. Revenue comes from closed-won sales from high quality leads either Marketing finds or they find themselves. Salespeople will do what they can to win business. This situation is neither good nor bad, so just work with it.
Attaining sales-marketing alignment is a process better discussed elsewhere, however do know that Sales likes it when you listen to their needs they see and feel you removing friction from their sales process.
Someone once told me that all of marketing is an experiment. Some experiments work, some do not. I feel that while individual tactics are experiments, there are principles and processes that are timeless, even if the words change. If you are a B2B marketer like me, you should be familiar with these disciplines:
- Inbound Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Outbound Marketing
- Permission Marketing
- Direct Marketing/Demand Generation
- Measuring success or failure
Know Technology Systems
At this point, you know some technology, whether it is your iPad, your laptop, or just how to find things on the internet. Here are a few key technologies you should be more familiar with to become a Rockstar:
- Database Concepts: understand what a database is, how it can be used, the different forms it can take. Also know the difference between an interface and the underlying data table.
- Apex Code
- Unique ID
- Objects (like SFDC Lead, Account, etc.)
- Flow Charts: know the four key icons: Choice, Action, Process, Database. Know you can use Visio or Lucidchart to help map out nurture flows and more.
- Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) like Marketo or Eloqua.
- CRMs: Salesforce, MS Dynamics
- The Principles of Data Cleanliness
Understand Basic Logic
A marketer these days must know Boolean logic well enough to target audiences effectively. Most MAPs use Boolean logic operators to help you find the right people. Keep in mind this is not SQL or complex programming – you are likely already familiar with it from Google or math class.
In Marketo, each operator works like so:
AND/ALL: both filters are true, so the lead(s) returned must have both true.
OR/ANY: either filter can be true, so the lead returned can have both, or just one true.
NOT: the lead must not have this criteria true. This one is hard in Marketo because there are two ways:
- Member of Smart List NOT IN “X” – means the lead did not qualify for that list. This is the “positive” version where we include a group, but then exclude it.
- NOT WAS Sent Email IS “X” – means the lead was never sent that email. Be careful because it will often return a very large group of people.
Play to Learn
I also want to talk about playing to learn. Marketing Automation Rockstars understand how they learn and I believe most play to learn. That’s how I learn technology the fastest: I just go in and ask questions. Can I do this? Can I set up a workflow that sends five emails every three days? Okay, I can do that. Can I get it to only send on Monday through Friday at 7:00 A.M.?
Maybe, if I can’t figure it out then I go look at the documentation or I go and ask someone who knows how to do it. There are many resources from the vendor, community, your colleagues, and the internet.
And, of course, a Marketing Automation Rockstar helps others get up to speed and shares the knowledge. If you keep the knowledge to yourself no one is going to know how awesome you are and you don’t become a Rockstar. Marketing is also about marketing yourself, but always through service to others.
A few ways you can help others grow in marketing automation:
- Actively participate in the Marketo Community
- Write a blog about cool things you can do.
- Train your colleagues to do their jobs faster with new skills.
- Write documentation for your instance.
Treat Your Audience the Way You Want to be Treated
Marketing automation is just like any other computer: garbage in, garbage out; it can do good things fast and bad things faster. In this day of real time marketing, you must be vigilant in ensuring proper marketing automation.
First, you must always provide something helpful to your audience. This comes before automation.
Second, you must always test your campaigns in the system before sending them. Always fail in private, never in public. Think of the times you received spam or that huge New York Times email failure where 8 million incorrect messages went out. Avoid infamy through process and testing. If something doesn’t feel right, fix it.
Third, always honor unsubscribes. Even if it hurts. You are not a low life spammer who annoys people or breaks the law.
With these principles, you will be well on your way to becoming a Marketing Automation Rockstar. Good luck and share your success!
[Updated: July 9, 2017 – added links, fixed broken link]