The approach to staffing marketing resources has always toggled back and forth between hire or contract. Budgets and resource requirements have steadily drove the decisions of which, in 2022 that is no longer the case. With the use of marketing technology exploding and the connection between creative and technically savvy intertwines it is often hard to find the right generalist that can provide a depth of technical expertise to help initiatives accelerate. Many times those generalists teach themselves how to use platforms and end up getting things to move forward, but by necessity instead of best practice, leaving large messes for the next to clean up as soon as they can market themselves with that specific technology experience and move on.
Although the marketing technologies have done tremendous jobs at building out certification and training programs, many companies and individuals are not willing to make the investment to ensure the technology can be fully utilized and don’t understand how to evolve from a foundational approach to one that is more advanced.
We have watched the market for automation platforms over the past 8 plus years, and this is what we know. First, it is hard to have experience in one platform and move to another without a ramp period – the platforms are not the same no matter what they tell you. Second, the companies that believe in a cross discipline approach of having marketing and technology on the same team excel. And lastly, there is no comparison to the speed of trying to troubleshoot and figure things out on your own versus seeking the advance of an expert.
So how do you accomplish this? Staff for the generalist that can help push the strategy forward, the one who understands your industry and how to connect the dots between data, content, messaging, and technology. Next if headcount is open, staff for the email campaign and social execution resources due to sheer volume and associated cost. Then augment for the detailed expertise. The resource you need to do the one time things and/or provide a flux of help when needed and an expert that can align with your team so if resources move on your progress won’t take a hit.
Managed services options allow clients to control the amount of expert support they need to augment their teams and drive initiatives to success. These services include everything from troubleshooting support for execution teams, to feature enablement, to custom integrations, instance administration, and just sheer extra hands when the team can be overloaded. Usually, organizations that offer these types of staff augmentation resources offer flexible plans for hours and volume pricing to make the investment worth it, letting organizations throttle up or down based on the support needed at any given time.
The biggest challenge in this approach is knowing how to partner with an organization that is top notch. This list is the top 5 must haves:
- They are an official part of the ecosystem of the technology provider, whereby they receive advanced training and insider updates to keep their joint clients happy.
- They are certified. This is often overlooked by someone who has ‘experience’ but you can’t trade experience for the breadth of best practice training that a certified consultant has experienced.
- They have a long term vision or methodology of how they help their clients evolve and have customer references to back it up.
- They are a cultural match and easily fit like a puzzle piece with the other resources you have. Almost to the point you feel like they are on your team and not a partner resource.
- They have a track record of flexibility so they can morph to what is needed at any given time and have a history of going above and beyond.
At Leadous, we refer to our managed services offering as Campaign MentorTM. These services offer support in any area that touches the automation platform. We are a 8+ year 100% certified Adobe Platinum partner for Marketo Engage and leverage the Marketing Automation Progression ModelTM to help our clients realize the value of automation.
To learn more about augmenting your staff with the dedicated expert support of Campaign MentorTM services or to learn more about the Marketing Automation Progression ModelTM feel free to download our informational one pagers or connect with us.