Why Marketing Automation is a lot, but not everything

Marketing automation can’t work in a vacuum. The success of our last three major engagements have been not only centered around marketing automation, whether Marketo or ActiveCampaign or other platforms; they all also required a great deal of work with sales, with IT and, believe it or not, accounting, HR, and legal teams (especially during GDPR implementation!).

Lately the bulk of our work has been around marketing automation, specifically in the area of integrations — as marketing automation and daily operations relate to other platforms and operational initiatives.

It should be obvious that marketing doesn’t stand in a corner by itself; it must work in accord with other platforms, other departments, other priorities and goals in an organization. As a Marketo trainer, this was part of the message we brought to clients during their onboarding process: that marketing and sales must have accord at the outset in order for the platform — and the organizations running it — to do its best work. What does the ideal customer look like? You need historical data from successful sales to build the predictive profile for the marketing team.

But it goes even beyond the accord between sales and marketing. The success of our last several major engagements have been not only centered around marketing and sales team buy-in, whether we were implementing Marketo or ActiveCampaign or other platforms; they all also required a great deal of work with IT and, believe it or not, accounting, HR, and legal teams (especially during GDPR implementation!).

Your marketing efforts can’t work in a vacuum. GDPR in particular turned a lot of organizations on their ear. In an effort to comply, they began to understand that their entire arsenal of marketing techniques had to change, and compliance required an understanding of both the letter and the spirit of the new law.

And even for those organizations where GDPR was not a core consideration, other factors contributed to the success or failure of a new marketing automation initiative. If the client had an even slightly evolved IT department, for example, implementation of a new marketing automation platform required intensive work to discover how it would affect — and be affected by — existing data flow and workflow processes. Any customizations already in place needed to be uncovered and discussed.

Getting started on a new marketing automation initiative is not just an investment of money, but also of time and many different resources within a company. It requires commitments and buy-in at all levels in order to realize its full value.

By Rebekkah Hilgraves

*RadHaus Solutions*: ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant. Marketo Certified Expert. Solutions Architect. Marketing automation implementation, integration, best practices, governance. Marketing automation, with a heavy dose of nerd.

*RadHaus Studio*: Broadcast and recording engineer, media production manager, cable monkey, marketing dork, project manager, chief cook and bottle-washer.

A seasoned trainer, marketer, web producer and front-end developer, solutions architect, writer, consultant, broadcaster, recording engineer, and public speaker, I've worked in eLearning, Instructional Design, CMS, Marketing Automation and CRM (especially Marketo, ActiveCampaign, and SimplyCast), content delivery and management, taxonomy, SEO, media production and technical support. I bring a unique blend of experience and expertise.

Through RadHaus (formerly SheTech and Company), and in partnership with ELK // Obscura Media, and Prove digital marketing agencies, I have supported enterprise clients in marketing automation implementation and operations, digital marketing and data strategies. I help design and operationalize custom integrated marketing programs for businesses, working with audience/user group segmentation, SEO, web analytics, design and UX best practices, multimedia, social media and other strategic web design and delivery mechanisms. I also do hands-on media production and arts marketing, allowing me to remain involved in the arts.

As part of Marketo's education team, I managed the production and publication of eLearning modules, and was a key member of the LMS implementation and certification development teams.

A consultant on the Web Operations team for OppenheimerFunds in New York, I offered technical, production, and strategy support on a major web site redesign project.

As Managing Editor for an online news magazine published by NetQoS, I supervised and managed the migration of the site from a legacy content management system to a .NET-based commercial system. I maintained the site and the content, updating the magazine with new content from industry analysts and technical experts on a weekly basis.

My earliest foray into both technology and training was as a software trainer for logistics company Cheetah Software Systems, helping create an implementation and training practice standard for the company, and building their user documentation.

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