It’s been four years since I first switched on Marketo and transformed my understanding of what was possible in B2B marketing. Since then, I have worked with many firms to help them implement Marketo. Very few of my clients started out as marketing automation experts. They were marketing experts and they wanted to use Marketo to accomplish a marketing goal, such as obtaining more leads or minting more marketing qualified leads (MQLs). This experience of training so many teams led me to think about “Who is a marketing automation expert?” What are those key skills that help a marketer build systems around their messaging?

Last summer I spoke about this with our friends at RingLead and thought I would share what I think is required of a marketing automation expert. A marketing automation expert works at the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. A marketing automation expert is not an engineer, but has learned how technology systems work, can handle databases, and understands the impact of marketing automation across the organization.

They know a bit about databases

Databases are an integral part of how we all market today. Your marketing automation platform and your CRM are databases that collect data, organize it, and sort it. A marketing automation expert does not have to know SQL or how to code, but they sure do understand the concepts behind a database.

They play to learn

Marketing automation experts understand how they learn, and that they play to learn. They learn technology by playing with the systems, asking questions and trying different things.

  • Can I set up a workflow that sends five emails every three days?
  • Can I get the technology to only send on Monday through Friday at 7am?

If an expert does not figure it out, then they look at the documentation, they ask another expert, and then they learn the system.

They use flowcharts

Marketing automation experts use flowcharts. They “measure twice, and cut once” with their plans. Experts draw arrows on a whiteboard, or map it out in detail in Visio. Either way, they develop the marketing automation process before they develop it inside of their marketing automation platform. As they develop the workflow automation in their platform, experts can create a more complex program over time. Having a flowchart with clear triggers, choices, and processes helps document what they did, explain it to others, as well as enable them to go back and reference areas when something goes wrong. Experts use LucidChart, Gliffy, or Visio. And a whiteboard.

They share the knowledge

Marketing automation experts speak with Salesforce administrators, Support, and anyone with ideas. Experts know they only get better through working with others. A marketing automation expert helps others get up to speed and shares their knowledge. Experts do not hoard knowledge because no one will know their level of expertise. Learn more marketing automation tips in the webinar video, How to Become a Marketing Automation Rockstar. Image Credit