How To Become a Marketing Automation Expert

Shelby Catalano
Reading Time: 4 minutes

So you’re interested in becoming a marketing automation expert to save time and add more value to your work. Whether you are early in your career and looking to carve a niche for yourself, or a marketing leader searching for ways to scale your business, marketing automation skills are in high demand – and it’s no surprise, as 76% of companies reported using automation last year according to HubSpot

To become a marketing automation expert, you’ll need to know how to successfully execute all elements of a marketing campaign and understand how technology impacts performance across your organization. Here are some tips that can help:

Why is marketing automation important?

Being strategic with automation can save time and compound your ROI on marketing campaigns in the long term. By using automation to perform rote, mundane tasks, marketing departments can do more with less and maximize the talents of individual team members.

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How does marketing automation work?

Marketing automation workflows run autonomously based on the rules and parameters you create, meaning you only need to monitor the workflow and make small tweaks here and there – no more sending out dozens of “we’ll be in touch shortly” emails to all your daily form submissions. 

When combined with customer relationship management (CRM) software, marketing automation allows you to automatically update contact records, send internal notifications, and nurture incoming leads with little to no manual effort. Your workflows work around the clock for you and won’t ever get tired, make mistakes, or ask for time off. 

For example, creating an email nurture workflow allows you to curate email sends based on user behavior and areas of interest. Some common workflow triggers include filling out a form on your site for a downloadable piece of content or visiting a specific page (such as pricing) on your website. Once a contact meets the designated enrollment criteria, you can get very granular about the frequency, content, and timing of your email sends.

Tips for Maximizing Marketing Automation

To become an expert in marketing automation, you’ll first need to understand the software you are using as well as your company’s operations. Then, it’s just a matter of getting started.

Here are some tips to help you start building some groundwork in your CRM with your marketing department:

  • Evaluate your technology stack. There are always new, go-to-market technology solutions available for different marketing challenges. Scheduling either an annual or bi-annual technology audit can be powerful in discovering new potential. Need more data insights? A new CRM integration could be just the thing you need to open communication between your platforms. 
  • Collaborate with marketing and sales on campaign elements. Concentrate on whether the goal is to produce more leads, nurture existing ones further down the funnel, or optimize an existing process. Aligning marketing and sales objectives ensures your campaigns will provide value throughout the organization and minimizes internal resistance.
  • Document workflows with flowcharts. A marketing automation expert has a pulse on existing workflows and knows how they interact with one another. Make sure you are documenting your workflows somewhere so you don’t have multiple automations performing the same task. 
  • Experiment regularly based on feedback. Most marketing is “try this or that, and let’s see what works and do more of that!” It’s one of the things I really like about marketing – a sense of failing forward to evolve. Automation is no different in this case. When it comes to workflows or emails, for example, with a large enough group of recipients, you can A/B test to see which changes have the biggest impact. Try adjusting the delay between email sends or experimenting with new content offers to get a better sense of your customers’ preferences.
  • Gather data and analytics of campaign performance. Part of mastering automation is knowing how to process campaign data to improve performance. Ultimately, automation specialists are always curating content and outreach that results in business growth and scalability. Part of that is measuring how you perform versus where you’d like to be. 

Consider Hiring a Marketing Automation Consultant

It can take time to become a marketing automation expert, especially if you don’t already have a solid understanding of marketing operations and your intended audience.

Hiring a specialist can give you hands-on learning on what to look for, as well as the best technology to do the job with the best budget. It’s not about volume necessarily, but the bang for the buck based on your size, top needs, and pain points with your audience. 

If you’d like to learn more about how marketing truly is a multifaceted function, and what it takes to grow, please download our Growth Stack Guide for additional insights you’ll find helpful from an automation standpoint and beyond.

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