The Potential of Automation
30% of companies who have adopted marketing automation have seen astounding sales growth of 50% or more
Marketing automation cuts out repetitive, mundane tasks that have been distracting marketers forever. From manual reporting to tedious email campaigns to labor-intensive media buying, there are countless things that take up your marketers’ time but don’t take advantage of the strategic and creative talent you hired them for.
Instant, automatic reactions improve customer experience and free up time for planning and innovation from your marketing team. Companies have been taking advantage of it to wildly varying effect. 30% of companies who have adopted marketing automation have seen astounding sales growth of 50% or more—but many others only see modest growth or even lost revenue.
We see this happen a lot as digital marketing recruiters. The truth is that automation isn’t a magic wand that makes you more money. It doesn’t take less effort or make your marketers’ jobs easier. But when executed by an exceptional automation expert, you can see tremendous ROI.
There are a lot of good automators (and some not so good). But if you want to earn a competitive edge and see substantial, sustainable growth you need someone who is great. When you’re ready to start hiring your first or next automator, look for these key traits in their resume, interview and the rest of the hiring process to make sure you’re getting the best person for the job.
1. Competence with Major Automation Platforms
Over the last couple of years, a handful of successful major automation platforms have exploded in popularity and risen to the top of the industry, like Marketo, Salesforce, or our personal favorite, Hubspot. These sites and software offer powerful automation tools alongside CRM capabilities that are fairly user-friendly and are usually designed to integrate easily with your current CMS.
In most cases, one or more of these company’s products will probably form the foundation of your automation efforts, from instant email responses to customers to social media post scheduling to internal notifications.
Here’s a great list of 10 of the best major automation options, along with a survey report ranking of all of them.
At minimum your automation candidates should be experts with one of these platforms, and hopefully will have some experience with several. Luckily many skills translate between them; if you’re good with one it shouldn’t take long to become familiar with another. If this is your first automation hire you’ll want to make sure they can recommend the best platforms for the job. On the other hand, if you already have an automation program running you need to know they’ll be able to step in and use the tools you already have available.
2. Going Beyond the Major Platforms
The major automation companies offer a wide swath of the most essential tools and capabilities, but they can’t provide everything to everyone. Every industry and every company can take advantage of automation in unique ways that aren’t always enabled by a standard automation platform. Your next automator needs the innovative mind that can identify these opportunities—and the resourcefulness to execute a strategy around them.
That could mean a lot of things, from knowing which third-party software could be effective to working with a developer to create a program in-house to getting their hands dirty and putting together some code themselves. Whatever the solution, great automators are constantly looking for new ways to automate and improve functions across your organization.
3. An Analytical Mind
The ability to use and create automation tools means little if they can’t effectively target their efforts and modify them over time for optimal results. Any automation tool presents a large volume of incredibly valuable data. But spreadsheets and charts won’t translate into better ROI unless your automation talent knows how to act on the data.
Knowledge of how to interpret data and the experience to act on it are vital. They need to know which metrics are most important and which are secondary. Your automator should must also be comfortable setting up and executing split and multivariable tests to refine campaigns.
4. Plays Nice with Others
Good digital marketing recruiters always take a candidate’s team player attitude into account when considering a hire. As powerful as it is, automation can’t exist in a silo. It’s entirely codependent with other facets of your marketing—content creation, creative advertising, social media management, sales and more. It needs messages to send, content to promote and channels to advertise on.
It’s vital that your automation expert be able to work as part of a team and be continuously collaborating with the rest of your marketers to make the most of automation and enhance your other marketing functions. If they’re unable to get your marketers on board or have abrasive workplace personalities that make coordination difficult, their efforts will be in vain.