Marketing Automation Consultants:
How to Hire a Pro
By Jordan Hellyer
President, Easy Marketing Automation Canada
With the increase in popularity of using marketing automation in Canada and all across the globe, many companies are reaching out for help in getting their software started, managing content creation and lead scoring, and in the development of automation strategy. A great option for companies with limited internal resources or for those who simply want to hit the ground running, is hiring a marketing automation consultant.
Before You Hire:
One mistake that is very common among companies beginning with marketing automation is a lack of planning before they hire a Marketo consultant. Marketing automation can mean different things to each company, and it is important to have an idea of what you want accomplished so that you can more easily find a marketing automation consultant that can deliver. Here are some questions that you may want to answer before you hire:
- How will I generate leads?
- How will I organize data?
- How will I train internal staff?
- What is my business culture?
- What is my business strategy?
Once you have answered these questions and others like them, you will be much more prepared to explain to a potential marketing automation consultant what it is you would like to accomplish and how they can work with you to make it happen successfully.
Now that you are ready with a plan and with clear guidelines of your expectations, it is time to begin speaking to marketing automation consultants. Begin by asking about their skills and experience. In most cases, you will want to pay special attention to the following:
- Business Oriented Ideas: Does the marketing automation consultant give specific ways that they can improve your business, meet your goals, and fulfill your strategies?
- Flexibility & Innovativeness: Markets change, trends adjust, and consumer needs are volatile. Does the marketing automation consultant have a plan for these unknowns and is he or she comfortable thinking outside the box?
- Training Techniques: Even the best marketing automation strategy can fail if the people involved with it are not properly trained. Be sure to find out how the marketing automation consultant plans to empower and train internal company employees to support and maintain the marketing automation software through the long term.
- Content Expertise: Content is vital because it is often what transforms a cold lead to a warm client. Ask what experience the marketing automation consultant has in areas of writing, editing, developing, and finding great content.
- Time Expectation: While it may not be possible to know exactly how long it will take to see solid results with your marketing automation software, a good Marketo consultant should be able to give you a reasonable expectation of time. Industry experts say that most companies should be able to fully implement their marketing automation and see some results within a year. If your Marketo consultant quotes a much longer time frame, you may want to ask additional questions.
- Success Determinations: Successful implementation of a marketing automation strategy may look different to different people, so it is a good idea to ask how the marketing automation consultant determines success. This is also a good place in the conversation to bring up milestones that you feel should be met as a benchmark of success throughout the project. These may include:
- Employees involved with marketing automation are informed, understand the processes, and are on board with the strategies.
- Collaboration between sales and marketing teams is producing quality results and implementing innovative promotions.
- Lead generation is improving. The quantity and quality of leads is up while there is a decrease in the cost associated with obtaining those leads.
- Revenues have increased and there is a clear way to track these newly gained profits to marketing automation.
- Upper management, board members, and shareholders can reasonably understand and quantify how the marketing automation investment is creating new business and growing the overall company.