Ongoing Marketing Automation Execution and Growth
Our marketing automation consultants provide ongoing marketing automation execution support after the strategy and fundamentals are in place.
If you’re interested in a marketing automation partner that can help you on both projects and ongoing execution, we should talk about what you need to be happening that isn’t getting done fast or good enough.
Deciding What Marketing Automation Tasks to Outsource
It takes a lot of work and expertise to excel with marketing automation.
That’s why some folks prefer to just outsource all the heavy lifting to us, engaging us as a managed service to run every aspect of marketing automation.
Alternatively, and more commonly, other clients engage us for a more limited scope of work to provide ongoing support.
As with all outsourcing decisions, it’s important to think through what you want to outsource and what you want to do via your employees.
Deciding what to outsource starts with recognizing that marketing automation support can span a lot of activities, ranging from strategic work to tech work to tactical execution.
To determine your marketing automation outsourcing strategy, start with a list of marketing automation tasks, which might include things like (we do all of these, by the way):
- Developing the strategy
- Administering the marketing automation system
- Coming up with creative ideas for campaigns
- Making sure outreach aligns with business goals
- Doing the graphic design to support inbound and outbound marketing
- Creating thought leadership and other content to feed the engine
- Wiring up disparate systems through integration
- Creating email templates
- Building B2B video marketing assets to support campaigns
- Writing all the content for nurture emails
- Building out drip campaigns
- Setting up and maintaining lead scoring
- Making sure Sales follows up on leads
- Developing sales enablement materials
- Running and reporting on monthly results
- Conducting marketing automation data hygiene work
- Being responsible for all ongoing marketing automation optimization work
Now, for each item on the list, make an evaluation on two dimensions.
First, is the strategic importance of the task high or low? Second, is the ease with which your internal resources can handle the task high or low?
With two dimensions, you’ve got four possibilities. If the marketing automation task has high strategic importance and high ease with respect to handling internally, don’t outsource it. If it has low strategic value and is hard to do, then that tilts your decision to outsourcing. (Tasks in the other two quadrants of this decision grid require more thinking…or a coin flip.)
If you’ve got, say, twenty sub-tasks for marketing automation, and the vast majority of them are tilting toward outsourcing, that’s when you might want to consider outsourcing everything.
That’s one way of looking at outsourcing. Another approach is to ask: “Is there an agency that can do this better than me and am I willing to pay more than I’d have to pay an FTE to get that improvement?”
Regardless of your approach, you need to figure it out: what do I want to have my agency do and what would I prefer to keep internal?
Start Slow, Establish Trust, and Observe Competence
When outsourcing marketing automation work, we often recommend starting small and gradually expanding the relationship with the marketing automation agency you’ve chosen.
This approach puts less at risk up front. It also lets you see the marketing automation agency in action. If the vendor does good work, understands your business, and is getting good results, then expand the relationship.
Many of our longstanding marketing automation relationships with our clients started with a simple marketing automation instance assessment. It’s a great way to see us in action and decide if you like the way we think and work.
Marketing Automation Managed Services
If you prefer not to have in-house staff running your marketing automation system, our marketing automation consultancy can do all the work for you as an outsourced managed service for marketing automation. Many clients prefer this because it:
- Allows marketers to focus on marketing, rather than marketing automation system mechanics
- Reduces Marketing headcount and overhead expense
- Mitigates the risk of employee turnover and the loss of institutional knowledge
- Brings to bear the varied talents (creative, technical, data experts, etc.) of many people from our agency, whereas an internal resource would not have all those skills
- Ensures that highly motivated experts are in charge, typically resulting in better business results
This model is similar to the business process outsourcing (BPO) approach that has been used successfully in many other disciplines, most notably information technology.
It only makes sense that this popular model can also work for marketing automation, and it’s especially effective in a fast-moving landscape where marketing tools are changing rapidly and an agency is more likely to be staying current than a few full-time employees.
What to Look for in a Marketing Automation Outsourcing Partner
Be careful when you choose a marketing automation execution partner.
It’s surprising but a firm that only does marketing automation work may not be good at marketing in general.
We’re an integrated marketing firm that, along with many other marketing service offerings, does marketing automation work.
Having invested heavily in our marketing automation skills and talent, our automation talent can compete with, and outperform we’d argue, anyone in the country.
But what makes us get smarter faster is the application of marketing automation to the entire marketing lifecycle.
When you have to help a client hit certain lead and sales quotas and you are counted on to deliver the goods, you get pretty smart about marketing automation.
Firms that don’t offer broad-based, integrated marketing services and only focus on martech don’t get that knowledge, other than from textbooks.
Since integrated marketing firms naturally tend to get better at delivering results, larger companies are drawn to that expertise, which gives our consultants even more experience where the stakes are high.
The firms that only focus on martech don’t get those higher-complexity, higher-ambition client engagements, which stunts development and leads to talent attrition.
For us, it’s a virtuous circle that we’d love for you to be a part of. You can try an agency that only does marketing automation but we recommend against it.
At minimum, it’s best to explore your options. Let’s talk about what you need and see if we’re the right partner for you.