If you’ve ever used a marketing automation tool as a marketer, you may be familiar with some of the frustrations of building campaigns and the time it takes to do so!… Keeping up with marketing automation tools and acquiring the skills to use them to their full potential can be a challenge.
How marketing automation has evolved
When marketing automation first took off, companies started collecting data and sending out emails to target customers and prospective clients. Back then, this was the simplest form of automation.
About ten years ago, I was introduced to the concept of marketing automation. At that time, my role was as a Marketing Programmes Manager. The job involved working with sales teams and product teams to develop a strategy, plan, and execute on go-to-market activities. It was a demanding role. I spent much of my time juggling various tactics including content creation, live events, online webinars, and a continual flow of demand generation campaigns.
It was then, that the company acquired a marketing automation platform called Eloqua. Ultimately, as was the case for many companies1, their goal in acquiring this marketing automation tool was their need to generate and manage leads.
According to research by VentureBeat, when done well, companies using marketing automation software reported an 80% increase in leads and a 77% increase in conversions.
The prospect of learning another technology was exciting, yet at the same time quite daunting. Equipped with basic Eloqua training, a positive attitude, and an aptitude to learning new technologies, I soon realised both the potential and the complexity of Eloqua.
Soon after this initial training, I was responsible for creating and deploying my campaigns. The challenges of using such a platform made themselves apparent very quickly and it was evident that the skills required to use Eloqua were not to be underestimated. More than anything else, I found that constructing emails and landing pages was extremely time-consuming, and the hours of the day just simply vanished.
Operating at both a strategic and tactical level as a marketer and having the bandwidth to build out campaigns became increasingly unsustainable. It was also apparent that other marketers were far from confident nor possessed all the skills they needed. The situation not only ran the risk of inconsistencies creeping into how the system was being used but also compromised the quality of the emails that were being deployed.
A report from Liana Technologies stated that the main obstacle for adopting the technology was the lack of know-how. Nearly 60%2 of respondents said the lack of experience or knowledge was the main reason that their company had not embarked on marketing automation. Almost half of the respondents also named the lack of staff and a third the lack of strategy as the main reason for not having adopted the technology. Technical challenges, such as the difficulty of adoption process or complicated usage, were also frequently mentioned.
Skills required to build and deploy Eloqua campaigns
I realised during these early years of using Eloqua that there were 5 key areas that I needed to hone, in order to successfully build campaigns and generally maximise the endless possibilities of the Eloqua platform. They included:
- Technical skills – knowledge and appreciation of HTML and CSS.
- Creative skills – designing assets in line with brand guidelines.
- Copy skills – adjusting and working with copy, to create engaging assets.
- Attention to detail – total focus for extended periods when building, checking, and testing assets to ensure compliance with company processes and best practices.
- Proactive in solving problems – the ability to investigate, apply logic, test, and correct known issues.
Adoption has created change
Fast forward to today, according to Social Media’s Today 2019 State of Marketing Automation Survey report, 75%3 of all companies already use at least one kind of marketing automation tool. Marketers have a lot more knowledge, access to industry best practice and experience in understanding the full potential of marketing automation. In addition, companies have a greater recognition of the skill set required and are structuring their teams differently.
Over time, my knowledge and capabilities have deepened. Today, I work with clients on a project basis to help them orchestrate their campaigns.
For one client, I build Eloqua campaigns as part of a centralised team that deploys campaigns for the whole company. Within this campaigns team, there are other builders with similar responsibilities, skills, and focus. We collaborate with the wider marketing team using a variety of other digital tools. We use Asana – a project management tool to capture all the briefs and campaign assets. It also enables us to communicate about individual projects from a single, convenient place. Alongside Asana, we use Litmus to share proofs and seek approvals.
Why am I telling you this?
What I’ve found most useful as a freelance marketer specialising in Eloqua campaign services is the ability to have total focus on building and deploying campaigns. Only then do I find I can immerse myself fully to construct quality campaigns, in a timely manner. Importantly, as my experience has grown it has become easier and quicker to navigate the components in the platform, manage where to find the assets, and troubleshoot issues.
I’ve also found it invaluable to develop a long-term client partnership. This has helped me to build my knowledge of the client’s branded templates so that I can more efficiently adapt them to create new assets. By working as part of a ‘build’ team, I’m able to keep abreast of new company processes, updates, and workflows. All of this results in faster build times, brand consistency, and improves campaign ROI.
Looking for help?
Need additional support to build and deploy Eloqua campaigns during busy times of the year and when you have an influx in projects? Contact me to have a chat.