20 Replies Latest reply on Dec 12, 2018 1:06 PM by Huihsing Kiang

    Build a in-house Marketo team

    Huihsing Kiang

      Hi all,

       

      I'm building an in-house Marketo team from scratch. Starting from early next year, we'll be expanding to support 5 divisions instead of 1. Currently, I have one specialist under me but I've been asked how many more I'll need with what kind of qualifications. For those managing or leading a Marketing Automation team in in-house, can you please advise how you structure your team and what talents do you keep in your team?

       

      Thanks a lot!

      Huihsing

        • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
          Grace Brebner

          I recently discussed this at a customer engagement session in Auckland so I can share a slide on this topic...

           

          Firstly, disclaimer - this isn't true for everyone and will vary depending on the structure of your team and organisation. But I can say that most of the super users I know meet most of this criteria. So it's a good starting point if you are looking to make a team of super users who are dedicated to Marketo, and not just one person to write emails, one person to handle logic, one person to handle reporting, etc. I call people who meet this description marketing automation unicorns - because they are rare and majestic creatures, and thus the image (which was actually a gif, but you can use your imagination there).

           

          I've also been asked on the back of this whether I would prefer people who have past experience in Marketo or a fresh grad with this skill set. My honest answer is that I would prioritise these skills over past experience; I would rather train someone in the system from scratch who does have the right skills, than have someone with experience but not these skills. Having used Marketo doesn't automatically qualify you to be good at it, to be blunt.

           

          If they've got these skills and the experience then I'd snap them up.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
              Huihsing Kiang

              Thanks Grace. I agree with you. I'd rather train a newbie who can learn fast instead of someone who has Marketo experience but got stuck with the old habits.

               

              Regarding the skill sets, do you feel like if the coding skills are necessary? Also, I've asked if it's necessary to hire a Marketo developer who can write a script on the site and handle more technical stuff. How do you think about it?

                • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                  Jay Jiang

                  If you don't have an in-house resource with coding skills, you will be limited in the kind of business problems you will be able solve. or just be able to solve at a slower pace if you decide to outsource.

                   

                  Depending on how complex your martech stack is, getting the most out of web technologies nowadays usually does mean utilising APIs and webhooks, Marketo is no exception.

                  3 of 3 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                    Grace Brebner

                    I agree with Jay; it's really important to have creative people in your team but without exception the people who I see doing the most bold, exciting and effective stuff with Marketo are the people with technical people either in the team or supporting it.

                     

                    I don't think that every user must know how to code fluently, but fairly advanced HTML, CSS, Javascript and/or API skills is like the magic bullet skill that I really love to see in people. Generally I find that people who have some basic html understanding work better in the email/lp editor. Plus having the skill often speaks to having the right personality/mindset for picking up many of the complex parts of Marketo quickly.

                     

                    I do think that people who are involved in the strategy and problem solving really benefit from understanding (again, if not being fluent in) velocity, APIs, etc, simply because they significantly broaden the solutions toolkit. Almost every time I've ever thought something couldn't be done in Marketo I've quickly been proven wrong with some of these features.

                     

                    Practically speaking, I find that lots of day-to-day requests move faster when people in the team can do dev work themselves. Like many businesses, our dev teams are stretched thin and relying on them can slow things down. Honestly, I'm also nitpicky. Especially when it comes to templates. I know the Marketo syntax better than any of our in-house developers do, and while our developers are fantastic, they're really web developers. Email is still html, for sure, but it's really a different ball game to general web development - the rules are different, they're constantly changing, and it's just **** tricky. A lot of the time it's simply more efficient for me to handle as much of it myself as I can.

                     

                    I would broadly think that you would need to be at a pretty large scale to have a dev resource exclusively dedicated to Marketo, thus why I think most of us find ourselves playing that role as required, or pulling in ad hoc external support as required. If you're not sure about whether this is required I'd personally consider looking at a Marketo partner who can provide this support as required until it becomes clear that the need is there for a dedicated role.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                  Jay Jiang

                  In general, there are people who are policy/process driven and are great at coming up with frameworks, best practices. Then there are people who are technically driven and are great at solving problems. You need a mix of them.

                   

                  Another way of approaching it is what does your remit include? You find the skills for the team, you be the glue. Data integrity - find someone who understands database architecture, data hygiene best practices. Email marketing - find a full stack graphics designer + html/css developer.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                    Vineela Maram

                    Hi,

                     

                    I  agree with what Jay and Grace mentioned in their posts. If you are a global company, i would definitely recommend you to hire or train existing Marketing folks on Marketo in each region/business units(at least on the basics- how to create an email and program, list uploads, smart lists etc) based on your org structure as they work closely with Demand Gen and field Marketing teams. I would also recommend you to get someone trained on Marketo and CRM(that you use) (in most instances Marketo admin doesnot have indepth knowledge about their CRM instance/s) who can be that go to person to help answer or address your teams(including web,field marketing,demand gen,Analytics etc) questions and come up with better processes for your organization. In most organizations, they often work in silos and it is hard and challenging when people have to navigate or reach multiple folks to get their answers and fix things if needed.

                     

                    Thanks,

                    vineela.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                      Anne Angele

                      I manage a team of consultants vs. working client side, but the concept is probably comparable - I like to have a team of people who can all do the basics (put together an email campaign, create a web content program, very basic HTML, lead scoring, etc) and then have a mix of "specializations". For example, I have a team member who is incredibly strong in coding and can build a template from scratch or deal with custom API issues. I have another who has a strong background with SFDC and can handle lots of lead management, data transfer issues, etc. This way there are several people who can handle the majority of projects we are tasked with, but when something a little trickier comes up, we have someone who we can pull in with more experience in that area.

                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                        Josh Hill

                        all of these are good things to consider when building a centralized team.

                         

                        You will also want a plan to do hub and spoke eventually because you cannot possibly support global teams from one time zone.

                         

                        For methods on how to size properly, it'll be up to you and the number of teams you support.

                        Marketing Operations Team Size Calculator - Marketing Rockstar Guides

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                          Huihsing Kiang

                          Thank you all! These are all very helpful. How do you think about hiring a developer or someone with strong technical/coding skills?

                          I'd like to get one but here are my concerns:

                          - Developers are very expensive

                          - It's more likely to get one who knows how to code but doesn't know Marketo

                          - I just hired one full-time person. If my 2nd hire is a developer, this person will also need to perform basic Marketo tasks such as building email campaigns, manage the database, etc. This will be at least 70% of his/her daily tasks. My concern is it'll not be satisfying for someone with a strong tech background.

                           

                          How do you think about it? We are working with a strong Marketo agency. it seems to me it makes more sense to outsource the dev work?

                            • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                              Anne Angele

                              There are certainly strong Marketo users that also have developer backgrounds (I have worked with a couple!) but if you don't anticipate a large need and you have an existing relationship with an agency, you may not need a FT developer/Marketo role. You may be better off looking for a strong Marketo user with other skills you'll need more frequently.

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                                Josh Nowak

                                Hi Huihsing,

                                 

                                I have faced similar challenges as you are having over the years where you want to hire someone who knows the marketing automation platform well whether it is Marketo or otherwise, but to the point that Grace Brebner and others have brought out, people who have worked with Marketo in the past are not necessarily the technically minded people who can solve the new problems you are going to come up with.  The bulk of the work we have at my company is the more outside of the box tasks as people generally don't go to an agency for help with the work they are able to handle in house, unless it is just to solve a problem with bandwidth.

                                 

                                We have had a lot of success over the years in hiring people who satisfy the skills requirements (html, responsive, JavaScript coders) and but who have not worked in a MAP at all.  In general if a person can learn to code then they will be able to learn to do what they need in Marketo.  It is much easier to find these people as well as there are many more of them out there.  You are right to be concerned about keeping a developer intellectually satisfied in the long term.  My advice here would be to be honest from the start and make it clear what the work is going to entail.  It also helps though if there is a career development plan you can offer.  So in a scenario where you hire a developer just out of school who can tick a lot of the skills boxes for you, their initial vision for their career track may not have included working in Marketo but there is a lot of employment opportunity and need for people like these who both know Marketo and who have a strong technical background.  As Grace mentioned earlier these people are unicorns so it is a great opportunity for your potential hire as well.  Part of our success has been in coupling people at various stages together, junior developers with more senior people working in the MAP.  This has helped us to avoid the potential errors a more junior person will make, and help with the development of the resources.  If you don't have the variety and volume of work to make this possible though it could be challenging to replicate this.

                                 

                                30% of the time working on interesting technical tasks should be enough to keep a developer challenged and engaged with the work, you just need to make sure you have a clear development path laid out for them or they will eventually leave your company and bring their unicorn magic elsewhere.

                                 

                                I hope this helps.

                                 

                                Josh

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                                Phillip Wild

                                We have a similar situation: global centre of excellence, marketing automation out of one timezone to serve 5 marketing offices scattered around the world. I totally agree with the "everyone knows the basics, but they each have a specialisation" approach. Technical skills are key - you must have them somewhere in your team otherwise you will never do truly great things.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                                  Minna Pacanowski

                                  I think there's two key areas - the set up and flows and then the email templates and coding.

                                   

                                  I think you need one logical person to set up campaigns, emails, check flows, schedule emails. People who learn quickly and understand how the program works. They should also understand how Marketo works with the CRM (usually SalesForce) to ensure data remains in shape (no duplicates, create fields in SF rather than Marketo etc). They should also be able to use Marketo's Email Performance and Email links performance reports.

                                   

                                  Then you need someone who has experience in coding, on a basic level, so they can make updates to templates. I think it's worth outsourcing for the initial templates you require, a few types of emails (standard, events, webinars) and Landing Page s(registration page, confirmation page, standard). Including a spot for a photo banner allows you to update the email each time to cater for that specific event.

                                  • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                                    Riz Alvi

                                    Hi Huihsing,

                                    It really depends on what kind of campaigns you will be executing and what kind of budget you have. Without knowing details, I suggest following:

                                     

                                    1. One person who can setup campaigns - Marketo Certified helps but not needed

                                    2. A technical resource who is good with some coding, APIs (REST and SOAP) and graphics (photoshop)

                                    3. All-rounder who is crossed trained above two roles and maintains data integrity with CRM

                                     

                                    I recently setup a team from scratch and had to be creative with onshore and offshore resources. Working out flawlessly. Feel free to reach out.

                                     

                                    Thanks!

                                    Riz

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                                        Sanford Whiteman

                                        2. A technical resource who is good with some coding, APIs (REST and SOAP) and graphics (photoshop)

                                        Nobody needs to be good at SOAP.

                                         

                                        But more important, the chance that you get a single person who's actually "good" at client-side JavaScript, HTML and CSS (especially HTML email), server-side architecture, and Photoshop is roughly nil. They're going to be "passing" at at least one of those... and one of those skills is likely in the process of falling off. Remember, people don't know what they don't know, and in a team with one tech person, they won't be mentored.

                                         

                                        Of course this person may work out fine, it's just a fact that if they really were good at two full stacks they wouldn't be around for long in-house.

                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: Build a in-house Marketo team
                                        Huihsing Kiang

                                        Thank you all for the awesome feedback. Appreciate you share the experience and knowledge with me.  Looks like my best bet is to find a unicorn or someone who has the potential to become one with a certain type of technical training or background. Feel free to share your tips/tricks for a successful "unicorn hunt". : )