Balance marketing automation resource constraints


Written by Caitlin Poliska

May 6, 2016

When a company purchases Marketing Automation (MA), they commonly start their journey with one major question: “Who will run and own my MA?”

A best in class Marketing Operations group will need seven different roles to run and operate.

  1. Marketing Technology Management
  2. Data Management
  3. Marketing Process Management
  4. Reporting and Analytics
  5. Vendor Management
  6. Training and Education
  7. Global Field Marketing Operations Management

Oftentimes, marketing teams won’t have seven individuals in the entire department, let alone dedicated solely to Marketing Operations.

Just like you wouldn’t rely on a single person to produce ALL of the content, web and digital media for your company, you shouldn’t rely on a single Marketing Automation resource either.

Marketing Operations and MA management are full time jobs in most companies, even the small ones. The reality is that the lone or limited MA resource is often strapped for help to respond to rapid, unexpected changes in the business and the need to produce more qualified sales leads for new lines of business. These folks are trying to wear all 7 hats and it’s no wonder that this person, or these people, can’t do it all. It may be that they don’t have the skills, but it’s more likely that there isn’t the time to do it all.

Related: How resource constraints negatively impact project management

To address a resource constraint issue, there are three solutions:


Hiring is a great option to help fill this gap. Hiring talent gives you a strong control over the staff, their skills and responsibilities and their knowledge of your product or service. Hiring tends to be cost heavy in the beginning as ramp time and training are initial factors.

But to make the most out of this option, be targeted in your hiring, scour user groups, ask your MA vendor for recommendations and consider “testing” candidates to assess their skill level. Everyone with an “Eloqua Masters” or “Marketo Certified Expert” on their resume isn’t going to be the right fit for you. You’ll want to be sure they are a fit culturally for your team, in addition to having the level and type of MA skills you need.


If you have the right people, but might be missing the exact skill set you need, training is a valued option. You are able to keep everything in house and control the process to build the perfect team. With training there is a lag time of knowledge. If you are training someone on MA, and the campaign needed to go out the door last week, then, the campaign likely did not go out.

Engage with a partner or your MA vendor for training, most have strong education programs that can get your team member on their feet quicker than if you kept this task solely in house.Also consider strategically targeted training. Let’s say campaigns are your top priority, train there first then go back in later to work through more advanced topics. Training via a firehose of information only guarantees wasted time.


Outsourcing gives you a varied skill set that you won’t be able to fill with a single hire. Outsourcing your Marketing Automation expertise is also a good option if you don’t have the time to train and manage an internal team. I have a large team behind me and I know that when I work with a client and they need to explore complex system integrations, I can rely on reaching out to one of our Solution Engineers to help me solution with my client. I have a team of people with varied talents to turn to, and therefore my client has the backing of my entire company.

Remember, with this option, you want to exhibit the same caution you would with hiring or training your own employees. Find a trusted vendor that has the skills and references to back up the work you need. The first independent consultant holding a shingle with their name on it may not be the right tool in your box. A varied team provides you with bench capacity in terms of hours needed and depth of skill.

Marketing Automation resource constraint doesn’t have to keep you up at night. And whether you choose to hire your own talent, train your existing team or outsource the MA expertise to a trusted partner, there is a solution for everyone.

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