“I’ve got my certifications, what other skills should I develop?”
As a Salesforce Marketing Automation professional, your role can be extremely varied. One hour you may be sitting down with stakeholders discussing marketing strategy, the next, you could find yourself in the depths of a marketing automation platform integration. Aside from the age-old “should I get certified debate?” (the answer is yes, although practical experience is always more valuable), what skills should you focus on developing?
This post will cover the other skills you need as a Salesforce Marketing Technologist; the skills not fully covered in the certifications. As a MarTech recruitment specialist, I’ve been tracking how candidates that exercise the lesser known skills I outline in this post are more successful and often excel in their careers.
One of my most successful clients, describes their technologists as “part marketing technologist, part project manager, part marketeer, part consultant, part web designer, part politician, part programmer, part social marketer and part data analyst”. The job of a Salesforce Marketing Technologist is multifaceted, then; how can you broaden your skill set?
So, what alternative skills will help you?
1. Impeccable Communication Skills
It can be argued that all marketing is effective communication. Whilst it is a given that campaigns should communicate well with customers, you too should have excellent communication skills in the workplace.
You’d have to be living in a cave in the middle of the outback to not realise the shift towards digital communication over the past decade. But how has the success of Slack and other collaboration tools impacted our ability to communicate effective with our colleagues and stakeholders?
It is certainly more convenient to send an email, however, my clients (the very same people that are in a position to hire) love speaking over the phone and meeting face to face. This need for good communication is heightened as we shift to more remote working. I often speak to candidates that are disgruntled by the lack of communication from their boss and colleagues.
Don’t be that person, brush up on your communication skills by picking up the phone instead of sending an email, going for coffee instead of Skype and keeping your co-workers up to date with current MarTech projects!
2. Analysis Skills
Before you can make any decisions about where you want to take your marketing technology, you need to know where you stand today. Being able to analyse a business and its processes is essential to develop a clear understanding of what your current marketing technology state of play is.
If you’ve just started in a new company, are a consultant or if you’ve decided that you’re department needs change, you’ll need to be able to identify inefficiencies in the current marketing technology stack. What are you biggest pains at the moment?
Not only do you need to understand your marketing business practices but it’s a good idea to use your analysis skills to work out where you’re having success too. Having some hands on knowledge with tools like Google Analytics and Einstein Analytics can be a real advantage in helping you link your success to your inputs.
3. Broader Marketing Technology Skills
Marketing technologies are like the Olympic rings. Each aspect overlaps with another; together well integrated marketing technologies are certainly greater than the sum of their parts. As we shift towards a more 360 customer experience – as opposed to focusing purely on a single aspect of marketing technology – your broader MarTech experience will become even more valuable.
Whilst marketing automation platforms (Pardot & Saleforce Marketing Cloud) form the backbone of most marketing CRM systems, its important to know how they interact with third party technologies that could help your success. Popular tools include Movable Ink, Uberflip, Buzzsumo, Wistia and many others – the more exposure you have to these other technologies, the better.
Good MarTech skills to have certainly include HTML and CSS. As we move towards ever-more data-driven marketing, coding knowledge in SQL is a skill that is in constant and increasing demand too.
4. Project Management
As marketing deepens its ties with technology, we’re experiencing an increasing demand for marketers with project management skills.
Whilst you don’t need to have full blown PRINCE 2 or Scrum Master certifications as an all-rounder Marketing Technologist, you should certainly be aware of project management principles and the different stages of implementing marketing technologies. This will help you set expectations to your stakeholders during the rollout of new marketing technologies and help you deliver all your marketing projects on time and to budget.
Being organised is hugely important if you’re to be a success in most lines of business. As a Marketing Technologist, when you’re running multiple campaigns – perhaps for multiple brands or clients – keeping track of everything can be a challenge.
Whilst the tools you work with (Pardot, Marketing Cloud) have systems in place to help you keep track of each campaign, you’ll still need to develop a reliable framework for delivering campaigns.
There are a number of free project management tools if you’re looking for something to help you. Start by looking into Asana & Trello – ones that consistently get the marketer seal of approval!
If you’re looking to become a more efficient marketing technologist and make an impact on your career, start by looking into the addition skills outline above. Beginning with baby steps is the best way! As you make incremental step across all the skills outlined above, you’ll become a more valuable marketing technologist.