5 Steps to Designing an Effective Marketing Automation Team

Dec 10, 2018

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It’s an exciting time when a company first opens the package of a marketing automation platform such as Pardot*. With it, amazing digital marketing campaigns and lead nurturing efficiencies are now possible. Both Sales and Marketing exec’s are having very high hopes and the dream of reaching customers in a whole new way, begins.

How to Create an Effective Marketing Automation Team, by

But, that initial super-excitement can quickly sizzle and transform into a feeling of overwhelm when that company tries to get started with marketing automation! Even if the platform is already properly configured technically for a company by a vendor or 3rd party, don’t be surprised if not a lot of progress is made for months, or the good part of a year!

This is why.

Marketing automation is supposed to be an ‘easy to use’ tool that is quickly ‘deployed’. So, there’s a tendency to jump right in at the deep end of marketing automation (read: start paying monthly fees for expensive software), but then end up doggy peddling on the spot in the platform. Quickly, it becomes clear that that company could drown in the amount of data, detail and diligence that must be in place for their marketing automation to take off.

Drown, unless they do one thing. And that’s what I want to talk about today: Develop an effective Marketing Automation – team. It should be on top of your To-Do list. Is it?

The above companies haven’t developed an effective marketing automation team. Not yet, at least. There’s either insufficient manpower; it’s a top or bottom-heavy rather than tailored team, and/or some of the key required skills and experience are missing for successful marketing automation. And that is, if there is already a team assigned to marketing automation. And a plan.

In today’s article, let me help you and your company manage the approach. Here’s my framework, which sets out the 5 steps to develop your marketing automation team and to set your team up for success.

5 Steps to Designing an Effective Marketing Automation Team (for Pardot)

Whether you are purchasing Pardot or other marketing automation platform, your company needs a tailored, multi-dimensional team to effectively use the tool. The successful marketing automation team is well-rounded, and slanted towards your particular company marketing and business needs.

The size of your required Marketing Automation team also depends on your overall business and brand objectives, or more granular, on your Marketing Automation objectives, plans, and specific lead or advertising conversion and loyalty targets.

how to develop an effective marketing automation team - by Astrid van Dorst,

Step 1) Define Scope

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But where’s your company’s scope definition for your marketing automation effort? It’s a most overlooked step. But by simply creating a written Statement of Purpose that sets out your business and marketing objectives, plans and targets, all of your marketing automation effort will start to get focus and structure. It becomes possible to define what must be done in terms of projects, tasks and deliverables to achieve.

Step 2) Determine Expertise Requirements

The next step is to think through the knowledge, experience, and skills needed for the various components of your digital marketing plan. And depending on the emphasis of your marketing objectives, your team would need a combination of the following skill sets and expertise:

Broad Categories of skills, knowledge and expertise

how to develop an effective marketing auto team, by Astrid van Dorst,
how to develop an effective marketing auto team, by Astrid van Dorst,
how to develop an effective marketing auto team, by Astrid van Dorst,

Step 3) Calculate Manpower Needs

I have fleshed out each of these broad categories of skills, knowledge and expertise set out in step 2 into much finer granularity, complete with a set of templates to document the level of skills required, the required seniority of the person in the team with that role, as well as the number of people you’ll need in your team, the individuals to assign and additional HR recruiting and training requirements your business will have.

Step 4) Recruit, Schedule & Plan for Execution

Who is going to execute what. E.g.

  • Create the Marketing Automation Plan, set objectives, KPI, etc.
  • Content Marketing Calendar + Creating content + blogging.
  • Social posting: write and schedule Tweets, FB, LinkedIn. posts
  • Develop & execute the Email Marketing Campaigns.
  • Manage the Marketing Automation: Monitoring, Reporting, Analyse Results, … and Optimise.

While these are some prompters, I have a schematic framework for this when I will be working with you in your company to help you create your team.

Step 5) Assign Roles

Business Roles should be reflected and set up in your (Pardot) Marketing Automation Platform. Each digital marketing platform has its own set of roles and user profiles.

For example, Pardot has 4 type of roles: Admin Roles, Marketing Roles, Sales Management Roles, Sales Account Executive Roles. These software role assignments establish practical access rights, workflow rules, and reflect the actual marketing team structure.

Creating YOUR Effective Marketing Automation Team

:: Applying the Framework ::

The challenge is of course, for you to apply this framework, with all its details, into your organisation and to create a successful marketing automation adoption process for its implementation.

We at would be delighted to work with you in a consulting engagement to apply this framework to your business and help you develop a strong and effective marketing automation team.

I would like to invite you to book a free consultation to discuss your marketing needs and how we could be of benefit to your organisation. Drop us a few lines and we’ll swiftly get in touch to serve you.


* Update: Pardot is renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement as of April 5, 2022.

Interested to learn more?

We would be very happy to help you.

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