Anyone working in the field of B2B marketing will know that marketing automation has been the buzzword and major talking-point over the past few years. In fact, there are nearly 11 times more B2B organisations using marketing automation now than in 2011[i]. And of course, the continued rise in adoption rates is, in no small part, attributed to the success of those companies that have already implemented the tool - 91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing across channels[ii].
But, having implemented B2B marketing automation software and started the laborious process of training employees to get the best from the tool, should you include your creative staff (writers and designers) in this tuition process too? Well, the answer is yes and no.
No you shouldn’t
The obvious argument for removing creative staff from B2B marketing automation training is that they simply won’t be using it on a day-to-day basis. Whereas marketing managers and directors will be creating workflows and lead scoring rules on a regular basis, your creative staff will simply be concerned with writing and designing the best communications and content. Also, given that creative staff are less likely to be concerned by numbers and analytics than their counterparts, the in-depth reporting features of marketing automation software could be lost on them.
Yes you should
Although writers and designers will not have daily contact with marketing automation, and will likely never see the reports the tool generates, this doesn’t mean they should be kept totally in the dark. The fact is, marketing automation tools are used to nurture leads from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom, using pre-determined pathways and relevant content. Now, given that your creative team will create this content, and the tone of voice and imagery they use will be dependent on the lead’s position within the sales funnel, letting writers and designers see features such as workflows is not a bad thing. By empowering the creative staff to openly converse about the buying cycle and the relationship between their content and the marketing automation tool, the entire business can benefit from the shared knowledge.
So is that a yes or a no?
As we’ve mentioned, when you first start using marketing automation, many of your staff will require comprehensive training and coaching in order to understand the new tool and generate the best results from it. Now, given that we’ve established that there are inherent benefits to educating creatives on the tool (or at least the aspects that relate to them specifically), you could easily water-down the initial training and give writers and designers only the information they need. Of course, there is very little point spending time, money, and resources training creative staff on features such as ‘source reports’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage them with more content-focused benefits.
To find out more about marketing automation and how to generate the best results quickly and efficiently…