Tools are just one element in successfully supporting business requirements. People and process can be just as important or more important than the tools, and there is a need to assess accordingly. Is staffing appropriate, and is the team properly trained? Are your business processes sound? Tools are sometimes blamed when the root cause is training or broken processes.
As part of the planning and budgeting process, it is critical to align skills with programs and technology requirements. We recommend that organizations profile their internal skill proficiency by asking each member of the marketing team to document their product knowledge and depth of expertise. With this in place it becomes easy to:
- Identify and rectify potential critical points of failure
- Frame a training plan and identify goals for each member of the team and for each department
- Identify the important technology skills to advance your technology strategy
It takes time to maintain a skill inventory, but it is well worth the effort and will ultimately eliminate the frightening moment when you have to deal with the resignation of the one employee who knows how to use your marketing automation system. In mapping and managing your organization’s skill profile, don’t forget potential agency/service provider partners. There are numerous, cost-effective specialist agencies that can provide missing skills, or act as a backup, in the event that you don’t have a redundant skill set for a complex system.