In my role I spend a lot of time working with customers, generally at their office for an hour or two and sometimes via a webinar if timing or distance is an issue.

I enjoy this one-on-one time and it’s always exciting to see customer’s campaigns from the design phase through to launch and then reporting.

As a CMO or Senior Marketing Director, your team develops a great deal of knowledge not just around your company, your brand and your processes, but also around the marketing platforms you use to deliver your campaigns.

My customers use Oracle Marketing Cloud Eloqua. Once a marketer finds their groove, they begin to see how much they can do with a platform like Eloqua.

For example, last week in a consulting workshop I suggested to the customer they use Eloqua for all their Press contacts. The Marketing Director looked at me with a blank expression and said “why didn’t I think of that!”. I laughed.

The upside is they will now get a level of insight around which of their Press contacts are actually opening their emails and clicking through on information and news items.

Back to my point.

What do you do when your outstanding Modern Marketer decides to move and extend their career? Of course you can offer them more money, but keeping them happy in the first place is a better strategy. However, once someone has “checked out” it’s hard for them to get back into their groove. When they’ve mentally walked out the door, it’s hard to walk back in.

The other thing you need to know is that marketers who understand marketing automation are in demand. Just quietly, don’t be surprised if your people are getting calls from recruiters.

You need to have a succession plan, you need to plan for the inevitable. Your best person will move on at some stage.

At best, you’ll probably have no more than four weeks notice, this is not enough time to begin a succession planning exercise.

My Top 5 Tips For Marketing Automation Succession Planning:

  • Avoid, where you can, having one person as the Marketing Automation expert. A single point of failure is never a good strategy.
  • When you have an external agency e.g. like Marketing Cube, come into your business, make it a policy to always have at least two people attend any training or consulting sessions. Take advantage of the skills being taught and “spread the love”.
  • Develop a continuous improvement plan to support your experts to grow and learn. Oracle Marketing Cloud, Marketing Cube, ADMA and other organisations host a range of events throughout the year, all designed to help marketers achieve more. Make time to allow team members to attend these events.
  • Avoid silos of expertise. Develop a broad set of skills for every team member. This benefits your organisation and makes covering for team members over holiday breaks, sick days etc. much easier. You can’t afford to have a campaign launch date slip because James or Jennifer have the flu. See the various links on this page to events in the top right hand corner of this blog post.
  • For Eloqua customers, an Oracle Certified Partner like Marketing Cube can become a virtual extended team partner. We’ve done this for a few clients over the years, generally as a bridging service between the departure of their Eloqua power user and the hiring of the new person.