Implementing a Foundation library in your Marketo Engage application is a feat. Implementing a center of excellence outside the platform is another. Without a focus on people, processes, and all of the technology, you could expect poor acceptance and support. With a focus on the three, you could be poised for optimized value realization and your next big promotion. With employees turning to virtual work during the pandemic, these components are more important now than ever.
Wait, what is a Center of Excellence (COE) anyway? If you’re familiar with Marketo Engage, you’ve probably heard of the Center of Excellence within the platform. What we’re talking about here is out there. A Marketo Engage COE is a centralized governance, best practice, thought guidance and organizational structure that enables a company or institution to control scalable marketing strategies, initiatives and processes. It has been proven to improve efficiency, consistency of communication, and branding standards across the company. However, according to a recent Forrester Research report, less than a third of companies have made the transition to experiential companies. We call this statistic because those who want to stand out with their digital skills to improve the customer journey will definitely want to use this COE structure.
Here are the top ten questions to ask yourself while considering this transformation:
1. Why should I need a competence center? We already have one on the platform …
We know it could be confusing. Why did we call two different things the same thing? #Growth. A center of excellence, or rather a Foundation program library, is the place in your Marketo Engage instance where the Foundation program templates reside, usually the ones that have the greatest value and are most widely used and for widespread use by Your marketing operations team is approved. Remember that you can do everything right within the platform and still fail if the necessary structures and processes are not in place outside the platform.
An off-platform center of excellence is a broader concept that focuses on the people, processes, and technology to better enable your marketing automation solution. It reinforces what you’ve created inside the application by promoting design outdoors, including a special focus on the following areas:
- Roles and permissions,
- Deployment and activation,
- Process management,
- Change management,
- Metrics and reporting,
- Governance and governance model,
- the sales and marketing partnership,
- Customer journey,
- and more!
If you’ve carefully thought and designed these structures, you will maximize your return on investment in your solutions and enable organizational transformation both inside and outside of Marketo Engage. As we discuss at the COE, momentum needs a sponsor, and your greatest successes will come from that sponsorship.
2. Do we have centralization vs. Carefully considered decentralization and hybrid models?
Centralization and decentralization can be applied to a wide variety of disciplines. It is not insignificant to consider your strategic approach to aspects of your business in terms of centralization and decentralization. Just considering where your organization stands, or where different aspects of your organization should end up on the centralization and decentralization scale, is a step in the right direction.
There are different degrees of centralization, and they should always vary in degree towards everything or nothing. On opposite ends of the spectrum, there is complete control and teaching for Pisces – think frankly of them, as they are called. These degrees of centralization applied to different business aspects correlate strongly with the corporate culture and resources, are always different and there is no such thing as a utopia.
Also, check where you stand on the spectrum of centralization in relation to the following areas:
- Training and activation
- Process documentation
- Content creation
- Create and edit templates
- Maintain strategy
3. Do we have good momentum in terms of marketing automation that is catalyzing added value in our business?
Take a step back and think about the dynamic that exists today. Analyze why this impulse is there, learn from it and how you can replicate it or use it to stimulate additional change in other areas of the company. If something has no momentum and in some way, shape, or shape doesn’t create positive value, face it, turn, and adjust.
4. Do we personalize and adapt our activation needs with customized tactics?
The maturity of engagement marketing does not have to exist only externally with the customers. Take into account the activation movements you have today. Think of the team or teams’ unique activation requirements. We recommend that you consider internal user groups, brown bags, or informal lunches to share information and encourage activation of Marketo Engage community user groups. (The global list gives you access to a strong community of Marketo Engage and digital marketing experts just waiting for you and your team to join.) There are many ways to get creative with personalized activation and we recommend You to consider carefully what is happening Work best in your organization.
5. Do we have a strong, defined path of activation moving forward?
In addition to the above, we recommend that you focus on the basics as well. Create a plan for getting Marketo Engage users on board with playbooks, user guides, training decks and records, starting checklists, QA forms, program inquiries, and nurturing strong internal and external resources – Marketo Engage has a ton of amazing resources. and other applications and consultancies do the same. If there are new features, decide how you will introduce them. In addition, you should consider annual training or standard reviews that you may need to conduct company-wide. Don’t wait for these initiatives to take place. If you think there is a topic that needs to be addressed, be that voice in the company.
6. Are we keeping track of existing critical KPIs, and are there any new KPIs that we should consider?
Be data driven and be able to tell a story and make a strong case with verifiable data. Understand the KPIs your customers are tracking in sales, finance, customer success, etc., learn how to speak a common language that will help you buy-in, or just have a productive conversation about metrics that matter to you Don’t turn your head – Meet the CFO. Marketo Engage recommends that you focus on metrics like program performance, lead quality, waterfall metrics, return on investment (ROI) and lead acquisition reports, and sales efficiency metrics. If your organization is very mature in terms of its attribution strategy, we encourage you to agree on multi-touch attribution measures across the organization and use the appropriate technology combined with maturity to facilitate this measurement. Also, consider a data-driven operating model to align and drive business to strategic goals throughout the customer journey with minimal business disruption to ensure continued growth by aligning KPIs with each phase of that journey.
7. Are there any points of friction in the sales and marketing partnership that affect the customer journey?
This is a timeless subject. No matter how much technology evolves and how sophisticated we get with our marketing tactics, there is no amount of machine learning that will ever trump the age-old practice of collaboration. It is important that you nurture this relationship, have a strategic and ongoing dialogue, and truly value this partnership.
8. What other similarities of people and processes are there with other initiatives that are critical for Marketo Engage?
This is where process and change management comes into play. Do you have centralized processes that exist today? Think about how you adopted them, what brought about the adoption, and consider where you might need new processes to support your marketing growth. There are different pillars of the COE process management infrastructure. User setup and process documentation are just two. Change management is also key. Are you thinking about catalyzing change in your business and all of its great components like communication, change agents, and change measurements? Food for thought …
9. Do we have stable governance structures?
The role of governance and governance structures is crucial for the success of the role of marketing as a sales driver vis-à-vis a cost center. By creating oversight structures across different levels of the organization, the organization’s people, processes, and technologies are strategically brought together to prioritize, assign, and execute key initiatives. There are no more meetings with no agenda to add to your calendar.
10. Do I still need a COE when we have mastered the execution?
The short answer is yes. No excellent workmanship can mask a bad design. Take the time to work these elements out to reposition marketing from “saving the quarter” to being the strategic authority and agency of its business unit. Design is just as important as execution.
Are you having trouble answering these questions? Adobe’s Digital Performance Strategy team has solutions to help you successfully answer these questions and move on to a strong design and execution, or an even stronger design and execution.
For more information on Marketo Engage’s Center of Excellence Workshop, click here or contact us here.