Marketing Automation Institute Launches To Bridge Skills Gap Among BtoB Tech Adopters

Published: July 19, 2011

The community will bring together an Executive Council and a Vendor Council, which will serve to both consult and provide direction for the MAI. Hidalgo said the organization also would rely on its members to act as the “voice” of the industry, by bringing the pain points and success stories to the table, to help develop a greater understanding of how to continually optimize the usage of automation technology.

The Executive Council consists of Jay Hidalgo (The Annuitas Group); Trish Bertuzzi (The Bridge Group); Craig Rosenberg (Focus); Larissa DeCarlo (Marketing Operations Works); Steve Gershik (28 Marketing); David Lewis (DemandGen International); and David Raab (Raab Associates).

Beginning in the Fall 2011, the MAI will offer Certified Marketing Automation Professional (CMAP) classes that focus on the most critical areas of the marketing automation industry. Initial classes will include: Marketing Automation Foundations; Lead Management Process Development; The Fundamentals of Marketing Operations; and Marketing Performance, Measurement & Benchmarking. Other classes will be offered as well and are in development.  Insiders agree that the new community, and nurturing the critical need for education, is a step forward in fostering a greater industry dialogue to enhance market education, technology usage and adoption.

“It takes an educated consumer to buy automation technology and run it, so we feel that the more people understand the nuances of how they’re going to sue these systems, the more they can take advantage of the information [Raab Associates] provides about which vendors do what,” David Raab told DemandGen Report. “The danger is the people who buy the technology without knowing what they really need. Takes a certain level setting of foundational education — that’s what I see the MAI providing.”

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With more than 50,000 end-users of automation across the globe, the new MAI community is focused on providing a forum that enables end-users to learn from each other. The MAI Vendor Council is comprised of technology vendors including Aprimo, Eloqua, eTrigue Corporation, Genius, Manticore Technology and Silverpop.

Larissa DeCarlo, Founder and Principal of Marketing Operations Works, and Member of the MIA Executive Council told DemandGen Report that the industry is starved for a new wave of marketing experts, but any previous attempts to start this discussion were merely theoretical. “[The MIA] is the first concept that is really practical and feels tangible to me, and will solve an immediate need that I hear from both people looking for a job and from people who need experts in particular systems.”

DeCarlo, also Co-Founder of MOCCA (Marketing Operations Cross-Company Alliance), noted that the MAI is a great forum for vendors to come together appropriately. “Vendors must be included but they can’t be allowed to continue to make promises that can’t be delivered on. There needs to be some sort of checks and balances, and this group is in the trenches, doing this across multiple platforms on a daily basis. I think we’re going to provide the checks and balances that will enable a program that will stick and that people can take with them anywhere and across platforms as they change over the course of their career.”

For vendors, the community is anticipated to encouraging automation adoption by providing a new blueprint for market education.

“[Other industries have] third party organizations that have been engrained into people’s minds on how to have a baseline level of knowledge in a segment — the automation space hasn’t had that,” said Will Schnabel, VP of Business Development at Silverpop and Member of the MAI Vendor Council. “For years and years we’ve tried to get organizations, including the DMA, to help take us to the ‘new breed’ of marketer. Nobody stepped forward to do that. From a vendor’s perspective, we want to push the envelope. We want to be innovative and we need to educate our client base as well, and train our customers.”

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