As someone who worked as a freelance marketing automation expert for 6 years, let me give you my perspective on this question.
The trick to getting marketing automation right is not just understanding the software: it’s also understanding marketing and content strategy. If you don’t understand why you’re implementing something, you can’t properly advise your customer (whether that’s internally or externally) on the right way to do it.
So, in no particular order, here’s some of the skills I think a marketing automation expert should have:
- Deep understanding of the software platform.
- At least working knowledge of how the marketing automation platform interacts with other platforms / API coding skills.
- Deep understanding of marketing strategy, buyer personas, customer journeys, psychology, etc.
- Be able to discern good from bad content (and whether the delivery of said content is in line with the personas and customer journey).
Most platforms (including Pardot, Act-On or Net-Results) don’t require much more technical background to be successful with. When it comes to integrations with other systems, however, sometimes a more technical expert can be useful.