It’s Time to Re-think Marketing Operations

B2B marketing is moving at a rapid pace. To stay competitive, organizations should take a serious look at their people, processes, and technology.

Shifting customer expectations, digital analytics, incredible AI tools – it’s no secret that B2B marketing is moving at a rapid pace. To stay competitive in this ever-changing environment, organizations are taking a serious look at their people, processes, and technology. But, as we all know, changing the status quo is never as easy as it seems.

Luckily, there is a secret ingredient for implementing marketing changes that really work: It’s time to re-think Marketing Operations.

Is Marketing Operations Your Most Underused Human Resource?

Re-Think Marketing OperationsWhether it’s a single Marketing Operations manager or a fully-loaded team, many Marketing Operations departments are resigned to juggling campaign odds and ends. This has prompted some organizations to forgo Marketing Operations (also known as “MarkOps”) altogether. After all, can’t marketing specialists and campaign managers take ownership of their funnels and technology? As a result, many organizations don’t have this department – and those who do tend to under-use them a great deal.

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role Marketing Operations should play in a modern revenue engine. MarkOps shouldn’t just do the leftover work from other teams. They should have a clearly defined role that allows them to guard your system against oversight, incorrect data, and misunderstandings between sales and marketing. When properly used, they are the key to smooth processes and accurate data.

How can you make the most of this department or individual? It all starts with creating or refining a charter to clarify the role. As you review the role and responsibilities, consider giving them more control over the enablement and measurement of your campaigns. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Why Marketing Operations should own your performance data and campaign measurements

Leaving data analysis to your marketing strategists doesn’t tend to work out – its almost impossible for them to remain neutral when reporting their results, and many lack the analytical skills to do a thorough job.

In my experience, there are three reasons you should re-think Marketing Operations and make them the department or individual reporting on your campaign performance:

  1. MarkOps can give measurement more attention. With a front-row seat to your MarTech stack and a focus on objective and operational matters, MarkOps can easily identify and setup the right tools to understand your KPIs. They also tends to attract more analytical and systematic thinkers, meaning they likely have the skills and capacity to measure campaigns effectively. By trusting this team with this aspect of campaigns, measurement will become a fully integrated and prioritized part of your marketing strategy rather than a campaign afterthought.
  2. You want all reporting to be as unbiased as possible. Charging the people who developed the campaign with measuring its success is a dangerous game – even the most honest marketing specialist will have a skewed view of performance if they were too close to a campaign’s development. Trusting marketing operations with KPIs will create a healthy buffer between the development of campaigns and their measurement. This will motivate true transparency and integrity in your data.
  3. MarkOps is conveniently placed to notice any issues with campaign measurement or data flow right away. When measurement is left to other marketing teams, data is typically reviewed on a monthly or quarterly basis. If something goes wrong, they won’t notice for weeks or months at a time. Similarly, if the campaign is completely ineffective or engagement rates are way too low, marketing typically doesn’t find out until it’s too late to course correct. Trust me – you can lose a lot of leads if you don’t have someone continually reviewing your data. When utilized correctly, They will make contact with every tool in your MarTech stack on a daily basis. If data isn’t flowing into the CMS properly, they’ll know. If you’re not getting any engagement from a new campaign, they’ll know. If your database is capturing duplicate entries or your measurement pixels are off the rails, they’ll know. This awareness and competency will make a big difference for your analytics.

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Why Marketing Operations should own your MarTech stack

Almost every organization trains Marketing Operations to use marketing automation and CMS technology. But why stop there? This team is perfectly positioned to oversee the MarTech stack as a whole.

It is a good idea to put Marketing Operations at the center of marketing enablement for your organization. Think about how that could streamline the campaign development and deployment process: now your other marketing teams can focus on campaign strategies and creative, while MarkOps can take over the capability side of things.

Consider adding these responsibilities to your MarkOps charter to redefine their relationship with your MarTech stack:

  • Chairing committees for any new MarTech projects or deployment.
  • Documenting systems and enforcing processes.
  • Taking a leadership role in quality control and campaign testing.
  • Making sure data is properly flowing through web forms into your CMS.
  • Quality assurance and leak checks for marketing automation campaigns.
  • Working with marketing and sales to understand their needs and identify marketing tools that could support them – for example, if marketing wants to measure video marketing data more efficiently, this team should be responsible for finding, vetting and implementing a solution like Vidyard.
  • Identifying gaps that can be resolved through MarTech improvements.

Re-think Marketing Operations and allow them to own the MarTech stack for your organization. This will not only alleviate tasks from other marketing departments, but it will also help you create better processes and campaigns. The teams focus on MarTech and measurement will improve your systems, processes and data. This capability will enable you to run more intelligent and better tracked campaigns than ever before.

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How to Reposition Your Marketing Operations Manager and Teams

So, you’ve taken a look at your Marketing Operations Manager and/or MarkOps department. You see how they can take a stronger leadership role in overseeing your MarTech stack, measurement, and data integrity. Now, how do you shift MarkOps from a person who takes care of marketing’s “odds and ends” to an empowered part of your revenue engine?

We’ve already mentioned putting a charter in place to clarify the teams roles and responsibilities. Once this is done, have them work on big-picture tasks and take ownership of your marketing operations. This may include:

  • Mapping out all systems and players in the marketing ecosystem;
  • Undergoing advanced training on all MarTech platforms and processes;
  • Developing a documentation process for all marketing systems and ensuring this team owns these documents;
  • Reorganizing committees related to MarTech to give MarkOps more of a leadership role;
  • Clarifying reporting best practices and defining KPIs that tell the true story about revenue attribution and campaign performance.

When going through this process, it is a good idea to work with a consultancy that offers support for both marketing technology and marketing operations teams. This way, you will have guidance for the technical and the organizational aspects of Marketing Operations.

If you decide to work with a consultancy, be sure to specifically ask them how they plan to utilize your Marketing Operations Manager or team. Chances are, this will be one of the most important aspects of truly modernizing your marketing infrastructure.

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