What Is Marketing Operations and Who Needs It?
Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Do you remember when marketing campaigns were unique one-time projects? Marketers were creative people, and campaigns ran for months or even years. That was in the old days before marketing turned digital. Operations was a term reserved for the productive section of a company, and no one thought of ‘marketing operations’.
As a marketing executive today, you need the capacity to create multiple campaigns simultaneously, customize content for different channels, deliver upon demand, and distribute widely across various platforms. On top of that, you need reports to calculate your Return-on-Investment (ROI).
You are much more than a creative manager. Today marketing has taken on many of the characteristics of a production process, and you need marketing operations to run them as smoothly as an assembly line for mass-production.
What Are the Responsibilities of Marketing Ops?
By definition, marketing operations includes all aspects of marketing. Most companies have some parts covered, but are lacking clear marketing operations goals and best practices.
First off, marketing ops is in charge of automated processes, which bring efficiency and drive revenue.
Its key functions are to provide cross-functional coordination, define internal communication channels and processes, and set-up reporting methods. Once the processes are implemented, marketing ops monitors and optimizes them continuously.
A professional person or team facilitates research through data collection and analysis. These range from competitor monitoring and market evaluation, through customer journey tracking and website performance analysis, all the way to budget and ROI calculations.
Depending on your scope of marketing activities, marketing ops can be an entire in-house team, one person in a full-time or part-time position, or you can outsource and hire an expert team to provide service as needed.
How does it work?
There are three phases of marketing operations:
Creating and implementing
Monitoring and ensuring quality
Let’s look at different areas to understand in more detail:
Provide the necessary tools for each team member and internal process, such as project management tools, internal communication tools, internal storage.
Test and leverage tools and processes to collect data for attribution and help build a data attribution strategy. This lets you draw the right conclusion regarding your marketing efforts.
Implement new functionalities, monitor and troubleshoot.
Manage and maintain databases, such as CRM and email marketing automation software.
Utilize marketing automation by building flexible landing pages, email templates to enable instant implementation of new campaigns.
Create recurring processes in the automation tools, such as email streams and social media ad streams.
Provide insightful periodic reports.
Align goals, tasks, and deadlines of the entire marketing team.
Understand team needs to provide the best technological and conceptual solutions.
Establish communication channels and methods.
Streamline processes, such as producing creatives, uploading materials, reporting.
Manage external resources, including sub-contractors, designers, content writers.
Monitor campaign performance and spendings.
Create periodic reports on cost per acquisition (CPA), ROI, outsourcing cost, etc.
Assist in creating a budget based on detailed reports.
Help define marketing goals by calculating growth projections based on real data.
What Are the Main Marketing Operations Benefits?
Your teamwork becomes more productive when members follow clearly defined processes using streamlined communication methods. With the relevant technology to support your workflow, everyone can focus on bringing excellent results in their field of expertise.
Automated processes allow for more agility and quick reaction to sudden changes in demand. Rather than setting up an entirely new campaign manually, you simply activate an existing process using new content.
There’s also a financial side to the story which you may find exciting. With the right marketing operations tools in place, your marketing budget and success no longer depend on gut feeling. Detailed reports enable you to distribute funds and assign resources efficiently based on data analysis and, in turn, improve your ROI. You can finally present marketing P&L (Profit & Loss) statements and provide reliable revenue and growth forecasts to senior management.
This has even wider implications. Presenting data instead of hunches will earn you a more powerful say in the company’s strategic decisions. You will be able to strengthen the position of marketing as a significant player in financial goal setting and brand-related questions.
Who Needs Marketing Ops?
Your team may be excellent at what they do, each in their specific field. But that doesn’t guarantee excellent marketing results. Personal excellence can not compensate for unorganized internal communication, undefined workflows, and inefficient use of tools.
Any company engaged in digital marketing needs someone to manage marketing operations. If you lead a team of marketing professionals, you need to focus on strategy building. You shouldn’t have to worry about every tiny detail of its realization.
Depending on your digital marketing activity scope, you will either hire the appropriate professional(s) or appoint someone to set-up and manage your marketing ops. Once the processes are in place, your team needs proper training and ongoing guidance to stay on top of the latest developments.
Not sure your marketing ops work as well as it should? Don’t have your marketing operation tools and processes set-up? Or you think you might benefit from additional tools and marketing operations best practices? Drop us a line to info@SRpro.marketing; we’ll be happy to assist.