What is Marketing Operations?

If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “what is marketing operations?”, this article will get you familiarized will all of the basics. For starters, a marketing operations team helps marketing teams effectively and efficiently run campaigns by managing the people, processes, and technology behind the scenes.

How does marketing operations work?

Marketing operations—often referred to as simply “marketing ops”—enables the rest of a marketing department to be productive. They help accomplish business goals through processes, data, and technology.

With the help of a marketing operations manager, the team oversees all the behind-the-scenes details needed to successfully launch campaigns and run marketing initiatives in a digital age.

With the help of a marketing operations specialist, the marketing ops manager collaborates with different individuals to carry out all of their responsibilities

Some of their responsibilities include hiring the right people, creating processes, managing workflows, tracking projects, training employees, and communicating important metrics with key stakeholders.

By stakeholders, we mean the Director of Marketing, CMO, CIO, CEO, and maybe even a client, if the work being performed is on behalf of a client. All of these stakeholders expect the marketing operations manager to ensure that all departments work together to productively carry out the marketing tasks at hand.

Essential components of marketing ops

Analytics and Data Management — Marketing operations is responsible for analytics and reporting, to measure the effectiveness of campaigns. As soon as data and analytics are available, they can sort through the numbers to forecast results and assess performance. Some tasks include presenting key findings and creating dynamic dashboards.

Asset Management — Company logos, marketing copy, photography, and blog posts are all assets that marketing operations need to manage. Of course, there is software available that can help them better manage marketing materials needed for advertising or other purposes.

Budget — The marketing ops team may help distribute an overall marketing budget amongst different teams and departments and act as a centralized resource when it comes to marketing spend. Some departments may have a bigger budget, depending on what their roles are in the marketing strategy.

Content marketing, PR, and Paid Advertising are just some of the departments that likely need a marketing budget.

Teamwork — All of the marketing teams must work together creatively to achieve a common goal, and that is often easier said than done. The marketing operations team will ensure that everyone is aware of the goals and the strategies in place.

To be successful, everyone needs to cooperate. Each marketing team must accomplish the specific tasks assigned to them.

Technology — The marketing ops team will assist both in selecting and implementing the right technology needed to accomplish the tasks at hand. Each team member must be properly trained to operate the software. Marketing ops will help set up the system—with the help of a vendor if necessary.

Improving your marketing operations

Understanding company goals, implementing marketing strategies, and measuring performance are essential steps toward achieving success. This can be achieved when you have a powerful marketing operations team ensuring that everyone contributes. Below are the best practices to help you improve your marketing operations practices.

Align alternative courses of action to company objectives — Make sure that everyone on each marketing team understands the company objectives—both the short-term and long-term goals. When they know this by heart, it will be easier to come up with effective marketing strategies that align with the company’s goals.

After identifying all of the objectives and prioritizing them, start outlining what each marketing team needs to do to achieve these goals and how the marketing operations team can track performance and provide support along the way.

Work out a detailed plan — Marketing operations managers should have all the necessary data to help them create a solid strategy needed to make the campaign successful. As much as possible, everything should be detailed. It should include a specific project and description, tools and strategies needed, and the timelines and KPIs.

A detailed plan will make it easier to track and measure progress. Most importantly, it’s easier to track different departments’ contributions.

Identify goals for marketing operations — All strategies should align with the objectives of the company or client. However, it’s just as important to create goals for the marketing operations team. Think of these as sub-goals, which will help the marketing ops team accomplish bigger picture goals later on.

Follow the SMART approach when writing your goals. They have to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

After identifying goals, make sure that the marketing ops manager communicates these goals to the rest of the team. Ensure that each team member understands the goals and knows how to achieve them.

Identify key performance metrics — To measure success, it’s important to know which metrics to track. Figuring out the right metrics can help you track if the strategy is successful or not. Also, it will remind everyone of what needs to be accomplished in both the short-term and long-term horizons.

Assign specific tasks to team members — As soon as goals are clearly identified and strategies are ready, the marketing operations team should assign specific tasks to each team member to help in accomplishing company goals.

To stay on track, it’s best for team members to check off tasks as they complete them and report to the operations manager after completion.

Measure performance — Finding out whether your efforts are paying off is critical to success. Measuring performance can help determine whether something needs improvement or change.

Go back to your goals and find out if you were able to achieve them. Make adjustments or changes as necessary. Do not forget to communicate with each team member as to the progress, or let them know if an improvement is needed.

Marketing operations helps streamline other processes

The marketing operations manager, with the help of the marketing operations specialist, oversees everything related to people, processes, and technology across all marketing teams. It’s their responsibility to report on this performance to the stakeholders.

They are expected to help generate more revenue for the company, measure KPIs, use the best software and tools available, control costs, implement the right strategies, integrate systems, build a cohesive marketing funnel, and work closely with the creative team to ensure that campaigns are effective.

They connect all the dots and help everyone on the team become productive and efficient.

The future is bright for marketing operations

This field is new and growing. Marketing operations organizations such as The Growth Ops Community, MOPsPROs, and MO Pros are popping up to help support practitioners in this industry and the future looks bright.

So if you’re just starting to learn about marketing ops, hopefully you now have a better understanding of exactly what it involeves.

And if you’re looking to outsource your marketing operations to a small and nimble team, get in touch with us today. We may be able to help!

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Want to steal our marketing process?

Discover exactly which steps we take with each new project, and how you can systematize your marketing efforts.

Want to steal our marketing process?

Discover exactly which steps we take with each new project, and how you can systematize your marketing efforts.

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