Marketing operations (MO) refers to the strategies and tactics that address the need for businesses to streamline, systematize, and analyze their marketing endeavors. An often overlooked field, it involves planning, managing, measuring, benchmarking, and quantifying marketing campaigns. It requires determining their return on investment and demands taking a broad view and fixing marketing potholes before anyone hits them.
In an era with so much information and wisdom is freely available online, here is a selection of (mostly) free online resources that can help you make sense of the ever-shifting landscape around Marketing Ops. It includes articles, audio, video, and enough inside information to guide you in your own further exploration.
In this short and witty blog post for Gartner For Marketers, Jennifer Polk illustrates the crucial importance of marketing ops through the metaphor of a family. When she’s not at work, Polk is a Multitasking Operational Manager (MOM). It turns out that Marketing Operations Managers and actual moms have a lot in common. “They take the time to look at the details. They operate at both 30,000 feet and ground level. And it’s in the details that they find opportunities to synchronize many moving parts so that marketing sings.” And their greatest skill is to make their work invisible, so that the people they help wonder why they can’t just do it themselves.
This useful and illuminating model (behind a pay wall) maps the core responsibilities of Marketing Operations – Accountability, Infrastructure, Enablement, and Planning – on a scope ranging from high-level strategy to on-the-ground tactics. It’s from SiriusDecisions, a recognized pace-setter in Marketing Operations Strategies.
In a manifesto of sorts, Debbie Qadish encourages those in the Marketing Operations field to assume their power – as leaders, not just as managers – and lays out ideas for how they can wield their increasing influence for the greater good. Qadish is a Chief Strategy Officer for Pedowitz Group, and spreads her ideas about the rise and possible restructuring of Marketing Operations through a wealth of free resources, including video talks, and she doesn’t expect to run out of material. “Today it’s no longer good enough to have someone semi-dedicated to MO,” Qadish writes. “When companies have a dedicated, fully developed MO structure, marketing makes a full transition from being a cost center to a revenue generator.”
Host David Lewis chats with Isaac Wyatt, Director of Marketing Strategy and Operations at New Relic. This passionate discussion analyzes the increasing importance of Marketing Operations to overall business success, and advocates for optimizing workflow and applying Marketing Ops ideas and best practices throughout a business. The DemandGen Radio podcast is essential listening for understanding who’s who, what’s what, and what’s next in Marketing Operations.
Technology is bringing us all closer together, and the borders between marketers and developers, and between “creatives” and “quants,” are growing ever more porous. In this webinar, Scott Brinker, CTO of ion interactive, and a panel of experts share ideas, predictions, and best practices, with the goal of teaching Chief Marketing Officers to use the Marketing Operations toolkit to adapt to changes wrought by new technologies.
This piece shares some of what one a “Big Three” consultancy knows about the future leaders of Marketing Operations, what they know, what they do, and how to find them. On the ground level, the core Marketing Operations responsibility of enablement entails improving access to new skills, training, and top talent. This report provides a high-level analysis of the characteristics an organization must cultivate to attract the right people, effectively assign responsibility, and reevaluate its innermost makeup to adapt to digital transformation.
Once you’ve immersed yourself this series of articles, studies, videos, and diagrams, you’ll never go back to underappreciating marketing operations. After all, as Debbie Qadish argues, MO is the key to transitioning marketing from cost center to undeniable revenue generator.