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What is Marketing Operations and Why Your Company Needs It

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What is Marketing Operations and Why Your Company Needs It

Marketing operations (MOPS) are critical to the success and return-on-investment (ROI) of any marketing department or campaign. 

The key to a marketing organization that operates as a growth center rather than a cost center lies in your ability to effectively implement marketing operations.

Without it, you’re just spinning your wheels, and likely, wasting money. Let’s look at a few numbers on the subject.

According to Hubspot, 74% of companies under-exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities.

Of companies using marketing automation and ROI metrics, 69% report an increase in total marketing revenue contribution, says CMO.com.

Clearly, you need marketing operations.

But to truly understand it’s value and be able to make the case for the stakeholders at your organization, let’s start by breaking down what marketing operations are, what the MOPS team is responsible for, and why you need to implement it with urgency.  

Marketing Operations Defined

Marketing operations encompass all the functions of your marketing organization that enable it to run with efficiency and consistency. This includes: 

  • a focus on the strategy, design, and execution of marketing campaigns  
  • tracking performance metrics in order to plan, report, and analyze
  • budgeting for areas that produce the most ROI
  • utilization of marketing technology (i.e. lead management processes, CRM, and marketing automation

Why Marketing Operations is Essential for Digital Marketing

Marketing operations isn’t just a “nice to have,” it’s essential for your company’s ability to scale in the long-run.

An experienced marketing operations team can help you develop an effective end-to-end marketing strategy that maximizes lead nurture and minimizes missed opportunities.

When teams lack this on-going effort, they tend to miss out on opportunities because they lack efficiency and don’t get the desired results.

This can be the difference between your team crushing their marketing revenue goals or completely missing the mark. 

The Role of Marketing Operations Teams

So what exactly is the marketing operations team responsible for in your organization?

Content Marketing

The MOPS team is be tasked with content creation, including copy, images, and videos that can be circulated via websites, social media, and more.

This includes tracking analytics around the performance of content and how the visitors are engaging with it.

Demand Generation

The MOPS team is also responsible for driving demand for your offering by perfecting and accelerating the buyer journey through the marketing funnel.

This involves identifying target accounts, creating awareness campaigns, and establishing a relationship through email marketing and nurture campaigns. In addition, MOPS will maintain buyer interest throughout the sales cycle and pass along qualified leads to sales teams.

Measuring Performance Metrics

The MOPS team will also enable and monitor the tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) for every point of contact across the marketing campaign.

This includes tracking metrics for the entire buyer journey and all marketing investments so they can produce insight into the effectiveness, efficiency, and attribution associated with marketing efforts.

89% of the leading marketers in the industry agree that utilizing KPI measuring and analysis enables greater return on investment and improved conversion rates.

Connect Sales & Marketing 

As more and more of the customer journey is happening online, on social media, and through word of mouth, sales and marketing can no longer be separate.

The average customer has about 7 brand interactions before they buy, and most of those brand impressions are happening online.

This is why having a clear, cohesive messaging strategy is so important. A marketing operations team helps create that cohesiveness by making sure everyone on the sales and marketing teams have access to the same playbook and are working toward the same end.

In addition, as consumer behavior continues to change at breakneck speed, a marketing operations team can help your entire organization stay informed about what your consumers need and expect. 

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, if done well, “marketing operations [provided] a 15-25% improvement in marketing effectiveness, as measured by return on investment and customer-engagement metrics.”

Implementing Marketing Operations in Your Organization

When it comes to implementing a marketing operations team, there are quite a few things to consider in terms of roles, responsibilities, and structure.

You want to empower your MOPS team to make decisions that will drive key results, without completely upsetting the current initiatives your marketing and sales teams are working on. Therefore, implementation needs to happen over time in stages. 

There are 5 stages to a successful marketing ops implementation:

  1. Creating Goals
  2. Identifying Gaps
  3. Implementing a Plan 
  4. Executing
  5. Automating and Tracking

Creating Goals

Before you build your marketing operations team and throw them into the fray, it’s best to get crystal clear on some key goals and objectives for them to work toward.

What is your current marketing plan? What campaigns are you working on? What does a successful marketing operations implementation look like for your organization?

Create these goals early on and adjust them as you go. Think about some of the key areas that you’re looking to improve and consider how you could make those goals easily measurable so that everyone is on the same page from the very beginning.

Identifying Gaps

Now that you’ve created some clear, actionable goals for your team, the next step is to identify the gaps that currently exist.

  • Where is your current marketing strategy missing the mark?
  • What are some of the main barriers that currently exist for your marketing team?
  • Are there software or tools that you need but aren’t sure how to implement?
  • Is there a major budget gap?

Arm your marketing operations team with that knowledge from the beginning so they know what they’re working with. 

For example, one of the first things we do when we onboard a new client is to do a CRM database health check. This helps us gain insight into the quality of their relationships and the effectiveness of their existing tactics.

It also helps us identify the quality of their overall data to highlight inconsistencies or areas that need improvement.

When we have a clearer understanding of what’s really going on with their customer data and lead generation, we can proceed from a strong foundation as we move on to developing a plan of action.

Implementing a Plan 

Next, you’ll need to create processes for tracking and communicating that will improve the way your entire marketing strategy works. 

Ask questions like, “How often should we evaluate performance on a campaign,” “What is our benchmark for success,” and “Who are the key decision-makers that will be in charge of steering the course based on performance?”

The goal of this entire strategy is to systematize the way your team works and communicates. The goal should be to simplify and streamline as much as possible.

That’s why you should also be looking at ways to automate key processes.

All of this should be included in your implementation so you have the best chance at reaching objectives as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Executing a Plan

Finally, it’s important to create a stage-by-stage plan that your team can implement over the coming months to fully integrate your marketing operations team as smoothly as possible.

This means coming up with a clear roadmap of how your team will address the gaps and barriers you’ve identified to reach your goals.

Then, you must empower them to execute on that plan effectively with proper standards of operation.

Automating and Tracking 

One of the most important aspects to an effective marketing operations implementation lies in the tools you use to automate and track your campaigns.

Once you have the key metrics available to optimize your marketing campaign, marketing automation will be your key to streamlining and maximizing effectiveness. 

When done right, marketing automation can make a massive difference in your overall conversion rate.

According to a report by Protocol80, “The use of lead nurturing through marketing automation saw 15-20% of potential buyers that were not ready to purchase converted to sales.”

This is why having a marketing operations team– whether it’s one you build in-house or one you hire, like us–can make a world of difference when it comes to automating lead nurture and qualifying leads for sales.

To truly get the most out of your marketing operations team, you need to be thinking about how automation can help them at every step.

On average, 44% of companies that implement marketing automation see an ROI within 6 months, and 76% see one in their first year.

Want to learn more about what marketing automation is and what it can do for you? Read more here.

Marketing Operations for Long-Term Growth

Digital marketing isn’t going to slow down any time soon, which means your organization needs to develop ways to be agile in your decision making, and quick to implement data-driven action.

Establishing a marketing operations team that can act on data is invaluable, not only for your bottom line but also for your marketing team members.

Giving them the guidance and tools they need to properly meet and exceed their goals will keep your business moving forward. 

If you don’t have the bandwidth to build out your own marketing operations team, we can help.

We’ve got the bench to help you find the gaps in your marketing campaigns and create a plan to streamline your processes, measure performance, and prioritize what works best. 

Reach out today to learn more about what this would look like for you. 

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