Marketing Operations was bound to be a central part of B-2-B marketing when businesses first started adopting the practice. Although a lot of people thought of it as a passing fad, it is clear that Marketing Operations is now the core engine making the entire marketing organization faster, smarter, and more inclusive. Its evolution has been seen as –
- Experimentation with new apps, to managing an entire tech stack
- Gaining agreement on data, to establishing a centralized approach to reporting and analytics, to
- Uniting every department around a common understanding of the business pipeline.
As a recognized discipline, it is no longer about small teams experimenting in the corner. With maturation comes responsibility, and decisions taken here have an impact on sales teams, field marketers and people all the way till the C level. And as the discipline aims for bigger goals, Marketing Operation gets bigger budgets. With a successful operations team, you get yourself an efficient approach to turning data into marketing insight. And as they say, insight from solid multi-source data can help your business implement effective strategies. To make better data-centric decisions, follow these three steps, to help you get to the stage where marketing operations can impress :-
Get Your Basics Right– You can waste time searching for golden eggs, but nothing substitutes getting the little things right. Making sure the team follows the right campaign tag and metadata for effective campaign management to prevent delay later on, is fundamental. If tagging hygiene slips, analytics reliability falls.
Manage Your Data Centrally– Only when data is up to date and accurate, will colleagues be able to consult dashboards knowing well that they are not reading conflicting numbers. With vigilant governance and the ability to manage your data centrally, you will no longer be doing the same work on multiple systems.
Give The Experts Freedom If You Want To Innovate– Till some years ago, business analysts were not given access to the marketing database as it was not feasible. In some cases the data was untrustworthy, but many others were not setup to let analysts experiment. Either way, it didn’t help much at all. To get around the issue, it would help to create a central data lake. Your analysts now have the ability to come up with new projects without bothering the IT department.
It is worthwhile to invest in the above three. They might seem difficult early on, but when businesses get them right, the marketing operations team has all the freedom to make a difference.
Future is bright as the folks associated with this are excited about how this can go. For three big reasons:
- Marketing Operations is no more a reporting team- It’s a tech strategy team
When the discipline came about, teams were just trying to get better data to create better reports, which was hard.Figuring out what to report on and what data needed to look like, they were trying to find a way to give stakeholders a reliable view of performance. As teams start to build their own marketing data lakes and align processes with the rest of the organization, things change. Marketing Ops is all about shaping a Martec strategy that can define the business’ account-based marketing strategy. Rather than just information, Marketing Operations is defining sales and marketing decisions and playing a bigger role in B-2-B organizations’ strategy as a result.
- There’s a lot of great data to work with
The more data you collect, the more patterns you detect, that’s the compounding effect that comes with data-driven marketing. Although it is an underrated phenomenon, the longer this is done, the more value you deliver. At a certain stage, Marketing Operations will have tracked many user journeys and campaigns and can predict what’s likely to happen next. That is mainly because operation teams can support any predictive modeling they do with the historical data they need to get those predictions right. Another reason could be the teams just get better at inferring patterns and spotting mistakes. When you chase people to get their campaign codes in the early days, they won’t know why you’re doing it, but as the results come in, they’ll realize that details add up to a lot of invaluable insight.
- Everyone behind shared view of pipeline
An obstacle to aligning Marketing with the rest of the organization is lack of agreement on fundamental goals. If salespeople have a different criteria for what constitutes a good lead, you might never get to work in tandem. But if everyone works on a common view of pipeline, all politics become a lot less important. Manage your data in a way that is highly valuable to revenue, and everyone in sales, marketing, and customer service will get that all goals are truly aligned. In companies without mature marketing operations, sales and marketing care about where the leads have come from, as they want credit for the leads coming in. But companies with a mature marketing ops team, don’t really care. All they want is to build the pipeline and convert away to glory. That’s the kind of alignment a mature marketing operations is all about.
Marketing operations has come a long way, and is today known by other names like Performance Marketing, Revenue Marketing, and even Marketing Data Management. Whatever you call it, the operation that manages a business’s data and marketing technology has never been more important. It’s increasingly effective and by giving your marketing geeks a strong foundation of data management best-practices, they can unite the business teams with a solid growth strategy. Given the freedom to innovate and experiment, sky becomes the limit..