On July 26, 2009, I celebrated a half-century on the planet. In gratitude to my parents for giving me the gift of life, I felt in a giving mood myself. At the time, I thought the best gift I could offer was a Marketing Operations mindset. So I made a commitment over Twitter to share 50 reasons to embrace Marketing Operations; one tweet per day over the next 50 days.
It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. But it flushed out my thinking for what I now call Marketing Operations 2.0, and led to the development of the course I now teach for UC Extension and my own company. This year, in preparation for birthday number 52, I added a couple of new reasons and organized the list into four topical categories: enterprise transformation, marketing accountability, marketing efficiency and effectiveness, and marketing transformation. Enjoy!
- A generator of generative learning. Marketing Operations = greater capacity to create the future & reinvent Marketing from within.
- Align the yin to Web 2.0’s yang. Marketing Operations provides infrastructure, knowledge sharing, transparency from the inside out, complementing Social Media’s outside-in approach.
- Competitive advantage. Organizations committed to Marketing Operations out-perform the competition in efficiency, effectiveness.
- Customer-centricity. Mobilizing behind the customer requires cross-functional alignment & collaboration. Marketing Operations drives this effort.
- Early warning. Competitive, market dynamics can be opportunities or landmines. Marketing Operations tracks leading indicators to manage turbulence.
- Enterprise health. Like a good circulatory system, MO enables blood flow between Marketing & other groups.
- Greater shareholder equity. Alignment of data, forecasts & metrics leads to more predictable results.
- Live the brand. Narrow the gap between your marketing messages and your enterprise’s actual performance.
- M & A integration. Large orgs combining = disparate systems + information silos + competing cultures. Marketing Operations enables 1+1 = 3.
- Robust institutional memory. Scattered memory = wasted investment. Marketing Operations = documented, shared knowledge.
- Scalable marketing. Organizations over-relying on individual heroics waste resources, burn out people, don’t learn from experience.
- Smarter decision-making. The right data + process + technology = maximum learning IQ = breakthrough results.
- Superior customer experience. Marketing Operations aligns touch points so actual experience resonates with brand promise.
- Sustainable market leadership. Marketing Operations provokes continuous innovation through business intelligence, voice of the customer, process, company-wide involvement.
- Sustainability. A Marketing Operations approach (solid foundation, conscious stewardship) is built to last.
- Better corporate citizenship. Marketing Operations owns marketing performance, accountability, compliance (including sustainability).
- Compliance leadership. Laggards no more, Marketing Operations helps Marketing set quality/performance standards in the enterprise.
- Credible dashboards. Garbage in. Garbage out. A nifty looking dashboard is useless if its output is questionable or non-actionable.
- Fiscal responsibility. Use it or lose it = misuse it and lose it anyway. Marketing Operations delivers budget management discipline.
- Investment insurance. Marketing is a top organizational spender. A big budget without operations to monitor effectiveness is fiscally negligent.
- Marketing strategy = Enterprise strategy. Marketing Operations is key to aligning Marketing to enterprise strategic objectives.
- Meaningful metrics. Marketing dashboards are useless without a Marketing Operations focus to determine what & why to measure.
- Metrics granularity. Measurable data has grown 10x since 2000. It takes a genius to manage this information explosion. Marketing Operations is a great home for such talent.
- Quality quant-ing. Analytics should not become anal-ytics. Marketing Operations keeps the focus on stats that matter.
- Resource justification. Demonstrate the value of your programs and people; protect them from being axed in tough times.
- Risk/contingency management. Marketing decisions can create exposure. Marketing Operations owns the plan to minimize the risk.
- Self-discipline on your own terms. Proactive accountability is better than enforced accountability.
- Smart marketing portfolio. Your marketing mix will be cut it if you can’t tie it to results. Marketing Operations ensures value.
- Bridge the strategy-execution gap. Marketing Operations provides operational muscle, agility, measurement rigor, x-functional alignment needed to realize strategic vision.
- An operational roadmap for effectiveness. Not just great for individual performance or activities, Marketing Operations systemizes success.
- Better benchmarking. Marketing is the least benchmarked of all corporate functions. Marketing Operations uses benchmarking to perform critical gap analysis.
- Clear priorities. Organizations tend to be reactive, don’t distinguish between what is important and what is urgent. Marketing Operations helps keep focus on the right tasks.
- Closed-loop marketing. Leveraging people, process & technology through Marketing Operations is the only realistic path to this vision.
- Collaborative planning catalyst. Marketing Operations creates a cross-functional sandbox for strategic process and team learning.
- Competency development. Marketing change requires developing new skill-sets. Marketing Operations leads strategy to close talent gap.
- Leveraged leads. 94% of leads are wasted. 80% of disqualified leads buy anyway. Marketing Operations optimizes lead conversion process.
- More bang for the technology buck. Underutilized marketing automation investment = a cool car in your garage that you never drive.
- Pipeline visibility. Business complexity and disparate systems break the information loop. Marketing Operations is the best bet to repair it.
- Rationalized change roadmap. Marketing Operations builds the business case for new marketing improvement initiatives.
- A catalyst for positive change. Need to do marketing differently? The key is people, more than technology or process. Marketing Operations Mobilizes people power.
- A growth path for the operationally inclined. Marketing Operations is a great career path for project managers, analysts, change management pros, etc.
- Art + Science. Marketing Operations injects left-brain thinking into typically right-brained Marketing function.
- Chief-of-staff role. CMOs need an operational partner to help transform the brand from a vision to an experience.
- Consistent performance. Implementation is uneven in most orgs. Marketing Operations is key to delivering a standard of excellence.
- Evolve Marketing from a service center to a strategic partner. Driving business intelligence, innovation, growth, customer experience, change = clout.
- Higher stature for Marketing. Marketing Operations is key to delivering and demonstrating strategic contribution.
- Marketing = profit/value center. Perceived cost center no more; Marketing Operations-enabled Marketing drives strategic growth.
- Opportunity to be a hero. Marketing Operations addresses major enterprise challenges. There are lots of gaps to close.
- Shift from firefighting to strategically driven action. Marketing Operations streamlines execution and creates a foundation for long-term planning.
- The CMO revolving door. Marketing chiefs think short-term when their tenures are brief. Marketing Operations = long view.
- Truly integrated marketing. Marketing Operations is the bridge builder integral to transforming the vision to reality.
- Turnover turnaround. The best marketers will flee poorly run departments. Marketing Operations puts the burden on the system, not the individual, so good people want to stay.
Marketing Efficiency and Effectiveness
Author: Gary M. Katz is founder and chief strategy officer of Marketing Operations Partners, a firm that helps enterprises overcome dysfunction, execute strategy, build shared vision and accountability, and strengthen strategic impact in all areas of marketing.
To learn how to apply Marketing Operations strategy to your enterprise complexity and return on marketing challenges, contact the author at [email protected].