Marketing Ops FTW

Marketing has always relied on capable operators to connect the dots and get the creative work out the door. These days, these operators are maturing into a stand-alone function within the marketing department—and delivering real impact along the way. Why is this happening? And what should you be doing about it? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • Wrike’s Emily Bonnie traces the origins of marketing ops back to the 1930s, when P&G created brand management teams to gain a big picture, end-to-end view of the market. Today’s ops teams still work to connect all of the various dots across channels, teams and customer journey stages.
  • Why is this function rising in prominence after so many decades? The most obvious answer: “As the MarTech landscape has exploded over the past decade, marketing operations has become the backbone that keeps all of these tools working together.”
  • But there’s more to Marketing Ops than managing tech. Much more. Precise definitions vary, but the function typically encompasses data and measurement, budgeting, project management, resourcing, processes, team structure, technology and supplier selection & management, annual planning, inter-team collaboration and change management.
  • The final two items on that list (collaboration and change) also explain the recent rise of marketing ops. Internal teams are growing as leaders bring more capabilities in-house. Breaking down silos is harder—and arguably more important—than ever. As a horizontal function, marketing ops is well placed to drive integration (the same impulse that inspired P&G in the 1930’s).

  • And as many marketing leaders work to adapt to ongoing change, marketing ops also has a key role to play in making that change real and lasting—perhaps even leading the charge. Not only do they understand the big picture, they also exist at the precise point where change becomes real and vision becomes sustainable, day-to-day reality.
  • All of these patterns are creating a bigger shift as the function evolves from “button pushers to strategic contributors and enablers”.

  • We’re frankly thrilled by this development. We’ve always believed that strategy and operations are inseparable—two sides of the coin that can’t succeed without each other.
  • Should you be doing more to supercharge this function in your organization? Forrester’s Allison Snow doesn’t mince words: “They are the go-to team to empower your future. Without them, you’re hampered in your ability to respond to the empowered buyer—and in your ability to thrive in the face of key trends.”
  • If you’re looking to get started, here’s a suggestion: reply to this email and set up a time to talk to one of our consultants. We’d be happy to help.

Hey Vancouver! Like Learning While You Lunch?

We’re kicking off a series of Lunch + Learns here at Modern Craft HQ in Vancouver. The goal is to provide some practical solutions to common challenges faced by marketing leaders—including a few related to marketing operations, such as turning data into action, mastering prioritization and diving into agile methods.

These 90-minute sessions are $25 each—the full amount will be donated to BC Children’s Hospital. Lunch is included. You can learn more and sign up here.

(Maximum two sessions per person. Not open to existing clients, agencies, or freelancers—sorry!)

Issue #79
Oct 6, 2019

Further Reading