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The Essential Guide to Marketing Operations Performance Reviews (with FREE scorecard template!)


In today’s economic uncertainty, folks are finding themselves facing the dual challenge of both optimizing their marketing operations all the while working within tighter budgets and leaner teams. For marketing operations teams, performance reviews are mission-critical; success hinges not only on individual performance but also on the collective efficacy of strategies and campaigns. Now, before you start picturing those nerve-wracking one-on-one meetings for a raise, let’s set the record straight. This isn’t about evaluating individual performance for a pat on the back (or a bigger paycheck). Nope, we’re diving into something bigger – the effectiveness and efficiency of your entire marketing game plan.

As someone who has been in marketing operations through the boom times, through the pandemic, and now in the current environment of higher interest rates and even higher inflation, I’ve noticed a couple trends in the market.

  • Marketing ops teams facing resource reduction (layoffs, budget cuts, both). For marketing ops teams navigating the aftermath of layoffs or budget cuts, conducting a performance review isn’t just a suggestion – it’s a lifeline. With fewer resources on hand, every dollar and hour spent must count. Assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing strategies becomes paramount to ensure that you’re making the most out of what you have left.
  • Teams with stable goals, but tight budgets. Even for teams fortunate enough to maintain their resources amid the chaos, the stakes remain high. When facing significant projects on the horizon, a performance review serves as a crucial checkpoint. It’s about ensuring that your existing resources are allocated optimally, maximizing their impact on these ambitious undertakings.
  • Teams with stable resources, but lofty (or VERY lofty) goals. Then there are those teams with eyes set on the stars, but with budgets firmly grounded in reality. For them, conducting a performance review isn’t just about staying afloat – it’s about soaring. Every cent counts when you’re chasing lofty goals. A thorough review helps pinpoint where those precious funds should flow, ensuring they’re invested where they’ll yield the greatest returns.

Think of these marketing operations performance reviews as taking a step back to see how well all those campaigns, strategies, and tactics are really working together. This exploration delves deeper into the broader realm of marketing operations. In this comprehensive guide, we navigate the intricacies of evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing strategies and campaigns. From assessing the alignment of tactics with overarching goals to optimizing resource allocation and measuring ROI, our focus extends beyond the individual to encompass the holistic performance of marketing initiatives.

If it’s not a stressful, 1:1 process consisting of professional critiques, what exactly is a marketing operations performance review?

So, what exactly is a performance review in marketing operations? Well, think of it like this: A performance review in marketing operations is akin to peeking under the hood – assessing all facets of the function to identify areas that are operationally excelling and those needing improvement. By scrutinizing operational strategies, technology, spending, and campaigns, we discern effective practices and areas requiring adjustment, relying on hard data rather than guesswork.

Successful reviews can lead to increased engagement with your brand, reduced wastage of resources, and ultimately, improved ROI. Moreover, it serves as a roadmap for navigating market dynamics, aiding in the setting of achievable goals, prudent budget allocation, and staying attuned to both business needs and customer preferences.

We had layoffs, then we had additional budget cuts. How can I possibly make time for a marketing operations performance review?

Said another way, why should you conduct a performance review of your marketing operations function? You already have a million things on your team’s plate, and fewer resources to get it all done (probably). Spoiler: if you keep reading, there’s a link to a downloadable marketing operations balanced scorecard template, which you can use to get you off to a great start – with ease.

Also, there are definitely some key reasons to dive in – especially as a marketing ops performance review can help prevent a challenging situation from getting even worse:

Adapting to market changes: By staying on top of performance metrics, you can adapt quickly to changing market conditions and customer preferences, staying ahead of the curve.
→ Read more: How to Optimize Each Stage of the Campaign Production Process

You have me convinced. A marketing operations performance review IS a good idea. When should I start?

Overall, the timing of a marketing operations performance review should be strategic, regular, and aligned with the company’s goals and objectives. A company should conduct a marketing operations performance review regularly and at key milestones to ensure ongoing improvement and alignment with strategic objectives.

Some guardrails to keep in mind:

  • Check-in at regular intervals: Conducting performance reviews on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis allows the company to track progress over time, identify trends, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Make use of the momentum gleaned during strategic planning cycles: Performance reviews are integral to strategic planning cycles as they help evaluate the effectiveness of current strategies and inform future planning decisions.
  • Keep an eye on significant changes in the market or your industry: Conducting performance reviews in response to significant market or industry changes allows the company to adapt its marketing operations strategies accordingly and stay competitive.

What’s the best approach to actually handle the nuts and bolts of a marketing operations performance review?

Do you remember how I said something about a balanced scorecard template earlier? Well, if you aren’t familiar, a balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system, used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals. With a balanced scorecard, one typically evaluates an organization from four different perspectives: financial/stewardship, customer/stakeholder, internal process, and organizational capacity/learning. According to the Balanced Scorecard Institute, these four perspectives can be described as follows:

  • Financial (or stewardship): views an organization’s financial performance and the use of financial resources
  • Customer/stakeholder: views organizational performance from the perspective of the customer or key stakeholders the organization is designed to serve
  • Internal process: views the quality and efficiency of an organization’s performance related to the product, services, or other key business processes
  • Organizational capacity (or learning & growth): views human capital, infrastructure, technology, culture, and other capacities that are key to breakthrough performance

When you take these areas of focus as a guide, and then combine with the marketing operations function, subfunctions, and core competencies under those umbrellas, you can create an effective scorecard that helps you evaluate your marketing operations performance as a whole. According to the post, Defining “Marketing Operations” as Marketing Technology Evolves, “When operations teams become functional, they are capable of delivering complex requests, guiding strategic initiatives, and maturing entire organizations. The foundational components that create a functional team can be grouped into four main pillars. Each pillar has its own set of roles and responsibilities: all work together.”

We can define each pillar’s core focus as follows, and we can relate each core function back to the 4 focuses of the balanced scorecard. This forms our own marketing operations scorecard.

Platform Operations (POPs)

  • Administration [stewardship, stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Architecting [stewardship, stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Governance [stewardship, stakeholder]
  • Process [stakeholder, internal process]

Campaign Operations (COPs)

  • Build [stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Creating and sending content [stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Testing/QA [stewardship, stakeholder, internal process]
  • Process (Intake, templatizing requests) [stakeholder, internal process]

Marketing Intelligence Operations (MIOPs)

  • Data Health [stewardship, stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Reporting [stewardship, stakeholder]
  • Data Science [stewardship, stakeholder, learning]
  • Process [stakeholder, internal process]

Development (Dev MOPs)

  • Front-End Development [stewardship, stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Custom Tool Creation/Management [stewardship, stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Integrations [stewardship, stakeholder, internal process, learning]
  • Process [stakeholder, internal process]

The Template
Download the FREE template here

Here’s how to use it:

Tab 1: Team Charter
There are examples for your marketing operations team mission statement, vision statement, key themes, and sample objectives. You can use these as-is, but you may get more value out of it by customizing to your specific needs.

Function-specific tabs (remove any that aren’t currently relevant)
Each tab corresponds to one of the 4 pillars, and each pillar has its own core competencies as listed above. Then, your pillar function owners should take their respective sections, populating strategic objectives, key performance indicators, targets by time period (with year/quarter as an example), programs and budget.

  • Tab 2: Platform
  • Tab 3: Campaign
  • Tab 4: Marketing Intelligence
  • Tab 5: Development

Should I, the organization’s [Marketo admin/SFDC admin/campaign manager/data scientist/front-end developer/marketing leader], take charge of the marketing operations performance review process?

Short answer: yes. All roles within the marketing operations function play a crucial role in conducting a marketing operations performance review for several reasons:

  • Holistic perspective: All roles provide unique insights for a comprehensive view.
  • Ownership and accountability: Engaging everyone fosters responsibility for results.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Involving all roles encourages teamwork across departments.
  • Expertise utilization: Leveraging each role’s expertise identifies improvement opportunities.
  • Continuous improvement: It ensures ongoing learning and adaptation.
  • Alignment with goals: All roles contribute to achieving organizational objectives.

Involving all marketing operations roles in performance reviews fosters collaboration, accountability, cross-functional teamwork, expertise utilization, continuous improvement, and goal alignment.


In today’s uncertain economic environment, optimizing marketing operations is vital for organizational resilience and growth. The entire marketing operations function should be tapped to conduct a team performance review, extending beyond individual assessments to encompass a comprehensive evaluation of collective efficacy and strategic alignment. By engaging all team members, fostering ownership, leveraging expertise, and aligning efforts with organizational goals, we pave the way for sustained success and growth. Together, you’ll drive innovation, efficiency, and excellence in marketing operations, ensuring your strategies remain agile and effective in meeting evolving market demands.

Note: This post is part of a series covering how you can do more with less as a marketing operations function. Check out the other articles including:

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