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Turning Constraints into Marketing Magic: The Art of Doing More with Less


In today’s economic landscape, folks are finding themselves facing the dual challenge of both optimizing their marketing operations all the while working within tighter budgets and leaner teams. 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). through layoffs and decimated budgets, organizations have to stretch the resources they have to meet the same goals as before. They face a reckoning: they may need to migrate to a cheaper marketing automation platform, they may need to onboard an agency to help replace the functions of those laid off.
  • Teams with stable goals, but tight budgets. There are also organizations who have significant projects to complete for or with their marketing teams, but they aren’t getting additional budget for headcount to help complete those projects. In these scenarios, they have to cut all but the most mission-critical projects and strategically prioritize. These teams may also be considering downsizing their marketing automation platform and/or bringing on a marketing operations agency.
  • Teams with stable resources, but lofty (or VERY lofty) goals. There are also organizations who didn’t have their budgets cut, but their teams are also still tasked with lofty goals. Even if a marketing operations team isn’t directly impacted by budget cuts, being strategic with resources is essential for maximizing efficiency and driving impactful results.

It’s clear; no matter the current state of your business, the marketing operations department holds a central responsibility. They should lead efforts to optimize processes, leverage technology effectively, and drive a culture of minimized resource waste and pushing for value across the organization.

Current economic landscape: Implications for marketing operations

The current economic climate is marked by uncertainty, with factors such as fluctuating market conditions, unpredictable consumer behavior, and global events impacting businesses worldwide. In such an environment, doing more with less isn’t just a choice—it’s a necessity for survival and growth. It means optimizing resources, streamlining processes, and maximizing speed to market to maintain competitiveness and drive success.

And guess who’s right in the thick of it? Yep, marketing operations teams. You. You’re the ones tasked with keeping the ship steady amidst all this chaos. In this wild ride, it’s not just a smart move to do more with less—it’s downright survival mode. Marketing ops folks have always been tasked with driving well-executed, sensible processes, documentation, and being good stewards of their company’s budgets. As such, they are all about squeezing every ounce of juice from their resources, streamlining processes, and kicking efficiency into high gear. The success of your marketing operations team hinges on remaining agile, adaptable, and proactive.

Why marketing operations teams must think about doing more with less (if it wasn’t already obvious)

There are several compelling reasons why companies must strive to do more with less, particularly within marketing operations.

  1. Firstly, in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, speed to market serves as a critical differentiator for marketing operations teams. Organizations that can achieve results with streamlined resources gain a significant competitive edge.
  2. Secondly, economic downturns or unforeseen crisis (rising interest rates, anyone?!) may prompt the need for cost-cutting measures within marketing operations, requiring the team to operate within tighter budgets while maintaining effectiveness.
  3. Lastly, the challenge of doing more with less within marketing operations drives innovation and creativity. When faced with constraints, marketing operations teams are often inspired to think outside the box and devise inventive solutions to optimize processes and maximize efficiency.

However, achieving these goals within marketing operations requires collaboration and concerted efforts across various stakeholders, including leadership, team members, and other departments, to optimize resource utilization, leverage technology effectively, and foster a culture of innovation throughout the organization.

When to optimize (even more than before!) in marketing operations: Doing more with less

The imperative to do more with less isn’t just a response to current economic conditions; it’s a mindset that should be ingrained in the culture of marketing operations teams continuously. While this approach is important at all times, it becomes particularly crucial during periods of economic downturns, market disruptions, or when confronted with budget constraints. Taking this proactive approach helps companies establish resilience, adaptability, and sustainability within their operations, no matter what challenges they may face externally. By adopting efficient processes, leveraging technology effectively, and fostering a culture of innovation, marketing operations can navigate challenges and drive success even in the face of adversity.

But how can I actually derive more value from my existing [tool/team/process]?

Achieving more with less requires a strategic approach and concerted efforts across the organization. Here are some key suggestions along with some free resources to get you started.

Build a repeatable, scalable campaign demand center.

One way to make sure your marketing operations team is preventing waste and using resources to their maximum potential is by overhauling and streamlining your campaign operations. This process can be started by downloading Etumos’ campaign demand center kit. From this kit, you’ll be given the tools to:

  1. Create efficient processes: Audit your current processes to uncover opportunities for optimization, allowing you to squeeze more value out of every dollar spent and every hour worked, supported by detailed guides and templates.
  2. Define operational architecture: Establish clear expectations across your team by implementing content submission templates, SLAs, and marketing automation platform program templates. This ensures that every resource is utilized effectively, maximizing the impact of your budget and team efforts.
  3. Scale marketing operations: Develop a flexible system tailored to your team’s needs, capable of scaling seamlessly as your team grows and as you execute more campaigns. This scalability ensures that you can achieve greater outcomes without overextending your resources, allowing you to make the most of your budget and team capabilities.

Stand up program templates to get marketing initiatives out the door quickly and with ease.

Program templates are easily clonable by your marketers so that they can simply clone, edit, QA, and ship. For example, if you are offering more in-house hosted webinars to generate business relatively cheaply, that offering stands up much quicker if there is a standardized, plug and play program template. Etumos can get you started through our expert’s guide to advanced program templates. This will enable you to:

  1. Get more output from your marketers activities: Enhance the productivity of your marketing team by leveraging fully tokenized program templates and streamlining the Marketing Ops request process. This allows you to amplify the impact of every marketing activity, ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your team’s efforts and budget.
  2. Maximize program success: Elevate the effectiveness of your marketing programs by integrating best practices and advanced tips that not only enhance prospect experiences but also boost program conversion rates. By implementing these strategies, you can optimize the outcomes of your programs, extracting maximum value from your marketing investments.
  3. Develop a template for every initiative: Empower your team to work smarter and faster by creating templates for various marketing initiatives, including webinars, events, gated content, email campaigns, and more. This comprehensive guide serves as a roadmap for generating consistent, high-quality deliverables, allowing you to standardize processes and drive repeatability across your marketing operations function, ultimately maximizing the value derived from your budget and team efforts.

Ensure you are getting every last cent of value from your marketing automation platform.

As a marketing operations leader, if your organization utilizes Marketo Engage, it might be beneficial to consider a comprehensive health audit. Whether you’ve recently inherited a Marketo instance, are preparing to scale your marketing efforts, or simply seek fresh perspectives, we’re here to assist. We offer a complimentary health audit, providing practical insights and actionable recommendations to optimize your Marketo setup. Experience firsthand the value of our audit with a real sample, showcasing potential insights and improvements.

If you are a Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) admin, your instance might need some love too. An organized structure, complete with folders and clear naming conventions, forms the foundation for scalability in marketing automation. Neglecting these crucial elements at the start of your journey can lead to chaos down the line. A well-structured Marketing Cloud Account Engagement instance enables marketers to accomplish tasks with minimal time, effort, and resources. Explore Etumos’ guide to creating concise naming conventions, effectively grouping assets, and optimizing scalability across regions and business lines for enhanced marketing operations.

Work cross-functionally to reduce silos and gain efficiencies.

While the marketing operations leadership sets the tone for operational excellence within the function, they cannot achieve this alone. Collaboration is key, and they need the support and involvement of multiple stakeholders, including the marketing automation platform owners, CRM owners, marketers, data analysts, and more. Each of these roles plays a crucial part in minimizing resource waste and deriving more value from existing processes.

During economic uncertainty, the importance of alignment across departments becomes even more pronounced for businesses. In such challenging times, resources are scarce, and the need to prove your organization’s effectiveness is paramount. Working cross-functionally ensures that every department is working towards the same objectives, optimizing resource allocation and minimizing waste. By fostering a culture of collaboration and alignment, businesses can navigate economic challenges with resilience, ensuring that they emerge stronger and more competitive in the long run.


In conclusion, in today’s challenging economic landscape, the ability of marketing operations departments to do more with less is paramount for businesses to thrive. By optimizing resources, streamlining processes, and fostering a culture of high value and minimized resource waste, marketing operations teams can not only maintain but enhance their effectiveness and impact. Embracing this mindset enables organizations to navigate uncertainties with resilience, adaptability, and sustained success in the long run. As the backbone of efficiency and effectiveness within the organization, marketing operations plays a pivotal role in driving growth and ensuring the organization’s competitiveness in a dynamic market environment.

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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