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How to Build Your Marketing Operations Team

December 16, 2014


Marketing technologists are always questioning the current structure of their marketing operations team—as well they should be. Today, the makeup of a marketing operations (or, “marketing ops”) team can largely determine a company’s success.

As you finalize your annual plans, consider the most efficient and effective ways in which marketing technology will drive your revenue goals. Now is the time to ask, “who am I paying to do all of this? With the current marketing technologies that my company is using, what are the best hiring practices that will increase automation and lower cost?”

Who is your MOPS Team, and What Do They Do?

For several years now, marketing ops has hovered around the same key responsibilities: demand generation, marketing technology oversight, performance measurement, and analysis/execution of best practices. And the task list for a typical marketing ops team has only gotten longer. CTOs look to their MOPS team for better time optimization, process development, campaign execution, ROI tracking, and marketing automation planning.

Who should you hire for your marketing ops team? As technology demands have increased, what skills should you really be looking for in a marketing ops team, and how should you scale it?

At Etumos, we, break down the marketing operations team into two pieces (or rather, two skill sets): the architect and the specialist.

#1: The Architect

The ideal setup for a marketing ops team involves the distribution of work between the architects and the specialists. The architect exists, first and foremost, for the high-level creations and implementations within your marketing technologies. The architect implements templates that are robust and scalable. They help to create modular setups that can be increased over time. They architect your entire systems, and they make those systems as comprehensive and as understandable as possible.

The goal, of course, is to turn as much of the work as possible into a fixed cost. Thanks to the architect, small tasks are turned into variable costs so that, over time, your team yields a scalable and profitable combination of individuals and roles. You specifically have your systems architected to include “guardrails” that allow employees other than the architect to work within them.
This is where the specialist comes in.

#2: The Specialist

Because the architect has already put up the guardrails, other people can now enter your systems (without breaking anything) and do the tasks that are not necessarily worth an architect’s time. Keep in mind that the architect is utilized for the first 1-2 actual units of a project; everything after turns into a specialist’s job.

It’s the specialist’s job to learn as quickly as possible and to become architects for you. Over time, this distribution of skill sets becomes the more scalable and profitable use of everyone’s money. Instead of paying your architects an absurd amount of money just to send emails, you instead focus the architect’s energies on the actual, high-level implementations that are the best use of everyone’s money.

Marketing Ops for the New Year

As you either create or begin to restructure your marketing operations team, keep in mind that the most profitable results will come from turning as much of your work as possible into automated, fixed costs. Work with your architect and your specialist in mind to determine the tasks that will convert your variable costs into fixed costs; over time, your marketing ops team will demonstrate positive ROI with reduced overall costs.

With the right structure, your marketing ops team will be capable of much, much more. Questions or comments? Let us know in the comments (or tweet me, and let’s start a conversation!)

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