While the 4 Pillars of Marketing Operations help organizations structure and scale their MOPs teams into functional areas of expertise, how do we communicate the business value of all that we do? Let’s expand on that in a way that can be easily communicated to your internal and external stakeholders.
What are Marketing Operations’ (MOPs) core responsibilities?
The following strategic functions of your Marketing Operations team impact your ability to execute marketing effectively, scale marketing programs, and justify your technology budget with measurable ROI.
Let’s talk about how to communicate the value of each function, and more importantly, the organizational pain from not having a marketing operations team at the wheel.
Systems Integration & Cross-Functional Governance
Despite what automation platform marketing tells you, there is no all-in-one tool that is going to meet 100% of your business requirements. All MarTech stacks start small but gradually grow into comprehensive systems that enable your sales and marketing functions.
Automating the workflows between teams and systems becomes critical, especially as your tech stack grows. The 2023 Stackie Awards just published 36 illustrations of world-class MarTech stacks and I guarantee each one of these companies has a comprehensive marketing operations team making sure they work together seamlessly.
According to an article published in February 2023 by MarTech Series: 75% of Businesses to Up Data Related Technology Spend in 2023. This means increased integration needs and governance across more platforms to manage many different use cases.
Not having a dedicated resource or team to manage your tech stack results in lost ROI on these pricey investments, uncertainty in ownership or administration of tools, and time lost on error resolution when siloed processes and systems break down.
Lead Flow and Lifecycle Processing
What happens when a new record is created in your system(s)? Do they go to sales? Does marketing nurture them? Sales Operations (SOPs) and MOPs often collaborate on new record processing to determine routing flows, automation triggers, and data processing such as enrichment. The year is 2023. We do not do all of this manually or even with spreadsheets.
A bit older, but a 2018 LinkedIn Article suggested that due to misalignment companies in the United States were losing upwards of $1 trillion annually. This remains true today, in the sense that a misaligned process can lead to a leaky funnel and thus a reduction in revenue booked.
Following a natural lifecycle flow, qualified lead management is the next step. MOPs helps manage and maintain the smooth handoff of qualified leads to sales. When records have exhausted sales processes and do not yield revenue, automating the handoff back to marketing and initiating lead nurture campaigns is MOPs bread and butter. This process is best supported by the systems within the MarTech ecosystem – a valuable application of time, tools, and expertise.
Managing a lead lifecycle process from creation to close keeps your database from growing dormant and will help generate additional value out of records (and even customers) you’ve already acquired.
Inbound marketing in the B2B space is predominately website and forms-centric. While your web team can manage forms and landing page experiences, ultimately the data collection, enrichment, and standardization should be owned by your MOPs team.
According to a survey by Gartner, “Organizations believe poor data quality to be responsible for an average of $15 million per year in losses.” MOPs role is to ensure the data discrepancies from various marketing channels are normalized and validated upfront. This keeps systems clean and enables future sales and marketing efforts to convert the leads into opportunities and ultimately, revenue.
Data quality provides the foundation for standardized data for any reporting needs either within the tool or when sent to outside sources such as a data visualization tool. Imagine how many thank yous you will receive when the data teams don’t have to include 5 variations of the United States in their table to produce a grouped report!
Do you want your marketing managers spending their time developing creative marketing campaigns and messaging OR technically executing the emails, webinars, and other automated workflows? These are entirely different skill sets and asking your team to wear multiple hats limits your ability to scale efforts. Eventually, something suffers in quality and you don’t want it to be either function.
As you develop omnichannel marketing, the complexity of campaign workflows increases. Advanced nurture programs, event cross-platform hosting, and direct mail tie-ins require advanced administration and configuration. Having a specialized team dedicated to executing these campaigns and implementing efficient, best-practice workflows will allow your marketing team to scale and get better results from those efforts.
This function is so important, our team wrote an entire article on improving campaign build times and how process efficiency can impact time to completeness.
Reporting and Analytics
A “single view of the truth” is a dirty lie. Reporting is biased depending on who, how, and what systems are being utilized. In addition, marketing is often seen as a cost center but by framing marketing/marketing operations work in the context of revenue – the team is highlighting their understanding and commitment to company success. At the end of the day, we want to tell a story of what is and what is not working.
For marketing teams, framing the work in the context of revenue may mean understanding your funnel metrics such as velocity, marketing campaign ROI, and general marketing success KPIs drives improvements and continued success in these areas.
For the business, revenue reporting is the name of the game. Being able to tie revenue to marketing actions allows your team to get the respect it deserves and justify its budget.
Valuable reporting is a function of quality data collection, management, and consistency in the process. Without actively managing these upstream processes, your reporting is going to suffer. This is where having a strong marketing operations team, specifically MIOPs, is going to improve your overall business decision-making.
Training and Enablement
Just because you have a marketing operations team, does not mean the rest of the organization is hands-off with technology. It’s quite the opposite- better-managed tech and enablement allows non-technical resources to use the tools more effectively and improve their overall performance.
You can start by identifying the different types of users of your technology and define how the person needs to use the tool. Once this is defined, the team can take advantage of multiple different certification and training paths provided by the different platform communities. By growing the skills of your users through platform technology certifications, they can become advocates for building and governing the system processes – a win-win!
Without specialized support in marketing operations, you’re going to have difficulty extracting value from your revenue teams and building a growth-driven company. Understanding the impact across business functions and tying that to revenue should help you communicate the business case for a robust and experienced team. If you need additional oomph, talking about the costs incurred by not enabling your sales and marketing teams to execute, optimize, and scale can shift opinions quickly.