Balance the efficiency and effectiveness of your strategy with B2B marketing operations
The FINITE MOPs panel discussion is full of insights from leading marketers of top tech companies - Teamwork, Amazon Web Services, GFK and Sage.
The panel shared their experience with marketing operations, and explained why it is crucial for the success of marketing strategy. They discussed the evolution of the marketing operations role, why it’s becoming ever more important to have and when it should be implemented.
Why should B2B companies have a marketing operations team?
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Here are the key takeaways:
- How has marketing operations evolved as a role?
- What role does marketing operations play in strategy?
- When should marketing operations be implemented?
- Should marketing operations sit under the CMO?
- What’s the biggest advantage of having marketing operations?
How has marketing operations evolved as a role?
Marketing operations help you make your marketing activities repeatable and scalable. With enhanced processes you can reach wider business objectives and attain your company’s vision.
In regards to the evolution of the role, marketing operations is becoming more about the execution of marketing. In dynamic times, when companies have to pivot their proposition and operations at the flick of a switch, perfect marketing execution is vital.
Another factor in the evolution of the role is advancing technologies that make automation more mainstay for marketers. Marketing automation is usually one of the first things a company implements when they go to market, so marketing operations needs to manage this system.
“Marketing operations is my right hand. It’s the day-to-day and how we’re making strategic decisions for the business.”
- Tara Robertson, CMO at Teamwork
In regards to the importance of execution and strategy, you have to start with strategy first by thinking about your solution and offering. Marketing operations plays a part in this strategising, as a right hand man to see how marketing impacts revenue.
It is up to marketing operations to make processes more efficient with better technologies to decrease cost. The key is budgeting, and shifting budgets where needed. The MOPs team can help make a case for increased budget, by proving the effectiveness of marketing.
What role does marketing operations play in strategy?
At its core, marketing operations are able to measure conversion rates, so you can find opportunities for improvement and expansion. In a global strategy, you can see where localisation needs to happen and where successful markets can inform others.
A lot of strategic decision making lives within data as evidence, to ensure you’re making the right bets at the right time. Big decisions can be supported by analytics to improve odds of return.
Externally, a strategy should always be customer-first, with a focus on how your customers perceive your brand from each channel. Internally, you need to think about stakeholders and their experience, to allow them to do their jobs in the best way possible.
“The go-to-market function is like a race car and driver and marketing operations are kind of like the pit crew. We’re tuning up the vehicle, we’re changing the tyres, we’re fuelling up the vehicle so that it can go as fast as possible in a safe and agile way.”
- Darrell Alfonso, Global Marketing Operations Manager at Amazon Web Services
Marketing operations is all about data quality, setting up systems, tagging leads and channels in a way that a marketer can easily access and understand. It’s the ‘behind the scenes’, with the goal of enabling the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing.
When it comes to strategy, the definition comes from the marketing management team but operations exist to facilitate that strategy. This means that MOPs have a responsibility to understand the wider goals of the business and how marketing can achieve these.
When should marketing operations be implemented?
Marketing operations can start adding value as soon as you have repeatable processes that you want to make as efficient as possible and at scale. Whether it’s organising events every month or producing content each week, volume is the first trigger for the need of a marketing ops team.
When your company goes global, marketing operations are vital. They can help organise and align local teams to figure out the best strategic moves for go to market approaches in new territories. When this happens, marketing operations should be intertwined with your organisation’s DNA so you can work side-by-side for long term success.
Should marketing operations sit under the CMO?
Marketing operations can sit under demand generation, acquisitions or outside marketing in revenue operations. This all depends on how your business is structured. Firstly, you need to understand the priorities of your organisation and look at where marketing operations would thrive.
Secondly, what is your go to market strategy? If it’s a self-serve model where technology is critical to smooth operations, then marketing ops might be a more holistic team in your organisation.
In stages of growth, you need to think about the future of your marketing and how marketing operations fits into this strategy. They should help you prepare for growth by forward thinking about how processes can scale.
“Having that one team sit centralised and in partnership with all of the individual teams, and working with me hand-in-hand, helps create that non-bias to the different areas we’re focussed on.”
- Tara Robertson, CMO at Teamwork
Having a partnership between the CMO and marketing operations is critical because it can take away bias for one team so that one function isn’t prioritised over another. Having marketing operations under the CMO can align the different marketing teams and create a harmonious network of groups working towards the same goal.
One guiding rule would be if marketing operations are heavily strategic, they should work with the CMO. The CMO should equally understand the importance of marketing operations.
What’s the biggest advantage of having marketing operations?
“If you get it right, operations help you get a seat on the table.” - Gonzalo Garcia Villanueva, Global CMO at GFK
Marketing operations give you a pulse of ROI on a daily basis to prove the success of your campaigns. This ensures you have the budgeting you need, and you can make a case for more if necessary.
“They bring order to the chaos.” - Tara Robertson, CMO at Teamwork
With so much going on in marketing, with different teams, hyper growth and new tech, marketing operations can structure this in the most effective way possible. It is a partnership, and doesn’t matter who they’re reporting to as much as the results they bring.
“Once you have an idea of where you want to go, it's ‘exactly how are we going to get there?’” - Darrell Alfonso, Global Marketing Operations Manager at Amazon Web Services.
Marketing strategies can’t be fuzzy or ambiguous. They have to be simple and straightforward with an exact target in mind.
The panellists were Tara Robertson, CMO at Teamwork, Darrell Alfonso, Global Marketing Operations Manager at Amazon Web Services and Gonzalo Garcia Villanueva, Global CMO at GFK. Moderated by Jon Ashley, Senior Manager, Global Customer Advocacy at Sage.
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