Marketers who are getting the most out of their marketing operations tech platforms are implementing systems that are easy to use, integrate with other systems in their organizations and make ongoing training a priority through creating a marketing ops center of excellence, according to recent data from Gleanster Research.
Implementing a marketing operations tech platform that makes sense for your organization is a challenge that forward-thinking marketers are already dealing with, and successful marketing operations departments are the ones that are committed to the change completely.
“You don’t invest in the technology and then walk away,” says Gleanster Research principal analyst and ceo Ian Michiels, who presented at the recent Marketing Operations Executive Summit 2015 in Carlsbad, CA.
The definition of marketing operations and what constitutes success in that area has evolved over the years, Michiels says
“There are executives in your organization that have a biased view of successful marketing, and vendors, consultants and internal organizations have very different definitions of marketing operations,” he says, adding that the definition today is a simple one.
“Marketing operations is people and processes that transform budget and ideas into customer-facing communications. It involves a combination of people, processes and technology and the goal is to improve marketing efficiency and effectiveness,” Michiels says.
Marketing is now being scrutinized like never before, thanks to empowered customers, an exposition of channel and the proliferation of offline and online marketing. Gleanster asked top-performing marketers about their reasoning for implementing new marketing ops tech and 72% said it was to standardize repetitive marketing processes, while 66% said it was to streamline workflow with internal stakeholders.
The top five challenges marketing ops professionals are facing today include organizational culture, employee training, a lack of funding and prioritizing against other initiatives.
And there are also some essential skills that successful marketing pros will need to have moving forward, Michaels says.
“Marketers will need to be inquisitive, metric-minded, collaborative, accountable, champions for change and tech-savvy,” he says.
Michaels suggests that marketers being the process of selecting a platform by documenting the current state of their marketing ops systems to identify any bottlenecks that are impeding workflow.
“Don’t frame it as ‘this is what’s wrong,’ frame it as ‘this is our opportunity and my recommendation,’” Michaels says.
Michaels says that 82% of top-performing marketing departments invest in a phased rollout of marketing ops tech and follow a roadmap, and says teams can follow some best practices when looking to secure marketing ops budget.
“Align the outcome and metrics to externally committed targets for the business and link processes efficiency to those outcomes. Aggregate current state initiative over a period of years and plan to divest of legacy systems,” Michiels says.
Marketers who understand the challenges and know how to present their case are in high demand, and will continue to be moving forward.
“There is a massive shortage of talent that understands how to champion operational change,” Michiels says.