Turning Marketing From a Cost Into a Profit Center

Recently, Gary M. Katz and Glen S. Petersen from Marketing Operations Partners published an article about the difficult position many CMOs find themselves in. They are pressured to deliver more results with less resources, while also having to account for each marketing spend. Katz and Petersen argue that implementing a solid Marketing Operations solution can turn marketing from a cost to a profit center.

CMOs caught between Sales and Finance might try to increase production by simply asking their people to work harder, or by implementing a technology solution, Katz and Petersen say. Both options have their downsides:

Working harder is noble but it’s foolish to think doing the same old thing will yield different outcomes. The promise of automation is tempting but what if the investment only accentuates fundamental flaws in the organization? […] Consider the effectiveness of marketing automation when the following pre-conditions exist:

  • A senior executive has not articulated a strategy to apply marketing automation and outlined the consequences to the company of failure to successfully deploy and adopt it
  • Marketing lacks defined processes, business rules, and common terminology
  • Many disparate pre-existing systems need to be integrated
  • Users lack technical skills and treat existing applications as credenza ware that collects dust

That’s why the CMO should take a step back and assess the underlying structure that is causing inefficiency in the marketing department, instead of trying to fight the symptoms:

Creating a marketing operations function can ultimately help marketing evolve from a cost to a profit center.

  • Consolidation of administrative and support roles within marketing operations leads to well-defined processes and business rules
  • Effective management of vendors ensures accountability and reduces costs
  • Data quality and data integration issues are addressed by Marketing Operations presenting a single interface to peer groups while advocating the corporate value of fixing these pervasive issues

Although taking the step towards a marketing operations system requires time, convincing, and a financial investment, its results in terms of structure, efficiency, and saved time and budget will make it worthwhile.

For the full article, click here.

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