The Growing Importance of Effective Marketing Operations

Prompted by growing demands from CEO’s, enterprise-level marketers have been working to improve productivity for several years. The ‘great recession’ of 2009-2010 across much of the developed world brought a heightened sense of urgency to the efforts to make marketing more productive. Whatever the economic environment, however, marketers are now expected to maximize the return produced by every investment.

Most large enterprises have used two distinct, but complementary, strategies to improve marketing productivity.

  • Early efforts focused primarily on improving the effectiveness of campaigns and programs. Marketers began using sophisticated data analytics techniques and personalization technologies to more precisely target marketing campaigns and to make messages more relevant and persuasive.
  • More recently, marketers have focused their attention on improving the productivity of their operations. They have recognized that improving the efficiency of marketing operations is a powerful way to stretch limited budgets. The equation is simple: the money saved by increasing operational efficiency can be used to fund revenue-generating campaigns and programs.

The importance of marketing operations is now reflected in the organizational structure of the marketing department. Over the past decade, a growing number of enterprises have added a dedicated position to manage marketing operations. While the specific responsibilities of this position obviously vary from company to company, most marketing operations managers will be deeply involved in:

  • Planning and budgeting
  • Marketing process/workflow design/improvement
  • Marketing performance measurement
  • Marketing technology selection/implementation

The objective of marketing operations management is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing operations by implementing and using concepts and tools from other disciplines. These tools often include Six Sigma, change management, systems thinking, and similar management practices.

Marketing operations management is also very much about the selection and implementation of marketing-related technologies. New technologies now provide marketers unparalleled opportunities to improve productivity, but the proliferation of marketing technologies also makes it critical to select tools that can be integrated to provide a comprehensive marketing execution technology platform.

Have you analyzed your company’s marketing operations activities and processes? Have you recently examined the marketing technologies your company uses? Do these technologies provide integrated support for all your marketing activities and processes? If your answer to any of these questions is ‘No’, it may be time to take a close look at your marketing operations.

This post was also published on the Adam Software blog.


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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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