Objectives in Operational Marketing Excellence projects are often related to the generic efficiency goals better, faster and cheaper. The concepts faster and cheaper are easy to grasp. But what makes better marketing operations? This question drove us into mythical discussions, similar to what is quality, what makes good design and -later in the evening- what is art?
Although it may sound like an easy way out, we are currently working with the concept that making things better means taking away the things that make it worse… And it’s up to you to decide what that is. In reality it has everything to do with risk management: often ignored by marketers, never ignored by investors.
Let’s take the old adage “Doing the right things and doing things right” as the basis. We define effectiveness as doing the right things and efficiency as doing things right, and look at the concept of risk in marketing operations. You could say that if we lower the probability and impact of “Doing the wrong things and doing the things wrong”, we are lowering risk, mitigating risk and managing risk, and thus creating value.
In Marketing Operations, we focus primarily on the execution and efficiency side, the second part of this quote, which implies that better Marketing Operations means lowering the risks of doing the things wrong.
Defining “doing things wrong” is arbitrary. Basically, things are done wrong when they do not conform to what is expected. As a consequence, risk management is impossible when it is not clear what is expected and which risks are acceptable and which aren’t.
Risk is a fact of business life. Taking and managing risk is part of what companies must do to create profits and shareholder value.
Expressing and communicating management expectations about risks and better marketing operations can be done in manuals, guidelines and procedures. These tools can be integrated and embedded in processes and supported by technology. Usage can be monitored via KPIs and dashboards.
- Correct usage of these tools, processes and technology lowers the risks, creates value, and can be rewarded by management.
- Incorrect usage of these tools, processes and technology increases the risks, destroys value, and should be corrected by management.
Compliancy to internal quality standards and procedures in regards to brand, financial, and legal regulations and guidelines makes better Marketing Operations. The extent to which compliancy checks are enforced will define the value of your marketing operations considerably.