Marketing Operations: Your Key to Streamlining Silos and Getting Growth

Marketing Operations: Your Key to Streamlining Silos and Getting Growth

April 19, 2017
4 min read

Businesses have always traditionally kept their departments separate, especially larger firms, but many departments can work much more effectively when brought together. As a business, you have overall goals and every department within your business should be working towards these goals. This is much easier when they are able to effectively work together, while developments in technology and processes can facilitate this relationship.

Let’s take marketing and sales as an obvious example. Historically, there has been a clear division between these two departments, despite lead generation and website traffic being critical success factors for both business functions. However, the technology driven nature of almost every aspect of modern business and the cohesive way in which most technology works means it can be used to bring departments together.

Marketing operations is an exciting emerging field that has been gathering momentum due to the direct impact it has on a business’ ability to drive tangible and measurable ROI. It systematically organises your strategy and processes, both through technology and in line with business activities outside of the marketing department. Efficient marketing operations is key to synergising the whole business and achieving your core goals.

Tackling Marketing Department Fragmentation

Inter-departmental fragmentation is often talked about, but intra-departmental silos are often ignored. For example, within your marketing department there may be further separation and discord. Different marketing functions may operate in isolation with no wider connection to strategy, data may be mishandled or stored in different formats and in separate locations. Lack of communication too plays a key role in keeping what should be a cohesive connected department apart.

Technology can be instrumental in ensuring these fragmented processes are brought together. The goals within your marketing department may differ but they can be centralised and as marketing technologies are recognised as key to this process, it is important you understand their relevance. Over 4,000 companies now have an investment in marketing technology, and it is a growing industry, which all businesses can benefit from.

Centralising Marketing Goals

The goals of your marketing department will differ from process to process, with sales being the overall aim. Most likely, your marketing department will focus on strategies that grow and enhance the following outcomes:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Developing customer relationships
  • Thought leadership
  • Achieving traffic targets

Each of these goals are very closely interlinked yet many large businesses keep them separated off, which in turn can have a negative impact on the overall effectiveness of strategy. From content to social media and inbound marketing to outbound marketing, there are a vast range of specialist skills and processes essential to achieving your marketing goals. Marketing operations centralises and streamlines your processes with the help of technology, a partnership which delivers results. One study found that using marketing automation to engage and nurture prospects led to a 451% increase in qualified leads. This shows just how effective technology can be when used well within your overall strategy.

Embracing Technology to Support Marketing Operations

78% of US marketers and 63% of European marketers accept that marketing tech is a critical skill in the success of senior marketers and it is a powerful tool in managing and delivering marketing operations processes. Marketing operations is the connective tissue that allows your strategy and technology to come together and stay together. The fragmentation that can come from using separate technologies is brought together in an organisation’s streamlined marketing stack, allowing for data to be pooled and used intelligently going forward.

Marketing operations is about uniting the systems and processes within a business, removing silos and replacing them with a single cohesive unit. Operations manage the processes and run the automated systems which ensure the leads you need are generated and the level of analytic research beforehand ensures a higher volume of qualified leads too. Data is handled and stored effectively so it can be used in a smart and proactive way.

The incorporation of cloud technology into both your marketing stack and as a general standard for your company will have a significant impact on the real-time availability of data, and the level of flexibility you can offer your marketing team as they work to deliver results with the support of your chosen tech.

The Wider Business Impact of Martech

The right balance of marketing software, applications and systems can be key to truly understanding your target customer. The right blend of technologies has the power to give you a 360-degree view of your target customer and personalise your business’ offering for them. This advanced level of understanding can impact every area of your business from product or service development to your sales approach to even things such as packaging design or the tone you use in your content, if you learn of the preferences of your customers.

Martech is not something which is going to fade away. A survey from Conductor found 50-65% of marketing execs plan to spend more on technology in the coming year, with some planning to increase their budget by as much as 25%. Your competitors will be developing their marketing stacks and honing their processes. Connecting together all the fragmented parts of the department is entirely possible with the right operational approach, supported by the right technologies. The technology on the market allows for you to capture and manipulate data in ways which have never before been possible and utilising this possibility alongside your tried and tested CRM systems and processes will be key to your development and growth as a business.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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