Marketing operations can be a complex and challenging area to manage, particularly when it comes to connecting the four essential domains of planning, budgeting, work management, and performance management. And to make it more complicated, many of us are running the business of marketing using disconnected teams, processes and tools that weren’t built for marketing. Are you tracking your marketing budget and spend in Excel and creating your annual plans in PowerPoint? Tracking the execution of your campaign work in a project management tool? And how about performance – are you either not tracking it at all or using yet another tool?  How do you tie all the data and pieces together to see how your Marketing Operations is performing overall? Do you have a dedicated role to oversee Marketing Ops for your organization?

It’s time to improve the business and operations of marketing. Here are three main components to this:

  1. A Marketing system of record

  2. Defining your Marketing strategy

  3. Modernizing your Marketing operating model

As I discussed in For the Record: Why Your Marketing Team Needs a System of Record, every other department in the modern enterprise — finance, sales, even HR — has a system of record, a framework that enables you to make and implement strategy, meet goals and decide budgets and resource allocation. With the right approach, it is possible to bring these domains together to create a system of record that provides visibility, accountability and actionable insights for Marketing Operations.

But is that enough? To modernize your Marketing Operations, it's essential to have a well-defined business strategy along with a system of record.  

When defining your business strategy, here are 10 key areas to consider:

1. Define your goals.

This is the first step in developing a business strategy for marketing operations. What do you want to achieve? Do they increase revenue, improve customer retention or boost brand awareness? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can develop a plan to achieve them.

2. Analyze your current situation.

Before you can develop a strategy, you need to understand your current situation. Analyze your marketing operations processes, tools and resources. You should also conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

3. Identify your target audience.

Your target audience should be at the core of your Marketing Operations strategy. You need to identify who your customers are, their pain points, and what motivates them to make a purchase. This information will help you create campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive results.

4. Develop a value proposition.

Your value proposition should be a clear and concise statement that communicates why your product or service is unique and how it solves your customers' problems. Your value proposition should be incorporated into all your Marketing Operations strategies to ensure consistency across all channels.

5. Create a content strategy.

A content strategy should be an integral part of your Marketing Operations strategy. It should include a plan for creating, publishing and distributing content that resonates with your target audience. Your content should be engaging, informative and relevant to your customers' needs.

6. Prioritize cross-functional collaboration.

Marketing Operations needs to evolve in order to facilitate cross-functional collaboration. Marketing is no longer siloed within a single department, and businesses must be able to collaborate effectively across different teams and functions in order to create a cohesive customer experience. This means that marketing operations must be able to work closely with IT, sales, customer service, and other departments in order to deliver a seamless and personalized experience for customers.

7. Understand data privacy.

This is becoming an increasingly important issue, and businesses must be able to navigate the complex regulatory landscape in order to stay compliant. This means that Marketing Operations must have a deep understanding of data privacy laws and be able to implement robust security measures to protect customer data.

8. Increase the focus on ROI.

Marketing Operations also needs to evolve in response to the increased focus on ROI. Businesses are no longer content to simply launch marketing campaigns and hope for the best. Instead, they want to see tangible results, specifically increased revenue and customer engagement. This means that Marketing Operations must be able to track and measure the impact of their campaigns and adjust strategies accordingly.

9. Leverage technology.

Technology can help streamline your Marketing Operations processes, improve collaboration and provide insights into your customers' behavior. You should invest in the right tools to help you execute your Marketing Operations strategy efficiently. This is where the system of record comes in!

10. Monitor and measure results.

The final step in developing a business strategy for Marketing Operations is to monitor and measure your results. This means tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and using data analytics to identify areas where you can make improvements. By continuously monitoring and refining your strategy, you can ensure that it continues to meet your objectives and deliver value to your marketing operations. This will also help you understand what's working and what's not, allowing you to adjust your strategy as needed.

Marketing Operations plays a crucial role in the success of any business. By streamlining marketing processes and ensuring that all campaigns are executed efficiently, marketing operations can help organizations drive revenue, increase brand awareness and enhance customer loyalty. By following these steps, you can develop a strategy that aligns with your goals, resonates with your target audience and drives results. Remember to monitor and measure your results continually, so you can make data-driven decisions and optimize your Marketing Operations strategy over time.

Coming soon! Part 2 of this series: Modernize Your Marketing Operating Model