B2B Marketing Blog

How To Map Your Marketing Operations Competencies

By Andrew Nguyen
Oct 26, 2017
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Marketing operations (MO) is the unsung hero when it comes to enabling marketing teams to execute their campaigns and programs.

Marketing operations enable marketing teams to run smoothly by creating data processes, managing data and data vendors, and doing analyses to enable marketing teams to operate smoothly. It’s a lot like engine oil, crucial in allowing the car to run smoothly, but often unseen by the drivers.

Marketing leaders know the importance of a capable marketing operations team, so it’s important to assess current capabilities and put together a plan for expanding those capabilities. 

In this post we review a framework by SiriusDecisions to help marketers put their current marketing operations capabilities in perspective.

The framework is broken down into five disciplines:

  • Measurement and Reporting  

  • Planning and Budgeting

  • Infrastructure Management

  • Data Management

  • Marketing Operations Design and Development

The entire framework is below.

Mapping Competencies Marketing Operations-4.jpg(Click image to enlarge)

For each discipline there is knowledge, skills, processes, and tools that enable success. Let’s dive into some of these disciplines in more detail.

Measurement and Reporting Competencies

At the basic level, an organization should have reporting metrics defined, a monthly/quarterly reporting process, and technologies like MAP, Excel, and web analytics in place.

As we get more advanced, we start to see predictive analytics tools, like Revenue Planning, and proficiency in advanced measurement and reporting technologies like multi-touch marketing attribution.

More advanced marketing operations processes include getting reporting connected to business objectives. This means connecting web analytics, MAP data, and sales data all aligned to business objectives, such as revenue goals. 

Technology is just one portion of the measurement and reporting discipline. In order to advance, marketing leaders must train or hire leaders who can turn those insights into actions. This requires that marketing operation leaders to be both technically proficient and proficient in change management.

Once these are all in place, an organization is considered having advanced measurement and reporting competency. See the framework below:

Mapping Competencies Marketing Operations measurement and reporting.jpg

(Click image to enlarge) 

Marketing Operations: Planning and Budgeting

While budgeting may not be the most appealing aspect of marketing, it becomes important as companies get larger and the amount of campaign spending begins to scale. As this happens, marketing operations needs to provide the ability to support an investment allocation strategy that helps marketers track their campaigns in terms of a budget schedule that maximizes transparency and ROI.

The central themes in planning and budgeting competency is the ability to see further into the future and creating standards around the planning process. 

From a technology standpoint this includes project management tools, MRM systems, procurement systems and revenue planning. Revenue planning is using historical revenue data to create a marketing investment plans with the help of predictive modeling.

Marketing leaders who have advanced planning and budgeting capabilities are able to treat all marketing investments as a single portfolio, tracking and allocating investments based on the timeline of corporate goals.  

Bizible offers Revenue Planner to improve how marketing executives create investment allocation strategies. Powered by predictive modeling on touchpoints and revenue data, Revenue Planner helps marketing operations aligned planning and budgeting to corporate revenue goals.

Data Management In Marketing Operations

As businesses grow so does the amount of data they have to manage. For marketing ops this means the need to align with sales and IT on data initiatives. It also means becoming proficient in data governance and prioritize data acquisition plans.

Marketing operations begins with understanding how to get contact data, doing list pulls, de-duping data, and standardizing data. It matures with managing data strategy, working across teams, and using enterprise data warehouses.

To map out your data management competencies, you can use the framework below:

data management core competency b2b marketing.jpg

(Click image to enlarge)

Marketing Operations Design And Development

The marketing operations department must evolve to meet changing business needs and new technology. This requires leadership and vision. Marketing Operations Design and Development is the ability to analyze the function’s strengths and weaknesses, define their vision and be in communication with the C-suite to make the vision a reality.

Coming back to a car analogy, if marketing operations is the oil that keeps the engine running, then MO Design and Development is the work required for a successful transformation to all-electric. When it’s time to switch to all-electric, marketing operations must provide the vision, blueprints and user manuals that enables successful transformation.

How do marketing operations leaders build competencies in this area?

They must develop skills in planning across functions, developing an organization’s vision, assessing strengths and weaknesses, using BI tools, and using planning tools.

Bizible Data Warehouse enables marketing operations leaders to run business intelligence analysis to help them develop insights that feed into operational plans. From there, marketing operations can provide the blueprints and plans needed to lead business transformation.

Conclusion

For the function that sits between finance, planning, measurement and execution, it’s vital for marketing leaders to build out their marketing operations vision and capabilities. The Marketing Operations Competency Framework helps leaders understand where their operations capabilities currently are and how to move it forward.

This competency framework was created by SiriusDecisions and you can download the entire brief below.

Mapping Competencies In Marketing Operations  Create a plan for advancing your marketing operations capabilities.  Download Now

Topics: marketing operations

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