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The Science Side of Marketing and the Emergence of Marketing Operations

by Laura Patterson  |  
March 13, 2007

The world's markets are becoming more and more efficient as the demand to drive inefficiency out of companies continues to expand—and dramatically impact the marketing organization.

As the increasing complexities and the rate of change continue to accelerate, marketing departments are becoming the center of attention. As a result, we face both external challenges from competition as well as internal challenges around people, process, systems, and tools.

To rise to these challenges, marketing is undergoing a transformation to enable it to improve its operational and business performance. The stronger the linkage between what we envision in our strategy and what we execute in the market place, the more we can ensure that marketing is providing value.

As a result, there has been a movement toward creating a marketing operations role to drive the connection between marketing strategy and execution and actual results.

The Rise of Marketing Operations

As the need for a more transparent, efficient, and accountable view of marketing became increasingly more important, the marketing operations function emerged. For example, across the technology sector, organizations began staffing and/or expanding the marketing operations role in the last two years, according to IDC.

The purpose of the function is both to increase marketing efficiency and to build a foundation for excellence by reinforcing marketing with processes, technology, metrics, and best practices.

Marketing operations enables an organization to run the marketing function as a fully accountable business. Marketing operations is about performance, financial management, strategic planning, marketing resource, and skills assessment and management.

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Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM

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