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Four Keys to Marketing Operations Success

by Gary Katz  |  
June 24, 2008
  |  11,857 views

What does "best practices" in Marketing Operations (MO) look like, and how do industry-leading companies operate and integrate this highly valuable function? Marketing Operations Partners recently polled more than 80 marketing leaders to find out.

Key Findings

Four factors that survey participants say have contributed significantly to their MO success:

  1. Clarity and consistency across the organization—shared practices, a well-defined road map and enabling infrastructure, reinforced by clear and pervasive communications that keep everyone on the same page.
  2. Executive advocacy and support to champion the value of the MO function in achieving the organization's objectives.
  3. A culture of accountability and alignment that fosters buy-in at all levels and rewards productive behaviors consistent with the desired vision.
  4. Processes and technology that are fully leveraged to achieve and sustain operational excellence.

To get an in-depth understanding of current MO functions, Marketing Operations Partners' benchmarking study solicited feedback from more than 80 technology companies. Participants were primarily CMOs, VPs of Corporate Marketing and Marketing Operations Directors with high-level marketing responsibilities at some of Silicon Valley's most recognized Fortune 100, 500, and 1000 enterprises.

What Is Marketing Operations and Why Is It Important?


Marketing operations (MO) is a term that is sometimes used differently across organizations. We define MO as a thorough, end-to-end operational discipline that leverages processes, technology, guidance, and metrics to run the marketing function as a profit center and fully accountable business. The goal is to do two things exceedingly well:

  1. Drive the achievement of enterprise objectives by reinforcing marketing strategy and tactics with a scalable and sustainable enabling infrastructure
  2. Nurture a healthy, collaborative ecosystem both within and outside the marketing department that optimizes Marketing's value and fuels enterprisewide success

In this article, we will focus on responses to one question summarized in the Journey to Marketing Operations Maturity—Best Practices in Marketing Operations Series benchmarking study report. We will see what bubbles up to the top for those marketing executives working "in the trenches" as they identify their most critical success factors.

Question: To what combination of factors do you attribute your MO success to date?


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Gary Katz is chief strategy officer of Marketing Operations Partners, a consulting firm that helps marketing organizations become value centers through accountability, alignment, and agility. He is also CMO of the Marketing Future Forum, dedicated to bridging silos in marketing teams, organizations, and supply chains.

LinkedIn: Gary Katz

Twitter: Gary M Katz

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  • by JOHN BEE Thu Jun 26, 2008 via web

    This is flooded with complicated jargon. Underlying ideas may be sound, but why not use simple language? "Processes and technology that are fully leveraged to achieve and sustain operational excellence" makes me want to puke!

  • by D Ramaiya Wed Oct 8, 2008 via web

    John, I can only speak for myself, but I generally wouldn't come to a professional resource like MarketingProfs to get the pedestrian version. Like any good marketer or communicator, Gary Katz has written to the level of his audience. I feel that his content, context and articulation are entirely appropriate.

    Translation: I think it's ok. I would hate to see MarketingProfs dumb their content down.

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