5 Must-Have Marketing Ops Skills

Marketing Ops has become the nerve center for today’s modern marketing organization. It’s no surprise that Marketing Ops pros are in-demand and sought-after by CMOs to operationalize marketing, automate processes, standardize data and measure everything.

This is an ideal time for Marketing Ops - marketing, tech, data and program management - types who are accelerating, re-making or jump starting their careers. We talked with CMOs from our top customers to get the skinny on the skills and attributes to look for in scouting and hiring Marketing Ops leaders.

1. CMO Consigliore

sopranoWhile marketing is not quite the Sicilian mob, having trusted advisors to deliver the facts, the data and the whole picture is essential. Marketing organizations now process more complex sets of data, focus on serving customers via more personalized experiences, and measure outcomes. The need for Ops to be a right hand to the CMO is only going to escalate as marketing departments become more sophisticated operations working across all parts of the organization and serving customers in diverse industries and market segments.

Marketing Ops is also responsible for protecting a company’s most valuable asset and the lifeblood of today’s revenue-driven marketing mission – customer and prospect data. This Silvio Dante-Tony Soprano relationship with Marketing Ops and the CMO is a high-profile gig with serious business on the line.

2. Process Prophet

marketing ops processesProcess can be such a mundane, buzz-kill concept to creative, vibrant marketing orgs. But well-defined and understood processes drive marketing performance and ensure delivery on critical business and customer metrics. Marketing Ops pros are often masters at finding real innovation by discovering and optimizing process connections that improve the top and bottom line. This process connectedness helps build trust with sales by delivering on pipeline SLAs and credibility with c-level executives by using performance and ROI metrics. Because many marketing orgs are operating in a “more with less” mindset, the ability to apply process around resource utilization, budget management and getting the most out of marketing is a huge value add to the CMO and the business at large.

3. Data Enabler

marketing ops dataGetting a single view of the big picture and the ability to better manage marketing performance by setting and tracking key metrics is a primary role for Marketing Ops. Sitting in marketing’s nerve center provides a unique lens into marketing’s interconnectedness (or lack thereof) to the rest of the company. Their passion is to move beyond data management and reporting to analytics and insights where significant advances in today’s modern marketing organization take place. Marketing Ops pros also obsess over the standardization of their online and offline prospect, customer and performance data. While normalized data formats aren’t exciting, they are essential to delivering higher quality data so ALL marketers can gain insights, take action and achieve better results.

4. Integrator Extraordinaire

marketing ops integratorDeveloping and shaping a technology infrastructure and implementing the right systems to provide NEW and scalable capabilities is also a high priority objective for Marketing Ops. But tech alone isn’t the answer. Technology will not provide maximum value without:

  • Integrating core marketing systems to get a full view of customer and performance data
  • Getting the resulting data into the hands of marketers who can take action on it  
  • Assuring that it is aligned with the people and processes used to develop and execute marketing plans
  • Orchestrating user/marketer onboarding and training to assure optimal adoption and use of the technologies.
Therefore, Marketing Ops must think “integrated” in regards to all aspects of marketing in order to effectively operate at the epicenter of marketing delivery.

5. Deal Maker

marketing ops deal makerSitting in mission control means touching all parts of the operation. Frequent interaction and communication with many people, roles and personalities must occur in order to achieve and exceed desired results. This requires proactive communications skills, including being an attentive listener, master negotiator and above average conveyor of ideas and plans. This often means assessing and prioritizing numerous needs and requests from marketing, sales and finance, as well as external providers and tech vendors. And, in turn, handling tough conversations and making deals to keep marketing operating at a high level without interrupting programs and pipeline delivery. Some may even call this role part politician.

Indentifying Marketing Ops leaders with essential skill sets infuses data- and tech-driven thinking and sets the tone for an accountable marketing organization.Now is the perfect time to take inventory on your marketing ops skills and requirements and assess the talent you need.

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