Marketing Ops' Favorite 4-Letter Word

real_vs_idealOur first #MarTechChat TweetChat session was exactly what we were hoping for – great insights that illuminated both important trends and intriguing debates within the world of Marketing Ops. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who participated in the session, especially our two headlining practitioners: Leslie Cocco Alore and Alexa Bleecker! 

While there were many takeaways for consideration, one thing is certain: Ops practitioners are a dynamic breed of marketer with skills that set them apart. High-tech, fast-paced, analytical, curious and deeply connected with all business units, Ops pros are a proactive force within the organization and will shape the future of marketing. And surprise, surprise – they love data! 

Marketing Ops’ mission is to leverage marketing systems and data to its full value.  

No surprises on this one. Across the board, the common denominator among tweeting practitioners was the effective analysis of data (through the optimization of systems and processes) to drive decisions that meet organizational goals.   

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Customer experience still a concern from the back-office.

While operational decisions were front and center in the conversation, Marketing Ops is also focused on using data to improve customer experience. Enabling marketing to tell a relevant story that will engage customers – understood through the effective use of data – is just as important as the focus on operational goals. In fact, when asked whom Ops reports to, no one neglected to mention the customer.

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Data is the driver but standardization and integration are the keys.

The mandate to leverage data effectively to optimize marketing operations and drive customer value is often hamstrung by technological challenges. Data standardization, quality and integration were cited as key roadblocks to success. Without standardization, data can’t be properly analyzed or communicated through systems to optimize results, which as we’ve seen is Marketing Ops’ core mission.

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Should marketers dump intuition for their new BFF: Data?

Data dependence sparked some debate over the value of intuition for marketers. We’ll be posting an article on this very topic next week, so I’ll let the tweets speak for themselves:

“Somebody needs to have and use intuition in marketing.”

 “Intuition just doesn't cut it these days!”

“Can't live without data, but every world class marketing org has a handful of people with great intuition.”

“I see intuition-based decision making as a dangerous slippery slope. Ppl tend to react to single events that aren't the norm.”

Evaluating marketing tech is an operational hurdle in itself.

Ironically, marketers don’t have the resources to evaluate all the technologies that are meant to save them resources. With all the tech that’s currently available, practitioners are limited to the number of solutions they can properly assess at any given time. It’s crucial that Ops be disciplined regarding their tech stack roadmap – “shiny new object” syndrome is pervasive in the industry and it must be avoided at all costs through a structured evaluation process. It was also remarked that new tech causes procedural change, and you have to give people time to “understand & adopt” a new technology. Too much change at any given time can be detrimental to a roll-out or a department itself. 

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Marketing Ops and Demand Gen are different roles that benefit from shared knowledge.

The consensus seems to be that Marketing Ops is marketing’s backbone. Demand Gen, and all other marketing disciplines, rely on Ops to provide the insights that enable effective marketing. Ops and Demand Gen do, however, overlap a great deal and, as Leslie Cocco Alore put it: “A #MarketingOps pro who understands #DemandGen = GOLD.”

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Conversions, data quality, velocity and customer satisfaction are the most important metrics to define Ops’ success.

Conversion rates and customer satisfaction are no-brainers. Data quality and velocity, on the other hand, seem to be newer metrics that have recently been gaining momentum across the industry, and it was good to see that corroborated through this session. And it makes sense; as Ops continues to invest in and integrate greater numbers of systems, it’s inevitably beginning to place greater emphasis on the quality of and speed with which data is communicated between these systems to ensure maximal systems effectiveness and ROI.

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With such a great conversation, we’ll be sure to host more events like this. Thanks again to all who participated and we look forward to future discussions!

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