Marketing Operations

November 15, 2017

New Research Report Reveals How Much Bad Leads Could Be Costing You

Every B2B marketer knows that bad leads waste budget, time and resources. We even know that they hurt our relationship with our sales counterparts. But during a discussion a few months back, it occurred to Integrate’s CMO and me that we really didn’t have a clear grasp over the extent to which bad leads are undermining our demand generation efforts, let alone how much they’re costing the business. Next thing I knew, I was face down in dozens of surveys, analyst briefings, vendor reports and influencer articles published over the last 18 months, gathering as much secondary source info as possible. Then, I dove into the primary source material, analyzing over 3.6 million B2B leads processed through the Integrate platform between September 2016 and August 2016 – all to answer three questions: What are the most common types of bad leads? Can we estimate the costs of these bad leads? What can marketing teams do to improve lead quality and database integrity? The “Cost of Bad Leads Report” is the result of these efforts. [You can get the report here]

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October 19, 2017

Proactive Approaches to Increasing B2B Marketing Database Integrity

B2B marketing database quality has been a major concern among businesses for years. Yet, the problem only seems to be getting worse as marketing teams identify new types and sources of prospect data, and the martech vendors that serve them find new ways of generating it. In fact, a 2017 Ascend2 and Informatica report states: “A clear majority of marketing decision-makers (62 percent) point to improving the quality of marketing data as a most important objective of a successful marketing data strategy.”[1]  Another recent report, however, shows that a mere 6.6% of B2B marketers “believe their data is complete and up-to-date. Slightly more than 4 in 10 marketers aren't confident in the quality of their MA and CRM data.”[2]

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September 14, 2017

It’s Time B2B Marketers Sweat The Small Stuff to Drive Bigger Results

In a recent Reachforce interview, Kate Athmer answered a question about common demand generation marketing challenges: Traditional demand gen campaigns and channels are managed individually, and are almost never integrated with marketing automation or CRM systems. So marketers spend all their time managing media partners, testing lead sources, formatting and scrubbing spreadsheets, arguing over returns and loading leads into their database – without much insight into what’s actually working. Plus, all the manual components make it nearly impossible to scale for gains in marketing-attributed revenue. In the grand scheme of things, each of the challenges Kate listed seem rather minor, so marketing leaders and the c-suite (and even the demand generation and marketing operations practitioners in the trenches) avoid addressing these inefficient processes. Take all this inefficiencies in aggregate, however, and you have a major problem that affects revenue and marketing’s impact.

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August 31, 2017

How Marketing Ops Pros MacGyver MarTech to Get More Done

As B2B marketers, we often buy technology to do one thing, and end up needing it to do something else. Or more realistically: we constantly uncover new tasks and challenges to solve with marketing technology. But while more technology or newer technology can sometimes be the answer, just as often we can find a workaround or other path to get the result we need. Which is good, because no one likes to be accused of having shiny object syndrome. As Courtney McAra said in her Marketing Ops Game Changers interview (the inspiration for this post): "Game Changers challenge the definition of what it means to be a Marketing Ops person. We’re not just data-dorks who sit in the basement with our staplers, taking orders and building webinar programs. We like using technology to do cool and innovative things. Maybe to do things that they weren’t intended to do. We’re MacGyvering the shit out of it to make it work to bring more revenue to the business."

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July 11, 2017

How I Stay Agile In Demand Marketing: Perspectives, Tools & Tips

A version of this post was first published on CMSWire.com. Like many tech startups, Integrate operates with a lean marketing team. And it’s crucial that each one of us wears multiple hats. Take my title for example: “Thought Leadership and Marketing Tech Strategy”…it’s a mouthful of garbled nonsense, but it covers a broad spectrum allowing a great deal of flexibility, which lends well to – you guessed it – agility. We all know “agility” as an operational concept was ripped off from software developers. And with regard to B2B marketing, we can loosely define it as an approach that encourages rapid and flexible response to change in order to continuously improve the results of our marketing efforts. Sounds great! But how exactly can we marketers put such “rapid and flexible responses to change” into action?

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May 23, 2017

3 Big Implications of New SiriusDecisions Demand Unit Waterfall

I’ve been excited about the coming of SiriusDecisions’ revised waterfall since February when Kerry Cunningham first told me he was working on it. Like a movie trailer, Kerry implied significant changes, without actually giving anything away. I was intrigued – and the unveiling last week didn’t disappoint.

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April 6, 2017

Demand Marketing Template: Getting Started with Funnel Measurement

The ultimate goal of funnel measurement within a demand marketing team is predictability: How can I take what I see and translate that into future expectations? And then, how can I take those expectations, pull a few levers, make some adjustments and beat those expectations? For example, if you know you’ll need 3000 leads next month to hit your pipeline goals next quarter, and currently you’re only on track to deliver 2000, then you know you’ve got to add another program. Or maybe you’re brimming with MQLs, but sales-acceptance rate is low. How do you decide whether to plan a webinar, invest in a content syndication program or redesign a process to eliminate the bottleneck happening at the marketing-to-sales hand-off?

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March 21, 2017

Secrets & Strategies from Top Marketing Ops Game Changers

From my view, it’s safe to say that Marketing Operations is the most challenging discipline within marketing today. Not only are the pros in these roles expected to leverage tech, processes and data to create efficiencies and drive results – but they’re being increasingly relied upon to develop a strategy that will help reach the company vision AND be masters of change management to ensure all hands are on deck to execute that strategy. That’s a tall order. But there’s are a number of marketing ops leaders rising to the occasion. We recently announced the Top 33 Marketing Ops Game Changers, a group of best-in-class marketing operations innovators leaving an indelible impact on their organizations and shaping the future of marketing ops. Over the last several weeks, we’ve had the privilege of working closely with these pros to uncover tips & tactics to help you:

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March 10, 2017

Webinar: Winning Marketing Ops Strategies for Your Playbook

Integrate and Heinz Marketing recently recognized 33 Marketing Ops Game Changers. The purpose was to identify the folks who are driving their organizations forward and to surface insights that will help other ops practitioners while advancing the industry. Over the last several weeks, we’ve been working closely with this group of pros to understand the challenges they’re facing, the solutions they’re implementing to overcome those challenges and the outcomes received as a result of their prescriptive approaches.

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February 15, 2017

33 Marketing Ops Pros Who Are Driving the Industry Forward

Marketing operations is arguably the most challenging discipline within B2B marketing today. It’s a constant back and forth between big picture strategy and in-the-weeds execution. Ops leaders must balance people, processes, data and technology in order to make micro- and macro-improvements that will prove instrumental in reaching business goals. Integrate and Heinz Marketing recently set out to uncover the marketing ops professionals who aren't only rising to this challenge, but leaving indelible impact on their organizations. We conducted a similar program last year to recognize demand marketers. That process worked well and resulted in some helpful content being used by many demand marketing leaders to shape and evolve their strategies. So we followed a similar process to acknowledge ops leaders who are driving their organizations, and the industry at large, forward.

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January 17, 2017

Marketing Ops Focus: A Little Less Tech & A Little More Data

David Raab is Founder of CDP (Customer Data Platform) Institute and Principal of Raab Associates. With nearly 30 years of experience analyzing marketing trends, tech and data, Raab is one of the most trusted resources for practical advice that helps advance today’s marketing organizations. This year, he joins an esteemed panel of judges to help identify  33 Marketing Ops Game Changers who are driving their oranizations forward.   Raab recently took some time to share his views on the Marketing Operations role. It seems perhaps many ops pros are so inundated with implementing marketing technology and building complex workflows that they’re not able to full exercise their data-driven and analytical talents.

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January 5, 2017

Marketing Operations Pros Are Putting on Their Big Kids Pants

John Donlon is Research Director for Marketing Operations Strategies at Sirius Decisions. He works with Marketing Ops pros and teams every day. He is one of the six judges for the Marketing Ops Game Changers program which is recognizing the top 33 Marketing Ops leaders in B2B for breakthrough work. We caught up with John to get his scoop on the past, present and future of Marketing Ops – a profession that has progressed from the “island of misfit toys” and an informal function to today being a trusted counselor to the CMO.

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December 13, 2016

Are There Silent Killers Lurking in Your Demand Marketing Process?

With all the progress that's been made around demand orchestration – from technology to enable ABM and predictive, to top-of-funnel automation, to advanced Pipeline analytics – marketers have more power to influence revenue than ever before. But interestingly, this technology doesn’t always show us the way, at least not at first. Instead, it often uncovers a murky mess of bad data, or a tangle of workaround processes. Much has been written about the consequences of dirty data or time wasted manually processing spreadsheets, but those are just two of the most blatant, deadly problems marketers face. The reality is, we still have a lot silent killers lurking out there, threatening to drag down our marketing results. So how do you identify and weed them out before they do real damage?

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December 1, 2016

Lead Integrity Checklist: Demand Gen Tool to Improve B2B Data Quality

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a B2B marketer working in demand generation or marketing operations. The odds further suggest that you or someone you work with has spent grueling time pouring over spreadsheets to get leads ready for your marketing automation and/or CRM system. It’s a taxing, time-consuming process that eats away at resources (not to mention team morale…no one goes to college to scrub and format leads). But it’s necessary. And in the throes of such tedium, it’s easy to overlook an erroneous email here and an untargeted job title there, allowing bad data to get into the all-important customer database. This “dirty data” skews performance measurement and hinders your ability to optimize programs effectively.

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November 3, 2016

Call for Nominations: Who Are The Best Marketing Ops Game Changers?

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of working with Heinz Marketing to highlight 40 demand marketers who are taking their organizations to the next level. Through collaborative work with these Demand Marketing Game Changers, we unearthed leading-edge B2B marketing strategies and tactics that are setting the pace for demand generation and marketing ops pros. 

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November 1, 2016

6 Skills Marketing Ops Leaders Can Master to Change the Game

Marketing operations has become the epicenter of marketing activity. Businesses look to their ops team to align people, processes and technology in ways that create maximum business value. These leaders wear many hats, move at the speed of light, and constantly strive for both macro- and micro- improvements that will impact the organization.   While there are some valuable resources to help marketing ops professionals refine their strategies, great ops work goes beyond copying someone else’s playbook. If you really want to advance your ops career, you first want to understand the traits that make ops leaders invaluable and then integrate those traits into your marketing DNA. After working closely with some of the best ops pros in the industry, we’ve boiled game-changing marketing ops work down into six core traits.  These are the skills up and coming operations professionals want to master.

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June 15, 2016

40 Demand Marketers Who Are Changing the Game

We talk about it all the time. Marketing is changing. Marketers own more of the customer lifecycle than ever before. And they’re being charged with creating exceptional experiences to engage those customers while driving ever-increasing contributions to pipeline and revenue. They’re building demand centers. The demand marketers powering those centers face new challenges every day. It’s a tough job and many have a hard time keeping up with the pace, let alone innovating. But there are definitely some standout pros rising to new heights and changing the game of what it means to be a demand marketer. Recently, Integrate and Heinz Marketing set out to recognize 40 demand marketers who are accomplishing big things within their organizations.

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June 14, 2016

Marketing Ops: Why TOFU Matters to You Now More Than Ever

The rise of the marketing operations (MOPs) profession has driven efficiency, new capabilities and a much more analytical and process-driven approach to marketing. MOPs’ biggest area of impact has been the enablement of demand generation and customer acquisition. To date, MOPs has primarily focused on what happens inside the organization. This includes the deployment and optimization of core marketing platforms such as the organization’s web site, marketing automation (MA) and CRM systems, as well as any analytics tools. MOPs is responsible for ensuring all these internal systems are applied and integrated to provide maximal efficiency, data insights and overall value to the business. Such requirements are pretty well understood by this point (there’s always room for improvement, of course). But what about all the interactions, data and effort happening outside the organization, where discovering and engaging new prospects is essential to creating new customers?  

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May 31, 2016

The Mobile Imperative For Marketing Ops

If there’s any remaining doubt about how mobile phones have permeated our lives, pay close attention the next time you’re in a public restroom – airport, shopping mall, sports arena – and note the individuals using their phones to text, email or talk. Don’t worry: this conversation isn’t headed for the toilet and it won’t be a rant against non-stop mobile phone usage. Instead, I’m going to suggest ways marketers should capitalize on the remarkable extent of mobile usage.

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April 28, 2016

Advice for Demand Marketers: How to Avoid the Black Hole of MQLs

Sales wants qualified leads. Now. With velocity, ready to buy, and at their target accounts. You already invested in marketing automation (which someone else probably stuffed full of crappy data) and dabbled in some paid efforts. Now you’re exploring Predictive and Account-based Marketing… but HOLD ON. Whatever happened to all those leads you already generated and qualified? As a demand marketer, it’s tempting to wash your hands of the lead once it reaches Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). But too often Sales reaches out a few times, then moves on when a lead is unresponsive. They aren’t going to nicely hand that lead back to marketing – they will just move on. And the lead will disappear into “the black hole of MQLs”.

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January 28, 2016

Beyond Alignment: 4 Steps to Sales-Marketing Integration

The team at Integrate is in the midst of ramping up 2016 demand generation efforts like many organizations. While we've always been pretty well aligned with sales, this year we’re committing to moving from alignment (we have a defined set of processes, SLAs, definitions, regular pow-wows and such) to “integration.” We have a few loosely defined ideas of what “sales-marketing integration” means, and we’re not sure if it’ll make a meaningful difference. However, it felt like we were ready to work smarter and closer to get better results for Integrate and for our demand marketing customers.  This commitment prompted some homework and discussion with other marketing and sales leaders at respected organizations.

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January 5, 2016

How Much Will Poor Data Integrity Cost You?

While everyone knows marketing data integrity is incredibly important, our industry-wide efforts to address the issue aren’t keeping pace with the proliferation of bad data. In fact, a recent Ascend2 Research survey (November 2015) found that “Improving data quality” was overwhelmingly the No. 1 “Most Challenging Obstacle to data-driven marketing success.”

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October 22, 2015

5 Questions with a Marketing Ops Geek

First of all, I don’t think Tom Kahana, Director of Marketing Operations at Imprivata, is a geek in any way. In fact, while very experienced, well-informed and enthusiastic about all things MarOps, he’s actually quite affable. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’m far more of a geek than he...but he calls himself a marketing ops geek at the end of this interview, and I needed a catchy title. So there it is. Tom has over 15 years of marketing experience in the technology space. And for the past six years, he’s been in the thick of marketing operations’ rapid evolution. Which is why I reached out to him, on numerous occasions, for expert insights – and that inevitably led to this interview and hopefully much more content to come.

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October 8, 2015

Marketing Operations – A Skill Game [Infographic]

Over the last year, we’ve interviewed a lot of marketing operations practitioners. Those that come to mind quickest include Leslie Cocco Alore of Iron Mountain, Gary Katz of Marketing Operations Partners, Tom Kahana of Imprivata and Jennifer Clegg of CA Technologies. These numerous conversations highlighted the most common, daunting pain points (pun slightly intended) that MarOps pros face on a daily basis. And more importantly, they inspired me to rip off the creative genius of everyone’s favorite 1960s board game: Operation.

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August 20, 2015

Marketing Ops' Next Frontier [New eBook]

I’ve been working on this “Marketing Operations’ Next Frontier” ebook a while…probably too long if you ask some of my colleagues. And while it’s quite comprehensive and covers several topics, it’s not as complete as I originally envisioned. But this is good news for all you “hopefully will-be” readers, because if I’d kept to my original plan, it would’ve amounted to about 60 pages. And nobody wants that. Instead, this ebook is a concise 22 pages and will serve as the foundation for an in-progress Marketing Ops “playbook.” There will be many more marketing ops resources to come in the following months. Here’s a snapshot of which Marketing Operations Playbook works on the horizon:

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July 23, 2015

Closed-Loop Marketing: Where Demand Gen Is Falling Short

Marketers today are constantly hustling to ensure prospective and existing customers get the info they need when they need it. This is incredibly difficult if customer-facing roles (demand generation, brand management, product marketing, etc.) can’t access the performance data (often enabled by marketing ops) that highlights specific persona needs. Herein lies the value of a closed marketing loop – it shows marketers: which marketing content is resonating with personas through which channels your personas are most likely to engage which media sources have audiences matching your personas the combination of demand generation tactics that provides maximal ROI where to allocate media and content marketing budget  which demand generation efforts are failing and which are succeeding …the list of benefits is extensive. But most marketing organizations are falling short due to operational roadblocks that prevent data from being shared between various marketing roles and the media partners that need it.

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July 21, 2015

3 Imperatives for Fixing Lead Data Quality: From the Experts

Poor data quality is an issue that comes up daily in both our internal marketing team conversations and with the hundreds of demand marketing and marketing ops teams we closely work with. We all know it’s a big challenge, yet many of us still struggle to fix it. Why? Because it’s a never-ending quest to get it right and maintain high levels of data accuracy and integrity.  The good news is there are automation solutions and very clear practices you can deploy to address dirty data challenges that negatively impact customer experience, undermine sales partners’ trust and hamstring your ability to deliver optimal results from your marketing programs.   This past week I reviewed a few key articles from data experts for a kick in the butt to get out in front of the dirty data issues. It’s a call to arms to proactively implement measures to prevent bad data where possible and manage the health of our prospect and customer data on an ongoing basis. Here are three solid reads – from Forrester Research, Sirius Decisions and our own Integrate Data Quality Index – that I hope will spark some ideas and provide inspiration to tackle the poor data quality issue in your organization.

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July 9, 2015

Lead Velocity: Why It Matters, What to Measure & How to Boost

Lead (or data) velocity is a marketing metric that’s quickly gaining popularity among Marketing Ops and Demand Gen practitioners. And it’s understandable why. Lead velocity is a gauge of several fundamental marketing objectives: sales-marketing alignment, customer experience and marketing-attributed revenue. We’ll get into much more specific definitions and how to measure velocity later in this post.  At a high level, lead velocity is about speed (e.g., the time it takes for a generated contact to become sales-qualified lead) and conversions rates (the percentage of leads that convert through various points in the customer acquisition funnel).

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March 30, 2015

An Oracle Eloqua App Demand Gen AND Marketing Ops Can Agree On

So, we’re releasing a new Integrate app today for Oracle Eloqua users. Now, I typically wouldn’t make a big deal out of this – after all, apps in this space (or any space for that matter) are a dime a thousand – but this app is pretty awesome. And anyone who knows me is fully aware of my distain for hyperbole. Why so awesome? Simply put, because it makes closing the loop (numerous loops, actually) on your third-party demand generation programs as easy as dragging an icon into place on your Eloqua Campaign Canvas.

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February 20, 2015

How To Help Marketing Ops and Demand Generation Work Well Together

Whether it’s about IT and Marketing (namely the CIO and the CMO) or growing dissent between Sales and Marketing, everywhere you turn seems to be another piece of content trying to shed a light on changing dynamics and the need for alignment. I’m not taking away from the value of such conversations, they’re obviously important. Yet, such interdepartmental emphasis distracts from intra-marketing alignment issues, a problem of that grows day by day.

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February 12, 2015

3 Keys to Marketing Ops & Demand Generation Alignment

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been surveying a few marketing experts to gain feedback on what we’re seeing as a growing issue within marketing; namely, misalignment between demand generation and marketing operations teams. This is seemingly the result of marketing’s expansion in responsibility and size, which in turn causes intradepartmental siloes to form (in bigger companies), each with their own goals, duties, terminology, perspective, needs, etc. The insight we received from Scott Fingerhut, VP of Global Demand Generation at Elasticsearch, deserved to be highlighted in its own post. Scott has vast experience on both sides of this matter, but here he focuses more on the marketing ops perspective.

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February 3, 2015

[eBook] Guide to Prospect Data Quality

Today, we’ve released an ebook, “Guide to Prospect Data Quality,” to help marketing operations and demand gen professionals identify and solve growing problems resulting from poor-quality prospect data. The ebook provides detailed guidance on ensuring your prospect data quality is accurate, complete and actionable BEFORE injecting it into your marketing systems or passing on to sales for follow-up. It also provides an analysis of more than 775K B2B leads and data governance insights from companies such as DocuSign and TIBCO. You can download the ebook here.

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January 28, 2015

[Infographic] Causes and Consequences of Dirty Data

Integrate recently examined more than 775K leads to answer the question: WHY exactly are marketers and sales teams so frustrated with their lead quality? The result was our first research index: Prospect Data Quality – B2B Tech Industry. Though stat-filled indices are great, stat-filled infographics are better (statistically speaking) – which is why we created the following…

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January 27, 2015

Prospect Data Quality by the Numbers [Research Report]

Marketers are recognizing more than ever the need to improve lead quality. In fact, we’ve seen survey after survey (Salesforce,[1]  ANNUITUS,[2] Asscend2[3]) that clearly highlight deep frustration among marketers regarding the quality of their prospect data and how improving lead quality is a No.1 priority. We haven’t, however, seen much analysis of the prospect data itself. Questions are left unanswered: To what extent is prospect data inaccurate? Where do the biggest quality issues lie? Is this an SMB concern or just an enterprise issue? At Integrate, we recently set out to address real world questions such as these, because recognizing the problem is the first step, but pinpointing the causes is key to finding a solution. Get Integrate’s Data Quality Index here. 

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November 19, 2014

Marketing Ops' Favorite 4-Letter Word

Our 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! 

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November 13, 2014

Building Quality Customer Engagements With Standardized Data

Marketers are inundated with data. From lead files, to web traffic reports to marketing automation data, marketers can’t – and shouldn’t - get away from it. Data provides the basis for optimizing marketing performance. In fact, data elevates marketing to the role of trusted business partner with sales, according to Pete Koliopoulos, VP of Marketing for Arrow Electronics, who spoke at this year’s Sirius Decisions Summit. The problem is that data from diverse sources lives in different systems and formats, making it difficult to gain a consistent view and take action. Koliopoulos said data strategy often isn’t given adequate priority in enterprises because business executives overlook the impact that data has on sales and marketing productivity. How can we possibly still be failing to see the full impact data has on our business?

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November 11, 2014

Inside The Mind Of A GE Marketing Ops Executive

When it comes to enterprises with a complex range of marketing needs and seemingly overwhelming goals, few stack up to GE. That’s why we were very excited to have the opportunity to interview Ramiro Ramon, General Manager of Marketing Strategy & Operations for GE Healthcare. Over the last two decades, Ramiro has focused on generating innovative strategies and customer-centric business models that have maximized revenue, market share and profits for both GE and Johnson & Johnson. Moreover, he serves on the Editorial Advisory Board and is a writing contributor for PM360 – the premier magazine for marketing decision makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries. We spoke with Ramiro about his take on the ways marketing technology is both influencing and being influenced by the marketing’s transformation. We also delved into the mindset, strategies and characteristics needed to be a great marketing ops leader in this evolving tech-focused landscape.  

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November 6, 2014

Marketing Ops Hashes It Out via #MarTechChat [TweetChat Session]

Marketing Operations has become marketing’s nerve center, overseeing the convergence of marketing and technology to streamline processes, measure and analyze initiatives, optimize resources and provide strategic planning. But this responsibility doesn’t end with marketing alone. Marketing Ops is increasingly charged with aligning marketing, sales and IT efforts. This means establishing expectations with external leadership and standardizing the use of data between cross-departmental technologies to continuously increase sales pipeline, conversion rates and lead velocity – an increasingly daunting assignment. Join us on Twitter for a fast-paced, engaging discussion on the mission, purpose and role of Marketing Ops in a data and ROI-driven marketing world. This 30-minute TweetChat will feature leading Ops practitioners sharing their ideas, learnings and advice for marketing’s road ahead.

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November 4, 2014

Why Standardization Boosts Value Of Marketing Metrics

A couple weeks back, Scott Vaughan’s post titled “Marketing Standardization: The Must Have for Marketers in 2015” exhorted the need for marketing orgs to standardize data, systems, measurements and expectations to free valuable resources that would be better used for other endeavors. While I wholeheartedly agree with his central thesis, I would take it a step further, at least with regard to standardizing measurement processes. Standardizing measurement enables marketers to peform better. It allows them to: More quickly compare the value of lead sources, assets, marketing tech systems, media investments, etc. Do all this with greater accuracy to better inform decisions and make more effective optimizations.

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October 28, 2014

What Can LinkedIn, SAP & Netflix Leaders Teach Us About Marketing Ops?

Last week, I participated in the inaugral Marketing Ops and Technology Summit chaired by Gary Katz, Chairman and VP Strategy for Marketing Operations Partners. 60+ practicing executives bantered for two days on the present and future of marketing and tech operations (MOPs). While there were “speakers”, this interactive conference tapped into a seasoned group of practicing marketing and tech leaders. Collectively, this very experienced cadre included executives from powerhouse companies such as LinkedIn, SAP, Clorox, At Home, GoGo, and NetFlix. Since this was invite-only session, here are insights I pulled direct from these accomplished leaders.

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October 13, 2014

Marketing Ops & Tech Summit: Past, Present, Future Of Ops

Marketing technology has garnered a staggering amount of attention in recent years as startups take advantage of today’s low capital requirements to address the myriad challenges marketers face in the digital, customer-centric marketing era. Tech solutions continue to automate processes and measure outcomes in ways that enhance both the performance of marketing and sales as well as customers’ experience. This has led to numerous tech-focused events such as this week’s Dreamforce ‘14 and the MarTech conference held in August. What has received less attention, until recently, is the discipline that has evolved to own the strategic use of marketing technology: Marketing Operations. The inaugural Marketing Operations and Technology Summit will be held October 22-24 and aims to address this void. I sat down with the conference’s chair, Gary Katz, to gain a few insights regarding the discipline’s current state as well as a glimpse of what we can expect from the event.

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September 24, 2014

4 Questions with a Marketing Ops Pro

We’re constantly on the lookout for new industry influencers and practitioners to interview, and one name that kept popping up among my colleagues was Alexa Bleecker, Trusteer WW Demand Generation and Digital Marketing. Unlike most other Marketing Operations practitioners, Alexa started in an Ops role. She didn’t migrate as it grew into its own discipline (that is to say, she didn’t carry over any bad pre-digital habits like the rest of us). And this gives her a distinct perspective on the role’s evolving challenges and opportunities.

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September 22, 2014

The Great Schism: Marketing Ops Analytics and Customer Data

A recent study shows that organizations measuring marketing ROI are 17 times more likely to see the same or greater ROI over the previous year.[1] Yet there remains a resounding echo among many organizations that state an inability to pull the requisite data for such measurement. In fact, only 53% of the 3,500 survey respondents claimed to measure ROI. This is largely a result of an inability to tie systems together.

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September 3, 2014

Marketing Ops: Only the Analytical, Adaptable and Hungry Need Apply

The digital era has provided marketers with the ability to measure and analyze the outcomes of their efforts. No longer a company’s “arts and crafts” team, marketing departments are leveraging metrics and systematic management techniques to generate real business value. Marketing Operations spearheads this focus on back-office data analysis, strategic planning, budgeting and the use of marketing technology to perform these duties. It has become marketing’s nerve center, controlling systems and processes to influence, measure, and manage all things marketing.

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August 19, 2014

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.

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August 6, 2014

What Goldilocks Taught Us About Closed-Loop Marketing

Marketing has a clear mandate to prove ROI; we’ve heard this time and time again. Similarly, we’re now hearing the mantra “closing the loop” as the main way to validate our marketing spend and optimize it for future campaigns. Far too much gets written on the “Why,” yet the “How” is rarely addressed. Closed-loop marketing typically refers to marketers’ ability to track a buyer all the way through their journey, from original lead to closed customer (all of your leads become customers, right?), and then attribute sales revenue back to the originating data sources, channels, creative assets, tactics, etc. However, in my experience, different organizations have different business models, strategies, agreements between marketing and sales for lead handoff, etc. — all of which influence the most effective points to initiate a closed loop.

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July 23, 2014

Marketing Ops: It’s Time to Clean Your Marketing Data [Whitepaper]

Marketing organizations know that quality marketing data is the key to unlocking marketing’s potential to drive maximum business value and create happy customers. Data-driven marketers are continually finding new ways to dissect and apply data in order to increase marketing performance. Yet, our ability to leverage data effectively in our marketing efforts is directly affected by the quality of the data fueling those efforts.

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June 26, 2014

Meet the Chief Markitecht at Symantec

With always-on, empowered customers and the rapid pace of business, understanding and strategically using technology across your marketing and communications efforts is more essential than ever. To make this strategy a reality, marketing and tech teams need to collaborate ( Don’t worry, not another goofy article about the CMO vs. the CIO!). Out of this new world a critical role is emerging to help bridge the gap and bring these disciplines together. Whether you label the role as “marketing technologist” or some such title, it requires a focus on business and marketing process, a passion for data and marketing, a player-coach mindset, and a solid understanding of technology architecture.

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June 12, 2014

Aligning MarTech and Marketing Ops — An Interview With Gary Katz

I recently interviewed Gary Katz, Founder and Chairman of Marketing Operation Partners, for research I’m conducting on the challenges and opportunities regarding the simultaneous growth of marketing tech and the Marketing Ops role. What resulted was a 52-minute conversation of great value. Here, I have provided a short, yet very insightful part of that conversation.

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June 10, 2014

How to Select the Best Marketing Ops Tools for Your Business

We have shared a great deal of learnings about the importance of “Creating a MarTech Blueprint” to guide your technology investment and integration decisions. And, we have outlined successful formulas for adoption such as “Crawl, Walk, Run.” Today’s post is from Mary Wallace, a Marketing Ops leader who outlines how to identify the best tools – in the endless landscape of marketing tech providers – to meet your business and customer requirements.

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May 20, 2014

The Rapid Ascent of Marketing Ops

With its roots in strategic planning and budgeting and its increasing focus on customer acquisition, Marketing Ops is quickly becoming the customer experience nerve center. Ops leaders are driving the tech systems and processes to automate, measure, and manage all things marketing. With Sirius Decisions Summit taking place this week in Orlando, Florida, it’s the perfect time to take a deeper dive into the current state of Marketing Ops and project where it’s headed (Sirius Decisions is credited with coining the “Marketing Ops” term).

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May 1, 2014

Quarterly Business Review For Marketing

A long time ago during my very first professional job at an ad agency, the CEO made a not-so-profound statement that sticks with me to this day. He said one of the most important things that advertising professionals must do is cover their ass. This of course is sage advice in any industry, but especially so in advertising and marketing where performance is open to wide-ranging speculations if not measured and documented. A superb way to accomplish this creed is to conduct quarterly business reviews (QBRs).

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January 7, 2014

Closing The Loop: The Next Step Toward Actionable Customer Insights

Today’s marketing technology is impressive. In fact, it has fundamentally changed the marketing profession. Marketers no longer pick a TV spot or print ad and cross their fingers. We gather, measure, analyze and act on data. New marketing technology and processes consequently allow us to target consumers by granular characteristics such as traveling habits and intended purchases, and then reengage them with creative specific to their individual characteristics, behaviors and interests. Stop and think about that. Now think about how only 20 years ago Zack Morris was seen as a technological savant when he made calls by holding a cell phone the size of a smart car against his perfectly coiffed head.

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November 18, 2013

The Missing Link: Connecting Media + Prospect Data to Marketing Ops

Marketing organizations are aggressively modernizing, automating and adding more digitally centered marketing methods as they focus on their mandate to discover prospects and create new customers. CMOs have added CRM for managing pipeline and customer relationships, leveraged marketing automation for nurturing prospects, spent millions on super-charged, branded websites and landing/social pages, and dumped billions into advertising technology (ad tech) to promote their offerings. With all of this progress, we’re still missing a vital component in the quest to modernize our marketing approach. We are NOT connecting our target audience, prospects and future customers, or their data, to our marketing systems and processes – a critical missing link.

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