How to plan your marketing operations
From social media and apps to segmentation and customer experience, marketing has changed tremendously over the past decades. But has it changed that much? In essence, no.
Marketing’s purpose remains the same: to promote goods and services, and sell them to generate revenue.
However, promoting and selling goods or services has become infinitely more complex. So much so that marketing departments have turned into data-driven machines. They churn out an incredible amount of data to understand potential customers and predict their behavior.
While your marketing people remain the most critical element of your marketing effort, using up-to-date processes and technology is the only way to stay ahead of the curve. You need effective marketing operations (MOps) to oversee and guide your marketing effort.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- About the three pillars of MOps
- About the key roles in MOps
- How to strategize your MOps
- How to plan your MOps
The three pillars of marketing operations
Before you can strategize, plan, and deploy your MOps, it’s essential to take a step back and look at it from its most basic form. Your MOps, no matter the size of your company, rests on three elements:
The backbone of your MOps is its people. You must gather a team of highly-skilled individuals who understand the importance and purpose of MOps. Each team member must specialize in a specific area that will contribute to your company’s marketing goals. At a glance, MOps teams are made up of:
- Project managers
- Technology specialists
- Data Specialists
- Content Specialists
The people above collaborate to oversee your marketing efforts, solve marketing problems, and achieve your marketing goals using specific processes and the most suitable technology.
Once you’ve gathered your MOps team, you must decide which role each individual will perform. This way, your MOps team can perform many minor tasks that will essentially lead to achieving your goals.
Here are some processes that your MOps team must perform:
- Strategic planning
- Project planning
- Marketing research
- Performance analysis
- Data management
Of course, none of the above processes are possible without technology. Your team needs the right tools for the job.
Technology helps your team gather essential data and automate tasks to save time and minimize errors. Your gathering of tech tools, or tech stack, will streamline your processes, enhance communication, track your marketing efforts, and keep your budget in check.
Here are some tools used by MOps teams:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Marketing Resource Management (MRM)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
The three pillars listed above are fundamental for your MOps. You must select highly skilled individuals that can play on a team and make sure they understand your company’s mission. Finally, they need to have the right tools the perform their tasks successfully.
Making your marketing operations strategy
Before devising any plan, you must have a general idea of what it should be about – you need a strategy.
It’s a crucial step that stakeholders cannot overlook because your strategy is the key that will lead you to craft a successful marketing operations plan. There are four main elements that you must consider.
1. Align with company goals
Your marketing operation is the driving force of your marketing. But without direction, it will lead you somewhere you never intended. Ask yourself what your main goals are and make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based).
2. Specific steps to reaching those goals
You cannot attain your goals in one giant leap; you need smaller steps to reach them. Knowing these specific steps is the perfect way to draw a roadmap to keep your entire marketing effort on track.
3. Determine KPIs and key metrics to track
Guessing how well you’re doing isn’t an option. You must have the numbers to track your progress. It will help you stay on top of your marketing team’s performance and let you see if you’re meeting your goals. Most importantly, it will help you predict what will come in the future.
4. Consult your marketing department
Your marketing department might have some insights you do not possess. As a stakeholder, it’s essential that you connect with your project managers and team members to find out what your operations may be missing. Perhaps your martech stack is too thin? Or you might not have enough players to meet the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Once your strategy is in place, you’re ready to plan your marketing operations.
Plan your marketing operations in four easy steps
1. State your objectives
Stating your objectives will serve as the compass of your MOps. You can think of it as the mission statement that will guide your marketing teams. Your objectives should align with your company goals and values.
More specifically, your objectives must provide your MOps with a clear direction. For example, “MOps is responsible for improving brand awareness, simplifying marketing processes, streamlining communication between teams, and increasing ROI.”
2. Team members
After stating your objectives, you need to decide on the people who will make up your MOps team. Start with leaders and work your way down. The key roles should look something like this:
- Director of MOps
- Marketing tech manager
- Data manager
- Content manager
For smaller companies, it’s possible to have a few individuals wear numerous hats. Still, it would be best to have someone with IT experience to run the tech and analytics and a content manager who can lead a team of freelance content creators and copywriters.
3. Software and tools
When it comes to gadgets, companies tend to go all out. We all like the latest stuff and always want to stay up to date. However, martech can be costly if you’re not careful. The best way to start is by getting the basics and working your way up as time goes on. Your marketing operations team is responsible for choosing the right tools to improve all aspects of your marketing effort.
4. KPIs and tracking
The last step is to have a specific way to track your progress. Choose KPIs that are directly linked to your objectives. If you plan to improve brand awareness, you’ll need to track search volume, click-through rate, web traffic, social media engagement, impressions, ad clicks, and the likes. Your data manager should provide KPIs that will track your MOps performance and help you find ways to improve your marketing effort.
Even though marketing has become more data and software-driven, your marketing people are still the most crucial element of your marketing operations. By choosing the right people and empowering them with a clear plan, your MOps will succeed.