Any business-to-business (B2B) marketer can tell you the importance of having a strong digital marketing plan. But on its own, even the best marketing plan isn’t enough to beat the competition and reach your revenue goals. You need to have people, processes, and platforms dedicated to making sure your marketing efforts run smoothly and efficiently.
In other words, you need a marketing operations team by your side.
What Does Marketing Operations Do?
Marketing operations, or MarketingOps, refers to the individuals, systems, and technology that power your company’s marketing strategy and support your marketing team. It creates a foundation for excellence from the ground up—ensuring your marketers have what they need to succeed at their jobs, operate efficiently at scale, and reach your shared growth goals.
A MarketingOps team will reinforce your existing marketing strategy with the practices, workflows, platforms, metrics, data management, and reporting necessary to build customer relationships, deliver personalized experiences, and increase your chances of success.
The Marketing Operations Process: How It Works
MarketingOps optimizes your marketing team, workflow, and technology stack from beginning to end. It manages and streamlines every part, from budgeting and planning to implementation and analysis—all to align the various facets of your marketing strategy under a singular goal.
That means MarketingOps is key to seeing scalable marketing results and predictable growth.
People, Processes, & Platforms
MarketingOps has three pillars: people, processes, and platforms.
These pillars power marketing operations and are essential to the success of any MarketingOps team.
MarketingOps teams often consist of several experts dedicated to and experienced with different aspects of marketing operations, from data analysis and content optimization to project management and software automation.
This marketing operations team oversees several marketing areas.
- Data management and analysis: They assess the performance of past marketing campaigns, ensure data is clean and accessible, and make sure your marketing team has the metrics they need to see what’s working (and what’s not).
- Project management: They document processes everyone should follow, oversee training to make projects successful, and manage all details of cross-functional projects.
- Marketing platform management: They determine how to streamline your technology stack and ensure platforms run smoothly—including lead management software and automation tools.
- Email and CRM operations: They maintain the infrastructure needed to communicate and build relationships with customers, handle all email and CRM operations, and manage audience segmentation.
- Customer lifecycle management: They manage the customer through every stage of the buyer’s journey and can identify where leads are at any given time.
Large, established B2B companies may have the resources needed to build a MarketingOps team in-house; smaller organizations, startups, or businesses that simply want to outsource this work can find a MarketingOps agency that provides these benefits—and more.
The Role of MarketingOps for B2B Companies
Marketing operations is the bridge between your marketing strategy and what your marketing team does to implement it.
With a strong MarketingOps team in place, your marketing department will have everything they need to successfully and efficiently carry out your marketing strategy and to achieve your marketing goals—from the bite-sized actions your marketers will take and the data-driven processes they will follow to the technology solutions that streamline your marketing operations and the experts dedicated to seeing your campaigns to completion.
Let’s break it down further: Here’s how a marketing operations team can benefit B2B companies in any industry.
Manages & Analyzes Data
Your marketing technology stack provides you with valuable data that can drive decision-making and provide insights into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts—if it’s being managed and analyzed properly.
MarketingOps will ensure your data is clean, accessible, and accurate. Then, the marketing operations team can use this data to identify bottlenecks, understand the customer journey, and track key metrics.
Optimizes Content & Marketing Assets
Are your content pieces and marketing assets the absolute best they can be?
MarketingOps will use data to measure the performance of your marketing assets across channels, audience segments, and platforms—from a bird’s eye view down to an individual touchpoint. Then you can see what’s working, what’s not working, and how you can optimize each content piece to create the best possible experience for your audience.
Automates Manual Tasks
Your marketing team spends too much time on routine and repetitive manual tasks. A MarketingOps team will identify which of these operational duties take the most time away from strategic work, add workflows to streamline processes, and use marketing software to automate these responsibilities as much as possible.
Defines & Clarifies Processes
When your marketers complete a task or action, they need to know what comes next. MarketingOps defines and documents all marketing processes and clarifies next steps so that your marketing team can follow actionable steps that ensure they are always aligned with your overall marketing goals.
Establishes Campaign Metrics
You can’t evaluate the success of a digital marketing campaign without defining what that success looks like.
MarketingOps establishes campaign metrics so that it’s easy to see the success and failures of individual campaigns—and, more importantly, the efficiency of your overall marketing strategy.
Improves Demand & Lead Generation Efforts
MarketingOps teams establish processes that improve your demand generation and lead generation efforts by building a marketing tech stack that better uses prospect data, accelerating a prospect’s progress through the purchasing lifecycle, and aligning your sales and marketing processes.
Combined, these efforts lead to more and better leads who are ready to convert.
Supports the Marketing Team
Above all else, the MarketingOps team supports your existing marketing team. They are responsible for providing and managing everything your marketers need to be successful, from the technology and data they use to make analytical decisions to the systems and processes that guide them to perform optimally in their marketing roles.
Best Practices for B2B Marketing Operations
Follow these tried-and-true best practices as you plan your approach to marketing operations.
Consider In-House vs. Outsourced MarketingOps
While MarketingOps teams vary in size and scope, they usually consist of several experts and require the purchase of additional marketing technology platforms. They also need time and resources to define, document, optimize, and implement new processes.
Some B2B companies develop this team in-house, while others outsource their efforts to a marketing operations agency. Consider factors such as budget, training time, platform availability, and expertise as you decide whether to hire employees or partner with an agency.
Establish Marketing Operations Metrics
In order to understand the value of marketing operations and determine success, outline your marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) and establish marketing operations metrics. These metrics will help your MarketingOps and marketing teams stay on track for the goals you want to accomplish and results you want to see. With KPIs in place, you can keep track of the successes of these teams and see the benefits for yourself.
Define Roles & Responsibilities
Every member of your MarketingOps and marketing teams should understand their roles and responsibilities. Without a clear structure, defined roles, and outlined responsibilities, there is the potential for bottlenecks, mismanaged data processes, and more.
Assign team members to specific tasks and ensure everyone knows how their work contributes to their team, the company, and your revenue and growth goals.
Communicate the Value of MarketingOps
MarketingOps is beneficial to any B2B company’s marketing efforts, but do your marketers know and understand its value?
Communicate the benefits of a marketing operations team to your existing marketing team members. Make sure your marketing managers and leaders can explain how MarketingOps can help individuals, the team, and the company. (Bonus: When everyone is clear on the value of marketing operations, it makes it easier to establish responsibilities and develop a budget for this essential work.)
Plan for Long-Term Stability & Growth
Marketing operations is not a band-aid; it’s a long-term solution that leads to stability and growth.
As you develop a MarketingOps roadmap, consider how to optimize and support your platforms, processes, and people in the long run. Keep things flexible so as new technologies, workflows, and marketers are available, you can seamlessly incorporate them into your marketing operations strategy.
Get Started with MarketingOps at OneIMS
B2B companies in every industry are investing in MarketingOps and seeing measurable, scalable results. If you don’t have a marketing operations team, now is the time to consider how MarketingOps can help your marketing team to do their jobs well, create successful digital marketing campaigns, and optimize your marketing strategy from beginning to end.
You could start from scratch . . . which would require hiring a team of data analysts and project managers, expanding your tech stack, and pausing progress while you reconfigure your marketing processes—or you can work with an established, experienced marketing operations agency like OneIMS.
If you decide to partner with us, you’ll have access to a team of marketing operations experts, our MarketingOps platforms, and personalized guidance—all stemming from our long history of working with B2B companies to build a strong marketing operations foundation.
We have a long history of working with companies in a variety of industries to develop innovative and data-driven marketing solutions. We pride ourselves on producing measurable and sustainable results.
Are you ready to see how marketing operations can help your B2B company grow? Schedule a consultation with us today to get started.