Proper management, monitoring, and control of your company’s marketing efforts will allow you to integrate and automate workflows and various marketing processes, resulting in a number of benefits. Successful implementation of a management strategy will allow for improved effectiveness, efficiency, and consistency across the organization while also reducing costs and improving overall marketing results.
Of course, at this point, it’s no longer just about making improvements. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, every business knows all too well that controlling the operations of marketing is something that can make or break the future of the organization.
You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of every investment you make. From the daily work of your marketing team and in the general processes of the business, your business should strive to be as efficient as possible. Especially now, when all industries are learning how to function with what they need by relying more on the essential tools of business and maximizing the usefulness of existing resources.
Continue reading this article to learn more about marketing operations and why keeping your operations under control is such a critical part of the continued success of your business.
What are Marketing Operations and Marketing Operational Control?
Marketing Operations is an area of business that evolved from a need for increased transparency, efficiency, accountability, profitability, and competitiveness. This department or third-party service is going to be integral to the business and a central part of operations, where the main elements of every company are aligned:
- People—From management to employees (and even to customers), people are at the center of business. People also make and consume marketing materials.
- Processes—Each process of work can be managed and streamlined. Marketing Operations helps to catalog and organize the processes of marketing for more efficient workflows.
- Metrics—Keeping track of data is also a core function of a marketing department that Marketing Operations can help organize and manage.
- Goals— An efficient marketing department or team needs constant goals to keep effectively reaching new achievements. Marketing Operations can help keep track of goals while making sure that your marketing staff is consistently meeting them.
All this jargon can make Marketing Operations Control sound more complicated than it is. In the simplest terms, the purpose of an effective Marketing Operations Management solution is to create order and alignment within your organization.
This will be done by a management process that works to optimize workflows while overseeing processes and strategies to ensure optimal execution.
Effective management is important in all aspects of business, and Marketing Operations Management is there to ensure that your marketing department is running effectively. If not, it will step in to make necessary improvements.
Why the sudden focus on this area of business?
Other forms of operations management have existed for a long time, but Market Operations Management hasn’t been a focus before now. While this may seem unusual, it’s actually for several reasons.
- With recent innovations in marketing, there are increasingly complex technological solutions that are on the market that require a lot of effort on the part of marketers. This is now in a landscape that is currently overflowing with competition for better marketing solutions. The average marketer just doesn’t have the time to follow all these trends, let alone utilize them.
- Marketers are now being held accountable for metrics that aren’t as easy to track, such as the revenue generated or sourced opportunities, making it more difficult to actually measure goals without improved operations management.
- With all these marketing innovations, there are many opportunities to stand out from the competition. Marketing operations can offer a competitive advantage when companies utilize accurate historical data and metrics to analyze business decisions and growth moves. This can help create more effective marketing strategies.
This can lead to confusion and inefficiency if proper leadership is not established in this area of your business.By using Marketing Operations Management, you can keep your marketing department operating effectively, even in the face of innovation.
The Scope of Marketing Operations
Within the realm of marketing operations, there are a variety of activities that take place under three main umbrellas: content creation and management, demand generation, and performance measurement. These are the main elements of any successful operations strategy for the marketing department, whether the strategy is designed in-house or by a third-party service.
Content creation and management include all of the asset creation involving images, videos, and written copy that has been created or curated to be distributed across various mediums, including web, social, print, and mobile.
Demand generation is the next main activity of marketing operations. This process involves managing data, dialog, and campaigns to generate leads.
In other words, demand generation is concerned with the processes of making ads and delivering them to potential customers. This category of processes also includes lead management and covers the transitional phase that turns visitors into customers.
Finally, you have the performance measurement element, which involves establishing and tracking metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure a better customer journey and the best investment in marketing efforts to increase visibility, efficiency, and effectiveness of all marketing elements throughout the customer journey. By actually using this information, you are giving your business a much better return on its investment and almost guaranteeing quicker and increased conversions on all of your marketing efforts.
Separating each of these primary activities is the first step in managing a complex operation like a growing marketing department. When these three activities are monitored separately, a manager will be better able to see where issues are developing.
If - and when - problems occur, a manager will be able to tell in which areas the department is failing. Then, they can address those issues directly without interrupting other aspects of marketing production.
Where You’ll Drive Impact with Marketing Operations
The scope of marketing operations includes the end-to-end marketing lifecycle, from strategic planning and asset allocation to real-time reporting, analytics, and performance measurement.
This resource is going to be an integral part of the future success of your business, but it may have more of an effect in some areas than others. By knowing where you’ll drive the most impact, you can allocate your resources and efforts accordingly and avoid wasting resources where they won’t be beneficial.
While marketing used to just be the lead-in for a business, it’s now quickly becoming part of the whole customer lifecycle. Marketing is, after all, the single function within a business that is part of every stage of the customer’s journey.
A customer initially encounters a product or service through marketing. They then deal with website content, which is often the responsibility of marketing. Then, post-purchasing communication can also be the responsibility of marketing.
This is why there is also a growing focus on marketing and sales working together in the customer experience from start to finish. Marketing is just as essential for sales as a good sales associate or servicer is. As businesses begin to understand this relationship better, it’s natural that these departments should rely on each other more.
Along with that, data exchange between these two aspects of business can increase sales and improve the effectiveness of ads.
Next, you’ll find that there is a big impact on your lead scoring and routing when you are able to successfully implement a solid marketing operations strategy, generating more and better leads in less time and with less effort on your part.
While marketing used to just be the lead-in for a business, it’s now quickly becoming part of the whole customer lifecycle. Marketing is the single function within a business that is part of every stage of the customer journey, which is why there is also a growing focus on marketing and sales working together in the customer experience from start to finish. Next, you’ll find that there is a big impact on your lead scoring and routing when you are able to successfully implement a solid marketing operations strategy, generating more and better leads in less time and with less effort on your part.
In managing your marketing operations, you will also need to manage your technology stack, providing up-to-date software, business intelligence solutions, and information. Believe it or not, that means that some companies will have up to 10 different platforms in their stack, which can be difficult to manage. By employing the assistance of a third-party marketing operations partner, you can streamline your technology stack and pass the monitoring of it off to professionals whose entire role is to oversee and manage your marketing operations.
These professionals can keep your marketing department functioning smoothly by taking care of those administrative jobs that are particularly hard for a small business to handle themselves. It’s great that so many companies are choosing to diversify the programs they use to make more effective use of their marketing efforts. This diversification can become more of a hindrance without proper management, however. This makes a third-party management partner an excellent investment for those businesses that want to keep with the competition but don’t have the staff to manage the potential IT problems themselves.
Why Your Business Needs These Solutions
Depending on whom you ask, there could be a number of reasons that your organization could benefit from a relationship with a third-party marketing operations partner. However, in the list below, we’ve compiled the top five reasons that seem to be the biggest factors in the future success of your business.
Continuity in the Face of Disaster
Now more than ever, the threat of serious disaster has shown itself to be a real concern for businesses. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have been left scrambling to put a plan together to keep things afloat. All of the day-to-day operations that take place within the organization have been halted entirely unless companies have been fortunate enough to be able to mobilize their remote teams and keep things moving by having people working from home.
Yet, remote working is not as effective as in-person working is for some businesses. And even a mixed workplace has its benefits and drawback. But no matter how you’ve transitioned in a post-COVID-19 market, you’ve had to adjust the fundamental elements of your businesses. Even if you’ve found a compromise, of course, the process isn’t perfect.
Sometimes, you may not have access to all of your software, files, or other tools that are typically used to handle the management and oversight of marketing operations. With a solid third-party service on your side to offer Marketing Operational Control solutions, you can guarantee that the marketing efforts that drive your business will continue on, no matter how long the lockdown keeps your business doors closed.
Not only that, but even once the world begins recovering from this abnormal disruption in the economy
Reduced Operating Costs and Expenses
Even when there isn’t a disaster or a total lockdown, saving money is always good for a business. Right now especially, getting rid of some of the fixed costs of business operations might be the only way for companies to stay afloat. Either way, there is absolutely something to be said for the fact that a proper management and control strategy can cut your operating expenses and help you better budget your marketing dollars.
The harsh reality at the current moment is that companies are being forced to reevaluate their day-to-day operations and decide whether they should retain their manpower and stick with their fixed operating costs, or if they should look into third-party management solutions to get rid of that fixed expense while also reducing their expenses overall. In light of the pandemic, many companies have been served the harsh reality that they are dead in the water if they’re keeping their Marketing Operational Control in-house.
A third-party control solution will keep the marketing operations running even if the business is shut down.
Less Hassle and Fewer Things to Juggle
Even when there isn’t an ongoing crisis, having streamlined and outsourced solutions can go a long way in helping to reduce the amount of hassle involved in your day-to-day operations. Think about the complications of things like vendor management, juggling various service providers, and trying to keep everything running smoothly all at once—it can get taxing, to say the least. You have a lot of different areas of your business that require your attention.
When a third party is managing and overseeing your marketing operations, you’ll have one less thing to worry about—and it’s a major thing, too. Anyone will tell you that marketing is, by far, one of the largest areas of focus for any business. Being able to hand the oversight of this off to someone else, and especially in a time of crisis, can take a lot more off your plate than you might have initially expected.
A third-party management service can offer you these solutions with little hassle. By relieving some tension on the business, you can instead focus on making sure the essential operations that are more directly under your control are functioning clearly.
Get back to focusing on your product or service, while allowing your marketing team to function at a higher level with a good management company.
Increased Customer Lifecycle Management
Throughout all five stages of the customer lifecycle—lead, marketing-qualified lead, sales-qualified lead, opportunity, and customer—the process needs to be monitored and managed accordingly. As mentioned above, marketing is the only aspect of the business that remains present through the entire lifecycle, which gives it a unique ability to assist the customer lifecycle in more impactful ways than other elements might offer. Tracking the customer lifecycle is a critical element of marketing operations.
After all, you can’t know how the marketing efforts are doing if you aren’t monitoring the full lifecycle of the customer. Remember that marketing operations is an end-to-end process, and you need to be incorporating it from the very beginning of lead generation through the completion of the sale and into the future repeat business that you will get if you play your cards right.
The biggest thing that you can do to step up your marketing game to assist your third-party provider is to automate and institutionalize the lifecycle tracking within your database. This is going to put all of your teams on the same page and allow them to personalize and create an integrated, streamlined customer experience from start to finish.
Increased Consistency and Uniformity
One defining characteristic of successful businesses is their ability to provide consistent, uniform solutions across the board. Seamless integration and implementation of marketing efforts is no easy feat, but it can change the way that your company handles its marketing operations and the management of those efforts. Marketing control is the key to the effective planning of your marketing efforts—control ensures accurate and effective implementation, while also identifying and potential shortcomings or planning oversights along the way.
Any business in today’s highly competitive world is only as good as is consistency. There is nothing that a customer hates more than a business that can’t operate the exact same way from one day to the next. While every business has its struggles and rough spots, it’s easier to keep them under wraps when you have the support of a marketing operations partner that will help you create consistent, uniform marketing messages and operational efforts to ensure that your customers are always getting the same information.
Another benefit of increased consistency is an increased sense of brand trust. Customers feel that brands with a consistent, uniform message and branding style are far more reliable and trustworthy because they are making an effort to create a professional image and make sure that their message is clear.
The Bottom Line
Marketing has gone from being a mere part of the business to being the heart of your business, and it’s going to be up to you to make sure that you are giving it the attention that it deserves.
With any growing part of your business, there can be unexpected problems along the way. Especially as more programs are added to the daily workings of your business, they can become challenging to manage and keep updated individually.
With a proper marketing operations partner, it will be much easier for you to manage and monitor your own operations. When considering getting into a partnership with a third-party management system, check their qualifications and be keenly aware of what their responsibilities will be.
Always ensure that any company or program you’re adding to your business adds more value than it costs to employ it.
You can utilize a third-party service during a time of crisis when you need to reduce your operating costs, or just on a day-to-day basis to ensure that you are always on track with your efforts. But even if you don’t want to invest in a management service, you should understand the value of managing your marketing operations.
As this part of your business grows larger and holds more importance over other elements - like sales - ensuring that marking operations are managed will be the key to running a successful business.
Make sure that your marketing department is well organized and stays on track with goals while serving the rest of this business.
There's a Resource for That!
At FuseBox One, we specialize in offering the best marketing operations management solutions, including integrated, automated business intelligence solutions like our Project Manager platform that puts the management of your marketing operations right at your fingertips. Feel free to check out our site and see what we have to offer, no matter what type of operational solutions or marketing assistance you might have in mind.
You can streamline your marketing efforts and guarantee that you’re spending less and getting more when you choose to work with FuseBox One for your marketing operations management. Schedule your call now to discuss your needs and see how our partnership could benefit your business.