Unless you have been living under a metaphorical rock, you will have heard of Marketing Operations, or perhaps by their more casual name, MOps.
The last few years have seen a surge in Marketing Operations requirements, mostly due to the explosion of technology in the marketing space. And, let’s face it, there is now not a single role in the marketing function that isn’t reliant on technology.
But Marketing Operations is a lot more than just technology. Critical to the execution of B2B marketing campaigns, a skilled MOps team or Marketing Operations Manager is no longer a need to have.
If you google the term Marketing Operations or MOps, you are likely to get some very different answers on what Marketing Operations actually consists of and what a Marketing Operations Managers role is. The fact is, things are changing and technology is evolving so rapidly that the definition of Marketing Operations is difficult to pin down. However, we like to describe it as the planning, execution and analysis of all marketing activity.
Marketing is no longer a flood and forget game. It has become increasingly more tactical and requires intelligent strategic resources to get the very best from your customer journeys, and if you want to stand out from your competitors, you’re going to need to keep your team focused on the tasks they do best.
Marketing Operations cover up to 80% of every day marketing tasks. From campaign management to marketing automation experts, MOps are the specialists that bring marketing ideas to life.
There are many reasons why marketing operations are critical to business success, but it boils down to two key things.
First, Marketing Operations prevent the dilution of your marketing talent. It’s easy to try to pick up multiple tasks to get a marketing campaign out the door, particularly if you have a small or new marketing function. But whilst your strategic marketing managers are figuring out how to use the marketing technology, they aren’t creating revenue generating campaigns that align to your business objectives.
Secondly, Marketing Operations are all about efficiency and optimisation. You might think these two approaches are very different, but they are two sides of the same coin.
In today’s financial landscape, it is almost impossible to avoid the requirement to reach maximum efficiency and effectiveness within an organisation. And, if you’re trying to secure more headcount, or even retain what you have, you’re going to have to prove how your hires can make a real impact to the bottom line.
Marketing Operations are efficiency drivers. They thrive on process and allow you to get from A to B as quickly as possible. They will create those efficient processes, identify the best technology to automate tasks and surface data to make quick, effective marketing decisions.
Optimisation simply means continual improvement. So, the good news is that your Marketing Operations team will never stop making improvements to your processes and technology. Marketing Operations Managers will find new ways to increase marketing performance and revisit existing processes to remove waste, thus making them more efficient.
As mentioned earlier, many businesses are guilty of allowing their very best strategic marketers to dilute their talents by completing tasks that should be performed by Marketing Operations.
Think of it like a sports team. In a team every player has a different role, a skill set that makes them unique to the team. If every player had the same special skill, like scoring or defending, you probably wouldn’t win very much.
Or look at it another way, just because you’re an F1 car designer, it doesn’t mean you can drive it, or indeed, drive it well enough to win.
When you hire marketing talent, you will have a picture in your head about how that individual can make an impact on your marketing strategy. So don’t let that talent dilute by having them pick up tasks that should be performed by Marketing Operations specialists.
The age-old debate of whether to hire specialists or generalists is still current and worth consideration at any given time. However, Marketing Operations specialists are in high demand right now due to technology exploding into marketing and particularly for your team as it becomes a more intelligent function.
Marketing Operations is predominantly a team of specialists, who are experienced at executing your marketing activity effectively. These are the people who should take your marketing execution, efficiency and optimisation up a level, allowing your marketing strategists to concentrate on their important tasks.
A Head or Director of Marketing Operations will know how to set up a Marketing Operations function, and be able to articulate the benefits as well as identify and hire the relevant talent to support the business.
Historically, Marketing Operations has been an administration function within a marketing team. Performing supplier interactions, invoice reconciliation and general admin tasks. But since the explosion of Martech on the scene, Marketing Operations have now become the technology operators, process engineers and analysts of all marketing activity. Here are some of the roles you will likely see in a Marketing Operations team.
You won’t be shocked to know that there is no best way to set up a Marketing Operations team, but there is a best way for your organisation. With some careful consideration about who you are, what you are trying to achieve, your budget and what skills you already have, an ideal structure can be created to add real value to your marketing department.
Here is a typical Marketing Operations org chart:
Previously overshadowed by more creative elements of marketing, it’s now the case that many organisations are investing in Marketing Operations and hiring Marketing Operations Managers to grow and optimise their marketing activity.
It’s no surprise that Marketing Operations are now being labelled as ‘the CMO’s best friend’ as they align people, processes and technology that laser focus on the department goals and objectives.
CMO’s who elevate Marketing Operations to a strategic function are the ones who will win when it comes to activating a more efficient and effective overall marketing strategy. Some even say that the first hire made by the CMO should be Marketing Operations.
Ultimately, your department maturity, budget and company goals will enable you to decide what scale or model your Marketing Operations team should follow, but one thing for sure is, you definitely need them. And we’d go so far as saying every B2B tech marketing team should have a Marketing Operations Manager.
So, you’re going to start your Marketing Operations drive. But you want to be sure you have the right talent and capability to implement a team who will make a difference. Here’s the kind of questions you should be asking:
▶︎ Further Reading – 7 Top Interview Questions to Ask a Marketing Operations Manager
There is a boom in the Marketing Operations industry right now as CMO’s make investing into MOps talent a top priority. This has created a little instability in the salary offers and expectations of some companies and candidates, but it should start to settle in soon. Those salary investments, however, should be offset against your efficiencies and effectiveness as you hire Marketing Operations roles that make a real difference to your operations.
But be aware, even if you can afford the talent, it can be tricky to find and keep any available resource and there are limited specialist recruitment agencies who can help with Marketing Operations specific talent.
The following salaries are for jobs based in London:
Director of Marketing Operations Salary – £117,000
Head of Marketing Operations Salary – £94,000
Senior Marketing Operations Manager Salary – £87,000
Marketing Operations Manager Salary – £76,000
You should hopefully have an understanding of what Marketing Operations are, the kinds of roles out there associated with MOps specialists and how you can start developing your team.
It may be the case that you’re looking to hire your very first Marketing Operations Manager.
The most important thing to remember is that you should establish your Marketing Operations team based around the individuality of your business, each area described above should factor into how well it could work for your business.
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