The opportunity has never been higher for marketing operations to step up from being button pushers and firefighters to strategic contributors.
It’s easy to focus on marketing technology first and forget to strategize. There's often insufficient time to strategize well because so much manual time is needed to aggregate and process all of the martech systems.
As a result, marketing operations can fall into the trap of working for the business as opposed to working on the business.
I recently hosted a live fireside chat with VP of Marketing Operations at Dynamicweb, Eric Jan van Putten where we discussed stepping back from the technology to focus on strategy creation.
You may read on, or you may watch the full episode:
A little background on our expert
Eric Jan van Putten currently runs Marketing at Dynamicweb. He believes that marketing is a function that works in close collaboration with Sales, Customer Operations and Product Strategy. Eric’s experience over the last 15 years ranges from field marketing, to marketing operations to leading marketing in international software vendor companies that have strong ties to ‘Experience Marketing’.
His take on change management with a strong focus on people, process and technology with emphasis on the people has made him a strong collaborator in all functions related to company success.
And in our live session, Eric shared how easy it is to focus on the technology but the true value is in building out a strategy first.
- It’s super easy to showcase how marketing operations contributes to the business. It just has to be shared. For example:
- “We have adjusted the data flow and now we freed up Marketing from Sales for 10 hours a week”
- “We have implemented this new functionality that allows sales to nurture the lead and we see an increase of x% of conversions down the funnel”
- “We have reactivated old leads; out of which 3 opportunities are now with sales”
- “Marketing created the first touchpoint on 58% of the opportunities created”
- Investigate any blame games or finger pointing. For example, in the past, Eric had a situation where regional marketing/sales started to ‘blame’ marketing operations for missed deadlines. But an investigation revealed that 9 times out of 10 the local team did not respect the agreed upon SLA of 3 business days.
Eric created a monthly report, shared with marketing, regional teams and regional owners, that marketing operations completed x requests, x per region, and out of them x were on-time and x of them violated the SLA. That report eliminated future issues.
- Take a complete view of what you (and the business) are trying to achieve, what you need, what is nice to have and what resources you have: time, skillsets and budget. Then you can make technology decisions. And don’t do all this in a silo - add the right stakeholders, not only for insights and support - but involving them will drive buy-in. In Eric’s experience you usually need at least the head of sales and CRM owner onboard to be able to move forward. And if these don’t clearly exist you get the regional sales and related departments onboard in the investigation process.
- Eric is a huge fan of the book ‘the CMO manifesto’ and it frequently refers to change management across People, Process and Technology, and in the case of the wild growth of technology it is key to work towards a proper fitting plan.