What is the Ideal Marketing Operations Team Structure?
A Forrester study shows that marketing operations influences over 75% of all business leads in most companies.
According to a HubSpot survey, the biggest challenge you might face as a marketer is generating leads and traffic. The second challenge is providing ROI for your marketing activities.
Marketing ops can enable your company to run efficiently and counterattack these challenges. But what would be the ideal marketing ops structure for you?
And, how do you build a marketing operations team that increases your success chances?
What is Marketing Operations?
Marketing operations entails all the processes and operations that increase efficiency and success. These include the technology and people that run the marketing operations.
Marketing ops ensure that the marketing team runs efficiently. Additionally, it ensures that the marketing strategy of your business is powered up.
Marketing operations is vital because it:
- Increases efficiency and results in marketing organizations
- Reinforces marketing strategy with infrastructure, metrics, and business best practices
- Impacts your marketing campaign and strategy when combined with marketing automation
- Leads the marketing team to focus on value delivery. It achieves this by backing up the team’s functions of planning, governing, and supporting.
The success of marketing operations largely depends on a vibrant marketing ops team. You should not fill the team with marketers but rather analytical and process-oriented professionals.
The activities of marketing operations are numerous, from content creation, ROI measurement to demand generation. You may do these operations manually, but marketing technology can streamline and make them scalable.
Whether manual or automatic, you need a team to carry out the operations.
The big question is, who should be in the marketing operations team? And how will you make it a success?
What is a Marketing Operations Team?
A marketing operations team is the professionals who perform the marketing operations for your company. This team develops the marketing data strategies and insights needed to carry out campaigns that perform optimally.
How large or small the team will depend on the type and size of your company. A small team may have a marketing operations manager with few other specialists.
Larger groups usually consist of numerous specialists like data analysts and marketing technology experts.
How to Build out a Marketing Operations Team
According to an IDC report, almost 60% of large tech companies have employed people in a formal Marketing Operations role. In this regard, you also need to structure a marketing ops team that pushes your company ahead.
How do you do that? For you to have a successful marketing operations team, you need to find top talents.
Next, you must set the roles and responsibilities of the team.
To successfully do this, you must follow a strategic planning process, understanding each member’s skill sets and delivery expertise. Incorporate these marketing ops best practices into the process:
Set up the goals and objectives of your organization
Just like Lawrence J. Peter said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” The first step to take is setting up well-planned and discussed organizational goals and objectives.
You should answer the question, “What do I and my company want to achieve?” Write down the goals, objectives, and mission statement for your new operations.
These goals clarify the team’s responsibilities and serve as the guiding system of the entire marketing operations process. Additionally, they create measurable standards that you can use to gauge the team’s performance.
Outline the Barriers
Life is part negative; not acknowledging this is naïve. Your marketing operations will, from time-to-time face challenges, especially while starting.
However, addressing these challenges head-on will make you succeed. These barriers may include technology or change-resistant employees.
Increase your team’s managerial and problem-solving techniques by preparing them for possible hurdles they are likely to experience. Set the expectations of the marketing team right.
Build a Multi-Phased Plan
Structuring a successful marketing operations team doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s a timely process that requires different stages. The stages may include:
- Assessment of your marketing technology. After assessing, determine what changes or additions you need to make.
- Determination of the ideal marketing operations structure for your team
- Analysis of the skills your team requires
- Recognition of currently available skills. Also, determine which unavailable skills you need to get.
Each stage you create should have an end goal and a strategy to achieve it. Additionally, you must determine the resources and changes required in each step.
Outline the Team’s Roles and Responsibilities
Once you have an ideal team structure, you need to determine each team member’s specific roles. For your marketing operations team to work as one unit, it’s imperative to decide on the following factors:
- Team member(s) who will be in charge of available marketing tools and processes.
- How should the marketing team interact with other departments and units of your organization? For example, the sales team, HR department, IT department, and so on.
- The team members you will give access to critical marketing technologies
- Team members who will be responsible for updates and customizations of the marketing automation platform.
- How the ops team will coordinate and work with other stakeholders
What is the Ideal Marketing Operations Team Structure?
The ideal marketing team structure mainly depends on the type and size of an organization. Ideally, a small-sized organization should have:
- The Marketing Operations Manager
- Demand Generation Specialist, and
- Marketing Technology Specialist
If your organization is mid-sized, besides the three mentioned above, you can add:
- Content or Process Specialist
- Data or analytics expert
The marketing team can comprise numerous specialists and managers for large companies, i.e., a company with at least 500 employees. These include:
- Vice President of Marketing Operations
- Marketing Technology Manager: heads the marketing technology specialist
- Data and Analytics Manager: The head of data/analytics specialists.
- Web platform manager
- Content/ Process Manager
You will need to convince the organization’s leaders like the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)of the value of well-structured staffing to the organization’s success. Proper staffing and budgeting will effectively increase your marketing and ROI.
“Best practices in professional services recommend one marketing person per 14 people in an organization. Most businesses are nowhere near that.” Jenn Morgan, Founder, and CEO of Radically Distinct.
Key Roles and Responsibilities of Marketing Operations Team
As you’ve noted, the ops team can comprise a few or many team members depending on the organization’s size. Typically, almost all teams have a market operations manager in the marketing department.
Here is an outline of the key roles of the marketing operations team members:
Vice President of Marketing Operations
In large organizations, the VP:
- Oversees the overall marketing operations functions
- Decides on significant purchases of marketing software and technology like CRM software
An ideal VP should have extensive experience in marketing and leading the marketing operations team. In addition to this, the VP should have a broad knowledge of project management and budgeting.
Marketing Operations Manager
The marketing operations manager is the coach of the ops team. The role of the marketing operations manager is:
- Oversees all marketing operations
- Hires and trains the marketing ops team
- Managing and implementing a successful marketing operations team.
- Analyzes the marketing strategies and ensure they are effective.
- Ensures that all the marketing team needs are met
The manager should be an organized and interpersonal team player with complex project managerial and marketing skills.
Marketing Technology Specialist/ Manager
These specialists are in charge of marketing technology and:
- Oversight on the usage of marketing technology
- Training the team members on the use of the available technology
- Assessment of the company’s MarTech and advises on areas of improvement
- Being on the trend on the latest and best marketing technologies that their organization should adopt
This person should have experience in the usage, assessment, and adaptation of marketing technology.
Data and Analytics Specialist/Manager
This expert uses various methods of analysis, like predictive modeling, to:
- Analyze and interpret marketing data
- Data management
- Provides the marketing manager with processed data which assists in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing operations strategy.
The candidate must possess strong analytical and technical problem-solving skills. In addition, they should have vast experience in marketing and customer data analysis.
Content or Process Specialist/Manager
The Content/Process Manager is responsible for overseeing the operations of:
- Brand and Compliance Specialist: Ensures that the company adheres to the regulation laws
- Inside Sales/Business Development Representative: Reaches out to customers, collects their information, and relays it to the sales teams.
- Email Specialist: Builds and monitors results and conversion rate for email marketing campaigns
- Media Specialist: Purchases media and tracks the budgeting of various media
This specialist should be skilled in content marketing, social media, and digital marketing.
Marketing Operations Specialist
This specialist does the following:
- Ensures the smooth running of all the daily marketing workflow and operations
- Manage projects
- Track marketing metrics and KPIs
- Analyze the marketing campaigns.
These experts have vast experience in marketing operations. They are self-managers, problem solvers, and creative.
Digital/Web Platform Manager/ Specialist
They deal with:
- All web-related issues
- Crafting strategies to optimize and increase web traffic
- Raising the conversion rate of web visitors into customers.
- Managing the organization’s websites
- Ensuring that the websites align with the audience analytics.
An ideal digital specialist should have experience in web-related functions.
Demand Generation Specialist
The Demand Generation/ Lead Management Specialist’s operations include:
- Driving demand for company products and services
- Speeding up the customer’s buying process
- Identifying new target customers
- Passing leads to the sales team
Ideally, these specialists should be detail-oriented, team players, and experienced in sales.
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