Why Marketing Operations is the Heart of your Marketing Team

Marketing Automation


When I first came to Marketo, I was SHOCKED by the size of our marketing operations team. In my previous role, I’d handled marketing operations and demand generation. I was sure they didn’t need so many people for operations alone.

Boy, was I wrong.

What I failed to realize was that marketing operations (affectionately known as “MOPS” at Marketo) is at the core of a well-run marketing team. They improve, optimize, and make processes efficient. More headcount on your operations team = less headaches for everyone else.

I’m now a firm believer that operations is the heart and soul of your marketing team (and this isn’t just because I’m a MOPS person myself!).  If your team is too small to justify a dedicated operations person, understand that your marketing automation users probably devote a significant chunk of time to operations activities. This is time they could be spending on acquisition marketing, customer retention, social media marketing, or whatever it actually says on their business cards.

Not convinced? Here are three, only slightly-biased reasons that marketing operations rocks, and why you should deeply consider a dedicated MOPS role for your team:

1. Marketing Operations is the Liaison to Your Marketing Automation Partner

At Marketo, we obviously use our own marketing automation platform, but MOPS still serves as liaison to our product and engineering team.  Most SaaS (Software as a Service) companies continually release new products – to ensure your team is at the top of its game, you might have new skills to learn every 20-30 business days.

If your focus is demand generation, acquiring new names for your database is your primary goal. This doesn’t leave you much time to invest in education. A marketing operations person is dedicated to learning the technical ins and outs for you.

2. Marketing Operations Helps You Justify Your Marketing Spend

Today’s marketers face very different challenges than they did a mere five years ago, and we’re learning to earn our seats at the revenue table quantitative measurements.  At Marketo, we use first-touch and multi-touch revenue attribution to give our marketing team the credit it’s due. But who sets the subjective rules to ensure the credit is given to the right campaign? That’s right: marketing operations.

Because marketing operations doesn’t have a quota to hit, they can be 100% objective.  They can then be responsible for the campaigns and programs that set lead scoring, lead source and your revenue model.  It’s a great way to ensure the numbers are attributed fairly.

3. Marketing Operations Has Your Back

As anti-spam legislation continues to evolve in complexity, it’s becoming more important than ever to control who has access to your database.  No one wants a security breach! In our organization, marketing operations is the team who not only grants new employees the appropriate access when they are hired, but also ensures their account is promptly deleted when they leave.

Marketing operations also handles the creation of “Custom Roles” within your marketing automation instance. Interns, graphic designers, analysts, and even UX designers and C-Level managers might all have access to your instance, but with varying levels of access. In short, marketing operations makes sure everyone has access to the tools they need.

Convinced? Unsure? Writing a job description for your new marketing operations role? Let us know what you think in the comments below.