The term “marketing” has significantly evolved from being restricted to just offline PR and advertising activities. It now encompasses digital initiatives such as content, SEO, social media and more. This function has become a serious contributor to an organization’s revenue in support of its annual goals.
In fact, the heart of business success lies in its marketing. You will be surprised to know that 57 percent of salespersons believe buyers are less dependent on them to make a purchase. Why? Because buyers have come to be well-informed through consistent marketing initiatives by organizations.
Of course – technology has brought about a significant change in the way organizations interact with the customers today. The world is fast paced; we are generating data in abundance; consumers are spoiled for choice; customer loyalty is poor.
No wonder organizations strive to place processes that can be quantified. Therefore, there is a greater need for marketing to rely on data to execute activities and show the ROI on each campaign. This is where marketing operations (MO) steps in.
Say “Hello!” to marketing operations
Just how sales operations comprise a set of business processes that help the sales division in a company to run in support of business strategies, marketing operations too is an organizational approach that ensures end-to-end optimization of activities – from planning and budgeting to execution and analysis.
While marketing operations was first mentioned (in the digital era) in 2005, today there are 77 percent of organizations with set processes for this particular function, out of which 3/4th of them are equipped with a dedicated team.
Marketing operations professionals are not conventional (traditional and digital) marketers hailing from branding or PR backgrounds. Instead, they come from IT, finance, sales operations and other process-oriented roles to help those conventional marketers with the analytics they need, running monthly reports, and understanding why data and results are looking the way they do at any given point.
Three broad elements of Marketing Operations
1) Content creation and scheduling
Content rules in marketing. From the creation of web pages, brochures, videos and other kinds of consumable materials to administrative tasks such as budgets and schedules, marketing operations encompasses them all.
2) Demand generation
This involves segmenting the market to identify targets potentially interested in your product or service, engaging in a meaningful exchange of information with the targets, enticing them with offers and sustaining their interest so that the sales team can easily convert them.
3) Performance measurement
As of late 2017, marketing is incomplete without data and analytics. Therefore, tracking KPIs and metrics along the customer journey to ensure higher conversion rates and ROIs forms an integral part of marketing operations.
Big data is legit
Yes, it is and here are four stats that support this:
- IBM estimates 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years.
- 78 percent of companies believe leveraging data will help them improve their business.
- 58% of CMOs say SEO and marketing, email marketing and mobile is where big data is impacting the most on their marketing programs. (CMO Summit Survey, 2013)
- Companies that focus on data-driven marketing are six times more likely to report achieving competitive advantage in increasing profitability.
Don’t just take my word for it. Below is an example of the rich data you have at your fingertips. You can see which marketing channels are engaged in capturing leads by a company. From traffic and net new names to engagement and qualified leads, the flowchart displays everything – in numbers.
For those 35 percent of marketers that don’t understand the customer journey, this is a fantastic source to refer to while creating marketing campaigns.
Big data is a “big deal” in marketing operations
On the face of it, marketing operations may resemble a back-office data management. But it isn’t. It doesn’t stop at just creating silos within marketing i.e. determining the types of content that a marketing department should be creating and circulating is essential.
In MO, big data rules as it fuels better customer segmentation; and without segmentation, it is impossible to build an actionable strategy to ensure a sustainable customer experience. The top three important metrics measured in marketing operations are:
- Lead generation
- ROI from marketing campaigns
- Marketing plan vs. actual results
30 percent of marketing executives used data analytics to refine their campaigns, and 61 percent of those have experienced an accelerated ROI in data-driven campaigns. Therefore, if you are not a number-lover yet, it is never too late to make driving marketing decisions from data a habit.
Big data is positively impacting MO
1) Obtaining accurate buyer profiles
Big data strategies led by the marketing operations team supports the companies in reaching out to their target audience in an increasingly personalized manner. From their purchase history and personal preferences garnered from social media to time spent by them on various websites – big data can reveal crucial elements in consumer behavior.
This increases the accuracy in buyer profiling and enables marketers to strengthen the engagement process by delivering a messaging that is not only relevant to the consumers in terms of tone and context but is also circulated at an appropriate time.
2) Optimizing the marketed content
Big data can inform the success of qualifying leads and moving customers successfully along the sales funnel. How? By enabling the marketers to tweak their messaging as per the previous reaction of the target market. The content can be optimized to suit the mood and requirements of the people a business is looking to convert.
3) Enabling dynamic pricing for different consumers
Marketing operations strategy driven by big data adds financial value to an organization. Since marketers get access to real-time data sets surrounding the target consumers, they are able to create more flexible pricing models that suit each consumer type if not individual consumers.
4) Fine-tuning the digital channels
Data analysis can highlight gaps in the market. The good thing is marketers can improve their approach accordingly. When data is used in the right way, the right product reaches potential customers at the right time, at the right place and this leads to a boost in leads and conversions.
5) Understanding digital performance made simpler
Only 23 percent of companies are exceeding revenue goals. And 41 percent out of those that are not exceeding are clueless about the number of weekly visits on their website, leads, sales opportunities, MQLs, etc.
Using big data can improve insights gained from digital medium analysis. Measuring aspects such as the ones mentioned above will facilitate the marketing operations team to determine whether or not they are targeting their consumers in the right manner; and if not, how they can improve.
All businesses, irrespective of size and industry, are planning to spend efficiently on the basis of a data-driven decision, and this viewpoint has converted marketing into a quantifiable, data-based function. Therefore, there’s no dispute over the fact that marketing operations is growing at a rapid pace, and has the potential of ensuring a digitally enabled and customer-centric organization.
Have you joined the MO bandwagon yet?
Not sure how big a role big data plays in today’s marketing operations? Let’s talk!