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Why Marketing Operations is Critical to Customer-Centric Organizations

Now more than ever, Marketing Operations has become one the largest growth and investment areas for leading organizations. In the following article, we highlight how and why Marketing Operations teams are so essential to the efficiency and effectiveness of advanced, forward-thinking Marketing departments.

The Increasing Prominence of Marketing Operations

The Marketing Operations function has grown increasingly more prominent, respected, and strategically important over the last decade within most mid to large-sized organizations in virtually all industries. Its rise has been chronicled by numerous analysts and researchers including Gartner, who found in their Marketing Organizational Survey 2019 that more than two thirds of organizations had established Marketing Operations functions and that most considered these capabilities to be key growth areas for their Marketing investment and development.

When successfully established within an organization, the Marketing Operations team is the “glue” that ensures cohesion between all (often decentralized and otherwise siloed) Marketing resources and activities.

Now more than ever, Marketing departments are expected to provide clear measurable value, and many are currently challenged the need to rapidly become more efficient and effective than ever due to limited budgets in this time of crisis. And at its core, this is what the Marketing Operations function is all about. These are the experts charged with providing the discipline, expertise, structure, and tools necessary to maintain and improve upon the efficiency and effectiveness across all of Marketing..

The Key to Customer-Centric and Data-Driven Marketing

There are several key, transformative imperatives for modern Marketers that have emerged in recent years when it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of communications---all of which are fundamentally about being (and staying) relevant to customers in the ever-evolving digital age. The role of Marketing Operations has largely grown in necessity to address the myriad organizational gaps that companies must solve for in their transformation to excel in these areas:

> Targeted and Personalized Omnichannel Interactions

Because modern-day customers experience brands in varied, non-linear ways across a multitude of online and offline channels, it is incumbent upon Marketers to effectively communicate with them by delivering consistent and relevant messaging to their target audiences wherever they are at any given point. This requires a high degree of internal coordination between a multitude of often siloed and specialized marketing teams (e.g. content developers, email marketers, product marketers, segmentation experts, web teams, social media managers, etc.) to develop and deliver well-orchestrated messaging that guides customers in a responsive and dynamic way through their journeys and interactions with a brand.

> Agile and Responsive Communication

With the rapid pace of information sharing and the extent to which worldwide focus and perceptions can cause dramatic and unforeseen shifts in the shared public narrative at any time, Marketers must be able to rapidly respond and adapt communications quickly and effectively without sacrificing quality, brand, and compliance standards. Moreover, in addition to the need to be agile in developing and deploying new messaging whenever the need arises, there is the compounded challenge to have reliable data and transparency into all customer-facing messaging and communications that have been or are going to be deployed—in any and all channels--so that Marketers and leaders can continually monitor and assess them and make any necessary adjustments if and when the need arises.

> Data-Driven Marketing and Customer Insights

With the wealth of demographic, behavioral, and transactional customer data available to Marketers (both in aggregate and in real-time), effective organizations must be able to effectively leverage and incorporate this knowledge in all facets of the marketing communication cycle, from strategy through to deployment and measurement. Marketers should be consistently testing and learning to ensure they are adapting and optimizing communications based on customer response.

All of the above disciplines require a robust set of clear and established processes and tools to effectively coordinate and streamline the flow of ideas, information, content, and actions between all of the relevant stakeholder teams in a consistent manner. Marketing Operations serves this function within organizations, ensuring that Marketers are able to effectively become increasingly more customer-centric, multi-channel, data-driven, and agile.

Marketing Ops Functions & Capabilities: Digging In Deeper

At Covalent, with our many decades of experience working with a wide variety of organizations on Marketing transformation and optimization, we have a great deal of passion and respect for Marketing Operations. That is because we have found, over and over, that the stronger this function is within a company, the better their outcomes will be when undertaking any sort of Marketing initiatives with the goal of enhancing their efficiency and/or effectiveness in any way--and, of course, all worthwhile initiatives are ultimately about improving in either or both of those categories!

Learn about our Marketing Operations Services and get started with modernizing your marketing today!


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