Is Marketing Operations Marketing’s new ‘hot job’?

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Flock Associates Marketing Transformation

At Flock we have recently specified three Marketing Operations Directors roles and functions for different clients, acted as an out-sourced team for two others and developed integrated marketing processes for several others.

One candidate for an out-sourced role asked us: “Is Marketing Operations marketing’s new hot job?’

Good question.

Before we can answer, it is probably best to define what a Marketing Operations Director does. Whilst the roles we have helped specify have all been slightly different, some of the core areas are shown below:

  • Develop and maintain effective and efficient marketing processes that build integrated marketing campaigns
  • Create and manage a set of KPIs and dashboards to enhance marketing effectiveness
  • Design and implement the marketing technology suite
  • Manage interdepartmental and external agency resource budgets, allocating spend on what is effective and efficient
  • Design and implement marketing capability training programs

Certainly we know that “getting everything to work together” is now a Chief Marketing Officer’s biggest challenge. One CMO we know said the following:

“There are only two people in my marketing ecosystem genuinely interested in integration: that’s me and the consumer.”

So, we know the role of Marketing Operations Director has great value to the CMO. It is also clear that with the rise of marketing technology (and the lack of skill to manage it in most marketing organisations), the continued atomisation of departmental structures and agency ecosystems and continued push for data driven ROMI, the Marketing Operations role is going to get more important and more powerful.

We were describing the role to one candidate who correctly identified the Marketing Operations role as follows:

“As I understand it, Marketing Operations is the only person apart from the CMO who will be involved in and have a say in all facets of marketing: every brand, every campaign, every discipline, every budget.”

A few people we have spoken to wondered whether marketing operations roles are ‘back room’ roles and have been concerned about whether they can exercise their strategic and creative muscles. It is true that the primary function of a marketing operations team is to catalyse great work, rather than lead it. However, in most organisations the influence of a strong marketing operations team does more to make great work than any one component “cog in the machine” no matter the role. A brand director in a dis-functional marketing ecosystem will not deliver great work, a marketing operations director who creates a seamless well-oiled machine can turn good to great.

In summary, the Marketing Operations role may well become the new hot job in marketing, and we are ready to help power those that rise to the challenge with the best advice available!

To learn more about how Flock can support the Marketing Operations role and to see the work we have done so far, click here.

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