Marketing Operations isn't about marketing technology alone, but about deploying marketing technology in ways that drive strategic goals, efficiency, ROI, and business growth. Technology, therefore, is a means to an end but not the end itself. Going out and purchasing shiny new martech without understanding how it fits into your strategy and existing tech stack, and not having a plan in place for its successful integration, adoption, and utilization, is the worst possible approach.
Our 2021 Marketing Operations Report makes the link between MOPS maturity and technology optimization clear, showing that the stronger a company’s MOPS function, the more effective it is in (1) deciding on the right technology to suit its strategic needs and (2) integrating that tech, meaning not just systems integration but also having the right people with the right training so that the technology actually delivers value.
Spending on technology is now the top budget item for marketing, outstripping advertising spend and every other budget allocation. When deployed wisely, technology can be a powerful driver of success. As our 2021 Marketing Operations Report explains, “today, hundreds of capabilities are available from thousands of vendors, serving companies that are in a constant state of evaluation, negotiation, integration and optimization of marketing and experience technologies.” Tech matters but can be complicated, which is why the methodical approach MOPS brings is so essential.
Marketing Operations: Bringing a scientific approach
Marketing Operations brings a methodical and holistic approach to the selection and implementation (and utilization) of technology. MOPS goes beyond technology “shopping sprees” and vendor hype to ask the critical questions that somebody needs to ask:
What are the exact strategic requirements of the business this tech impacts?
How exactly does this proposed tech serve strategic requirements and add value to what we do?
How do we effectively implement and utilize this tech, integrating it into our existing stack and enabling our people to use it effectively?
How do we monitor effectiveness and improve the way we use this technology to drive goals?
MOPS drives a scientific, evidence-based process that leads to informed decisions and better integration of new technology. MOPS is also about accountability, ensuring that whatever tech is purchased gets utilized and has a clear strategy and value proposition behind it. MOPS doesn’t care about "shiny" or whatever new software demo Joe just watched -- it helps eliminate the emotion and hype from martech purchases, a badly-needed “adult-in-the-room” function that sometimes (and justifiably) says “no thank you” to tech untethered to strategy.
The benefits of Marketing Operations for martech stacks
Almost 90% of organizations with a named MOPs group say that it “helps marketing and technology work together,” according to our 2021 Marketing Operations Report. This alignment leads to strengths across the organization in the purchase, implementation, and use of technology.
“B2B companies with MOPS are more than 2X more likely to strongly agree that their process for evaluating necessary marketing capabilities identifies current and emerging technologies to achieve their goals,” says our 2021 Marketing Operations Report. Our Report also shows that organizations with a defined MOPS unit are significantly more effective in implementing and utilizing new technology to drive business value.
“We sometimes see companies purchase technology quickly and without a plan for successful adoption and utilization,” says Dan Vawter, managing partner at Sojourn Solutions. “The stronger a company’s MOPS function, the better job they do with first deciding upon the right technology in light of their strategic goals and then integrating it into their organization so that the tech delivers real value.” MOPS is a process for making good, data-driven decisions about marketing technology and then implementing and utilizing that tech effectively. MOPS means marketing and IT have clear rules of the road and drive value together.
Marketing Operations drives alignment between Marketing and IT
Just as MOPS helps provide the shared data and common terminology/language that facilitates closer alignment between marketing and sales, it performs the same role between marketing and IT. As our 2021 Marketing Operations Report says: “This success [at marketing and IT alignment] depends on Operations developing a strong, natural partnership with the IT/Tech group. MOPS speaks the same language, providing a clear investment case and technical briefs backed up by data and business context to help decide on solutions and successfully integrate them.”
MOPS professionals bring a deep, highly-useful understanding of marketing and IT/technology (i.e., they speak both languages), so they can broker better conversations that enable both marketing and IT to work together. “MOPS is [uniquely] equipped to grapple with the technical elements of technology integration that are traditionally most challenging to marketing. At the same time, they have the key interests of marketing in mind” and can help both sides collaborate and coordinate.
Marketing Operations aligns tech vendors too
You might think of MOPS as having a “bridge-building” function internally, but it can also build those bridges with external tech vendors. Depending on their size and go-to-market strategies, B2B companies typically have dozens to more than a hundred tech vendors. The pure volume of tech vendors can create its own kind of confusion and integration challenges. Effective vendor management is critical for the success of both marketing and IT, and MOPS facilitates effective conversations with vendors.
“MOPS optimizes vendor management by applying standards and processes to every stage of a relationship that can otherwise vary considerably with each vendor,” says our 2021 Marketing Operations Report. “MOPS organizations [are] roughly twice as likely to rate key vendor management capabilities as very effective than their peers.”
MOPS not only helps with implementation and utilization of a vendor’s tech, but helps B2B organizations have better ongoing relationships with vendors based on standard practices, KPIs, and shared terminology, all resulting in better cost control and better-informed decisions.
To learn more about how MOPS can help your organization better align marketing and technology (and your tech vendors), reach out to us. You can also download the full 2021 Marketing Operations Report: MOPS Increases the Impact of Marketing.