Marketing Operations – Project Management for Campaign Success


Where does the ‘Marketing’ in your job title come from?  If you’re a Marketing Operations professional, it’s probably not from the degree you earned in college or university. You see, we’ve come to learn that Marketing Operations (MO) professionals often don’t follow traditional career streams: Dig a bit deeper and you might find that rather than a typical PR or branding background, your friendly MO cube-mate has a degree in Accounting, or a past role in Finance, or some experience with managing IT projects.

As we note in an earlier post, the MO function emerged due to the need for a more transparent and efficient view of marketing. Most businesses’ MO teams have evolved over the past 5 to 10 years from being considered the ‘doers’ of marketing initiatives, into professional groups that inevitably introduce greater marketing accountability to an organization.

In applying the best qualities they’ve gleaned from working with various teams, MO professionals act as (sometimes pseudo– and other times, actual) project managers who are capable of maintaining oversight over the numbers-oriented analysts who plan out and measure campaigns and the creative-agency types who build the vision for how brands are represented in the marketplace. In this way, you can think of the MO function as a bridge that brings all the pieces of the marketing puzzle together , to build high-functioning, flexible and agile marketing organizations that last.

Just a few of MO’s numerous accountabilities:

  • Strategic planning and execution – Helping marketing teams to develop strategic plans that span well beyond the kind of short-term, ‘keep it fresh’ thinking  that can jeopardize a brand’s consumer engagement and campaign efficiency, ideally integrating oversight from cross-functional organizational benchmarks (e.g., team and company objectives, tactics, and specific measures of performance and success).
  • Performance measurement – As a logical extension of planning, true marketing accountability is based in ‘SMART’ KPIs that are not only specific and measurable, but also have a benchmark in reality.
  • Process development – Developing and optimizing processes that allow for smoother roll-out of marketing plans, including budgeting and planning, lead management, and campaign execution using marketing technology (e.g., cloud and automation platforms).
  • Administration of marketing systems and data – Harnessing the metrics that drive effective marketing, including: evaluating the quality of existing data; conducting ongoing data-hygiene processes to remove duplicates, dummies (e.g., Mickey Mouse), and incomplete data sets; developing processes to keep data up-to-date and error-free; and enlisting new strategies to add data over time (e.g., through new lists merged into current databases, etc.)

Are you working in a Marketing Operations role with your organization? Did we miss any of your responsibilities? Add your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below, or drop us a line. We’d love to learn more about how MO makes a difference in your work.