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Some myths in life are harmless, or even pleasant and helpful. For example, many parents lean heavily on Santa Claus to keep their kids from doing things that would get them on the dreaded “Naughty List.” And the Tooth Fairy comes in very handy when it comes to convincing a child that a loose tooth is not the end of the world (and a five-alarm tantrum is not required).

And then, there are other myths that are harmful and need to be exposed and eradicated under the clarifying, cleansing light of truth. And on the work landscape, there are three myths in particular that have to do with Marketing Ops that are long overdue for a whirl in the Truth Machine:

Myth #1: There is Only a Single Customer

Truth: Within the enterprise, there are different branches and each has its own marching orders for Marketing Ops. For example:

  • The CEO branch wants Marketing Ops to supply data to help increase revenue, hit targets, deepen competitive advantage, and establish organizational alignment.
  • The CFO branch wants Marketing Ops to supply data to help control IT costs and show ROI on spend.
  • The CIO/CTO wants Marketing Ops to maximize IT investments and usage, develop and future-proof IT infrastructure, and align roadmaps with marketing campaigns.
  • The CMO branch wants Marketing Ops to supply data to help optimize customer experience, build pipeline, manage complex channels and touchpoints, create scale with IT, and align campaigns and path-to-purchase strategies with sales.

A functional and effective Marketing Ops has the resources (people and technology) it needs to serve all of these (rather demanding) internal customers, and at the same time given its unique vantage point at the intersection of marketing strategy, operations, performance, and revenue generation, identify opportunities for innovation and efficiency.

Myth #2: Marketing Ops Should be Comprised of Left-Brain Geeks Who Love Data

Truth: Yes, Marketing Ops involves a lot of number crunching. But stacking Marketing Ops Teams with IT folks isn’t a good idea, because the mandate isn’t just about leveraging AI, machine learning, and other sources to generate data, data and more (glorious) data. Marketing Ops teams also need to have a deep understanding of digital marketing principles, customer segments, and business operations, so they can connect strategy and standards with execution and results.

As such, enterprises should develop a robust Marketing Ops team that, in addition to left-brain geeks who love data — such as financial analysts, project managers, market researchers, programmers, and architects — also includes creative professionals who take that business intelligence to generate new insights, run experiments that aim to get even closer to customers, and drive innovation to maximize revenue. As marketing executive James Hurman notes in his bookThe Case for Creativity: Three Decades Evidence of the Link Between Imaginative Marketing and Commercial Success,” creatively-awarded campaigns deliver 11 times the ROI of non-creatively awarded campaigns.

Myth #3: Marketing Ops Doesn’t Need an Enterprise-Grade Project Management Solution

Truth: Just like IT teams, Marketing Ops needs a robust, yet intuitive easy-to-use task management solution like Clarizen Go that enables team members to work in a more agile manner, create customized workflows, and implement automation (especially around request management), while still meeting deadlines, making on-the-fly adjustments for varying processes, and keeping managers (e.g. PMO, CMO, CIO, etc.) informed with a clear, top-level picture of ongoing progress and open initiatives.

The Road Ahead

Marketing Ops isn’t new, but it has evolved significantly in the last few years and become much more vital in the pursuit of profitable, strategically aligned offline and digital marketing campaigns that fulfill customers’ increasing demand for personalization. Enterprises that avoid the myths highlighted above will go a long way towards ensuring that Marketing Ops fires on all cylinders instead of sputters along, and that team members are empowered, energized, and in position for sustained excellence. And there is nothing mythical about that!

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