To dive in deeper I tapped the knowledge of 3 digital and social marketing leaders to educate me on how their organizations are harnessing the power of social through “Paid Social” Campaigns. The experts I spoke with are listed below:
Companies simply cannot excel at modern marketing without strong Marketing Operations. These professionals reinforce high performance by strengthening processes, technology, metrics, and best practices. A recent study by IDC CMO Advisory Service, in conjunction with MOCCA, found that the Marketing Operations function is flourishing and expanding beyond its original charter.
Marketing Operations has been a rising star from its inception. I like to compare Marketing Operations to the structural frame of building. Try to scale without steel girders and you get a weak and wobbly high-rise. Your marketing will also be weak and wobbly without Marketing Operations. IDC first recognized Marketing Operations in 2005 in its annual Tech Marketing Benchmarks study. Then, Marketing Operations represented 2.5% of the total marketing staff. The team became a fast-rising star – driven by the need for marketing accountability and the addition of marketing automation. In 2012, tech companies averaged 4.4% of their staff in Marketing Operations. IDC believes that the optimal percentage is between 4% and 6% of total marketing staff. Below 4%, a company will lack the necessary operational capabilities for solid management and transformation. Above 6%, a company should examine whether it’s time to infuse operational capabilities into other functions rather than holding them in a single role.
IDC’s Definition of Marketing Operations: Internal staff responsible for developing and orchestrating the processes and systems required to enable efficient and effective marketing. More specifically, marketing operations staff members are responsible for developing and managing the processes to ensure smooth operation of strategic planning, financial management, marketing performance measurement (including dashboard development), marketing infrastructure, marketing and sales alignment, and overall marketing excellence.
In this new study, called Marketing Operations Expands, IDC finds the Marketing Operations function expanding. It has progressed beyond its early charter of planning and resource management to become an important part of lead management and marketing technology among other areas. More than 70% of survey participants say their role has broadened in the last year and more than 80% say it has become more important. The top six responsibilities for Marketing Automation are: automation, analytics, process improvement, campaign execution, and planning/budgeting. Survey participants, many who are members of MOCCA, the marketing operations professional organization, told IDC that Marketing Operations is also spreading out from its original corporate center to regional teams and beyond its origin in technology companies into new industries.
How should marketing leaders view the expansion of the Marketing Operations role? On the positive side, Marketing Operations can serve as an important and exciting pilot lab for new marketing science initiatives. However, in many organizations, IDC observes that Marketing Operations risks becoming the dumping grounds for not just critical operational tasks, but also for most of the “odd jobs” in the department. Too much expansion, or the wrong kind, results in performance degradation.
For more information on the IDC CMO Advisory Service Marketing Operations Expands research report (which contains important information on organizational structure, skills, job scope, success factors, and much more) check the MOCCA website or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. However, how many of us actually take the time to learn from our mistakes as part of continuous improvement in our customer creation process? No doubt it can be difficult to admit where we have made mistakes, especially if we’ve lost money in the process! In fact, based upon a recent IDC survey, only 55% of large BtoB organizations have a formal sales win-loss analysis program in place. You may be thinking that you’re one of the lucky companies in that list, feeling comfy with the fact that your sales reps are required to check a box in your sales force automation(SFA) system when they lose a deal to indicate the reason for that loss. Best-in-class players in this space will tell you that you’re only kidding yourself into believing whatever the sales reps input into the SFA, if they even use your SFA.
If you’re in sales operations, then you’re in an ideal position to initiate a win-loss program. If you’re in marketing, then you’re in a great position to increase your value add to sales by helping drive a win-loss program in collaboration with sales operations. Here are a few of the things that best-in-class companies are doing as part of their win-loss analysis process:
- Quarterly review calls (or even weekly) to review select wins and losses (a fact-finding culture is key here, and not fault-finding)
- Roundtable sessions to discuss wins and losses, including root cause analysis and associated corrective actions
- Review of specific wins and losses with the buyer, conducted by an objective team either from within the organization, or ideally, by a 3rd party
A couple of key guidance points in setting up your win-loss analysis process:
- Establish accountability for this process. (apply a RACI model and ensure global continuity; tap into your Sales Excellence team, marketing’s data analytics team, and your field marketing organization)
- Develop, execute and govern the process (collect data from multiple sources, ensure an objective party conducts the analysis, and focus on “fact-finding”, not “fault-finding”)
- Deliver actionable recommendations as a result of this process. (e.g., better identify the buying team as part of account-based marketing activities; improve allocation of sales support resources to target the best opportunities (check out industry benchmarks); rapidly communicate competitive insight to your sales team through social collaboration)