Increasing the Value of Marketing Operations

Value is what most things in business are about. And in Marketing Operations, best-practice companies are reaping higher value as they evolve toward a more sophisticated scope for what Marketing Ops (MO) entails. As you can see from the following excerpt from the Journey to Marketing Operations Maturity best practices study, high-value MO goes beyond automation, measurement and administration to include higher value-add tools such as cross-functional collaboration, change management, metrics alignment, competency development, predictive analytics, and the like.

Key Finding #3:
The scope of Marketing Operations progresses over time towards increasing sophistication and value.

Survey Findings:
Companies showed clear tendencies to extend the scope of MO. Thus, the scope of MO typically includes fundamental, expanded, and sophisticated elements:

  • Fundamental MO Scope — Includes budget management, customer relationship management (CRM), vendor management, marketing outcomes measurement, and marketing services (e.g., bill of materials, licensing, pricing, creative, production management).
  • Expanded MO Scope — Expands beyond the “Fundamental MO Scope” to comprise marketing campaign automation, process mapping and design, best practices and knowledge management, cross-functional and behavior-rewards alignment, marketing operations management (MOM), marketing resource management (MRM), digital asset management (DAM), and marketing process metrics.
  • Sophisticated MO Scope — Evolves to higher sophistication than the “Expanded MO Scope” to include advanced processes (e.g., LEAN Enterprise, Six Sigma, and supply chain management), marketing governance, portfolio management, customer profitability, change management, competency development, shared vision and strategic management, enterprise marketing management, metrics alignment, and predictive analytics.

Figure 7 shows the progression over time from “Fundamental” to “Expanded” to “Sophisticated” practices.

Figure 7: Companies with more mature Marketing Operations functions practice sophisticated Marketing Operations elements.
Companies with “Fundamental” or “Expanded MO Scope” can reap much greater value from their MO initiative by tapping into the full potential of the “Sophisticated MO Scope.” Sophisticated MO organizations view MO as not just a means to add left-brain, scientific thinking to Marketing but also as a vehicle to obtain more holistic and strategic results.

Today’s Marketing textbooks(1) emphasize the need for the Marketing function to be the “voice of the market” for the corporation, taking a holistic view of the company’s stakeholders and acting as a conduit for stakeholders’ interests to be addressed throughout the company. Additionally, current Marketing thought leaders advocate that Marketing take ownership of—or at least collaborate with—the Quality function to guide fulfillment of value propositions. This is key to effective internal marketing, ensuring that everyone in the organization promotes brand promise delivery, from senior management to back-office personnel to customer-facing professionals. Traditional techniques used for quality management and organizational development are now making their way into the Marketing function as mechanisms to improve its accountability, efficiency, and morale.

(1) Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane, Marketing Management, 12th ed. (New York: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2006. See Chapters 1, 2, 5, and 22.

Your challenge in 2013: increase the value that Marketing Ops can bring to your company by expanding your MO scope. As pointed out in the study, a sophisticated Marketing Ops approach gives the Marketing department the capability to influence the entire company toward greater savvy and flexibility (agility) in dealing effectively with ever-shifting market forces. Join us all on the journey to Marketing Operations maturity!

by Lynn Hunsaker, President of Marketing Operations Partners and Customer Experience Strategist at ClearAction

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About the Author:

Lynn Hunsaker is CEO of Marketing Operations Partners, a consultancy that transforms marketing organizations into high-value engagement centers through accountability, alignment, and agility. Lynn is a past director of marketing and business development at Applied Materials, an award-winning past president of Silicon Valley American Marketing Association, and she taught marketing, advertising and business for 5 years at UC Berkeley Extension, SJSU, and Mission College. Lynn is a well-known expert in metrics, customer experience management, and organizational change. See more at

One Comment

  1. Lynn Hunsaker 2013/02/06 at 7:34 PM - Reply

    By the way, you can get a sneak peak into your Marketing’s efficiency through the complimentary trial assessment – see description on LinkedIn at

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