Make it Matter: Strategically Tackling Marketing Ops

By Triniti Burton

Most marketers work in a world with too little time and too much to do – moving from task to task, rushing to accomplish as much as possible. For instance, right now I’m updating our go-to-market communications, making numerous additions to our website, developing a new preview of Integrate’s demand orchestration software, supporting a half-dozen field events, increasing our website traffic and boosting conversions, managing a couple of top-funnel marketing programs, writing this blog post… plus at least ten other things that I won’t get to this week. It seems like my to-do list is a mile long. And I’d venture to say that our resident Demand Marketing/Marketing Ops expert, Kate Athmer, has twice as much on hers.

Why do you think that is?

It’s because marketing operations pros aren’t just responsible for managing their own stuff. They’re often charged with doing all the dirty work necessary for everyone else to get their jobs done as well. Sorry, Kate (and all my other marketing ops peers)!

Ryan Schwartz, Marketing Ops Game Changer at MongoDB, pins this as a symptom of being ops order takers, consumed with making things happen. Ryan shared some secrets from his playbook recently on the #OpsGameChanger webinar. What stood out to me the most was his approach to shifting from a “Make It Happen” to a “Make It Matter” mindset.

“Make it Happen” work involves:

  • Sending emails – seriously, do you know how many people ask Kate for help sending emails from our marketing automation platform?
  • Building nurture tracks – if you’ve ever built one, you know this can be daunting work in and of itself…
  • Lead quality, scoring, normalization and routing
  • Landing pages, registration forms, list uploads, asset management
  • Supporting sales and fielding pretty much every question that’s even remotely related to marketing
  • Evaluating new technologies, integrating systems and training team members on said systems
  • Pulling reports – this by itself is a full-time job; that’s why we added an analyst to our team… so Kate doesn’t have to do this anymore (hopefully this makes up for all the lists we ask you to build!)

And while these are all important tasks, being stuck in this tactical execution mode leaves little time to focus on more strategic initiatives – keeping you and your organization stuck at status quo. If you want to be a game changer for your company, you must make room for some more strategic ops work. As Ryan puts it, you have to “Make It Matter.”

This doesn’t mean you can stop doing all the things that you make happen today. Your organization needs you to get those things done. What it does mean is that you need to identify the things that will make a major difference for your organization, and invest at least equal energy into those areas.

Make It Matter.jpg

Some of the “Make It Matter” work we see Marketing Ops Game Changers taking on are things like: