By Gary Katz
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One of the most instructive ways to assess the state of Marketing Operations is to view the maturity of MO as a discipline compared to other professional practices. A mature profession promotes high standards of professional practice and supports the rapid dissemination of new knowledge.
In 1997, The Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (SEI) assessed the maturity of the Software Engineering profession and developed a framework of mature professions composed of two levels, professional and infrastructure.
- Professional level: Characterized by three components: (1) practitioners, (2) knowledge and (3) professional practice.
- Infrastructure level: Characterized by eight components: (1) initial professional education, (2) accreditation, (3) skills development, (4) professional development, (5) certification, (6) licensing, (7) code of ethics and (8) professional society.
How does this compare to what we have and what we need in the Marketing Operations profession to be considered a mature discipline?
MO meets the professional level definition of maturity. We have a large and fast-growing number of practitioners. Individuals have both specialized and general knowledge. Organizations and clients are paying us to put our expertise to work on a variety of challenges.
Whether the above translates to a formal body of knowledge that we can all agree upon is another matter entirely; one that we can review as we dive into the infrastructure level.
Two decades ago, SEI found that the maturity of the infrastructure level in the Software Engineering profession was severely lacking. I think it’s fair to state we are experiencing similar challenges in MO.
The SEI framework provides a useful guide to assess our professional infrastructure level maturity, progress and gaps.
Initial Professional Education
Let’s take a look at formalized MO education. Not long ago, IDC cited MO as the fastest-growing sub-discipline in Marketing. How does that align with university course offerings? Well, I just completed the same Web search I did in 2009 when I began teaching my Marketing Operations course at UCSC Silicon Valley Extension. At the time, I was excited to discover that mine was the first Marketing Operations class offered at a university-level. Guess what?
Nothing has changed! I scoured the Internet and curriculum on websites of the most reputed marketing schools (Northwestern, Wharton, Stanford, Fuqua, Harvard, Haas, etc.). Nothing focused on MO! Oh sure, there were plenty of offerings related to Marketing Strategy, Marketing Analytics, Digital Marketing, Demand Gen/Creation, even Marketing Metrics, all the sexy topics of the day.
But MO . . . no!
Extend the search beyond the education giants — same sorry result.
In fact, the only other MO course I’ve ever seen offered besides mine was from MO-CCA* founder Larissa DeCarlo, and came and went with of the Marketing Automation Institute, which was formed in 2011 and was abandoned within two years. (NOTE: I had thought Sirius Decisions offered a Marketing Operations course but a search of its website indicates its courses are focused on Digital Marketing, Field Marketing, Product Marketing, Product Management, Data Management, Marketing Measurement and Customer Engagement. Interestingly, none have Marketing Operations in the Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community