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“Marketing operations is the backbone of any high growth marketing department. They are the glue that ensures all marketing functions within the team are connected and looking at the same performance data,” according to Sonar’s very own Jennifer Hopkins, SVP of Marketing. 

Hopkins isn’t the only one aware of the importance of marketing operations with 65% of companies having a dedicated in-house marketing operations role filled. 

From planning, execution, and the optimization of marketing campaigns, processes, and technologies– marketing operations is at the forefront of helping marketing teams drive efficiency, effectiveness, and ROI. 

In today’s highly competitive business environment, organizations need to be agile, data-driven, and customer-centric to stay ahead of the curve. This is where marketing operations best practices come into play. 

Below we’re covering what marketing ops does, best practices to ensure success and how this function can help reduce silos and add value to the broader GTM team.

What Does Marketing Operations Do?

Marketing Ops (MOps) is a term that refers to the people, processes and technology that powers an organization’s marketing strategy to hit goals and ultimately drive pipeline impact. 

While that’s the technical definition, these employees are really problem solvers. Data pioneers. Process keepers. And big picture thinkers. 

While most Mops professionals report under the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), they manage very strategic functions, including but not limited to:

  • Lead routing, scoring and management 
  • Project management for marketing and any cross-functional projects
  • Marketing technology implementation and management (CRM, project management systems, CMS, marketing automations, etc.) 
  • Tracking and measuring data, reports and KPIs 
  • Monitoring email campaigns from segmentation and delivery to performance
  • Working closely with GTM counterparts like Sales Ops, Demand Gen and customer service 

5 Signs You Need Marketing Operations

If you’re just ramping up your marketing efforts, a marketing operations person probably isn’t the first on your list to hire. However, if you have a robust and quickly growing department, you might be experiencing some pain points that signal it’s time for a MOps function. These pain points might include:

1. Lack of coordination 

If your GTM teams aren’t working together effectively, there may be confusion and wasted resources. Marketing Operations can work with your RevOps and Sales Ops teams to help coordinate efforts and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

2. Inefficient processes 

If marketing processes are not efficient, it can slow down campaigns and make it difficult to measure success, not to mention cost you more money. Marketing Operations will help optimize processes and identify areas for improvement.

3. Data management

KPIs are critical to the success of marketing to measure success and business impact. But collecting and analyzing marketing data can be time-consuming and challenging. Marketing Operations can help develop KPIs, manage data and create reports that provide a holistic view of marketing’s performance.

4. Technology integration

When it comes to marketing tools– there’s copious amounts to choose from. In fact, the average marketing team uses ~90 martech tools in their tech stack. Having a dedicated person to implement, manage, optimize and report on all of these tools is critical to measuring marketing’s success. High performing marketing teams ensure all platforms are integrated properly across the GTM tech stack.  And integrating those tools with the rest of the GTMs tech stack can be challenging– but its critical integrations are implemented  correctly to avoid breaks and give RevOps a big picture view of marketing’s business impact. Marketing Operations can work with GTM counterparts to align strategy and ensure tools are working together seamlessly once integrated.

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5. Lack of visibility 

If marketing leaders don’t have visibility into the data of their activities, they’re flying blind when it comes to performance. Marketing Operations can help create transparency and improve communication across the team, and also the broader GTM department. 

If your team is feeling any of these pain points, it’s time to implement marketing operations to remove silos and ensure that the marketing activities are aligned with the broader business goals and are executed efficiently.

Marketing Operations Best Practices 

While every marketing department’s needs are unique to the organization, there are standard best practices you can implement to help your organization reduce costs, increase productivity, enhance collaboration, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Here are suggested MOps best practices to follow as you build out your program:

1. Align goals and objectives 

Ensure that marketing operations are aligned with the overall business strategy and objectives. This includes setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals while also working closely with other operations functions like Sales Ops and RevOps. 

2. Develop a data-driven strategy

The great Peter Ducker once said “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” When it comes to marketing, pretty designs and engaging social media posts are great… but if you aren’t setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking their performance, how do you know if your strategy is successful? You don’t. 

That’s why it’s important for MOps to leverage data and analytics to make informed decisions and optimize marketing campaigns. With regular monitoring and analyzing of metrics, your team can identify areas of improvement and drive overall growth.

3. Streamline processes and workflows 

It’s also a marketing ops best practice to simplify and standardize marketing processes to improve efficiency and reduce redundancies. You can do this by implementing the right tools and automate repetitive tasks to save time.

As you integrate tools and processes into your business systems, it’s also  important to ensure marking operations efforts don’t cause any disruptions or bottlenecks for your GTM counterparts. Tools like Sonar can integrate into Salesforce and Pardot to allow you to add fields and update workflows without fear of breaks. 

4. Maintain a marketing calendar 

A great way to ensure alignment across your marketing team is by implementing a project management tool like Asana or Monday. Within these tools, you and your teams can develop a marketing calendar to plan, track, and coordinate marketing activities, campaigns, and content across different channels. You’ll also be able to break down different work initiatives so marketing Ops knows exactly when and where they should be focusing their time. 

5. Invest in technology and tools

It goes without saying that a marketing team can only be as successful as the tools they have at their disposal. While there are thousands of marketing technology (martech) companies out there, there are some foundational technologies every marketing ops team needs in their tool belt. 

These tools include:

  • Marketing automation
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Project management
  • Communications tools 
  • Email marketing tools 
  • Content management system (CMS)
  • Social media management 
  • Analytics and reporting 
  • SEO and keyword research
  • Marketing attribution and tracking
  • Change intelligence platforms 

These martech tools to manage campaigns, track performance, automate tasks, and facilitate communication among team members.

6. Continuously improve campaign performance

Marketing is constantly evolving. As a Mops pro, it’s important to never get stagnant in your strategy. Regularly test, analyze, and optimize marketing campaigns to maximize ROI. While you should apply lessons learned from past campaigns to enhance future performance, you should also be comfortable with throwing new ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks! 

To keep your finger on the pulse of the industry, join the free Wizard of Ops slack channel. This community of over 5,000 ops pros is constantly sharing new tips, tricks and best practices. 

7. Focus on customer-centricity

If marketing ops should follow any rule, it’s that “the customer is always right.” As such, you should follow the data to find the most successful accounts you’re currently servicing. From there, dig in to find the use cases and features being used and work with your marketing team to create targeted, personalized, and relevant marketing campaigns that attract a similar  target audience in order to grow the pipeline.

8. Monitor channel performance

The average marketing team uses 8 different channels for their campaigns at any given time. One campaign might leverage LinkedIn ads, Google ads, email marketing and partnerships to successfully drive website traffic, brand awareness, and inbound leads. Marketing ops is a critical function for not only managing a wide variety of tools required to monitor these campaigns, but also setting up the proper tracking metrics (UTMs, Salesforce fields, etc.) and reports to measure success across each channel. This way, Mops can help leaders determine what channels are working– or not working– for each campaign. 

9. Monitor and manage budget: 

Your higher-ups are incredibly focused on minimizing unnecessary expenditures while still driving ROI. Now more than ever, it’s important to track marketing expenses and metrics to ensure budget allocation is aligned with campaign objectives and overall business goals. Reporting is especially important here– Marketing leaders lean on Mops to manage reporting across all channels and technologies to measure KPIs like CPL, CPA and ROI. This allows them to adjust spending as needed to maximize efficiency, effectiveness and return.

10. Train and develop staff: 

There’s no denying it… training is a time suck. But ultimately having more hands on deck will streamline your marketing operations in the future. So it’s important to have documentation surrounding all your processes so onboarding is as efficient as possible. It’s highly encouraged that you develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all marketing functions including but not limited to:

  • Campaign planning and execution
  • Content creation and approval
  • Lead generation and management
  • Budget management
  • Marketing tools 
  • Reporting and analytics tracking 
  • Social media management 
  • Event planning and coordination 
  • Creative asset management
  • Compliance and privacy
  • Vendor management

Conclusion: Mops Is a Critical Part of Your Organization Overall Operations

Following marketing operations best practices isn’t just to benefit the marketing department. It also  has a broader impact on the entire operations program of an organization. 

When marketing operations are optimized, the entire GTM team  benefits from improved cross-functional collaboration, better customer insights, and a more efficient use of resources. 

With tools like Sonar, Marketing Ops professionals can effectively manage marketing automation platforms like Pardot, improving Salesforce integrations and breaking down silos between different departments and functions. Try Sonar free today.



What is marketing operations (Marketing Ops)?

Marketing operations (Marketing Ops) is a field within marketing that focuses on the process of improving marketing efficiency and effectiveness. It involves optimizing marketing processes, systems, and technologies to help marketing teams work more efficiently and achieve better results.

What are the key responsibilities of a marketing operations team?

The key responsibilities of a marketing operations team may include managing marketing automation platforms, overseeing data management and analysis, providing insights and reporting, creating and managing workflows and processes, optimizing campaigns, and ensuring the smooth functioning of all marketing-related technology.

What are some common marketing operations tools?

Common marketing operations tools include marketing automation platforms such as Marketo, Eloqua, and HubSpot, data management platforms such as Salesforce, data visualization tools such as Tableau and Power BI, and project management tools such as Asana and Trello.

What skills are required for a career in marketing operations?

Skills required for a career in marketing operations may include project management, data analysis, marketing automation, marketing strategy, team management, and communication.

How does marketing operations differ from marketing?

Marketing operations focuses on the process of making marketing more efficient and effective, while marketing is the overall function of promoting products or services to customers. Marketing operations supports the work of the marketing team by optimizing processes, technology, and workflows to improve results.

How can marketing operations help to improve ROI?

Marketing operations can help to improve ROI by identifying areas where marketing spend can be optimized, identifying and targeting high-value audiences, optimizing campaigns for maximum effectiveness, and ensuring that all marketing technology is used efficiently.

How can marketing operations work with other teams in an organization?

Marketing operations can work with other teams in an organization by collaborating with IT to ensure that marketing technology is functioning correctly, working with sales to align marketing and sales efforts, and collaborating with finance to ensure that marketing budgets are managed effectively.