What is Digital Marketing Operations?
Behind the scenes of brand promotion, ads, and sales, in the new digital era, a lot more goes into a seamless marketing experience for potential customers. Which has paved the way for a new business function over the last few years, now known as Marketing Operations.
In my experience, being able to merge marketing technology, creativity, data, processes, and people all into one function not only makes marketing more efficient, but cost-effective too. And I’m not the only one…
93% of B2B marketers believe that the Marketing operations role is critical for businesses that want to make it in the digital realm. But what actually is it?
I’m going to get into the details of what Marketing Operations are, as well as how it fits into your business below!
Marketing Operations – Defined
The short answer is that Marketing Operations reinforces marketing strategy with infrastructure, metrics, process, and best practices. It’s the ability to bring all of the facets of creative and traditional marketing together to work towards a common goal and streamline the whole process, both internally and customer-facing.
And depending on how successful your marketing operations are, it will have a huge impact on how your sales are going.
So let’s break it down to see exactly what marketing operations should cover in your business:
What Does Marketing Operations Include? (A Breakdown)
This is the element that you’re probably most familiar with. Marketing operations will help to plan marketing activities based on goals, KPIs, metrics already collected etc. Common project planning activities include:
- Setting campaign and project budgets
- Allocating responsibilities of the marketing team
- Performance reviews and cross-tactical execution planning
Creative Process Management
A Marketing Operations Manager will define processes and accountability up and down the creative chain to make it the most efficient and effective. Common activities include:
- Governing marketing processes to make sure everything is running smoothly, and it’s clear from all sides what the processes are.
- Set clear guidelines for copy, images, and branding so that everyone is on the same page and making sure it’s being adhered to.
- Make it clear who is responsible for each task, and create channels for easier communication to avoid silos.
Risk and Brand Compliance
With increasing legislation businesses also have to navigate regulations and legal limitations online. It’s the responsibility of marketing operations to make sure nothing that is released by the creative or strategy side that might pose a regulatory or compliance risk to the company. Which can mean huge fines!
- Making sure the collection and storage of data online for European citizens is General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliant.
- Checking ad creatives comply with site and legal guidelines.
- Vetting data sources to make sure statistics that are used in marketing or released are true and available if necessary.
- Adhering to email marketing regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Bringing Data to the Table
One of the best by-products of marketing systems, and software today is the ability to collect and interpret data.
You need to be able to interpret analytics that will help you without getting caught up too much in the numbers. The data is there as a strategic advantage to those who understand it and can use it. But not many business owners, and even marketing teams know how to do this successfully, which is why marketing operations brings data to the table and integrates it into the strategy.
Meaning more informed and precise decisions for your business. The types of activities you would expect include:
- Looking at buying behavior and tweaking the business offering or marketing to match.
- Identifying trends in the numbers to pre-empt or predict behavior.
- Identifying segments or gaps that could be utilized.
- Monitoring project and ad performance to make adjustments and for budgeting.
- Making sure data is captured at the right points in the buying process so that it can be used later.
Marketing Technology and Infrastructure
For me this is one of the most exciting elements to marketing operations, and is the area Low Gravity Solutions excels in.
There are now so many options for marketing systems, and marketing technology for businesses of all sizes and this means it needs to be clearly and cleanly integrated and work harmoniously.
Every new software needs to go through systems integration so that it gets mapped and configured to work together with other solutions. The analytics, reports, metrics all need to be created, analyzed, and reviewed by multiple departments so that new action plans can be designed.
And in my experience, this is the area where we come on board and make the largest initial impact. Because often businesses have got a ton of different systems in place, all working independently from each other.
This means a lot of wasted time, money, and effort – and nothing is doing a particularly good job or reaching its full potential either!
So, what are some common marketing technology activities that I get asked to help with? These include (but are not limited to):
- Integrating eCommerce with physical stores
- Streamline (or create) marketing systems and data so that it’s easy to manage and being used strategically in the business.
- Creating several ‘touch points’ so that businesses can maintain customer interaction long after they’ve left the store or online.
- Automation for key processes and customer management as well as automation of as much of the sales process as possible.
- Digital transformation for brick-and-mortar businesses to create an entire web and online presence.
- Advertising campaigns with retargeting across channels and websites.
- Integrating standalone or new software into the current setup.
There are a lot, but mainly what we’re looking at is:
- Less manual work and management on client handling, marketing activities, and online.
- The ability to integrate everything to work seamlessly across various online and digital channels to implement a complete marketing strategy.
- An opportunity to gather important data and analytics from your customers or potential customers that will help you make better business decisions.
- A much easier and efficient process to make sales.
Using Technology in Today’s Marketing Operations
Marketing integration, marketing automations, and systems automations can make or break the experience for both business owners and clients alike which is why technology and the correct infrastructure is so important.
It’s more than just social media, it’s the software, processes, and workflow inside your business, for example:
Let’s say you have a physical store and you want eCommerce. You need stock management to integrate so you aren’t overpromising and under delivering. You need to capture leads or abandoned/incomplete sales so you can market to them and potentially convert later on, you need to have product types, quantities, reviews, and descriptions.
Then, a customer purchases from you in-store, you offer them a discount right there and then if they sign up to your loyalty program (which they could have also accessed online using systems integration.) Their details link with your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) which already has an email automation set up so that in a day you’ll reach out to them via email and ask for feedback, or thank them for their visit.
Just in this small scenario already you’ve built more of a client relationship from that one interaction and made long-term and repeat sales much more likely.
After this the opportunities are endless because you can ask for reviews as social proof, directly promote, reach out on social media, send automated email sequences with items they viewed from your online store when they revisited!
And voila, more sales.
This is just a small example of the power of marketing technology, and the best part is that it’s flexible, and scalable when you choose the right tools and systems automations!
Being able to navigate all of these systems so that everything operates and automates it the way you want takes skill and experience. Because it’s a long-term investment that once it has been set up it keeps on giving!
It has never been more important to have your business online
Whether your current business is completely offline or your online business needs optimization, LGS specializes in evaluation, integration, and execution. In today’s environment, you can’t afford to make mistakes. Let us make sure you’re doing it all correctly and as efficiently as possible.
David Sandel, Founder
Low Gravity Solutions
Low Gravity Solutions is a full service marketing agency specializing in growing your small business and solving your entrepreneurial problems. You don't have time to do everything, so let us do it for you.