| John Spacey, December 13, 2015 updated on February 23, 2019
Marketing operations is the management of the core marketing processes of an organization. This focuses on technology, processes, projects and alignment of business functions and units. The exact nature of marketing operations work differs greatly from one industry to the next. The following are illustrative examples of marketing operations functions.
TechnologyAdministering business processes using systems and sponsoring improvements to technology. For example, managing leads and opportunities in a sales force automation tool and sponsoring projects to automate this work.
ProcessesDeveloping, orchestrating and improving marketing processes. For example, a process of competitive intelligence and pricing at an ecommerce firm that makes sure prices are competitive with major retailers.
Data ManagementData management and governance functions such as a marketing operations team that assesses the quality of contact data entered by sales teams to identify and escalate data quality issues.
ReportingMeasuring marketing efforts with management accounting and marketing metrics and communicating this information with regular reports.
ForecastingDeveloping marketing forecasts such as sales volume forecasts.
Sales & Operations PlanningSales and operations planning is the alignment of production with marketing efforts such as promotion.
Market ResearchDeveloping an understanding of customers, competition and other factors such as technological and political change. For example, developing target audiences for a marketing campaign.
Campaign OperationsImplementing a marketing campaign such as a sales event.
Go-to-MarketExecuting a go-to-market strategy such as the launch of a new service.
Product DevelopmentIt is common for marketing operations to offer project management services to business units for efforts such as product development and launch.
Sales OperationsThe orchestration and improvement of sales processes such as lead generation and qualification.
CompensationDesigning and administering elements of sales compensation such as incentives programs.
Training & DevelopmentProviding training to teams such as business units or sales in areas such as technologies, processes and practices.
Media OperationsOverseeing the production and delivery of media such as promotional videos, content and information.
Vendor ManagementManaging partners such as providers of marketing systems and digital advertising platforms.
Contract ManagementManaging contracts with partners in areas such as technology, advertising, promotion, distribution and sales.
Change ManagementThe practice of leading change. Marketing operations often plays an alignment role between marketing, sales and business operations teams to drive change to systems, processes and practices.
Retail OperationsManaging geographically distributed business processes such as logistics, retail locations and product showrooms.
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