Only 49% of marketing organisations report they have a dedicated marketing operations leader, according to a recent survey by Gartner. Those organisations with a marketing operations leader are more effective and better utilise their investments – including marketing technology (martech) – than those without, the research group says.
The Gartner Marketing Operations Survey 2020 reveals 52% of organisations that report they are focused on effectiveness cite having a marketing operations leader. From May 2020 through June 2020, Gartner surveyed 429 respondents who were required to have involvement in decisions related to aligning marketing budget, resources and processes and/or marketing operations. Ninety-one percent of the respondents came from organisations with $1-billion or more in annual revenue.
“The presence of a marketing operations leader is a game changer for many organisations. The role helps lead to less dichotomy and fewer tradeoffs between efficiency and effectiveness,” says Sally Witzky, senior director analyst at Gartner for Marketers. “Organisations with a marketing operations leader can strive for both effectiveness and efficiency without the overt sacrifice of one for the other.”
Gartner research shows 81% of marketing organisations without a marketing operations leader report they felt they could not fully maximise the impact of their initiatives when also striving for efficiency.
“In a world where martech investments make up 26% of marketing budgets, but marketers utilise only 58% of their martech stack’s potential, the role of the marketing operations leader becomes ever more pressing,” adds Witzky. “Without this function, marketing organisations will continue to struggle to maximise the impact of their initiatives while also trying to be efficient.”
When establishing a marketing operations leader role, Gartner recommends marketing leaders focus on the following four framework steps:
• Frame marketing operations around the marketing organisation’s priority weighting of efficiency and effectiveness.
• Focus on a well-defined primary operations mandate of specific functions to protect against becoming a haphazard accumulation of responsibilities.
• Fix the biggest operational weaknesses, such as lack of communication and collaboration that pervade and plague the marketing organisation, and measure impact, output and alignment to goals and strategies.
• Fit marketing work management and operational martech to the organisation’s needs, replacing outdated and manual processes with integrated and automated systems and platforms.