Guest Blogs

Marketing Operations Maturity – Why It Matters

digital transformation

Because of the pandemic, focusing on marketing operations has become important than ever for marketers. Click below to learn more from Mirko Holzer of BrandMaker

Driven by the business realities of the pandemic, marketing has changed a lot and forced enterprise marketers to implement their digital marketing/transformation plans faster and more dramatically than planned.

As challenging as this change has been, our market data shows that most marketers are optimistic about their investment in digital transformation and becoming more productive as a result. According to a recent pulse survey by BrandMaker, over 90% of companies surveyed will increase investment in the digital transformation of marketing processes. 80% believe their global marketing organization will be more productive and collaborative because Covid-19 has changed how they work.

Against this positive backdrop, there are still challenges.  A major frustration among enterprise marketing leaders is the difficulty of juggling a potpourri of siloed point solutions. Some enterprise marketing groups are trying to manage Martech (marketing technology) stacks with as many as 90 unconnected ‘solutions’. That is hardly a solution! In fact, our Pulse survey showed that half of marketing executives said their marketing was less agile than expected or had inadequate workflow collaboration tools.

As marketing leaders battle through arguably the worst rollercoaster year of the last decade (at least!), their operational efficiency and effectiveness are vital. But how do they judge this?

Through our experience working with enterprise marketing groups at leading multinational companies over the last decade, BrandMaker has identified three stages of “marketing operations maturity”. They can be characterized as follows:

  • Stage 1: Focused on integrating solutions around a priority need such as DAM for content development or a financial suite for budget management. At this stage, organizations can experience better workflow, time savings, and production efficiencies.
  • Stage 2: Integration of additional marketing functions to expand the benefit of better workflow, time savings, and production efficiencies in new areas such as campaign management, brand asset distribution, and performance management.
  • Stage 3: Connected multiple functions to provide real-time visibility and control across budgeting, content development, campaign management, brand asset distribution, and performance reporting. This fuels improvement in overall agility, efficiency, and marketing effectiveness.

This last stage – Stage 3 – is the optimal environment for  marketing organizations to operate in – one where their marketing operations are so agile and connected that they can ‘unleash all their marketing superpowers’ to create exceptional marketing programs – programs that are effortless from a visibility and execution perspective, agile in terms of ability to change to market dynamics, and metric driven both in budget management and outcomes.

CMOs and marketing professionals can define their marketing operations maturity map by assessing their operational effectiveness across seven dimensions:

  • Stack Integration: The ability to have clear visibility and control across all the standalone systems in your martech stack based on intelligent data flows.
  • Workflow management: The ability to see and optimize human workflows in real-time, both inside the company and with external agencies and freelancers.
  • Campaign Management: The ability to deploy and adjust campaigns in response to market feedback and media changes.
  • Brand Distribution: The ability to affirm and manage how brand assets are being deployed in each geography for each product line and campaign.
  • Financial management: The ability to set and change budgets without errors, know budgetary status at any moment, and integrate with accounting and finance perspectives.
  • Content Development: The ability to understand and coordinate how, where, when, and by whom content is being created among all internal teams, external agencies, and freelancers.
  • Performance Reporting: The ability to see and optimize performance across product lines, campaigns, media, and geographies in real-time.

The map identifies priorities and gaps in processes and technology within global marketing organizations and helps determine a marketing operations project roadmap that works towards strengthening operations with strategies and tactics to address each priority/gap.

By determining the current marketing situation, gaps can be closed, and step-by-step marketing organizations can achieve digital, automated, and integrated platforms for marketing ops. The

Marketing operations maturity model’s findings suggest different potential actions for varying maturity levels or previous investment in marketing operations.

Recent events have demanded that many global marketing organizations rethink their entire 2020 strategy and campaigns. The need for marketing organizations to be fast, effective, and nimble, with highly productive, collaborative, and agile workflows, has never been more vital.

The ability to measure impact and manage budgets will also be increasingly important, given the anticipated budget shift from brand to pipeline creation and the resulting increase in the need for fresh and local content. As we continue through this period of upheaval, I am convinced that organizations with the right martech stacks will ultimately help their businesses weather the storm and come out stronger on the other end. For years, martech vendors have promised to make marketing organizations faster, nimbler and more data-driven. Now is when the rubber meets the road.

Check Out The New Martech Cube Podcast. For more such updates follow us on Google News Martech News


Mirko Holzer, Founder and CEO of BrandMaker
Mirko Holzer, Founder and CEO of BrandMaker, is acknowledged as one of the most successful software managers in Germany. He is the strategic lead and driving force behind BrandMaker. Since founding BrandMaker in 2008, the company has become a leading provider of marketing process optimization, a fact validated in reports from leading industry analysts including Forrester and Gartner.

Previous ArticleNext Article