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Marketing leaders can’t rely on intuition to quantify marketing ROI to the C-Suite.

Case in point, the Content Marketing Institute’s survey of B2B CMOs and Senior Marketing Executives, confirmed that on tracking marketing ROI, only 5% of CMOs feel they are “very successful,” and another 16% feel they are “somewhat successful.”

If your organization can’t rely on its CRM data, lacks lean lead management processes, or a robust feedback loop from sales teams, part of the challenge may be a deficiency in marketing operations capability.

Marketing operations is a function, not a department. 

Many of the skills needed for marketing operations may reside in sales operations and should be combined with tenured campaign management, marketing automation, and lead management expertise. In recent years, the intersection between marketing, CRM, and marketing automation tools has become more complex and metrics-oriented. That is why marketing operations skills are vastly different from “traditional” marketing skills such as strategic and creative thinking, brand management, and communications.

Marketing operations need to interlock with sales operations.

Marketing teams strive to take credit for as many sales opportunities as possible, while sales teams pride themselves on generating their sales opportunities to prove their value. Positioning marketing operations and sales operations function under one business leader harmonizes potential friction and provides a more objective view of marketing ROI.

Marketing and sales operations teams rely on strong CRM use, adoption, data quality, and reliable processes to succeed. It’s typical for marketing to want salespeople to do “X” in the CRM to help with marketing ROI. An integrated sales and marketing operation function can help embed why “X” is in both organizations’ mutual interests.

Funnel attribution (opportunities generated, proposed, and won/lost) is another challenge that marketing operations can help overcome. It helps if marketing operations have strong sales relationships, a solid understanding of the sales process, and a collaborative approach toward mutually beneficial activities such as a lead quality feedback loop.

How do you know if you need Marketing operations?

If your organization does not have a formal marketing operations function, you may be struggling to prove marketing ROI. If you have a marketing operations function and are still searching for clear marketing ROI, you may not have the right skill sets within the team or lack alignment with sales operations.

Also, often there’s friction between the marketing team, sales operations, and sales, leading to a “blame game” when results don’t meet expectations.

The marketing operations function can assist in eliminating the blame game and enable better collaboration alignment while improving marketing ROI.

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