I have spent most of my professional life in marketing operations. It has been a rewarding and exciting journey. I have worked with many startups as well as quite a few large enterprises. I have implemented and operated marketing automation tools such as Eloqua and Marketo in many companies. Indeed I was involved in designing and developing a marketing automation platform, at one point which was used to compete with these well known platforms in their early days. As luck would have it, the product I worked for did not take off so well.
I have spent almost two decades working in marketing operations and have interacted with various stakeholders such as sales development representatives, marketing campaign managers, and marketing executives. In this blog, I choose to write about the 3 most important lessons I have learnt from being a marketer.
Marketing Ops is All About Targeting & Segmentation
The task of marketing operations managers is to make all the targets, segment and create campaigns to reach out to. The task from marketing managers is often simple, but it is not that simple at all. With the advancement of technology, profile, activity and campaign membership based targeting is nowadays built into the marketing operations platform. However, still a ton of work needs to be done when the filters run across product ownership, support entitlement and any of the firmographic information.
Three key ingredients to perfect the targeting are
Data Capture – Capture all the profile, activity and MQL related data at the time of form submit or activity itself. When possible, prefer API based data enrichment over batch processing. Batch processing has a huge negative impact on scoring and nurturing.
Data Management – Enrich the profile and firmographic data as needed. Do not over enrich as it may create confusion. Keep in mind that about 3% of the data is made absolute every month. Keep the database clean and remain free of duplicate records. It can cost upto 100 USD annually if there are too many duplicates in our database
Data Mapping – Not all records are mapped to each other, especially account/company information is not mapped to lead. Use a state of the art lead to account matching tool, so that you can establish relationships between lead, company, opportunities, product ownership and support entitlement etc.
Do Not Over Automate
With the power of cloud computing and API, it’s natural to want to go on overdrive and automate everything. But not all automation is worth doing. Some automation saves you only 20% of the effort, but some take 80% of your time; given that go-to-market (GTM) and lead management strategies change almost every quarter, I highly recommend you be better off doing some manual data entry/scripting once a quarter rather than trying to automate the task to save you 10 hours a quarter. Some examples include:
Know Your Numbers
While marketing operations managers are expert at fixing the plane while flying, they certainly can not fly blind. Reporting and analytics are extremely critical for efficient execution of marketing ops programs.
I recommend you categorize your reports into Operational and Strategic reports. Key operational reports include
The strategic reports help identify the best performing campaigns and tactics. Key strategic reports are
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