Activate Your Marketing Operations

to Improve Agility and Excellence

How do Marketing teams create value? By finding, keeping, and growing the value of customers. In fact, research finds that best-in-class (BIC) marketers who can demonstrate and measure their impact, value and contribution either join the C-Suite, or gain them as their champion. The research goes on to show that this elite group of value creators do four things consistently better and differently to achieve business results and C-suite support: alignment, accountability, assessment, analytics and activation. They are relentless in their pursuit of marketing excellence and regularly assess and benchmark their capabilities.

Becoming a BIC marketer on the performance management front, achieving marketing excellence, and serving as a value creator takes aspiration, perspiration, and commitment. But isn’t your credibility in the organization, your ability to influence “the big decisions,” and less resistance to securing the needed resources — worth it?

Improve and prove the value of your marketing initiatives with the countless practical resources in this learning center. To access many of these resources, you will need to join and use your log in.

Marketing Activation

To achieve market success, consider the speed at which Marketing must operate in today’s environment, the need to run faster and be more agile than ever before. The market research company Forrester defines business agility as “the quality that allows an enterprise to embrace market and operational changes as a matter of routine.” Achieving agility requires building the infrastructure and activating processes, systems, and tools.

Within Best-in-Class Marketing organizations, the processes, systems, tools and skills necessary for Marketing to drive business results, manage and measure performance, facilitate the use of data to make strategic customer, market, solution decisions and associated program investments are with Marketing Ops. For these organization, Marketing Ops is the activation center for agility.

Be Faster, Stronger and More Agile With Marketing Operations

When organized and staffed correctly, Marketing Ops helps marketing improve effectiveness and the value from your investments in data, analytics, technology, processes, and talent resource investments. In short – enable Marketing to drive company success. In leading companies, the Marketing Ops function is responsible for strategic planning and alignment, financial management and reporting, workflow definition and management, performance measurement and management, change management and innovation adoption, and marketing technology.

Is Your Marketing Ops prepared to make your faster, stronger, and more agile? It is if it helps you with the following:

  • Enable a collaborative planning processes to ensure alignment between your marketing plans and business outcomes.
  • Increase your visibility and accountability in expenditure tracking to ensure alignment between your investments and your impact.
  • Link tasks to deliverables to outcomes and define the workflow for the approval process to improve your predictability, on-time deliverability, and cost management.
  • Develop and deploy a dashboards that enable your Marketing organization to gain instant visibility into key outcome-based operational and activity metrics.

Use the resources below to learn more about activating your Marketing Operations and its role in Marketing Performance Management. Contact us when you’re ready for your Marketing Operations to help you transform Marketing into a Center of Excellence.

Marketing Activation Case Studies

Marketing Activation White Papers

  • Over 400 organizations participated in the 16th Annual Marketing Performance Management (MPM) Benchmarking Study. This year we wanted to tease out the subtle nuances that separate the Best-in-Class Marketing organizations from the rest of the pack when it comes to being able to prove Marketing’s value, contribution and impact. Turns out this elite group of marketers are significantly better in 5 key areas of performance management and leverage Marketing Ops differently. Find out how to join their ranks.
  • A 14 page guide that provides an overview of the MPM Maturity Model and an method for users to determine their level of maturity.
  • The economy has affected all aspects of businesses, especially marketing. In-person meeting opportunities have began to drop in customer attendance because of costs, however, the emergence of new channels has provided marketers with new, cost-effective ways to stay in touch with one another such as virtual events. Making the Business Case for Virtual Events examines the increasing value of virtual events, how important they can be, and the opportunities you can receive with virtual events. NOTE: Only registered users may download white papers. To login or register for an account, please click the login link at the top of the page.
  • Marketing runs on processes. Your Marketing Operations function is the steward of these processes. It is their responsibility to make sure e all the gears required to achieve the desired marketing results are turning in unison. These include the proper use of data and analytics related to workflow processes and systems, alignment, planning, measurement, and reporting. These are the components, or the gears, of Marketing Operations. Marketing operations is a key driver for ensuring Marketing operates as a Center of Excellence. This paper explores how you can create a Marketing Operations function that transforms Marketing into a center of excellence.
  • Marketing Technology (Martech) can play an important role in optimizing performance and facilitating agility. The selection, implementation and deployment all impact your success. Use this white paper to learn how to make sure your Martech optimizes the performance of your Marketing Department and enables you to be more effective, efficient and responsive to customers and market dynamics. This White Paper examines four broad categories that these tools fall under, why they are necessary, and the process for successful implementation.
  • CustomerThink research finds that digital and social channels are the fastest growing methods of customer interaction. About two out of three consumers start their research with a search engine, with social networks a growing source of influence during the buying process. Advanced mobile technologies will only accelerate the digital trend and further empower customers. Today’s successful marketer must learn how to engage with customers and create value for stakeholders in a complex digital world. To help you grapple with this challenge, thought leaders from the Founders Council of our DigitalMarketingOne community, including a section from VisionEdge Marketing (page 43), on Five Steps to Improve Your Marketing Accountability", have written a series of articles on channels, techniques, optimization and more, to help you design a coherent multi-channel digital marketing strategy. NOTE: Only registered users may download white papers. To login or register for an account, please click the login link at the top of the page.
  • Delivering maximum impact from your Marketing takes enablement and execution. This second installment to a three-part ebook explore how to position your marketing team to achieve your corporate outcomes, implement effective team processes, maintain accuracy and flexibility with your budget, and select and integrate smart technologies that will help you achieve your goals. If you’re focused on building a high performing team that drives business results this series is valuable addition to your library.
  • Performance management, understanding and proving Marketing’s impact takes measurement and monitoring. This third and final installment to a three-part eBook provides guidance collecting and interpreting data, creating a measurement framework, and developing dashboards and benchmarking your performance. These are essential capabilities for any Marketing organization focused on serving as a value creating, propelling growth and operating as a center of excellence.
  • A Center of Excellence is defined as a team or entity that provides leadership, fosters best practices, facilitates research, and enhances the skills needed for a focused area. In many companies, Marketing Leadership Councils (MLC) play an essential role in transforming the marketing organization into a Center of Excellence. This White Paper is designed to assist CMOs and other key members of the leadership team establish and leverage an MLC as a vehicle to ramp marketing effectiveness and transformation.
  • The increased need to bring science—data, analytics, systems and processes—to role of Marketing has catalyzed the formation of an essential discipline: Marketing Operations. This function integrates processes, technology and metrics to help run the Marketing organization as a fully-accountable business. Despite its increasing popularity, many organizations don’t leverage Marketing Operations as well as they could. Use this white paper to help uplevel your Marketing Operations and explores how this function can be instrumental in transforming your Marketing organization into a performance-driven organization.
  • Lead your Marketing team, and the organization as a whole, to achieve agility and sustainability while proving the value of Marketing. Create a reputation for innovation in customer experience and solutions. Read this white paper, including the case study, to learn proven practices for implementing a Marketing Center of Excellence (MCOE), from inception to results optimization.

Marketing Activation Recordings

Marketing Activation Presentations

  • The “sexiest” job of the new century—that’s how the Harvard Business Review characterized the practice of sifting through data to find hidden, below-the-surface meaning and subsequently extrapolating the underlying knowledge. In today’s highly competitive business environment, the ability to capture, analyze, and use data to make critical business decisions is a pivotal skill for marketers. Learn how to use data-driven decisions to formulate an action-based, measurable Marketing Plan, which can successfully drive business decisions for their organizations. In particular, attendees understand how to sift through the abundance of data available today, learn methods for analyzing the data and translating it into actionable insights, and have the knowledge to be able to develop content that matches the customer buying process to impact the bottom line of their organizations.
  • Analytics are key to making your company agile, and to making better market, customer, and competitive decisions. An analytics center of excellence provides the company with valuable insights, protects privacy and brand reputation, and guides the prioritization and selection of opportunities for greatest growth.
  • In this presentation, we teamed up with Allocadia, Origami Logic, Response Capture and revealed how to overcome the 4 key MPM challenges: 1. Justifying your Marketing investment plan and winning C-suite support 2. Equipping your team for execution success 3. Benchmarking best practices for the best results 4. Graduating from measuring tactical results to measuring true Marketing value.
  • Marketing organizations know their role is valuable, but oftentimes they struggle to understand the ingredients of successfully marketing, and how to communicate that value to the business. To achieve the desired business results, all roles and initiatives under the stewardship of marketing must be working in unison. It is the responsibility of the Marketing Operations function to make that happen. Through effective planning, alignment, measurement, and communication, Marketing Ops ensures that marketing operates as a Center of excellence. However, in order for this potential to be fulfilled, Marketing must understand best practices for scoping, implementing, managing, and measuring the Marketing Ops function. This session will define the role of the Marketing Ops function, recommend processes for improving role effectiveness, and show how to prove the value of Marketing's contribution to overall business goals and outcomes.
  • A webinar conducted by VisionEdge Marketing & AdTech
  • The presentation focuses on what Best-in-Class B2B marketers do better and differently to improve and prove the value of marketing. Participants learn the Six Best Practices implemented by the BIC. Learn how Alignment and Accountability serve as the cornerstones of success.
  • Content marketing aims to create and curate relevant and valuable content that will change, enhance and drive customer behavior. But to be effective, you have to focus on the customer buying process. This presentation help you identify behavioral commitments; map the process and sync content, channels and touchpoints accordingly; and create relevant metrics to prove marketing’s contribution.
  • Today, many marketers are feeling increasing pressure from the C-Suite to prove marketing's contribution to the business. Members of the executive leadership team want to know exactly how marketing initiatives are connected to business results, so marketers must understand how to measure their value. While many marketers continue to struggle with this, a few have cracked the code. Download this presentation to see how the Best-in-Class marketers have mastered the six best practices for connecting marketing to business results.

Marketing Activation Articles

  • Companies need to make a myriad of strategic and tactical decisions on how they will operate in the market and engage with customers. One of the most important tasks for digital marketing is to differentiate the company and its products from the competition.
  • To survive and thrive, CMOs need to see themselves as champions of growth who can anticipate customers, develop their organizations’ Marketing capabilities, and measure Marketing’s impact on the business in terms that matter to their CEOs, CFOs, and leadership teams.
  • During the last weekend of February, Laura had the honor of serving as a speaker at the 6th Annual Intelligent Content Conference in California. The event was sold-out, but surprisingly, while she was there, she did not run into a single CMO, Marketing VP, or Marketing Director. The people she did have the pleasure of meeting had titles such as content managers, technical writers, content operations managers, and several more. Managing marketing content is a vital part of a marketer’s job, so why were the marketing executives missing?
  • The sheer number of marketing technology options demonstrates that marketing is evolving and has become a technology-powered discipline. This explosion of marketing technology makes it hard to know which tools are required and which are “nice-to-have’s”. When the CMO owns and defines the marketing technology strategy the organizations achieves more targeted, relevant, and efficient customer engagement and greater revenue contribution. A framework and roadmap for investment is critical for developing this strategy and to ensure your strategy and investments truly help your organization thrive, you need to consider how they create an effective and efficient sustainable “ technology ecosystem”. Whether you are just starting out or are well on your way to building your marketing technology ecosystem, use this article to help you create and sustain your marketing technology ecosystem.
  • Companies currently focus on business transformation to help improve innovation, achieve agility, and better deal with disruption. Tackling and excelling at business transformation is easier said than done. As a result, companies are establishing Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for a variety of purposes. This article explores when to you should create a Center of Excellence and how to use one to spur growth.
  • The concept of Marketing serving as a Center of Excellence (CoE) within an organization is beginning to see traction. Marketing organizations must operate as CoEs to eliminate the inefficiencies of being a siloed organization. Recently, the American Marketing Associate declared that “to keep up with marketing’s continuous evolution, companies could get a jump on their competitors by creating a “center of excellence.” We concur. Marketing CoEs are more than an exercise, they positively impact the bottom line, which is why, back in 2012, we began offering practical advice on how to create a Marketing CoE. Learn How to Drive Repeatable and Predictable Marketing Performance.
  • When it comes to shiny toys, Marketers can’t seem to help themselves. Influencer Marketing, ABM (account-based Marketing), new twists on well-established ideas, and now Artificial Intelligence are the sirens beckoning today’s marketers. There is a dear price to pay for the shiny toy addiction.
  • As CEO’s and other members of the leadership team focus on and invest in growth, Marketing rises to the top of list for helping the organization “get it done.” Understanding the degree of impact your Marketing has on your business starts with measurement. Measurement and analysis are the essential ingredients for optimizing your marketing. But your marketing organization needs input from the leadership team to make headway. This article outlines five fundamental steps every CEO can take to support marketing’s performance optimization efforts.
  • Agile marketing has become an everyday term; it even has its own manifesto. What is agile marketing? Workfront asserts that it “is a tactical marketing approach in which teams identify and focus their collective efforts on high value projects, complete those projects cooperatively, measure their impact, and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time.” Seems obvious and what Marketing should be at its core.
  • Learn what best-in-class marketing organizations do to win over the C-suite and steps that any marketing organization can take to fulfill its potential. The starting point for this discussion is a set of findings from the past 15 “Marketing Performance Benchmark” studies, which revealed year after year that the C-suite consistently has 4 primary expectations of its marketing organizations.
  • These four key steps are what will enable you to move from creating a plan to stay within a budget to creating a plan to execute a strategy. An outcome-based plan structured around the company’s strategy is less likely to get cut if revenue falls. This right planning process improves Marketing effectiveness, supports outcome-based budgeting, and facilitates Marketing performance and agility.
  • In a recent article we suggested that like golf, marketers need to be proficient with all 12 clubs in their bag. To further extend the metaphor, we also highly recommend marketers leverage the value of a good caddie. Why? Because caddies play a critical role in the success of a player’s game. In fact, research published by Loughborough University found that there is a clear link between the “golfer-caddie relationship and performance success” and concludes that the right caddie can make a difference of “30% or more.” What marketer or for that matter any business professional wouldn’t want to have that kind of improvement to their business game?
  • How do you know where to aim and how far? One valuable approach is to use benchmarks. A benchmark, that is a measure, serves as a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed. If the benchmark is the “what”, benchmarking is the “how.”
  • Analytics and Marketing Technology (Martech) are essential tools for Marketing and the key to the Marketing function serving as a nimble, effective, and customer-centric organization. Together analytics and Martech pave the way for Marketing to serve as a strategic member of the organization, manage and measure Marketing performance, and facilitate customer, market, and product decisions. While we know what it takes to make analytics an engine of growth, many Marketing organizations remain analytically challenged. There are four recurring themes that account for the majority of challenges continuing to thwart all organizations’ progress, including Marketing, when it comes to analytics. This article explores the evolution and role of analytics and Martech and how Marketing can successfully use of analytics to enable meaningful customer-related decisions that positively affect profitability, targeting, loyalty, and share of wallet.
  • As we focus on the customer journey and take a more customer-centric approach to Marketing, all customer-facing functions within an organization need to be more unified, that is, integrated. Integration is the only way to overcome fragmentation. The success of Integrated Marketing depends on having a good strategy. Integrated Marketing isn’t so much about doing more as it is about doing the right activities in the right channel, at the right time. This article presents five (5) Integrated Marketing best-practices.
  • Increased choices, channels, and competitive proliferation have changed the way companies and customers engage with each other. As a result, many organizations are designing new approaches in order to be able to pilot themselves successfully in this modern environment.
  • Agile companies want to be able to rapidly adjust on all fronts, including Marketing. Companies are interested in marketing that's agile because they believe it will help them deploy the right elements of the marketing mix at the right time to influence the specific outcome they want to achieve.
  • For a decade we’ve known what it takes to fuel growth with analytics. Results from the recent study found that “marketers are still challenged to maximize the potential value of analytics.” There’s no going back. Analytics and Martech are critical tools for Marketing. They are essential to being a nimble, effective, and customer-centric organization. Move these four analytics capabilities to the top of your list to be smart with your analytics.
  • Sales enablement is a process that focuses on empowering salespeople to perform their job more effectively. Because the sales organization relies on the marketing organization to create the tools that support both the sales enablement process and strategy, it is important that Marketing and Sales collaborate with each when creating, distributing, and utilizing tools. One such tool is the playbook which characterizes the roles and responsibilities for each member of the selling organization, lays out clear objectives for each member of the team to support the business plan, targets setting and performance measurement, and provides a common framework and approach for most effectively developing and closing opportunities. This article discusses both the importance of having a playbook and specific steps involved in making it a valuable. sales enablement tool.
  • With the level of investment and the proliferation of technology, wouldn’t we expect lead management to be an issue of the past? Yet, the conversion from opportunity to customer still is below 10 percent. Here’s why and what you need to do to improve your lead and opportunity management and ultimately the most important conversion rate of all – your win rate.
  • In just a few years we’ve gone from a few key technologies and a hundred players to dozens of technology options and nearly a thousand players. It’s easy to get excited by all these sexy new tools. But it is a mistake to wait to address accountability until after you have addressed technology, even if it’s just the marketing automation piece. This article explains why accountability comes before automation and provides four steps of the marketing performance management leaders you can model.
  • a. With increased pressure on marketing to measure its value and contribution, marketing performance management is moving to the front burner. As a result many organizations are actively implementing a marketing operation function. The role of marketing operations is expanding, especially among Best-in-Class marketing organizations. Learn how BIC marketers use marketing operations to champion and orchestrate the six A’s (alignment, accountability, analytics, automation, alliances and assessment) of marketing performance management.
  • Next month, Patterson will be part of the “How to Implement Best-in-Class Processes, the Foundation of Your Marketing Operations” panel at MarTech Boston. In advance of the conference, Patterson is sharing her insights on effective processes — from the biggest mistake most businesses make when building out their processes to how they should be managed and who gets to own them.
  • Marketing Technology enables marketers to thrive in today's hyper-competitive business environment. The ability to identify exactly which technologies are needed, in which order, and how to effectively implement and use the tools is key to return on investment and success. The right investment in people is also required in order to realize the full benefit of these tools. This article explores the four different categories of Marketing Technology tools, and provides the basis for creating a roadmap to implement them in your organization.
  • The convergence of data, analytics and technology is driving both the demand for marketing dashboards – and enabling their evolution. This article explores the various types of dashboards and their design. Learn about four essential design elements and the six categories you should include on your marketing dashboard.
  • Without a doubt, for all of us, time is our most valuable asset. It is finite, perishable, and irreplaceable. Once you expend your time and your energy, it is “spent.” Time has a major impact on your productivity. There are slews of articles on how to manage your time and improve your productivity. The key is to how to make the best use of your time. This article provides a way to quickly identify whether you’re focusing on the most productive activities. It also explores how to scale and make sure you’re outsourcing pays off.
  • To develop a culture of operational excellence, every employee must, in the words of the Institute for Operational Excellence, “see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down.” Employ two keys to developing, establishing and enhancing your organization’s culture for Operational Excellence.
  • Two of the most valuable purposes of a marketing dashboard are to help our leadership team understand how Marketing is moving the needle in terms of top line revenue, market share, customer value, category ownership, etc. as well as to provide strategic guidance. However, one of more perplexing findings from the recently completed marketing performance research conducted jointly by Forrester, ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing is that while marketers have access to more data, leverage more analytics, and have invested in more tools and systems than ever before, they continue to struggle to prove marketing's contribution to the business. This despite the fact that the majority of the marketers in the study indicated they regularly produce and share dashboards. These dashboards are primarily generated by marketing automation platforms and CRM systems. This article clarifies the difference between an activity tracking report and a dashboard that helps you improve and prove the value of marketing.
  • Many companies who provide considered and consultative offerings, don’t realize that what happens before you deliver the service is equally as important as what you deliver. We call this phase of the relationship “onboarding.” Onboarding provides beneficial information and engagement to ensure the customer derives the most success from their purchase. This article recommends an onboarding process to insure a positive customer experience.
  • Marketing Technology enables marketers to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive business environment. The ability to identify exactly which technologies are needed, in which order, and how to effectively implement and then use the tools is key to return on investment and success. The right investment in people is also required in order to realize the full benefit of these tools. This article explores the four different categories of Marketing Technology tools and recommends key steps to help you pave the way to developing a successful technology roadmap.
  • As the CEO, perhaps your marketing folks have told you that they need more marketing automation tools before they can address marketing measurement. But it is a mistake to wait to address accountability until after you have addressed technology, even if it’s just the marketing automation piece. This article explains offers four steps every CEO should consider addressing with their marketing team to improve accountability.
  • Marketing Operations (MarketingOps) helps run the Marketing function as a fully accountable business by building the processes and managing the systems. It is the vital backbone function within Marketing that develops and deploys the processes, systems, tools and skills necessary to link Marketing to business outcomes in order to improve and prove marketing’s value. In the most recent Marketing Performance Management Benchmark study, we were curious as to how much progress each group of marketers Best-in-Class (BIC), Middle-of-the-Pack and Laggards was making in employing MarketingOps to support their MPM and Center of Excellence efforts. What’s the key takeaway? The MarketingOps of the BIC is more about Doing the Right Things than Doing Things Right. This article offers six MarketingOps capabilities to help fine tune your MPM efforts.
  • In our MarketingProfs article, Marketing Activity Metrics Mean Little: Here's How to Really Prove Marketing's Value, we asserted that "marketers need to be smarter about the performance metrics they select." We also found ourselves concurring with David Dodd's claim that "many senior leaders are no longer satisfied with the tactical performance indicators (campaign response rates, content downloads, etc.) that marketers have traditionally used to describe marketing performance." From these two sentiments (and a lot of other research) we have concluded that far too many Marketing metrics are tied to activities and efficiency rather than Marketing effectiveness.
  • This article explains the role Marketing plays in positively impacting innovation and new product/service development. It recommends four steps to empower Marketing to head the innovation charge.
  • CEOs, CFOs, and COOs understand the value of operations management for supporting the development, production, and delivery of products and/or services. It is just as important to establish a marketing operations function to support the development, production and delivery of your marketing. Why? Because with the proliferation of marketing automation tools and increased pressure to prove the value of marketing, it makes good business sense for all but the smallest organizations to employ Marketing Ops management.
  • Some days it may seem like the weather forecast came from gazing into a crystal ball. In fact, being able to forecast the weather is the single most important reason for the existence of meteorology as a science. Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and analysis of trends. Despite being fraught with risk and uncertainty, forecasting is as important in business as it is in the weather. Business depends on forecasts for financial and staff planning and prioritizing investments and initiatives.



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