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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

  • Companies can be quite successful with their products in certain markets and still decide they want to identify new markets for these existing products. This case study explores how Vignette, a content management and portal solutions company, used the VisionEdge Marketing's MarketSmart™ methodology to evaluate the relative business opportunity of a number of potential markets. As a result of this work, the company was able to identify several new markets they could quickly tackle.
  • Centerpulse Orthopedics wanted to instill additional market-centric practices within their predominately technical marketing department to meet the challenges of a dynamic and competitive marketplace. They looked to VisionEdge Marketing's Strategic Marketing Academy™ to effectively equip the organization with new tools, processes, and skills. NOTE: Only registered users may download case studies. To login or register for an account, please click the login link at the top of the page.

Marketing Activation White Papers

  • 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.
  • Many folks don’t have any understanding of what goes into successful marketing or recognize all the gears that need to be turning in unison to get the desired marketing results for their organization. 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 discusses the role of Marketing Operations and explores how this function can transform Marketing into a center of excellence.
  • The phrase Marketing Technology is being increasingly discussed in today’s business environment, but there are a number of people who may not know exactly what that phrase means. If you want to optimize the performance of your Marketing Department and become more efficient and successful, your Marketers must learn how to properly utilize the marketing technology tools. This White Paper, will examine the four broad categories that these tools fall under, why they are necessary, and the process for implementing them in your Marketing Department.
  • 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 the art of marketing has catalyzed the formation of a new 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 know what Marketing Operations is. This paper discusses the role of Marketing Operations and explores how this function can be instrumental in transforming Marketing 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • a. 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.
  • 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.