Marketing Operations: where technology and strategy meet

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The current market is an exciting place for marketers. Marketing departments have more to play with than ever before when it comes to data, metrics and functional information about existing customers, prospects and more.

Companies have more opportunities to hone and develop their strategies accurately with data making forecasting easier.

ROI is what every marketing move is designed to achieve. You want to get out more than you put in, and with so much data to analyse and use to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, your strategies can be more accurate and achievable than ever.

Marketing has entered a great period of positive change, and it is through the development of new technologies and processes that it has been possible.

The Future of Marketing: Driven by Data

Marketing has always relied on customer data and insight. But, as more data has become available, the processes and methods for using and analysing this data have become more sophisticated.

The industry has undergone quite a pivot from having so much data and not understanding what it means or how it can help them, to being able to track it all in real-time and glean valuable and actionable insights from.

Indeed, 87% of marketers believe martech is already improving marketing performance at their companies and 50-65% of marketing executives surveyed by Conductor plan to spend more on marketing technologies in the coming year.

All the evidence points towards data being key to the future of your marketing efforts and with the development of marketing operations as a system, technology, data and strategy can be blended effectively for accelerated ROI.

What do we mean by Marketing Operations?

Marketing operations is a key function within your marketing department. It aligns and blends process, analysis and data using the latest technology.

Effective marketing operations allow you to make the most of the technologies chosen for your marketing department as well as streamline processes and get the most from your strategy.

Harnessing Big Data

By 2020 approximately 1.7 megabytes of information will be created every second for every single human being on the planet.

This is an unimaginable volume of data, yet big data has become essential to the success of almost every highly effective marketing campaign.

Leading brands embrace every piece of data they can capture about their audiences and utilise it to shape better, more effective customer experiences.

Data allows you to track almost every element of your marketing campaigns. Both real-time and historical data can be harnessed for future campaigns and to make adjustments in real time to improve the impact of each campaign and reduce wastage.

Marketing departments have historically had difficulty in proving the value of some of their more experimental and “modern” techniques to the upper echelons of their companies. With the sheer volume of data available now, everything can be tracked, analysed and proven.

Tie in the Internet of Things (IoT) with the growth of data usability and availability, and the tech-driven nature of marketing is sealed.

Boston Consulting Group forecast €250bn will be spent on IoT technology, products and services by 2020, and this is just one indicator of how important the connected nature of technology will become. As more IoT devices, such as wearables, become commonplace, marketers have even more opportunities to collect and analyse data for the development of future products, customer service and marketing campaigns, and thus shape the direction of your business.

Using Marketing Technology to Deliver your Goals

Marketing today is powered by technology.

Even if you don’t recognise your business as technologically driven you can be sure it has a marketing tech stack in action. Whether that’s the most basic and well-known of applications such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite or Mailchimp, or more specialist software for your niche.

Martech benefits your business in many ways. It helps to ensure your data is fully managed, accessible, and easily analysed, but it also proves effective in saving time and costs.

Marketing automation is used by thousands of companies every day with proven results. As one study found, businesses using marketing automation for nurturing prospects saw a 451% lift in qualified leads.

Creativity meets Analytics

Marketing is creative. And it must be to capture the interest and engage the senses of the target audience. But it’s much more than letting marketers get creative and imaginative.

Marketing professionals often pride themselves on their creative side but the need to embrace their technological nouse and accept the scientific, analytical approach necessary for success in modern-day marketing has to be considered.

The role of Chief Marketing Technologist is not new, with Chiefmartec reporting 81% of large companies having professionals in this role as far back as 2014.

It has not always been the case that the ground level marketer needs the same level of in-depth technological knowledge. But today they do, as analytically approaching every marketing task is a proven way of delivering better results and achieving (or exceeding) the desired ROI.

The volumes of data and high quality technologies out there combine through marketing operations to allow for the sophisticated use of data in new ways to further hone customer experiences, delivering better results.

Campaign analysis eliminates ambiguities, confusion and guesswork as the statistics are ready and waiting to be analysed and turned into forecasts and reports.

Going forward with Marketing Operations

Marketing professionals can never sit still for long as the evolution of their role ensures there is always a new innovation pushing them that little bit closer to the customer, to further enhance their journey.

Most businesses have their marketing stacks building up, whether they’re aware of it or not, but what constitutes a marketing operations stack? How does this differ?

It brings together the technology, processes, CRM systems and more for a fully streamlined and effective department.

Marketing operations allows for more talent to be focused on innovative new ways of campaigning and business development.

Automated and streamlined systems allow for the brains behind your business to truly be put to work, exercising their creativity, ready to combine it with the strategic, analytics-led framework.

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