How Chief Marketing Officers get out from underneath this avalanche of data and stay on top of it.

Data is everywhere. Channels are exploding. Technology is changing. Executives require more detailed reporting. Intuition and experience are no longer enough. You are living in the “show me” era. Marketing leaders can’t do this alone and need muscle in your marketing operations capability.


Having the right plans, people, and means of production is essential to making your number. But if marketing isn’t streamlined and tight, it doesn’t function well. It’s sluggish and weak, and it struggles to produce leads and nurture prospects. It can’t adapt quickly when change is required.


Once you achieve peak performance, you’ll change your company’s trajectory.

Automating core business functions (CRM, email marketing, etc.) certainly helps. It lifts the administrative burden that weighs marketing down. But automation alone can’t make your team more efficient or effective.


To build a lean, mean marketing machine, you must stay on top of marketing operations. This means refining your process, technology, and metrics, which may require some heavy lifting. For starters, you’ll need a firm grasp of what’s required. Then you’ll be in a position to make steady, powerful gains. If you need more help with data-driven marketing, leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook. Turn to the marketing operations section of the PDF or the Marketing Strategy section of the interactive workbook . You’ll find a worksheet approach where you can start to analyze your team.


Build Your Marketing Muscle


Marketing operations, which oversees all marketing activities and performance, is a relatively new discipline. But it’s never been more important. Marketing channels, technologies, and data will continue to explode in number. And CMOs and marketing ops leaders are feeling the pressure.


How do you get out from underneath this avalanche and stay on top of it? Start by asking the following questions: 


  • What should be the objectives for our marketing ops team?
  • What resources are required by the marketing ops team? What is each responsible for? How should they be structured?
  • How do we streamline and improve our budgeting process?
  • What technologies does our marketing team need to be effective?
  • What is our data plan, and how do we execute it?
  • What is our analytics strategy? How do we execute it? How do we incorporate predictive analytics?
  • How do we track results at the campaign, program, activity, offer, and content levels?
  • What dashboards do stakeholders need to make decisions?
  • How do we make executive reports filled with marketing insight available with a single click?


Getting marketing ops under control isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Once you achieve peak performance, you’ll change your company’s trajectory. We’ve seen it time and again among the companies we serve.


6 Things You Must Do to Get Marketing Operations in Shape


Here’s your marketing operations “workout,” from start to finish.


  1. Create a marketing ops charter. This should lay out the team’s objectives and responsibilities.
  2. Build a marketing technology roadmap. Your customer should be at the center of your data model. Make your CRM system the hub of all marketing technologies.
  3. Evaluate your technology options. This process may seem overwhelming, but you can make it manageable. Start by reviewing these 9 features of a best-in-class technology infrastructure.
  4. Create an effective data plan. Your data planning process should cover these 5 steps. Your goal should be to replace qualitative with quantitative data wherever possible.
  5. Understand predictive analytics’ value—and limitations. The B2B sales process is never simple. In many companies, it’s all over the map. Make sure you’re leveraging predictive analytics the right way: with a sense of perspective, and a grain of salt.
  6. Measure marketing’s pipeline contribution. Using these 5 steps of conversion, you can definitively show what’s working and what isn’t. And you’ll know exactly where breakdowns are occurring.


If you would like more help with making marketing scientific and where you may need to focus more attention, take SBI’s Revenue Growth Diagnostic:


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