High-performance marketing teams have three characteristics that, when removed, lead to misalignment, mistrust, and missed goals:
Marketing Ops is an umbrella term that encompasses the processes, technology and people required to deliver growth. The goal of marketing ops should be to create alignment, accountability and agility.
A set of practices that enable marketing teams to work in a more aligned, agile and accountable way to deliver growth.
Why marketing teams struggle
Last year, we surveyed a sample of marketing leaders and found that two thirds (69%) claimed their marketing team were misaligned.
There were three root causes:
Having a goal is not enough to align a team. Marketing teams need ongoing clarity over where they are and where they’re going, to stay on track and course correct when facts change.
The fastest way to misalign a team is to give people different information. This is the bi-product of marketing being siloed and insights being spread thinly across teams, tools, spreadsheets, Trello boards, and dashboards.
In today’s fast-paced world, quarterly/annual marketing plans are out of date by the time the ink’s dry. Marketing teams need to up the pace to weekly/bi-weekly execution and reflection.
At the heart of marketing ops is a mandate to improve clarity, transparency and the pace of marketing. These are the building blocks of a well-aligned, accountable, agile marketing team.
So, how does adopting the Marketing Ops methodology work in practice?
Marketing Ops Strategies
Let’s deep-dive into the various strategies and tools for applying the Marketing Ops methodology.
Aligning your marketing team requires having a source of truth where the entire marketing team can see:
- Your goal(s)
- Your projection of how you’ll achieve them (and by when)
- Your current progress against that projection
- Your milestones that must be achieved to stay on track
In TrueNorth, this all lives in the Growth tab which contains your goal, your projection of achieving that goal, any milestones that need achieving along the way, as well as your current progress.
You don’t need to use TrueNorth for this – but whatever you use, it’s important that it stays up-to-date automatically. If not, it risks becoming out of date and (ironically) causing misalignment.
If you want to move faster as a marketing team, adopting agile marketing is a good place to start.
Agile marketing short-circuits the typical slow planning, sign-off, execution, reporting cycle by introducing short sprints (usually two-weeks) to plan, execute and review performance.
Work expands to fill the time allottedParkinson’s Law
When you have two weeks to plan, execute and review, you can’t afford to waste days creating fancy powerpoint presentations or chasing someone for sign off. As a result, adopting agile marketing forces changes to the way you work that creates pace.
Much of the TrueNorth platform is dedicated to helping teams move faster – from Ideation Sessions, which allows teams to collect ideas remotely (without long-winded meetings), to the Timeline, which provides a birds-eye view for planning and track marketing activity in one place.
Accountability boils down to owning outcomes.
This is perhaps the most underrated and under-discussed aspects of enabling a marketing team’s success. Which perhaps explains why so many teams struggle with it.
When marketing is accountable, every campaign and every dollar of budget has a clear result attached to it that anyone in the team can find and learn from. The results aren’t always pretty, but they’re there – raw, without even a dash of sugar coating.
There are four pre-requisites for this to work:
- Every campaign must have an owner
- Every campaign must have its results centralised in one place
- Every campaign must have its results shared when it ends
- There must be a standardised metric by which all campaigns are measured (e.g. ROI)
When a high level of accountability is achieved, it becomes possible to clearly understand what campaigns and channels to accelerate, start, and stop investing in.
You can agree on what works and what to do next, because everyone is looking at the same picture.
Grow better with Marketing Ops
Supporting this methodology is TrueNorth’s Marketing OS, which includes all the growth projection, ideation, agile marketing, and reporting tools you need to stay aligned, agile and accountable. These tools are powerful alone, but they’re even better when used together, making it easier to know what works – and what to do next.
By combining the Marketing Ops methodology with TrueNorth, you’ll move faster, spend smarter, and grow your business better.