Blog post

Marketing Ops: When Everyone is Responsible, No One Is

By Sally Witzky | August 20, 2019 | 1 Comment

MarketingMarketing Organization and Talent

As Gartner for Marketing analysts, we speak with many executive marketers and CMOs across multiple industries.  Marketing leaders don’t have visibility into their team’s work and can’t easily prioritize or align the work to business goals. And they complain their teams focus mainly on execution. This is one of the biggest impediments to create true value for the business, and why marketing ops is beneficial.

In reviewing marketing organizational charts, these common marketing ops questions arise from our clients:

  • Does my marketing org structure compare to similar companies?
  • Should my marketing team be restructured to grow the business?
  • Can I get my marketing team to be more strategic?
  • How do I position my marketing team for the future?
  • What is the best way to incorporate agile methodologies?
  • Is it possible to get more accountability from my team?
  • How can I best leverage existing and new martech?

As we probe about who has the responsibility for strategy, martech, workflow, or performance measurement, marketing leaders say “everyone.”  And that is the root of the problem.

When everyone is responsible for marketing ops, no one is truly responsible because they are too busy getting work out the door.

It doesn’t matter if the latest hot project is critical to the business or simply someone’s “urgent” but not “important” request. If the project appears important, it’s done and the accomplishment makes people feel good.

Yet it is why the modern marketing organization requires a marketing operations leader and team.

Gartner defines marketing ops to include these functions:

  1. Strategy and planning facilitation and effective communications
  2. Campaign and lead management
  3. Process optimization and governance
  4. Data and analytics optimization and governance
  5. Marketing technology selection, integration, optimization, governance and adoption

In Gartner’s 2019 Marketing Organizational Survey, 53% of marketing leaders cited adding a marketing ops leader to their team to improve flexibility and responsiveness. See below chart.

With the realization that marketing organizations require more efficient and effective operations, marketing leaders are funding marketing ops to better manage more work and deliver performance goals. And since technology plays a larger role than ever before, the marketing operations leader helps the CMO improve organizational performance, flexibility and responsiveness.

Below are recommended Marketing Ops research (a Gartner for Marketing Leaders’ subscription is required to access full reports):


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1 Comment

  • Usha says:

    Really enjoyed reading your article.
    Also wanted to say that I love the way Gartner has now organized all the information. Looks like you guys have really nailed “seamless” at the backend, connecting all the relevant information, based on our search. I also like the short, crisp and to-the-point approach–done this way it is so easy to digest information. So congratulations to your team(s).