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Assessing B2B Marketing Operations 2.0 Readiness

How do you know if your organization is ready for B2B Marketing Operations (MO) 2.0? This paper will help you determine if your organization is ready by asking questions like: What does that organization look like? What are its primary pain points? What is its vision for the future? What pressures are driving it to consider undergoing substantial change?

The Current State of B2B Marketing Operations

Marketing Operations is still finding its way into the enterprise, but it has certainly made has made significant strides in the past three years. Consider:

  • In Silicon Valley, less than two-dozen companies had formalized Marketing Operations functions in place in 2005; that number today is likely in the hundreds.
  • Even smaller upstarts, such as Big Band Networks, CyperSource, Iron Key and InsideView, have recognized the value of Marketing Operations by investing in dedicated staff.
  • At least a half-dozen MO-related special interest groups have arrived on social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo and Yahoo Groups.
  • Conferences, such as ad:tech, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and Predictive Analytics World, have added Marketing Operations to their agendas.
  • The Marketing Operations Cross-Company Alliance (MOCCA) has grown to more than 500 members and the Marketing Operations Future Forum, which was just formed in April 2009, already exceeds 300 members.
  • Even in a bad economy during the winter holidays, a search of MO-related job openings uncovered several dozen opportunities.
  • The first courses on the discipline of Marketing Operations were offered through the University of California system and in Asia (Hong Kong) in 2008.
  • The UCSC Extension MO course is expected to become available online in January 2010.

A Checklist for Your Company

To see if your company is a good candidate for B2B Marketing Operations 2.0, check all the characteristics listed below that apply.

  • My company invests a significant amount in marketing resources (headcount and/or budget).
  • My company’s marketplace is dynamic and highly competitive.
  • My company’s marketing has evolved into a complex and multi-dimensional function.
  • A diverse mix of programs and resources are funded to reach a breadth of audiences (segments, sales channels, internal and external stakeholders, etc.).
  • My company faces government and regulatory compliance pressures.
  • My company’s marketing processes have evolved to the point where they are no longer well coordinated or even well-understood.
  • My company values best practices but lacks process, technology and metrics to achieve them.
  • My company is pressuring marketing to assume a more strategic role.
  • Within my company, many believe that marketing must deliver greater value for the company’s investment.

If you checked half or more of the above statements, your company is a great candidate to benefit by leveraging the power of B2B Marketing Operations 2.0.

Where Do You Feel the Pain?

If your company is feeling some pain, you’re probably acutely aware of it. Arriving at an accurate diagnosis, however, requires a careful examination. Before reviewing the checklist below to identify localized pain points, first consider the general health of your marketing effort. Does marketing currently receive wide recognition for its strategic leadership and bottom-line contribution? Is marketing in complete alignment with your company’s strategic goals and other key functions? Can marketing clearly measure its success and demonstrate ROI to your executive team?

MO 2.0 is specifically designed to address these corporate pain points:

  • A Marketing team focused on firefighting and tactics rather than on strategy.
  • A Marketing team experiencing difficulty measuring ROI and demonstrating value, causing it often to be on the defensive, needing to justify marketing accountability to C-level executives and investors.
  • Marketing success tied to other groups that have different, or even conflicting, goals.
  • A corporate environment that fails to support collaboration and consequently loses opportunities for synergy.
  • Employee defections that jeopardize continuity, place institutional knowledge and expertise at risk and contribute to high customer churn.
  • Marketing processes that too often constrain internal efficiencies and effectiveness instead of enabling them.
  • Poor coordination of shared processes across functions.
  • Difficulty assimilating and integrating programs, systems and resources obtained from corporate mergers or acquisitions, leading to leading to duplication, momentum loss, lack of focus and resistance to change.

If you resonate with two or more of the above statements, your organization may be in enough pain to be ready to embrace B2B Marketing Operations 2.0.

What’s Your Vision of Marketing’s Contribution?

In a perfect world, marketing operates as a very creative, fast-paced, results-driven function that stays close to the customer and its other stakeholders. It is not only aligned with the enterprise’s strategic agenda but also helps define it. It leads the customer experience and innovation processes. It is well integrated with other corporate functions and takes full advantage of the power and discipline of a strategically designed B2B Marketing Operations 2.0 infrastructure.

The MO 2.0 infrastructure layers into the marketing function the processes, technology, guidance and metrics required by an efficient operation that delivers outstanding value on a consistent basis. Such an MO 2.0 infrastructure enables informed decision-making, accountability, sustainability, visibility, teamwork, strategic thinking and repeatable best practices execution.

A marketing organization is ready to think seriously about embracing MO 2.0 when it feels internal and external pressures to make systemic changes because it has not been delivering on its vision and has consistently failed to achieve its operational goals.

  • The CEO considers the CMO/Marketing VP to be a valued strategic partner.
  • Marketing is fully aligned with other company functions and stakeholders.
  • Marketing efforts accelerate new product adoption, strengthen customer relationships and increase market penetration rate.
  • Marketing leverages metrics and dashboards to measure and track results, and continually improve them.
  • Dashboards rapidly and accurately inform decision makers.
  • Metrics are aligned with corporate goals and increasingly drive marketing expenditures.
  • The marketing team is energized and highly effective.
  • Employee and customer loyalty are consistently high.
  • High return on marketing investment is clearly recognized companywide.

Unless you’ve checked at least half of the above statements, there is a large gap between your vision and your current reality. Your company is ripe—or more than ripe—for MO 2.0.

CharacteristicOrganizational PainDesired Vision
Substantial marketing investment (resources, programs, budget) Unmanageable complexity, difficulty demonstrating ROI, Marketing on defensive

Marketing optimizes resources to deliver substantial ROI

  • Leverages processes, technology and best practices to spur productivity, knowledge sharing
  • Utilizes dashboards and metrics to make informed spend decisions
  • Is recognized by C-team for its accountability and ROI contribution
Dynamic, competitive market No, or disappointing, growth, super-growth, high customer churn, high employee turnover

Marketing aligns with other functions to take responsibility for:

  • Nurturing sales funnel
  • Revenue targets
  • Innovation process
  • New market penetration
  • Customer experience

Under media or regulatory scrutiny for:

  • Shareholder confidence
  • Supplier to government
  • High-profile industry
Compliance pressure, impact of change on SOX compliance, media magnifying glass

Marketing partners with Quality, Finance, IR to meet compliance requirements

  • Maps key processes
  • Documents best practices
  • Applies LEAN, Six Sigma and other methodologies
  • Demonstrates ROI through KPIs, dashboards, etc.

M&A integration challenges

  • Actual or Pending
Duplicated efforts, loss of continuity, “everything needs attention” syndrome, difficulty getting buy-in for change initiatives

Marketing leads M&A and other change initiatives

  • Communications leadership
  • “Walking the talk”
More tactical than strategic Firefighting, CYA behavior Marketing is valued strategic partner to CEO and C-team

Some or all of the content contained in this white paper was contributed by Gary M. Katz, CEO of Marketing Operations Partners (www.mopartners.com)