I'm almost at the end of my month of blogging on marketing operations, and I haven't even talked about the most interesting part of the topic yet. Time flies when you're having fun -- or rambling aimlessly about things most vendors won't tell you...
Why is marketing operations so important these days? Why all the fuss?
When talking about streamlining marketing operations, at lot of people mention the phrase "do more with less" as the motivation. But I have yet to find a marketer who wants to be able to say to their management team "Good news! Next year you can lower my budget." Instead, most of the marketers we work with are facing a rapidly growing workload, and they'd just like to be able to keep up -- or even just not have to hire as many people next year as their workload suggests they will need. In other words, "do more with more."
What are the reasons for the growing workload? The most common cause we witness is related to the proliferation of addressable media, and increasingly granular segmentation being used to target audiences with these media. This addressability and segmentation is good news and bad news for most marketing organizations. The good news is that they can target smaller group of customers with unique, highly relevant messages. The bad news is they have to produce lots of unique, highly relevant messages!
In other words, marketing operations is becoming critical because only with efficient and precise operations can these targeted strategies be supported. There's a parallel to Dell, or any "mass customization" manufacturer. There's no way Dell could let people customize their own computers unless their operations were lean and mean. (Speaking of Dell, if you ever get some time with our CEO, Yuchun Lee, get him to tell you the story of starting his own computer assembly business in his dorm room the same year Dell started his. But get him to tell you about blackjack, first.)
The subject of addressable media and targeted marketing strategies is a good segueway to tomorrow, when I'll hand-off the blog baton to Akin Arikan, who will be writing about the Internet's role in marketing measurement.