I've been meaning to respond to a couple comments that were made regarding my first post.
1) Eric DePaul commented on the parallels between marketing operations and more traditional operations, such as in a manufacturing setting. Among other things, he said "This is the idea behind plant operations and marketing operations should not be any different." Indeed, Eric, I think there's a lot that we in marketing could learn from other parts of the company where process and operations are already standard fare. About a year ago I heard an interesting speaker, Mitch Gooze from Customer Manufacturing Group, who had a good rap about the parallels between the semiconductor manufacturing business in the 1960's and marketing today. People from both worlds said the same thing, which was basically that "what we're doing is more art than science and process doesn't apply." Look at how process-oriented semiconductor manufacturing is today and you may see the future of marketing.
2) Niall Budds also commented on his take on the term "marketing operations." Niall is too much of a gentleman to indulge in self-promotion, but he's a very knowledgable marketing operations consultant who works for Quaero. Look him up if you want to talk more about this topic.
Lastly, no one guessed the origin of my opening and closing quotes. Clearly I'm the biggest nerd on the blog at the moment. For the rest of you, here is the answer.