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What It Takes To Be a Marketing Operations Manager

If your business relies on technology for marketing plans and streamlining team processes, you need a marketing operations manager.

The position is relatively new, with the first mention of marketing operations in 2005

However, 93% of business-to-business marketers say the marketing operation’s function is essential, especially when delivering digital transformation. In both large and small companies, the number of marketing operations personnel has grown by 66% since 2020.

Source

With that many marketing operations talents, any company will need a skillful and competent manager to keep things on track.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what a marketing operations manager is, what skills should possess to be successful, and what you should look for when hiring one.

When you hire the right person, you’ll have one of the key pieces in building a strong B2B marketing team that helps your business thrive.

What is marketing operations?

Marketing operations is the practice of using operations management techniques to continuously increase marketing effectiveness.  

Here’s a peek of what’s under this umbrella:

The discipline of marketing operations covers everything behind a business’s marketing strategy, such as people, processes, and, most importantly, technology.

Why the special mention of technology?

Well, let’s make things clearer. Below is what the first website looked like when it came out in 1989:

And now you can put more on a website:

In the same way, with the digitalization of marketing comes newer and faster ways to market, such as marketing automation software and technology. 

While traditional marketing skills like creativity and strategic thinking are still needed, there is also a need for technical and data analysis skills to keep up with the ever-changing marketing trends and strategies.

With 23% of companies’ budgets going to marketing technology, having the right person who knows how to manage it and maximize its use is a definite necessity.

5 things a good marketing operations manager brings to the table

Having a good marketing operations manager can be the key to success for any marketing team. Here are five things a marketing operations manager will contribute to your business:

  • Cost-efficiency
  • Scalable and repeatable marketing systems
  • Data-driven solutions
  • Effective team communication 
  • Innovation through technology

1. Cost-efficiency

The marketing operations manager should always ensure that a business’s marketing budget is always going to the right marketing initiatives.

Did you know that the average company only uses about 58% of a company’s tech stack? That’s a lot of money going down the drain.

A good marketing operations manager will determine how much money is going into each part of marketing and evaluate if they are going to the proper marketing channels. They should then have a plan of action to set budgets and ensure your company is not overspending or wasting money.

2. Scalable and repeatable marketing systems

A good marketing operations manager will look for ways to improve marketing programs so everyone in the marketing department can work more efficiently. That means looking for apps and software that will assist the marketing team to have better outputs.

For example, they can use a tool like Encharge to automate welcome emails, upsells, and behavioral emails. No need to set up manual campaigns, leads are routed to a defined customer journey, and no leads fall into the cracks — it’s so much the better. 

The manager should also make sure that the processes are repeatable. They should also be scalable, especially when your company is in hyper-growth mode. 

This will save your company time and money in the long run. Redoing processes and systems all over again is just costly.

3. True data-driven solutions

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine,” is a famous quote by Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale back in the 90s. 

It’s still true today, as you can have the most creative ad ever, but if it’s not based on the data of your target customers, you might as well just burn your money. That’s why data-based marketing is considered the best way to market. 

It’s easy to collect customer data nowadays. 

And that means we should choose what data to pay attention to. Otherwise, we’ll just end up like the marketers in this cartoon by Tom Fishburne:

How can a marketing operations manager help with this? 

Not only can they set a process for data collection, but they can also dictate WHAT particular data to collect and how to use it so that your company is truly data-driven but not necessarily data-blind.

4. Effective communication within and outside the marketing team

Larger companies have separate marketing teams for emails, social media, blog content, etc. 

But that doesn’t mean they work independently from one another. The marketing operations manager ensures that all marketing departments work towards the same goal.

The same goes for the marketing department and other departments in your company. For instance, marketing departments have been known to always be at odds with the accounting department

The marketing operations manager can present a clearer picture of what the marketing department wants to accomplish. This helps increase employee motivation since all departments are moving in one direction.

5. Innovation via new marketing technology

You should expect a marketing operations manager always to be up-to-date with the latest marketing technology solutions. 

In 2022, Martech has already counted 9,932 solutions:

Yu can rely on a good manager to suggest the right tool for your use case. They’ll also list what apps you’re using and see if you can integrate current solutions with new software.

For example, Encharge already has integrations with different apps:

Your manager will find out if there are new apps that you can use AND integrate with Encharge. That way, your business expenses will still be cost-effective.

If you’re still not convinced about the need for a marketing operations manager, check out this survey conducted by Capterra among small or midsize businesses. Those that didn’t have managers faced more challenges with their martech.

Plus, they found it harder to meet their business goals. That difficulty not only impacted their business goals but the overall customer experience as well. That’s something we all want to avoid, right?

Of course, just because there’s a need for a marketing operations manager doesn’t mean you should hire the first applicant that sends their resume.

Spotting a good marketing operations manager

To help you decide on the right marketing operations manager to hire, you should ensure that the candidate has the following skills to solve specific problems in your company. Check this table out:

SkillsMarketing ops problemsManager role
OrganizationalToo many marketing campaigns and ideas happening at onceThe manager can develop daily, weekly, and monthly plans of attack, letting everyone know what they should be working on and keeping everyone on track.
Data AnalysisToo much data coming inThe manager knows what data to look at and what key points to remember, like if the campaigns reached ROI. If not, they will suggest a different way to improve and abandon the ones that have proved ineffective.
Technologically SavvyNew marketing tools are coming out every day. It’s harder to integrate with existing software.The manager will determine the best tools for the job. They will also discard the ones that are no longer working and ensure a proper way of migrating data from old software to new ones.
CollaborationMarketing often operates independently of other departments resulting in those departments being unwilling to work with marketingThe manager can establish a project workflow for your marketing department and the rest of the company. Allowing other departments to see how your marketing works will help them realize that the end goal is for the good of everyone in the organization.
TeachingNot all marketers will get tools or workflows immediatelyThe manager helps to educate the team on processes, technology, and best practices and even mentor individual team members.

What to prepare when hiring

Now you’re ready to hire a marketing operations manager. What should you prepare, so the hiring and onboarding process goes smoothly?

1. Roles and expectations

Check out this job posting by GitLab

You’ll see that the Marketing Operations Manager position has different levels and responsibilities.

So if you’re a small company, you can hire just one manager. 

You need to ask yourself, will you need all those positions filled? Or do you need just one leading manager at the moment? Also, will they report to your chief marketing officer, or will they be on equal levels?

In other words, before bringing anyone on board, it would be best if you clearly defined what you need and expect from a marketing operations manager. Base it on your current marketing challenges and the marketing goals you want to achieve.

2. Salary

Wondering how much you should pay your marketing operations manager? Well, you can always monitor Indeed for job offers. As of July 2022, salary ranges for marketing operations managers vary from $80,000 to well over $120,000 a year.

According to NC State University, here are the education and level of experience usually required for this position:

In short, prepare to invest in good talent if you want to improve the output of your marketing team. 

3. Your current tech stack

It’s part of the marketing operations manager’s job to evaluate your current software for cost and marketing-efficiency.

“There’s always a task you can cut: it’s a marketing operations manager’s job to spot it.” Elise Dopson, Content marketing consultant

Source:

The marketing operations manager’s job is to see how to implement a winning automation strategy using your existing tools and identify tools you lack.

In short, checking your current tech stack out is one of, if not THE most important functions your marketing operations manager has. That way, they continuously optimize your marketing systems for maximum efficiency.

A marketing operations manager is worth the money!

A marketing ops manager will reinforce your marketing strategy with metrics, processes, and best practices. They’ll also be in charge of marketing automation software that will save you plenty of time and money.

Hire the right person, and you’ll see wonderful things happening in your company. But don’t forget to support your marketing operations manager with the right automation software.
Execute your marketing automation, onboard users, nurture leads, and more with Encharge. Try Encharge today.

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