Marketing isn't just about campaigns, content, and creativity. There's a whole lot of "getting things done" that needs to happen behind the scenes for campaigns to roll out on time and performance to scale.
This is where marketing operations comes in — also called marketing ops or MOps, marketing operations is how a marketing team is run. It's the processes, technology, data, and people that power a marketing strategy.
Of these key pillars of marketing operations, data sounds like the most abstract one. But getting the data right in your marketing ops is crucial.
How do you do this? By cleaning, organizing, and enriching the data in every app as well as integrating data between your apps.
An increasingly important role for any team or Marketing Operation Manager is maintaining data quality and connectedness. This not only includes marketing apps but also bridges to other departments in the organization.
Let's dig into how to make this happen so you can scale the impact of your marketing ops.
What are integrations?
An integration brings different pieces of software together and enables their data to interact.
When done well, integrations enable your marketing team to:
Create the most holistic marketing ops strategy across your software ecosystem.
Allow data to seamlessly flow between key platforms and enrich each one.
Automate more tasks and free up time.
Provide stronger customer experiences with more accessible and insightful data.
Deliver accurate insights, reporting, and decision making.
As an example of a valuable integration, think of your CRM and email marketing app. A good email list is a marketer's most treasured possession, but for your email marketing to be successful, you need accurate and in-depth insights into each contact's interests, behavior, and communication preferences. You can solve this by integrating data from your CRM.
The integrations that matter most to your marketing operations depend on your organization and industry.
That said, there are certain integration best practices that businesses with strong marketing operations follow. Let's explore those.
Integrations Best Practices For Your Marketing Ops Strategy
Understand the ecosystem your marketing data lives in.
Ensure clean, up-to-date data in every app.
Make your CRM the heart of your marketing ops.
Use contact segmentation.
Create strong alignment with sales via integrations.
Integrate customer data with your marketing apps.
1. Understand the ecosystem your marketing data lives in.
A strong marketing stack that your team loves using is a pivotal part of your marketing operations management.
With clean data in every app, you can seamlessly integrate your marketing platforms and create the most streamlined and effective marketing ops.
3. Make your CRM the heart of your marketing ops.
There's a high chance your sales team is already using a CRM to store all of the key insights about your customers and their interactions with your business. That's because centralizing your data in your CRM is one of the best things you can do for strong contact management.
One way to test the strength of your CRM is by checking if anyone in your business can answer questions about a contact and their interactions with your business – whether in sales, support, marketing, or billing – just by glancing at their contact record.
THEN sync the contact to your email marketing tool and add to the list 'List of leads'
If the contact stops being a customer, you can automatically reflect that in your email marketing app, remove the 'Customer' tag, and no longer send relevant communications.
To create powerful if-this-then-that rules, first segment data in individual apps, and then create connections across your ecosystem.
5. Create strong alignment with Sales via integrations.
Your marketing operations strategy isn't just about marketing. It's essential to look at the other teams in your organization and understand how to create the strongest alignment.
The most important bridge for marketers to maintain is with sales. By working collaboratively instead of in silos, marketers can deliver the perfect leads for sales and both teams can share what's working as well as opportunities.
To optimize your bridge with sales, you can integrate your marketing software with sales apps such as:
Integrations between your marketing apps and customer support software
With your marketing and sales apps in sync, both teams are in the best position to exchange data, deliver unified reporting, and do their best work both independently and together.
6. Integrate customer data with your marketing apps.
Although marketing usually has the strongest alignment with sales, make sure not to forget about your service team.
If your data is siloed, you run the risk of the nightmare scenario of sending a promotion offer to a customer who subscribed a week ago at full price.
With integrated apps and data, you can keep your customers in mind for every marketing campaign and create personalizations based on the products, services, and upgrades that are most relevant to them.
You can align your Marketing and Service team with either:
A good starting point is to make sure that all customer interactions and support requests are synced with your CRM. Marketers can then easily use this information to personalize campaigns and workflows.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your Integrations
You can measure the impact of integrations in your marketing operations strategy by asking if:
Your data is accurate, enriched, and reliable in every app.
You have a centralized contact database that quickly gives you a 360-degree view of each contact.
Your marketing team is aligned with sales and can quickly collaborate.
You have removed all data silos.
You can personalize marketing campaigns for customers or exclude them from certain messaging.
You have clear marketing reporting that brings together data from all channels and apps and highlights key areas for optimization.
As you optimize your marketing operations, remember to look at the holistic view of your marketing stack and the individual pieces of the puzzle. By paying attention to the two in tandem, you can understand where to connect the dots for the best overall outcomes in your marketing team and throughout your organization.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Oct 20, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated April 21 2021