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What is the Ideal Marketing Operations Team Structure?

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What is the Ideal Web Development Team Structure?


A Forrester study shows that marketing operations influences over 75% of all business leads in most companies.

According to a HubSpot survey, the biggest challenge you might face as a marketer is generating leads and traffic. The second challenge is providing ROI for your marketing activities.

Marketing ops can enable your company to run efficiently and counterattack these challenges. But what would be the ideal marketing ops structure for you?

And, how do you build a marketing operations team that increases your success chances?

What is Marketing Operations?

Marketing operations entails all the processes and operations that increase efficiency and success. These include the technology and people that run the marketing operations.

Marketing ops ensure that the marketing team runs efficiently. Additionally, it ensures that the marketing strategy of your business is powered up.

Marketing operations is vital because it:

  • Increases efficiency and results in marketing organizations
  • Reinforces marketing strategy with infrastructure, metrics, and business best practices
  • Impacts your marketing campaign and strategy when combined with marketing automation
  • Leads the marketing team to focus on value delivery. It achieves this by backing up the team’s functions of planning, governing, and supporting.

The success of marketing operations largely depends on a vibrant marketing ops team. You should not fill the team with marketers but rather analytical and process-oriented professionals.

The activities of marketing operations are numerous, from content creation, ROI measurement to demand generation. You may do these operations manually, but marketing technology can streamline and make them scalable.

Whether manual or automatic, you need a team to carry out the operations.

The big question is, who should be in the marketing operations team? And how will you make it a success?

What is a Marketing Operations Team?

A marketing operations team is the professionals who perform the marketing operations for your company. This team develops the marketing data strategies and insights needed to carry out campaigns that perform optimally.

How large or small the team will depend on the type and size of your company. A small team may have a marketing operations manager with few other specialists.

Larger groups usually consist of numerous specialists like data analysts and marketing technology experts.

How to Build out a Marketing Operations Team  

According to an IDC report, almost 60% of large tech companies have employed people in a formal Marketing Operations role. In this regard, you also need to structure a marketing ops team that pushes your company ahead.

How do you do that? For you to have a successful marketing operations team, you need to find top talents.

 Next, you must set the roles and responsibilities of the team.

To successfully do this, you must follow a strategic planning process, understanding each member’s skill sets and delivery expertise. Incorporate these marketing ops best practices into the process:

Set up the goals and objectives of your organization

Just like Lawrence J. Peter said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” The first step to take is setting up well-planned and discussed organizational goals and objectives.

You should answer the question, “What do I and my company want to achieve?” Write down the goals, objectives, and mission statement for your new operations.

These goals clarify the team’s responsibilities and serve as the guiding system of the entire marketing operations process. Additionally, they create measurable standards that you can use to gauge the team’s performance.

Outline the Barriers 

Life is part negative; not acknowledging this is naïve. Your marketing operations will, from time-to-time face challenges, especially while starting.

 However, addressing these challenges head-on will make you succeed. These barriers may include technology or change-resistant employees.

Increase your team’s managerial and problem-solving techniques by preparing them for possible hurdles they are likely to experience. Set the expectations of the marketing team right.

Build a Multi-Phased Plan

Structuring a successful marketing operations team doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s a timely process that requires different stages. The stages may include:

  • Assessment of your marketing technology. After assessing, determine what changes or additions you need to make.
  • Determination of the ideal marketing operations structure for your team
  • Analysis of the skills your team requires
  • Recognition of currently available skills. Also, determine which unavailable skills you need to get.

Each stage you create should have an end goal and a strategy to achieve it. Additionally, you must determine the resources and changes required in each step.

Outline the Team’s Roles and Responsibilities  

Once you have an ideal team structure, you need to determine each team member’s specific roles. For your marketing operations team to work as one unit, it’s imperative to decide on the following factors:

  • Team member(s) who will be in charge of available marketing tools and processes.
  • How should the marketing team interact with other departments and units of your organization? For example, the sales team, HR department, IT department, and so on.
  • The team members you will give access to critical marketing technologies
  • Team members who will be responsible for updates and customizations of the marketing automation platform.
  • How the ops team will coordinate and work with other stakeholders

What is the Ideal Marketing Operations Team Structure?

The ideal marketing team structure mainly depends on the type and size of an organization. Ideally, a small-sized organization should have:

  • The Marketing Operations Manager
  • Demand Generation Specialist, and
  • Marketing Technology Specialist

If your organization is mid-sized, besides the three mentioned above, you can add:

  • Content or Process Specialist
  • Data or analytics expert

The marketing team can comprise numerous specialists and managers for large companies, i.e., a company with at least 500 employees. These include:

  • Vice President of Marketing Operations
  • Marketing Technology Manager: heads the marketing technology specialist
  • Data and Analytics Manager: The head of data/analytics specialists.
  • Web platform manager
  • Content/ Process Manager

You will need to convince the organization’s leaders like the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)of the value of well-structured staffing to the organization’s success. Proper staffing and budgeting will effectively increase your marketing and ROI.

“Best practices in professional services recommend one marketing person per 14 people in an organization. Most businesses are nowhere near that.” Jenn Morgan, Founder, and CEO of Radically Distinct.

Key Roles and Responsibilities of Marketing Operations Team

As you’ve noted, the ops team can comprise a few or many team members depending on the organization’s size. Typically, almost all teams have a market operations manager in the marketing department. 

Here is an outline of the key roles of the marketing operations team members:

Vice President of Marketing Operations 

In large organizations, the VP:

  • Oversees the overall marketing operations functions 
  • Decides on significant purchases of marketing software and technology like CRM software 

An ideal VP should have extensive experience in marketing and leading the marketing operations team. In addition to this, the VP should have a broad knowledge of project management and budgeting.

Marketing Operations Manager

The marketing operations manager is the coach of the ops team. The role of the marketing operations manager is:

  • Oversees all marketing operations
  • Hires and trains the marketing ops team
  • Managing and implementing a successful marketing operations team.
  • Analyzes the marketing strategies and ensure they are effective.
  • Ensures that all the marketing team needs are met

The manager should be an organized and interpersonal team player with complex project managerial and marketing skills.

Marketing Technology Specialist/ Manager 

These specialists are in charge of marketing technology and:

  • Oversight on the usage of marketing technology
  • Training the team members on the use of the available technology
  • Assessment of the company’s MarTech and advises on areas of improvement
  • Being on the trend on the latest and best marketing technologies that their organization should adopt

This person should have experience in the usage, assessment, and adaptation of marketing technology.

Data and Analytics Specialist/Manager 

This expert uses various methods of analysis, like predictive modeling, to:

  • Analyze and interpret marketing data
  • Data management
  • Provides the marketing manager with processed data which assists in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing operations strategy.

The candidate must possess strong analytical and technical problem-solving skills. In addition, they should have vast experience in marketing and customer data analysis.

Content or Process Specialist/Manager 

The Content/Process Manager is responsible for overseeing the operations of:

  • Brand and Compliance Specialist: Ensures that the company adheres to the regulation laws
  • Inside Sales/Business Development Representative: Reaches out to customers, collects their information, and relays it to the sales teams.
  • Email Specialist: Builds and monitors results and conversion rate for email marketing campaigns
  • Media Specialist: Purchases media and tracks the budgeting of various media

This specialist should be skilled in content marketing, social media, and digital marketing.  

Marketing Operations Specialist 

This specialist does the following:

  • Ensures the smooth running of all the daily marketing workflow and operations
  • Manage projects
  • Track marketing metrics  and KPIs 
  • Analyze the marketing campaigns.

These experts have vast experience in marketing operations. They are self-managers, problem solvers, and creative.

Digital/Web Platform Manager/ Specialist

They deal with:

  • All web-related issues
  • Crafting strategies to optimize and increase web traffic 
  • Raising the conversion rate of web visitors into customers.
  • Managing the organization’s websites
  • Ensuring that the websites align with the audience analytics.

An ideal digital specialist should have experience in web-related functions.

Demand Generation Specialist

The Demand Generation/ Lead Management Specialist’s operations include:

  • Driving demand for company products and services
  • Speeding up the customer’s buying process
  • Identifying new target customers
  • Passing leads to the sales team

Ideally, these specialists should be detail-oriented, team players, and experienced in sales.

Scaling up your Marketing Operations   

 According to a 2020 survey from Welcome and Sirkin Research, 78% of marketers use 5+ tools to plan, manage, and execute their campaigns. What if you found an all-in-one marketing tool that can double your efforts and results?

The Welcome platform enables you to run all your marketing processes in one platform. You can execute your whole campaign and lifecycle and keep your teams in harmony.

Cut your time to market by 50% by automating numerous admin tasks. The best thing is; there’s no risk! You can try this excellent tool for free!

Ready to give it a try? Get Started with a free Welcome account today!

 



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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a Marketing Backlog

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Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots


We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.


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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.


agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!


The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”



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When Your SEO Competitors Don’t Match What You Know

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When Your SEO Competitors Don't Match What You Know


You know your competitors, and you’re not going to let some damned SEO tool tell you different!

Hey, I’ll give you the first part, but there are a lot of reasons that the results from a tool like True Competitor might not match your expectations, and that could be a good thing.

I’m going to dig into five of those reasons:

  1. You’re living in the past

  2. You’ve hit a brick wall

  3. You can’t see the trees

  4. You’re stuck in one tree

  5. We’re just plain wrong

First, the toughest one to hear — the world is changing, and you’re not changing with it.

1. You’re living in the past

Look, I know Big Wally at Big Wally’s Widget World said your Grandma’s meatloaf was “just okay, I guess” at the church potluck in ‘87, but you need to move on. Even if you’re not quite-so-literally stuck in the past, you may be operating on an outdated sense of who your competitors are. Especially online, the competitive landscape can change quickly, and it’s worth re-evaluating from time to time.

2. You’ve hit a brick wall

Quite literally — you’ve run headlong into your own brick-and-mortar wall. As a business with physical locations, your competitors with physical locations are absolutely important, but from a search perspective, they may not represent who you’re actually competing with online.

Take, for example, McDonald’s — you might expect the competition to include Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and other fast food chains with physical restaurants. Meanwhile, here are the second through fourth results from True Competitor:

While DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats don’t have traditional, physical locations, these are the places where McDonald’s online customers go to order, and they represent a significant amount of organic SERP real estate. From an SEO standpoint, this is reality.

3. You can’t see the trees

You can see the whole forest from where you’re standing, and that’s great, but are you missing the diversity and distinctiveness of the trees?

This is easier to show than tell. Let’s take a look at big box retailer, Target. True Competitor returns the following top three:

No big surprises here, and no one should be shocked that this list includes not only brick-and-mortar competitors, but online retail juggernauts like Amazon. Let’s take a deeper look, though (the following are competitors #8, #7, and #22 in our current data):

Target isn’t just up against the whole-forest, big box retailers — they also have to contend with niche competition. Their competitors in the video game space include not only brick-and-mortar retailers like GameStop, but competitor-partners like Sony and Nintendo (which both sell hardware and software directly online).

Not every grove of trees is going to have the same needs and growing conditions. Your competitive landscape could have dozens of ecosystems, and each of them requires unique research and likely a unique strategy.

4. You’re stuck in one tree

On the other hand, you could be stuck in just one tree. Let’s take Ford Motor Company as an example. Savvy marketers at Ford know they’re not just up against legacy automakers like Chevrolet and Toyota, but up-and-coming competitors like Tesla and Rivian.

That niche is incredibly important, but let’s take a look at what the SERPs are telling us:

These are Ford’s #1, #2, and #5 competitors, and they aren’t automakers — they’re automotive content producers. Does this mean that Chevy and Tesla aren’t Ford’s competitors? Of course not. It means that those automakers are infrequently appearing in SERPs alongside Ford. Ford is competing with mentions of their own products (makes and models) in leading online publications.

5. We’re just plain wrong

Hey, it happens — I’m not here to claim that we’re perfect. SERP-based competitive analysis has a couple of limitations. First, as discussed, SERP analysis doesn’t always reflect the brick-and-mortar world. From an SEO perspective, that’s fine (if they’re not ranking, we’re not competing with them for search share), but there are other essential pieces to the puzzle.

Second, our SERP-based analysis is based on national results and does not reflect regional or hyperlocal competition. Some regional businesses do have national competitors, and that’s worth knowing, but localized perspectives are important as well.

Maybe it’s a good thing…

What if a tool like True Competitor only returned information that you already knew? I guess you could pat yourself on the back and move on with life, but what did you learn? To me, the entire point of SERP-based competitive analysis is to challenge your expectations and your point of view. If the results don’t match what you expect, that mismatch represents opportunity.

More likely than not, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong (unless you’ve let vanity and personal history get the best of you) — it means that you’re missing a perspective or a niche that could be important. If you can see that missing perspective as money left on the table, then you’ve got a good chance to pick it up and walk away with a bit more in your pocket.


The Competitive Analysis Suite is now available to all Moz Pro customers, and we’d love to hear your feedback via the ‘Make a Suggestion’ button in the app.

Sign up for a free trial to access the Competitive Research Suite!

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How Full-Cycle Recruiting Can Improve Your Recruitment Process

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How Full-Cycle Recruiting Can Improve Your Recruitment Process


Job vacancies can cost a company an average of $500 per day.

Companies can save money, improve the quality of their hires, eliminate communication gaps, and increase accountability during the recruitment process by implementing a full-cycle recruitment strategy.

The full-cycle recruitment process is managed by a single full-cycle recruiter or full-cycle recruiting agency.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process

full cycle recruitment process

The full-cycle recruiting process includes six stages: preparing, sourcing, screening, selecting, hiring, and onboarding.

Preparing

The first stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the preparing stage. A recruiter will begin this stage by working with a hiring manager to identify a hiring need and create a persona — a fictionalized profile of your company’s ideal candidate.

During the next step of the preparing stage, the recruiter and hiring manager will determine how much compensation a candidate will be offered. This information will be used to create a job posting that includes an overview of the role, responsibilities, salary range, benefits, and information about the company.

Sourcing

After creating a persona and job posting, a recruiter will use word-of-mouth, internal recruiting, employee referrals, social media, job boards, or career websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find jobseekers that fit the ideal candidate persona.

Screening

After finding potential candidates, a recruiter will carefully review applicants’ resumes and cover letters with the help of HR software. Then, the recruiter will perform a phone screen or on-demand interview.

For most talent acquisition leaders, resume screening is the most time-consuming and challenging part of recruitment.

Selecting

After screening and shortlisting candidates, the recruiter will determine which candidate is the best fit for the role by conducting face-to-face or virtual interviews.

A recruiter will ask candidates in-depth questions to learn more about their professional background and qualifications during a face-to-face interview. The recruiter may also have candidates complete writing assignments or a series of tasks to prove they are a good choice for the position.

Once the recruiter selects the best candidate, they will check the candidate’s references or order a background check.

Hiring

The hiring stage is the most important of the process.

After choosing the best candidate for the role, the recruiter will contact the candidate with an official job offer and may have to negotiate the terms of the offer. The candidate may feel more comfortable receiving a job offer from the full-cycle recruiter rather than the hiring manager because the recruiter has been the candidate’s primary contact throughout the hiring process.

Onboarding

The final stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the onboarding stage. During the onboarding stage of the process, a hire is integrated into the company. The full-cycle recruiter will familiarize the new hire with the company culture and team members using a welcoming orientation or introductory path.

1. Identify the ideal candidate for the role.

A candidate persona is a description of your ideal applicant. Creating a candidate persona will help your recruiter choose the best applicant for the role by honing in on the criteria that your ideal candidate should meet.

To create a persona, start by asking yourself questions about your ideal candidate to identify their skills, qualifications, experience, education, and background. For example, what industry do they currently work in? Do they hold the role that you are hiring for? What are their professional goals? What work environment do they thrive in?

Once you have answered the questions, interview managers at your business who would oversee your ideal candidate and ask about the skills that would help employees thrive in the role. Use the managers’ recommendations to help craft your ideal candidate’s persona.

2. Find potential candidates.

Create advertisements that target jobseekers who fit your ideal candidate persona. Post the advertisements to social media websites and job boards such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor to reach potential candidates searching for new positions.

You can also use promotions and transfers to recruit existing employees who may qualify for the position. Internal recruiting can help your company reduce onboarding time, boost morale, and save time and money.

3. Review candidates’ resumes and cover letters.

Use applicant tracking software (ATS) to scan applicants’ resumes and cover letters for criteria that matches your ideal candidate persona, such as education, years of experience, and previous job titles.

If you are reviewing resumes and cover letters manually, scan each resume for keywords that match the open position. Next, separate them into 3 categories: resumes that do not meet the criteria for the position, resumes that meet some of the criteria, and resumes that meet all of the criteria. Double-check the resumes in each category.

Place the candidates that are closest to your company’s ideal candidate persona on a shortlist.

4. Conduct face-to-face or virtual interviews with shortlisted candidates.

Interviewing shortlisted candidates can help you find the best fit for the job. By interviewing candidates, you can learn more about their experiences and qualifications, their potential to fit into your company culture, and their soft skills, such as how they perform under pressure.

Conducting standardized interviews can also help you view candidates objectively and prevent bias in the hiring process.

5. Contact the best candidate with an official job offer.

After conducting interviews, extend an official job offer to the best candidate. Indeed recommends contacting the candidate by phone the same day as their final interview or within one day of making your decision.

Benefits of Full-Cycle Recruiting

Full-cycle recruiting improves the efficiency of the hiring process in five key ways:

Faster Hiring

The full-cycle recruiting process reduces time-to-hire, making the recruitment process more efficient. Time-to-hire is a measure of the time between when a candidate enters the pipeline and when they are officially hired. A shortened time-to-hire reduces the risk of a company losing out on highly qualified candidates that may be simultaneously interviewing at other companies.

Streamlined Strategy

Using a full-cycle recruiting strategy streamlines the recruitment process. It eliminates delays caused by communication gaps because the process is handled by a single recruiter or agency that can construct a simple strategy and follow it through to the end.

Improved Quality of Hire

Quality of hire measures the value a new hire contributes to a company’s overall success. Improving the quality of hire increases employee engagement, improves job satisfaction and productivity levels, and decreases turnover costs.

A full-cycle recruiter implements a more personalized and thorough process than a traditional recruiter. As a result, full-cycle recruiting improves the quality of hire by precisely identifying the best candidate for a position.

Increased Accountability

Because one person manages the entire full-cycle recruiting process, all of the successes and failures of the process are their responsibility. The recruiter benefits from this responsibility because they can’t lose a candidate due to someone else’s mistakes.

Improved Communication

In full-cycle recruiting, candidates remain in communication with a single person throughout the hiring process. Therefore, the process alleviates any possible concerns a candidate may have about delays caused by miscommunication between hiring personnel.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process Results

A well-executed full-cycle recruiting process will result in an employee who feels prepared on their first day. This is all thanks to a full-cycle recruiter who guided them through the recruitment process, maintained communication, and provided necessary information about the job position and the company.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 



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