Alternatives to Marketing Ops Team: Status Quo

Alternatives to Marketing Ops Team: Status Quo
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    We’ve talked a lot about marketing operations this season: what it is, when you might use it, and how you would know if you needed it. In the next few episodes, we’re going to talk about alternatives to marketing ops. Let’s get into what you might be doing instead.

    Listen to Season 3: Episode 13

    The Complexity of Marketing Operations

    Because marketing operations is a relatively new function, there’s a good chance you’re either not using it yet or still figuring out how it would work in your organization. I really love the visualization of marketing operations as the pit crew for the race team that is marketing because it works on so many levels.

    In the beginning, cars were simpler, right? Race teams didn’t need a lot of resources to race the early cars. But then racing matured, technology advanced, and competition heated up. While the same concept of a combustion engine still powers the car, at least for the moment, that too may be changing. The way in which it is configured, the other aspects that need to be thought about, and the complexity of the system have increased exponentially.

    So it goes with marketing. In the beginning, there were far fewer channels, and the industry changed at a slower pace. We didn’t have the pieces of technology that have now come into play and made things more complex. More interesting, certainly, potentially more effective; and our ability to reach and engage with audiences has been wildly expanded, but it’s definitely more complex.

    Alternatives to Marketing Ops: Status Quo

    The first alternative to marketing ops is to just do whatever it is that you are doing today: you know, status quo. In fact, as marketers know, the status quo is usually the thing that we are marketing against the hardest. So, when does this work? The status quo probably works if you don’t need a lot of different channels to connect to your audience. There are still some industries where two channels will do it: say, in-person events and email marketing to engage with the audience between events. Great; perfect!

    That kind of effective engagement is becoming more infrequent because our audiences are changing and expecting to see us in all the places they’re looking for us. In fact, that was really the catalyst for a group of surgeons to finally bite the bullet and think about their entire online presence so they could show up where their patients were looking for them. Not only was their website outdated and lacking information, but information on their practice and surgeons could hardly be found anywhere online. That’s right, no Google Business profile, no LinkedIn profiles, no directory listings…pretty much nothing. Their patients were so desperate to get information about the person that was going to operate on them that they ended up finding the high school hobbies and distant relatives of their surgeons on the internet because the surgeons themselves weren’t supplying any information there.

    When Status Quo Isn’t Good Enough

    The status quo works until it doesn’t or becomes too painful to keep going the way you’re going. Many times, when we aren’t aware of marketing operations or choose not to engage marketing operations, our creative teams are burdened with a lot of technology that really isn’t in their lane. Or there’s an inordinate amount of time spent figuring out or fixing systems, or marketing teams become very reliant on other departments in the organization to assist them with the technology. Those departments are usually IT or operations.

    And again, depending on your needs, and depending on where you’re trying to go, that can work for a while. When it stops working is when the reliance on the outside teams is holding up time-sensitive campaigns, or the marketing team isn’t able to actually get in the places that their audience is looking for them because they lack the technology, systems, or implementation to be able to execute those campaigns.

    And further, the place that status quo is never working, but it doesn’t show up until later, is in the metrics. Right now, there’s a big change happening in the industry. Google Analytics is changing from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, and they just announced that Universal Analytics will stop collecting data in June 2023. Well, if you’re a team that’s relying on Google Analytics, and you don’t know how that’s implemented or what it means to change to GA4, then you need marketing operations. These types of shifts in platforms are many times when the status quo quits working.

    When you can identify what is working and have awareness in place so that you can see when things stop working, then you can know when to engage with the marketing operations to facilitate your campaigns, understand your progress, and ultimately get better results with fewer resources.

    What Are Your Alternatives to Marketing Ops?

    It’s frustrating when things change because updating can be a time suck. There’s stuff to learn, plans to make, and then you have to do the work to move. Let’s shortcut your move to Google Analytics 4. Grab the Efficient Marketer’s Guide to Google Analytics 4 to get just what you need to know to easily move to this new platform. Download your free guide now.

    In the next episode, we’ll sort through another alternative to marketing ops: using virtual assistants. Does this work? Listen in to find out.

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