Common Symptoms That You’re Missing Marketing Operations

Symptoms of MISSING Marketing Operations

No marketing team is perfect and without challenges. In this episode, we’re talking specifically about common symptoms that are clear indicators that you are missing marketing operations.

The Challenge That Leads to the Need for Marketing Ops

Overwhelmed, pulled in every direction, fire drills, emergencies, and nothing ever going to plan. Wait, there’s a plan? You know, just a typical day in the life of a marketing organization. While it isn’t practical to expect to eliminate last-minute emergencies completely, having some bandwidth available to handle those urgent items as they come up would benefit everyone on the marketing team.

To sum up the plight of the marketing team, there are just too many things to do and never enough time, or mental space, to do it. And even when there is a greatly anticipated addition of more capacity, those extra cycles and hours seem to evaporate immediately without really alleviating the strain on the team or showing more results. So how do you know which symptoms are due to the organization? Or a result of a company in growth mode and which ones are clear signs that you’re missing marketing operations?

Signs That You’re Missing Marketing Operations

1. Lack of Data

The first clear sign is a lack of data to respond intelligently to new campaign requests or urgent demands from the C suite. We know the best response requires quality information not only in the pursuit of the best outcomes. The best response can be justified to people who lack clarity on what’s being asked. Without objective data, marketing teams find themselves debating opinions and intuition, which typically leads to revision hell, scope creep, and nothing getting out on time.

Marketing operations is the key to getting the right data in the right way. Because analytics is one of its functions, it can give the organization and the team the information needed to make quality decisions and instill confidence because campaigns can be tracked, experiments can be run, and smart revisions can be made.

2. Misspent Time and Resources with Low ROI

The second symptom is when time and resources are spent on things that don’t matter or that have a low return on investment. For example, when

  • campaign managers are spending time tracking down anomalies in the automation system or
  • marketing managers are dumping time into creating reports or responding to executive inquiries
  • copywriters find themselves writing four or five revisions because there’s no good way to collect data and verify conversions.

It can also look like CMOs and vice presidents completely lacking time for strategic thinking because they’re slowly (or sometimes rapidly) losing their mental and energetic capacity to approve, troubleshoot, or fix implementations and tactics.

3. Inability to Scale

The third symptom of missing marketing operations is that nothing can scale. When more is needed, every system seems to be held together with duct tape and bailing twine and has to be rebuilt to support more capacity or functionality. Many times, when making an initial choice for a CRM, email marketing service, or website platform, the best decision is made with the information and expertise at hand. Without marketing operations, that is typically a short-sighted decision based on immediate needs. The decision then ends up causing more pain when the needs outgrow the system because the capability or capacity to look ahead was lacking.

4. An Impending Breakdown

And fourth, the whole team is on the brink of losing it. You know what this looks like: when both marketing leaders and team members are desperate for someone just to save their sanity. Every day there’s one more thing (or a dozen) that didn’t go quite right. Those pile on their plate to handle instead of having someone proactively watching the gauges, gathering the performance information, and fine-tuning the marketing machine.

The Benefit of Adding Marketing Operations

If your team is experiencing these symptoms, you’re not alone. Marketing teams are, in my view, the lungs of an organization. They have to work for any other part to get what it needs to operate. Without oxygen or marketing, the organization is actively dying. The rate of dying depends on the size of the other parts. But that also means that there are big demands when other parts are working harder.

Having marketing operations enables the marketing team to be proactive. To know ahead of time what is working well and what isn’t working well so that resources can be adjusted. Each part of the marketing organization can get enough capacity because of efficiency and effectiveness to meet times of high demand.

Need Help with Your Missing Marketing Operations?

Not sure where to start with improved efficiency for your marketing team? It can be as simple as assembling information so tasks can be delegated and completed faster. I’ve created the Website Quick Reference template to help teams like yours pull together the technical details for your website to avoid delays and whoopsies when dealing with the website. Grab yours free today.

In the next episode, you’ll hear the story of a team that wanted and needed metrics but didn’t have the in-house expertise or capacity. No cliffhangers here; we were able to engage with them and no one had to go to the train station. But it’s still a good story.

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