“Scale” is such a popular business buzzword! But what does it mean, and how does a marketing ops team factor into it? Can you actually scale a business with marketing operations? That’s what we’re discussing today.
Listen to Season 3: Episode 23
What It Means to Scale a Business
In business, scale is defined as increasing revenue at a faster rate than costs. Every business owner is after growth that results in more margin. It’s no wonder scale is such a big business buzzword! But how is that related to marketing automation and marketing operations?
As you may have already guessed, technology plays a big role in scalability. When increasing revenue and keeping costs from increasing at the same rate, it’s unlikely that you can just hire more people. You absolutely want to leverage technology and automation to gain efficiency and effectiveness in your operations.
What gets sticky is having the expertise to be able to improve and change your systems to truly scale a business. Many times, when exponential growth hits, costs increase at the same rate or at a greater rate initially, as the business sprints to keep up with the growth.
What’s Needed to Scale
Having the right technology toolkit, especially for marketing, can help reduce some of those early cost increases and achieve scale more easily. It’s probably pretty clear to anyone who owns a business or works inside of a business why scale is desirable.
The idea is to leverage economies of the value that’s already been created in the business to bring even more value or profit without having to increase costs at the same rate. That’s the American way and, really, what capitalism is all about.
Technology and automation systems play a key role when you scale a business. But they don’t stand alone. The processes and operating procedures must also exist in the company to be able to implement marketing automation that works and for the company to actually experience the benefits of that automation to achieve scale.
The Process of Scaling
If you are in the midst of growth and looking to scale a business, one of the first places to examine is what I call the usual suspects. First, get clear on what’s costly and what’s painful during times of growth. This definition is a bit ambiguous on purpose because the team probably knows more clearly what’s painful than me giving you a detailed definition. Find out from the team what is slow, where the bottlenecks are, and what’s holding up progress and delivery.
Finally, detail out what’s taking the most unmanaged resources. And by unmanaged, I mean things we likely aren’t tracking explicitly in the business, such as the energy of the team, what causes distraction, or what takes up a lot of mental space.
Benefits of Having a Plan to Scale
Once you get clear on this list, you can then identify and prioritize the systems that are standing in the way of really achieving scale and get the right expert in to help you manage those. In working with clients, we’ve found this list usually contains a combination of systems that require various efforts to fix. Usually, there’s no single issue causing the hang-ups.
Having a marketing operations agency in to lead the charge can ensure that projects are scoped and implemented and help to keep the team on track. That means that when the time for growth comes or as growth is happening, the organization is posed to scale and not just experience exponential growth without capturing the additional value of increasing revenue at a faster rate than costs.
Your Marketing Operations Partner
When talking about marketing operations, I find that people have lots of questions about this function and how to best use it. In the next episode, I’m answering the top questions you might have about marketing ops.
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