Hi Joe,

 

I love my job in marketing ops, but I constantly feel that my time is spent on tactical tasks and putting out fires rather than more strategic initiatives. I know I have a lot to offer, but unless we hire more people to run our marketing ops efforts, I’m not sure I’ll be able to share those insights. What are the conversations I need to have to ensure that MOPs is seen as more than just a tactical function and brought into the fold more strategically? 

 

Thanks,

Strategic Stacey

 

 

I have to tell you, Stacey, you’re not alone. It’s not unusual for marketing ops folks to be seen as doers rather than thinkers, and that’s not fair at all. As a MOPs professional—one that’s likely running the show on their own—you have a unique perspective on the organization and any gaps it might have. This means that you could add valuable insights that inform how your business moves forward, what tools to invest in, and who to hire. But that hardly matters if you don’t have the time and space to think about these things. 

 

I see this all the time. MOPs teams get stuck in a cycle where they’re constantly jumping from one executional task to another, and they don’t have the bandwidth to think about the future. So, what are the steps you can take to maximize your MOPs team’s efforts and showcase your strategic value? I’ve thought of three that you can consider. 

 

  1. Get buy-in from your manager 

If your direct lead isn’t a marketing ops professional, they might not realize all the ways you can add value. Start by getting them to approve a certain amount of time a week that you can spend on strategic thinking for your team. This time can be spent mapping out the future structure for MOPs at your organization, redesigning a process between MOPs and Sales that could be more efficient, or having conversations with other technology owners (e.g. Salesforce) to better learn how they integrate with your marketing automation tools. Once you have this space to think more strategically, you’ll be able to go to your lead with specific recommendations on how they can boost the role of operations at the organization—and the resulting value of doing that. 

 

Here’s a tip for you as you take this on: don’t forget to delegate. A big part of showing that you’re ready to take on more strategic thinking is removing some of the more tactical elements from your plate and upskilling other members of your team to take them on. This leads me to my next point. 

 

  1. Make sure your MOPs team is the right size

For your MOPs team to really deliver on its potential, you need to have a team of people you can rely on. Beyond the standard daily tasks, there needs to be headroom for the times when things go wrong and for thinking about the future. Your day-to-day shouldn’t fill 100% of your team’s time. This is an important consideration that you should bring up when you’re talking to your leadership team.

 

I know this is a tough one. It can be hard to make the argument that things could be better when they’re already running well. After all, people don’t notice when MOPs is running properly, they only notice if it’s broken. But you shouldn’t let that stop you from having the conversation. Map out where your team is spending your time now—and then talk about where you could be spending it better to drive more value for the organization. That’ll get their attention.

 

  1. Set real metrics for MOPs

You know this, the performance metrics that your marketing and sales teams use aren’t the right way to evaluate MOPs performance. You need a specific set of metrics that are tailored to what your team is doing and how it truly provides value to the business. To get this right—and better show your value to the rest of the organization—take the time to collaborate with the teams you work with to set up a framework that makes sense. 

 

You’ve got this, 

Joe Pulse

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