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Is Marketing Ops a Strategic or Tactical Function?

There seems to be a bit of confusion and debate in the space about whether Marketing Operations should be a tactical or strategic function…

Some argue that it should be a tactical function, whose sole purpose is to handle the systems issues, program execution details, and reporting requirements that only frustrate and bog-down the creative folks. Others argue that Marketing Ops should be a strategic function, whose primary purpose is to develop, improve, and optimize how the entire marketing process works and performs at-scale.

So…where do we stand on the issue? To those who’ve been paying attention to the Marketing Ops Journal for any length of time, it will come as no surprise whatsoever that we’ve concluded that Marketing Ops should be a strategic function.

In today’s highly-competitive environment, B2B companies aren’t going to win by just adding to their tactical checklists, no matter who has been assigned the responsibility for those activities. Today’s battle is a battle of business systems and processes. And the company that builds the most effective overall “marketing machine” is the company that will come out on top over the long haul.

So, who’s building that marketing machine? For that matter, who’s even looking at the marketing function as a machine in the first place?

Who’s coordinating all of the internal groups that need to work together to ensure profitable results? Who’s monitoring short- and long-term financial impacts to optimize investments and resource allocations? Who’s all over the performance data, looking for actionable insights and improvement opportunities? Who’s driving the systems and technologies that are essential for scale, speed, and consistency? And who’s overseeing all of the inter-connected elements, from prospect targeting and strategy development through program production and sales execution?

From our perspective, Marketing Ops is in exactly the right position to play this extremely important and strategic role moving forward. To our minds, the real question is will Marketing Ops teams step-up and actually take it on?

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