How a Marketing Operations Team Transforms Your Company’s Email
Consulting firm McKinsey writes that “marketing operations certainly isn’t the sexiest part of marketing, but it’s becoming the most important.”
In their work with clients, McKinsey says that an operations team (sometimes abbreviated as MOPS) can be crucial in improving marketing effectiveness—sometimes by as much as 15-25 percent. It can transform the way you approach email creation, helping you save money, increase efficiency, and eliminate wasted time.
So what do they actually do?
Operations teams help marketing departments bring together capabilities, processes and systems to efficiently “exploit and scale the interactivity, targeting, personalization, and optimization of digital channels.” In short, they keep things running smoothly and quickly.
The need for operational expertise is often centered on high-impact channels such as email. Big brands have access to the best tech and talent available, yet 85 percent of companies in one SiriusDecisions study felt they weren’t optimizing the capabilities of their martech automation platforms to their full potential.
The Gartner CMO Spend Survey also suggests that companies are spending 27 percent of their marketing budgets on software—almost a fourth of the budget, which makes ROI critical.
How do operations teams increase efficiency?
The size and global scale of enterprise marketing teams means they’re prone to complex processes.
Take email creation. One potential workflow starts with a marketer creating a brief, which is passed to a copywriter and designer. A developer will code the email, which is loaded into a system and tested multiple times across more than 40 devices and email clients—an important step in safeguarding against mistakes.
Any changes during this entire production, such as cropping an image, can set the campaign back by days, since the request goes into the queue to the company’s designer to update the image in Photoshop and restart the workflow.
Now, imagine managing this for multiple campaigns and business units, in a global, distributed marketing organization with aggressive goals. Mistakes happen, you miss target email sends, and your entire team is stretched so thin that they can’t hit leadership’s expectations.
Of course, that’s a worst-case scenario. With the right operational oversight, it’s possible to streamline your entire enterprise email creation process from start to finish.
Here’s how an operations team would have an immediate impact:
1. Evaluating your email process
Many companies haven’t perfected their email creation process, and multiple stakeholders’ requests can lead to long delays. You might overlook critical steps, such as testing for responsiveness or updating ISP rendering details.
An operations team should map out and manage the entire process, timeline and communication flow to ensure that each step delivers its full value.
2. Lessen back-and-forth debates
It requires a lot of people to pull off consistent email creation. And while email itself is a solid go-to communication method, long approval threads detailing every change aren’t the most practical solution.
An operations team can develop a feedback loop that relies on built-in collaboration. Each stakeholder can log into a system, review the email, and approve. Operations managers can then quickly view the status of any campaign and reach out in-person as needed.
3. Assessing the effectiveness of your technology stack
An enterprise email marketing stack involves *at least* design tools, a sales platform, list management tools, and email deployment software. All these systems may not organically integrate, requiring custom fixes or for employees to transfer content by hand.
An operations team would evaluate how the tech stack is performing and look for inefficiencies, duplications and opportunities to consolidate.
4. Balancing global and distributed marketing: From process design to solution development, an operations team would put the right tools in place so that every email sent complies with brand, company and legal guidelines. They’d also recognize the need for flexible assets that help distributed marketing teams localize and publish their own campaigns.
Email creation is a critical component of the digital marketing landscape, and having the right team in place can streamline your publishing, cut costs and make it easier to scale. An operations team could be the magic ingredient that helps you achieve both brand uniformity and the flexibility to support a global team.
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