Is marketing operations another term for marketing?

Perspectives by Darrell Alfonso, Kelly Jo Horton, Steve Petersen, and Justin Sharaf

Sometimes the marketing and the operations for which it is carried out seem so complementary that it makes no sense to distinguish one from the other. At the same time, everyone who follows LinkedIn professionals knows stories of how they constantly receive irrational and inaccurate information or inappropriate questions from marketers. From this perspective, they look like two tribes of warriors.

Instead of trying to answer the question ourselves, we looked for four influencers in the world of marketing and asked, among other things, if they felt comfortable being called a marketer.

The team of professionals is called the marketer

Justin Sharaf stock – Vice President of Marketing at Jahia Solutions – announces his response in advance. Personally, I feel comfortable moving from marketing to marketing, he said. I think most marketers see themselves as part of a larger marketing organization, which makes them marketing professionals. However, I see many marketers calling themselves technologists in more mature organizations, where marketers are hired.

Kelly Jo Horton proposes a similar case that depends on the individual. She is a senior client of Etumos and founder of MOPs Talks. Whether anyone feels comfortable being called a marketer depends on his or her background. I have personally worked as a social media marketer, copywriter, and other marketing disciplines, so I consider myself a marketer, strategist, and technology architect.

Steve Petersen, head of marketing technology at Western Governors University and a regular contributor to MarTech, was reluctant. Yes and no. Yes, because it’s an easy way to tell someone what I’m doing. No, because I’m more comfortable and competent with the technical part of my job than with marketing and analytics.

A marketing leader must be passionate about marketing, but the functional experts on the team may not be, said Darrell Alfonso, AWS Global Marketing Operations Manager. For example, it’s common for business organizations to create internal products that help marketers do their jobs more efficiently. Are the product managers and engineers who create these things, marketing professionals?

Marketing activities are an integral part of marketing

When marketing activities are not identical to marketing, it is an essential part of what marketing organizations do.

Marketing and marketing activities are in the same organization or division, but not necessarily in the same team, said Alfonso.  I found an analogy that describes operations well. Operations are like a team, sales, and marketing. It’s self-contained. We are committed. The engine, refueling., Control over all instruments, constant dialogue with the driver to find out what he needs, an efficient team in the pits allows the driver: Planning, support and processes smarter, the more we have, the faster will be the marketing team. ‘

Sharaf broadly agreed. I believe that marketing activities must definitely be a team in the marketing organization. A large group of marketing activities will work with the rest of the marketing organization to support common business goals and objectives. But in some organizations, operations teams have taken on marketing responsibilities, such as planning and executing campaigns and campaigns.

Horton said I think marketers need to be active partners in both marketing and sales to be successful. But it is still a relationship where transactions serve the merchant. For example, he stated that a centralized marketing or revenue team would be seen as an internal agency resource for several organizations.

Petersen then pointed out the differences.

There is no role for marketing activities

What we hear over and over is that it’s wrong to see marketing as a unified function. This is partly reflected in Scott Brinker’s position as industry professionals, as traders, masters, manufacturers, and pattern makers. Marketing activities are not a single discipline. The perception that it’s a single function is the biggest problem, Horton said.

There are many specialties in the marketing ecosystem, he continued. Someone who is an email marketing manager, for example, works closely with marketing.

The highly technical nature of marketing is the driving force behind this specialization. Petersen said: Marketing is becoming more and more technical, with the use of websites, analytics, paid search, creation, and distribution of resources, messages (email, SMS, messaging applications, etc.), segmentation, and audience. They all contain a marketing component (strategy), a technical component (execution), and an evaluation component (analysis). How these components are distributed across teams varies from organization to organization.

I think it depends on the culture and structure of the organization involved, Petersen said. I really think the structures – both theoretical and practical – are new enough not to be discussed in detail and in-depth enough on how to organize teams and develop talent.

All together

If there were nuanced differences in the description of the relationship between marketing and marketing activities, there would be an agreement that the disciplines, on the same team or not, would work together in harmony. Some organizations are still working on the customer/service model between marketing and marketing, but the best teams work together from start to finish, said Sharaf. If marketing activities are not involved in initial planning and strategy, their ability to support the business goals and objectives of marketers is very limited. You asked for an equal partnership.

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