Is marketing operations another term for marketing?

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

As the MarTech logo says,martech is marketing. But is it fair to say that marketing is marketing?

Sometimes marketing and the activities with 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 marketers on LinkedIn knows stories of how they constantly receive irrational, inaccurate, or inappropriate requests from marketers. From this perspective, they look like two tribes of warriors.

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

A business marketing expert is called

Justin Sharaf, Vice President Marketing at Jahia Solutions, will announce his response in advance. Personally, I would feel comfortable going back and forth between marketing and marketing activities, he said. I think most marketing professionals see themselves as part of a larger marketing organization, which gives them marketing skills. However, I see many professionals in their marketing industry who call themselves technologists in different organizations. Marketing. Take more responsibility.

Kelly Jo Horton proposes a similar case depending on the individual. She is a senior client partner of Etumos and also the founder of MOPs Talks. Whether someone is comfortable becoming a trader depends on their education, he said. I’ve personally worked as a social marketing professional, copywriter, and other marketing disciplines, so I consider myself a marketing professional, strategist, and technology architect.

Steve Petersen, chief 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 feel more comfortable and competent in the technical part of my job than in marketing and analysis.

A marketing leader must have a passion for marketing, but the functional experts on the team may not be, said Darrell Alfonso, head of AWS. For example, it is common for business organizations to create their own products that help marketers do their jobs more efficiently. Our product managers and engineers marketable?

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. The overall goals for brands and revenue growth are the same, but the secondary goals are different. I found an analogy that describes the company well. Oops, it’s like the cash register, sales, and marketing, constantly talking to the pilot to find out what he needs. Run. The more planning, security barriers, and intelligent processes we have, the faster marketing professionals will be.

Sharaf broadly agreed. I believe that marketing activities should absolutely be a team within 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, operational teams have taken on real marketing responsibilities, such as entering the market and planning and executing 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 said that centralized marketing activities or the revenue management team would become an internal source of agency for several organizations.

There is no single marketing function

Something we constantly hear is that it is wrong to think of marketing as a unitary function. This is a view that is partly reflected in Scott Brinker’s assessment of industry professionals such as dealers, hosts, manufacturers, and pattern makers. ‘Marketing is not a single discipline. The perception that it is 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 currently offers these specializations. Petersen said, Marketing is getting more technical – it ranges from using websites, analytics, paying for research, creating and distributing resources, messaging (email, SMS, messaging, etc.), segmentation and attention. Public. It all has to do with a marketing component (strategy), a technical component (execution), and an evaluation component (analysis). How components are distributed across teams differs from organization to organization.

I think it depends on the culture and structure of the organization involved, said Petersen. I really think the structures – both theoretical and practical – are new enough that there hasn’t been abroad and dedicated enough discussion about team organization and talent development.

Everyone meets

If there were nuanced differences in the description of the relationship between marketing and marketing activities, there would be an agreement that disciplines should work in harmony for the same team. 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 marketers’ business goals and objectives is very limited. He called for an equal partnership.

Alfonso sought comparison with the sales and sales activities. It is said that one sales partner is needed for every 8-10 salespeople. The amount of coordination, planning, training, and activation increases as the number of salespeople grows. He says the same formula is good for marketing activities.

But putting everything together doesn’t mean there is no tension. My team gets a lot of questions from marketing professionals, but that doesn’t mean we work at all, admits Alfonso. We have a priority plan that brings together leaders and stakeholders and reflects on what will help our internal and external customers in the long run. Sometimes it means doing things that marketers don’t like.

Indispensable for a successful marketer, probably part of the marketing organization, but with a clear set of different skills and sometimes willing to make marketers unhappy. These are currently marketing activities, but they are developing rapidly. Keep an eye on this space.

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