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Marketing Operations Management & Strategic Alignment

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(Posted on Aug 11, 2013 at 04:38PM by William Cosgrove)
Every once in a while I stop for a moment and consider just how radically different marketing is today from what it was just three years ago. Looking no further than my desk, I am quite amazed at how my job has changed in just that short time.

Previously, marketing seemed more an art than a science. It stood in contrast to IT, finance, and operations -- the enterprise functions that lived in a more structured and quantifiable reality than marketing.

Back then, the concept of strategic alignment across organizational lines usually seemed limited to the domain of those in the C-suite. They still focus on it to be sure, but now strategic alignment is also a concern of marketing.

Traditionally, the consumer packaged-goods industry was the leading on in which management engaged marketing in enterprise-wide alignment. It's not surprising considering the nature of the CPG business, and that focus on alignment became known as brand management. As Phil Kotlerattests in this short video, good brand management rests squarely on the shoulders of strategic alignment. The idea is not simply to communicate a brand promise, but to also fulfill that promise with well orchestrated execution and delivery.

What has changed? Now the world is increasingly lived online. The advent of social media has also tipped the scales of business communications decidedly in favor of the consumer. Therefore, customer-centricity is not merely a concern for soap makers and cereal purveyors -- it's essential for all businesses. As a result, brand-management approaches that depend on internal alignment are key to marketing success across industries. Alignment increasingly entails marketing and IT, given the online nature of our digital world.

More than ever, great marketing is about spot-on execution that delivers what's promised.

It follows then that it is not only important to align across departments, but also to align withinthe marketing department through marketing-operations management. It's no longer optional -- marketing-operations management is critical to planning and executing marketing that grows your business. When you can integrate marketing-operations management with marketing automationadaptive customer-experience management, social media analytics and marketing optimization, then you have your hands on all the major levers that engage your market and grow your business in ways that are structured and quantifiably effective.

Marketing operations management enables success, because you’ll achieve greater consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness by automating and integrating marketing processes and workflows. Key components of this process include marketing-strategy development and planning, asset creation, campaign execution, and post-campaign analysis and reporting.

With the right approach to marketing-operations management, you can plan and develop marketing programs and workflows based on corporate initiatives, and then deliver confidently at a tactical level with consistent messaging, collateral, and execution methods. If you add budgetary views to that operating model, you achieve fiscal control while enabling collaborative planning, allocation, and program execution.

In a nutshell, that's how marketing-operations management supports strategic alignment. For more details, you might be interested in downloading this whitepaper, "Integrating Marketing Operations: How Marketers Can Align Their Strategy and Planning with Overarching Corporate Goals."
Written By John Balla

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