Marketing operations (MOps) and project management leaders play complex roles that merge business acumen and marketing expertise. Success in the field begins with a comprehensive understanding of the best practices in business and in managing marketing projects.
The Southern Oregon University (SOU) Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Marketing online program prepares graduates for leadership, as it covers business fundamentals along with a wide range of industry practices.
These marketing skills are not only in high demand but also lacking in many organizations. According to a 2022 Demandbase report, there is no systematic source for new talent supply and 93% of marketing professionals say they “fell into” their role without formal training. Nearly 70% of organizations invest five or more hours per week just to get new hires up to proficiency. There are a handful of crucial concepts that professionals must master in order to meet industry demands and step into new positions without missing a beat.
Understanding Marketing Operations (MOps)
Marketing operations (MOps) encompasses processes geared towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of a marketing team’s work, including strategic planning, data management, competitive intelligence research, performance reporting and technology management. MOps blends technology, data and human expertise to streamline the development of marketing strategies for consistent and successful results. Marketing operations responsibilities include establishing key milestones, setting specific goals and overseeing digital platforms and software.
The role of marketing operations has become increasingly prominent in recent years. Demandbase reports the use of marketing operations software has surged by 228% over the last decade, while the number of MOps professionals has risen by 66%. Organizations have been placing increased significance on selecting the appropriate marketing technology, seen in their budgets (technology now accounts for 23% of marketing spend, according to LXA) and impacting the day-to-day utilization of this technology.
Marketing operations ensures that investments in marketing technology yield a favorable return; reporting and analytics are not only meaningful but also accurate; and marketing strategy and execution are closely aligned with organizational objectives.
Marketing Project Management
While MOps oversees the broader operational aspects of marketing — and focuses on technology, data and efficient processes — marketing project management centers on managing specific marketing projects, campaigns and their successful execution. Marketing project management is a crucial methodology for maintaining campaigns and informing stakeholders throughout the project’s lifecycle. It fosters clarity among teams and keeps projects within their defined scope, ultimately facilitating the fulfillment of customer needs.
Marketing project management builds on standard project management principles by adding a dedicated marketing strategy phase, where project managers use market research to formulate and execute a plan. In addition to the fundamental five project management phases of initiation, planning, execution, performance and closure, marketing project management introduces a dedicated marketing strategy phase. Within this phase, project managers gather market research and data, leveraging these insights to set a plan into action.
Best Marketing Practices
Marketing success hinges on well-defined goals and a clear roadmap. Once market research is complete, these seven fundamental best practices for effective marketing project management play a crucial role in achieving desired outcomes:
- Define specific goals and deliverables: Setting clear, measurable objectives and deliverables provides a compass for the project, ensuring everyone understands its purpose.
- Set timeline and budget: Establishing realistic timelines and budgets keeps projects on track and within allocated resources.
- Organize team and responsibilities: Efficient collaboration is key; assembling a well-defined team with specific roles ensures all aspects of the campaign are covered effectively.
- Launch campaign: This phase marks the transition from planning to execution, bringing the campaign to life through content, creative assets and advertising channels.
- Plan for obstacles: Anticipating and preparing for potential barriers is crucial. By identifying them and developing contingency plans, the team can mitigate risks and respond effectively when challenges arise, ensuring that the project remains on course.
- Use project templates: Leveraging project templates streamlines the planning and execution process. Templates ensure that professionals consistently apply the best practices, saving time and reducing oversights.
- Measure and report on results: After launch, continuous monitoring and reporting on campaign performance are essential. Analyzing data and key performance indicators (KPIs) provides insights for refining strategies and achieving better outcomes.
Prepare to Meet Industry Demands as an Educated Marketing Leader
Marketing leadership today demands a combination of knowledge, skills and adaptability. Students can focus on their area of interest through the selection of electives such as Marketing Management and Strategies, students in SOU’s program gain an in-depth understanding of foundational marketing principles and strategic planning. The Marketing Channels Management and Pricing Strategy course equips students with the expertise to effectively manage distribution channels, pricing strategies and market positioning.
With this specialized MBA’s comprehensive marketing curriculum, graduates are not just ready to embrace change but also to drive it as the educated and visionary marketing leaders that organizations seek to grow their brands.