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DECEMBER 6th, 2022 hosted by Glenn Bottomly

Ep: 40 - Building Bridges with Marketing Ops

Posted by Glenn Bottomly on Dec 6, 2022 10:59:51 AM

Marketing Ops is about synthesis and bringing together ideas, or disparate knowledge to create effective strategies that solve problems. This is especially true when you are coming in and reconfiguring an existing process or working to bring digital and physical asset teams together. 

Our guest today is Amy Strickland, Director of Marketing Operations Consulting at Cella. Her diverse background at many top brands in marketing operations — Walmart, Athleta, and Sam’s Club — makes her an ideal advisor to a wide variety of in-house agencies and creative teams.  She stopped by to share the top lessons she has learned in over 15 years of operations leadership with both marketing and creative teams.

Join us as Glenn and Amy discuss:

  • The value of metrics in operations is undeniable and you need to measure everything — even if you think you don’t need it now, you will in the future.
  • Unique challenges for marketing operations in an omnichannel retail industry.
  • What companies miss out on by not having a marketing operations team.

The value of metrics in marketing operations

Throughout Amy’s diverse background in marketing operations, there is one common lesson that sticks with her through every role she’s put into — measure everything you possibly can.

“Measure everything. If you know where you are, and you know where you're going, you'll know whether or not your process is optimized for that.” — Amy Strickland

In operations, the key to success lies within the process. The process should be the first and last thing you look at during any operations transition, making note of what works and what doesn’t.

Stemming from that process is everything else keeping the transition moving — roles, responsibilities, use of technology and optimization. 

Keeping track of each point in the process is something that many may see as unnecessary but Amy argues that one day you may need that piece of information that you thought you could just skip over. 

“In operations, I think of metrics as like the currency. The more currency you have to spend, then the faster you're going to progress in your operation.”  — Amy Strickland

Unique challenges for marketing operations in an omnichannel retail industry

Amy describes omnichannel retail as a “many-headed beast”.

When you’re in charge of a customer’s experience over several different channels both digital and in person, as well as being in constant contact with several different stakeholder groups at a time, there’s a lot to concern yourself with. 

In omnichannel retail, there’s a ton of assets to be created and coordinating what is to be released and when to release it is the complex reality of the marketing team’s day to day. And when you take this reality and multiply it by however many channels your business works through, things can get overwhelming quickly.

But where there are unique challenges, Amy says there is unique potential as well. 

Because the business runs through digital and real-world channels, you’re able to connect with people in both the accessible digital ways and the in-person, human ways.

“The physical elements of the store and what's in the store say something about your brand. Those physical touch points really convey a tangible expression of your brand that doesn't go away. ”  — Amy Strickland

What companies miss out on by not having a marketing operations team

A marketing operations team keeps the wheels of a business spinning. Without one, a business misses out on a ton of benefits, specifically neutrality and specialization.

Because a marketing operations team has access to more data and internal information, they are able to use that data to pinpoint why or why not something is working and it allows for objective decision making on things like budgets, creative assets and innovation — the corners of a business in which Amy urges marketing teams to consider their data.

This, in turn, creates an environment where a team can think and act neutrally towards their goals, allowing the team to work more efficiently. 

“By having a marketing ops function that's running well, you keep marketers marketing, designers designing, copywriters copywriting and you keep marketing ops people running the operation and making it better,” explains Amy. 

Because operations are running more efficiently, team members are able to work on their core responsibilities for the most amount of time. Effectiveness of the department is maximized and everyone is able to hone in and specialize their craft. 

Allowing this neutrality and specialization to happen keeps your team focused and streamlines any and all processes that the department takes on and changes the way your team tackles their marketing efforts. 

What to learn more about the importance of metrics, the reality of running an omnichannel retail operations team and how a marketing operations team can create efficiency for your business? Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or wherever you find your podcasts.

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