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By Len Van Hoogenhuijze


Why a Marketing Operations Roadmap is a must for marketing leaders

As all marketing operations (MOps) practitioners will know, successful marketing programmes are made up of multiple moving parts, delivered by multiple people and requiring multiple skillsets. What’s more, marketing stakeholders are usually spread across an organisation, meaning marketing deliverables, results and measurement needs to be shared and understood at multiple levels. 

This often makes your MOps function – no matter how large or small – one of the most scrutinised areas of your organisation. 

Aligning all marketing activities with overall business goals, and showing how marketing contributes both strategically and tactically to business outcomes, is now a critical function for CMOs and marketing leaders in all types of organisations. 

A roadmap as a strategic tool

This is where a Marketing Operations Roadmap comes in. A roadmap is an essential, strategic tool that aligns objectives with action. In a nutshell, it helps you focus on three fundamental questions: 

  • What is the current state of your marketing strategy? 
  • Where do you want to get to? 
  • How are you going to get there? 

While the premise is simple, the process of developing and implementing a MOps roadmap can be complex. It’s important to look beyond tasks and metrics, and instead define the marketing standards, best practices, processes, technology, skills and insights you need to meet customer expectations – now and in the future. 

Assessing your marketing goals

Doing this requires you to take a step back from the day-to-day, functional delivery of marketing operations in order to assess: 

  • The strategic goals of marketing: 
    • How do these align with and support your overall business goals? 
    • How do they fit with your customer value proposition? 
  • Alignment with other teams across the business: 
    • Where can MOps provide most value? 
    • How can cross-functional support be maximised? 
  • The key initiatives for the year ahead: 
    • What are the most important areas of focus? 
    • What initiatives will drive the most impact? 
  • Resource: 
    • What skills exist and where are there gaps to fill, internally and externally? 
    • What is available in terms of headcount, time and budget? 
    • What technical resources – and technologies – exist within your teams, and what gaps need filling? 
    • How robust is your existing data, and where do you need to expand your data capabilities and systems? 

A roadmap for the long term

Answering these questions is just the first part of the process. Structuring the answers into a clear roadmap is where you need to spend time, outlining your marketing operations activities for the short, medium and long term. 

This requires you to organise, categorise and schedule the multiple moving parts of your marketing operations. Critically, at this stage you also need to clearly define deliverables, milestones and how success will be measured. 

Of course, any roadmap requires ongoing review and adjustment, so it’s important to build in the capacity to adjust activity based on different criteria, and be able to respond quickly to changing business priorities and pressures. 

It’s for this reason in particular that a roadmap is now a must for marketing leaders, giving you the ability to not only plan activity and track outcomes, but also to give your team the ability to pivot or evolve activity quickly in response to business needs. 

Essentially, your roadmap becomes a core tool to showcase how MOps delivers value to the business – not only in terms of marketing output, but also in terms of strategic alignment, business agility and marketing accountability.