Marketing operations (MO) is responsible for overseeing key marketing metrics, processes, systems and best practices in an organization.
It’s a multifaceted role with many diverse job functions, so it can seem daunting for aspiring marketing pros. But with some diligent training and a commitment to earning real-world experience, anyone can become an MO expert with time.
Looking to beef up your résumé and nab the skills you need to become an unstoppable marketing force? Keep reading to discover 6 marketing operations skills that will prepare you for a killer career.
Technology Automation & Integration
Technology is undoubtedly the most important component of marketing operations. The need to manage marketing automation systems is what started the role in the first place.
For many marketing operations (MO) professionals, the role has expanded to include the selection, optimization, strategy and integration of all the technology systems a marketing team uses to do their jobs effectively.
Additional job functions that fall under this skill set include:
- Technology roadmap creation
- Managing infrastructure
- System audits
- Vendor management
For MO professionals who are especially involved in the architecture and development of marketing systems, understanding how platforms integrate and work with one another is a must. Completing training courses or earning certifications that indicate you understand coding languages like HTML/CSS/JS or SQL/Python can also help you stand out.
Getting certified in specific marketing platforms you want to prove expertise in will also help round out your skills.
To get accurate insights, you need a solid grasp on your data. A good marketing operations leader doesn’t write data management off as a task for the IT department. Instead, they willingly oversee and understand the data management process to ensure firsthand that data is collected accurately and held to a high standard.
Your data management responsibilities may include:
- Setting data standards and ensuring cleanliness
- Maintaining data quality
- Data governance & compliance
- Business intelligence (BI)
- Data and database management
Make sure you’re familiar with data analytics tools like Google Analytics and Excel to back up these skills. Bonus points for those who have experience in Tableau or GoodData.
Campaign Analysis & Reporting
To learn from and improve marketing campaigns over time, you need a strong understanding of reporting and analytics. Looking at historical data, customer data and behavioral data to drive decision-making is a key part of the job.
Tracking campaign performance with detail and accuracy is a requirement for hitting goals on time and on budget. Marketing operations leaders need to ensure tracking is set up correctly and provides actionable insights to improve on future campaigns.
The best MO professionals assess performance accurately AND understand how to solve problems in order to reach the next goal.
Reporting may feel like a monotonous task to some. But for the Marketing Ops pro, it’s often the highlight of their efforts. When reporting is easy to understand and tracked properly, MO Pros know they’ve done a great job.
Having the know-how to extract the most important insights from campaign data and relay them to decision-makers is essential.
As a MO professional, your reporting responsibilities will include:
- Reporting on set metrics & KPIs
- Dashboard setup and management
- Extracting insights from data
- Providing insights to stakeholders
- Understanding customer and behavioral data to drive decisions
Workflow Process Development and Optimization
One of your key duties as a MO professional is ensuring marketing projects are completed on time, on budget and to a high standard. The secret to successful campaigns is learning how to build scalable, efficient workflow processes that maximize your time and reduce errors.
MO professionals engineer processes to streamline lead management, lead scoring, segmentation, asset utilization, campaign creation and much more.
Building these processes is one thing. But beware of growing complacent. You’ll need to constantly reevaluate and make adjustments to improve them over time.
Responsibilities in this area of expertise include:
- Designing, building and executing campaigns
- Lead management, scoring and nurturing
- Lead segmentation and life cycle stages
- Setting acceptance criteria
- Content operations
- Asset utilization
- Opportunity management
Team Adoption and Skills Development
As a marketing operations professional, you take on the role of a coach for your marketing and sales teams.
Team members will look to you for guidance to improve campaigns and achieve goals. You’ll be responsible for holding brainstorming sessions, utilizing team members in ways that match their strengths and talking through issues that arise.
The other side of talent and skills development is technology adoption.
Marketing technology can only work if your entire team is on board with learning and using it. You’re responsible for training users on all new systems, processes and platforms that you implement — and getting them excited about the possibilities they’ll be able to achieve.
- Training users on new systems and processes
- Training users on marketing operations skills
- Marketing enablement
It’s clear that marketing operations professionals wear many hats.
You need to be able to juggle technology, processes, data management, strategizing, planning and training while also making sure you meet project goals and deadlines. The only way to handle it all is to acquire strong project management skills.
The PM responsibilities of a marketing operations professional include:
- Marketing plan guidance
- Budget management and tracking
- Creating and managing project timelines
- Resource management
- Financial compliance
- Change management
Many marketing professionals opt to earn the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification to beef up their résumé and learn relevant project management skills.
The PMP certification is one of the most recognizable project management certifications you can earn. It prepares you to manage complex projects by testing your competence in 5 domains: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing.
How to Master Marketing Operations Skills
The sheer amount of marketing operations skills we’ve covered in this article can seem daunting. But there’s no need to stress.
If you know your skills aren’t quite up to par, challenge yourself to learn a new marketing platform or take a project management course. Join our Slack community and ask for help in the #mopro-career-advice channel.
Taking the initiative to add new skills to your repertoire will look attractive to potential employers AND equip you to make a bigger impact in your existing marketing department.