Monday, December 08, 2008

Marketing Operations Elevates Communications & PR Pros

Author: Gary Katz

Is your marketing department taking advantage of MOM and MRM? Do you have BAM and DAM systems in place? Do you know how to measure NPV? Do you even know what I'm talking about?

If so, you may not be a ""Quant"" (a marketing scientist or specialist in marketing analytics) but you're certainly ready to seize a leadership role and spur your company into the new world of Marketing Operations.

Marketing Operations (AKA MOM or Marketing Operations Management) seeks to improve performance and measure ROI through sustainable processes, best practices and clearly-defined metrics. Admired technology companies (like Intel, IBM and Adobe) are hiring VP or director-level individuals to refine and fine-tune their marketing organizations to run with an operational focus. Market research firms like Gartner and Forrester are also rolling out new research services with a heavy focus on Marketing Operations. And the first U.S. conference on Marketing Operations was held in New York this past May.

Marketing operations tackles:

(1) measuring the performance of marketing effectiveness; (2) ensuring appropriate marketing organization; (3) deploying marketing processes, tools and infrastructure; (4) managing marketing skill development; and (5) building a sense of community across the marketing discipline.

Why should you care?

For starters, Marketing Operations is a great vehicle for becoming more strategic and less buried in task. It equips you to talk the language that C-level executives appreciate, take control of your destiny and ultimately become more valuable to your organizations. Best of all, you can address head-on the issues that affect you directly and also represent corporate America's biggest challenges, including how to:

• define meaningful success metrics from which performance can be measured (one type of measure, NPV or Net Present Value, calculates the present value of an investment's future net cash flows minus the initial investment); • optimally leverage resources in increasingly thinner marketing departments (MRM or Marketing Resource Management focuses on workflow, role definition, project management, planning, budgeting and other resource allocation strategies); • more effectively manage shared knowledge so insight is retained even after key employees move on, enabling more informed decision-making (knowledge management strategies include BAM or Brand Asset Management, and DAM or Digital Asset Management); and perhaps most importantly • replicate successful marketing programs so marketing best practices are institutionalized (and you aren't).

About the author: Gary M. Katz, APR, is president and CEO of CommPros Group (www.commprosgroup.com), a Santa-Clara, Calif.-based firm that provides marketing operations services to help companies leverage their marketing investment, plus a variety of outsourced marketing program management services to support lean marketing departments.

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