In last month’s blog post, we covered the final elements of an organizational structure for a center of excellence marketing team. Next stop in our Revenue Marketing journey is to address the fundamental marketing operations processes we need to run a demand generation function efficiently and effectively.
If you are lucky enough to have a marketing operations function at your organization, then you know that an important part of their job is in defining, documenting and refining the core processes that keep the machinery of marketing running well. Let’s narrow the discussion to the top five processes, and cover each of the five in more detail in subsequent posts.
5 Marketing Operations Processes to Rule Them All
Why do we even need marketing process? A process defines a series of actions taken so that we can achieve a particular end. It helps ensure, but not guarantee an outcome that meets our quality goals. With that in mind, here are my top five processes that a marketing center of excellence requires:
- Lead management
- Reporting and analytics
- Data management
- Campaign development
- Content development
Yes there are many others, and if you feel one of these five should be ousted in favor of something else, please share what that is, and why in the comments below.
1. Lead Management Process
The lead management process outlines the steps for tracking and reporting on leads as they are created and move through a funnel, becoming qualified or disqualified, and eventually passing through any lead development representatives to sales or channel partners.
A typical lead management process includes the following components:
- Definition of a sales ready lead
- Definition of the various lead statuses in the CRM defined funnel
- Design of the lead processing, routing, and related notifications
- Design of the lead scoring algorithm
- Development and agreement to a service level agreement between sales and marketing
- Establishment of funnel metrics
(To learn the Proven Success Formula for Lead Management, download here.)
2. Reporting and Analytics Process
The reporting and analytics process defines who will report on what, when, and for whom. Where will they get the data, and how will the reports be made available? Before you rocket your eyebrows to the ceiling and slam me for stating the obvious consider that the resources for doing reporting in mid-sized organizations are usually limited, and so often the function is decentralized. I.e., many marketing field offices report on their piece only. And without some defined process, templates, definitions, rules, and hand-holding your ability to roll up the reports will be either laborious or impossible.
Reporting and analytics process components:
- Data sources: defined for all the different data or activity types
- Report frequency: report timing based on the decision making needs related to that data
- Owner assignment: Identifying authors and the folks who run the reports
- Standards: Report presentation norms for different types of reports
- Media: to be used for delivering and presenting reports (CRM, MAP, Excel, BI, PPT, etc.)
- Distribution: How to subscribe, unsubscribe, access reports
- Modifications: Who to call to get new or modified reports
- Archival: Where all past reports be housed
3. Data Management Process
No this is not solely the job of IT or sales operations. It absolutely includes marketing as both a customer of the data, and a provider of much new data. The best way to corrupt a perfectly fine CRM database is let an untrained person in marketing, with no process, do a 100K contact data import into their marketing automation platform and have it sync over to the CRM. From a marketing perspective here are some of the basic components:
- List import process and designated, trained, importers
- Rules for all forms (required fields)
- Normalization guidelines for lists and form data
- Governance — defined authorization for what marketing can and cannot do