Measurement through Unification

Measurement through Unification

December 2023 | Marketing Operations

Marketing Operations is about more than just day-to-day process management. Marketing ops can play an important role in setting marketing strategy.

Many marketers view marketing operations through the operational responsibilities that give the discipline its name. However, marketing ops has many roles within the business. The day-to-day tasks of budgeting, campaign execution and lead flow management are important, but they frequently take precedence over the broader role that MOPs can play in the modern enterprise. By allowing the tactical to drown out the strategic, businesses ignore the true value of marketing operations as the discipline which allows marketing to measure itself.

For many CMOs, reporting is the most important role for marketing operations. The value of marketing ops is delivered by aligning the technology stack and first party databases to overall marketing objectives. It is these technology and data skills that make marketing operations so integral to the success of any B2B marketing team. Without them it would not be possible to report on the success of individual campaigns, let alone the overall marketing program.

Mapping Technology Sprawl

Every application in the martech stack has a different use case, contributing to the overall health and performance of the business. Regardless of whether it's the visitor tracking data in Google Analytics, the event attendance history in Zoom or the opportunity information in CRM. The modern enterprise has hundreds of different data repositories each containing information about a small part of the overall funnel. Delivering an accurate view of marketing performance requires combining all these sources into one dataset.

That's far easier said than done. In any business, both marketing and sales activity is fragmented across numerous channels and technology platforms. According to Scott Brinker of, the average SMB uses 172 apps across their business. That's actually 10% fewer than last year. This technology sprawl scales rapidly as companies grow, with the largest enterprises using 622 different technologies. In a data driven organisation, the impact of each application needs to be measured both individually and as a unified whole.

How these disparate applications and data sources are joined together affects the metrics that can be used to set benchmarks and measure the success of campaigns. Identifying these individual data sources and linking them together requires a skilled data analyst. That's even before the analyst has created a single report for the business. Before designing any dashboards, catalogue the individual applications and map the links between them. That doesn't just mean mapping integrations and data flows, although this is important. It also means considering any overlaps in data or usage between applications.

The Value of Process

Some overlap in application functionality is inevitable. Vendors always look to extend the functionality of their products to make them more sticky. Where feature overlap does exist, Marketing operations need to provide guidance on which application to use for every situation. That guidance should be turned into a formal procedure, which is then rigorously monitored and routinely enforced. Marketers will find it tempting to bypass established processes in order to bring campaigns to market more quickly. In taking shortcuts, they are only harming their own ability to measure the end-to-end results of their programs.

It is common for campaigns go live before reporting requirements are considered. That is why templates and processes are so important. They make sure that all the tracking and reporting requirements are considered before a campaign is launched. Otherwise, small but important configurations such as UTM parameters or campaign codes can be missed, which leads to gaps in campaign tracking and ultimately reporting.

Guiding Marketing Attribution

All too often, attribution projects fail because top-of-funnel engagement history can't be matched back to opportunities at the bottom of the funnel. Data analysts cannot link disparate touchpoints if campaign tracking or technology integrations are incorrectly configured. That is why the role of marketing ops in setting standards is so important. Marketers frequently assume the technology 'just works'. It's up to marketing operations to make sure it actually does work, in a way that meets business needs. As such, always test everything from end-to-end, even if it's just to make sure that leads are passed to all the right places with all the correct information.

Every campaign needs to provide a return of some description. That is why attribution reporting is so important. However, ROI doesn't need to be measured in revenue or leads. For much of the marketing technology stack, business value can be measured through the operational efficiencies it generates and the resulting savings in man hours.

Automation unlocks possibilities that simply cannot be achieved through human effort alone. Without an integrated technology stack, multi-touch and full-funnel attribution simply aren't possible at scale. That makes it incredibly hard for marketing leaders to accurately plan future marketing investments. In this situation, planning is just guess work. The right technology and data investments enable more informed decision making, that can lead to improved marketing performance. However, only marketing operations has the skills to make this happen. They just need to be given the opportunity to use them.

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Written by
Marketing Operations Consultant and Solutions Architect at CRMT Digital specialising in marketing technology architecture. Advisor on marketing effectiveness and martech optimisation.