The dictionary definition of marketing is pretty dry: “The action or business of promoting and selling products or services.” In truth, marketing is an art and a science. There is nuance and subtlety. And there is a whole lot of data.

Marketing is the industry most changed by the internet age and its biggest user. This shift is why a marketing operations team has grown into one of the most valuable pieces of a businesses marketing strategy. Marketing operations is defined as the function of overseeing an organisation’s marketing program, campaign planning and annual strategic planning activities with other responsibilities including technology and performance measurement and reporting and data analytics.

The marketing operations team is expected to keep track of the growing number of moving pieces whilst analysing what’s working and what isn’t. Here are some strategies to help set up and manage your marketing ops team.

1- Get A Leader
You need someone who knows how to run a marketing team. Compared to other departments a marketing team runs differently and having an experienced leader who understands the ins and outs of marketing is imperative.

2- Test Tactics, Not Strategy
Strategy and tactics are quite different but are usually used interchangeably. Strategy is the “why” of the equation whereas, tactics are the “how”. Strategic changes can be expensive so set a sound strategy early.

3- Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

When it comes to marketing, trust the experts who’ve been in the game and know how it works rather than trying shiny new tools or trends which can be easily done. Don’t “hack” anything: keep your product the only variable by sticking to tried and true strategies, run by people who have done it before.

4- Avoid False Positives And Negatives
Running bad experiments or not properly factoring statistical sample size or other variables will only lead to you fooling yourself. Don’t skew numbers up in an effort to support a hypothesis just because they can say just about anything, you want to make sure you are right.

5- Brand And Creative Matters
It’s so important your customers feel positive about your brand and their experience was pleasurable. Consistent, smart branding leads to long term customer loyalty and success. Brand awareness is at the top of the customer funnel and keeping a positive brand affinity leads to enhanced credibility and increased sales. It’s crucial in 2021 to have a strong marketing operations team as data becomes one of the main pillars of the marketing world. Be sure to have the right people, tools and structure in place for your team to be successful.

If you are looking for a particular skill set, do not be afraid to test those skills. There is nothing worse than hiring someone who has exaggerated their abilities and cannot do the job to the standard you had expected. It just means that the entire time has been a waste of time, and you either have to train them up or fire them and start the whole process over again. So, if you are looking for a specific skill set, test the interviewee and see what they can do. Skill tests are also a great way to judge potential.