Daily Insights

In Search of Excellence, Marketers Invest in Operations

By: Marc Brown | Oct 17, 2019

Marketing operations—often viewed as the least exciting sub-function of the marketing organization—made a surprise comeback in the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 to grab 12% of the total budget. More than two-thirds of marketing organizations now have a discrete operations function. Marketing operations leadership also placed first among the talent organizations said they want more of in the Marketing Organizational Survey 2019.

Investments in ops are driven by the desire to improve marketing’s efficiency and effectiveness. On the efficiency side, declining top line growth forces marketers to get better results with fewer resources. Increased productivity could help neutralize budget losses, while still enabling marketers to manage a larger and more complex portfolio. A central ops function can also optimize development and use of resources that touch multiple areas of marketing, like financial planning or analytics.

The top functions contained within operations are financial planning, performance measurement and campaign management. To this mix, marketers plan to add high-impact activities like data management, research and insights and process improvement.