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STAMFORD, Conn, Sept. 2, 2020

Gartner Says Only 49% of Organizations Have a Marketing Operations Leader

New Research Reveals Organizations with a Marketing Operations Leader Are More Effective Than Those Without

Only 49% of marketing organizations report they have a dedicated marketing operations leader, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. Those organizations with a marketing operations leader are more effective and better utilize their investments – including marketing technology (martech) – than those without.

The Gartner Marketing Operations Survey 2020 reveals 52% of organizations that report they are focused on effectiveness cite having a marketing operations leader. From May 2020 through June 2020, Gartner surveyed 429 respondents who were required to have involvement in decisions related to aligning marketing budget, resources and processes and/or marketing operations. Ninety-one percent of the respondents came from organizations with $1 billion or more in annual revenue.

“The presence of a marketing operations leader is a game changer for many organizations. The role helps lead to less dichotomy and fewer tradeoffs between efficiency and effectiveness,” said Sally Witzky, senior director analyst at Gartner for Marketers. “Organizations with a marketing operations leader can strive for both effectiveness and efficiency without the overt sacrifice of one for the other.”

Gartner research shows 81% of marketing organizations without a marketing operations leader report they felt they could not fully maximize the impact of their initiatives when also striving for efficiency.

“In a world where martech investments make up 26% of marketing budgets, but marketers utilize only 58% of their martech stack’s potential, the role of the marketing operations leader becomes ever more pressing,” added Ms. Witzky. “Without this function, marketing organizations will continue to struggle to maximize the impact of their initiatives while also trying to be efficient.”  

When establishing a marketing operations leader role, Gartner recommends marketing leaders focus on the following four framework steps:

  • Frame marketing operations around the marketing organization’s priority weighting of efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Focus on a well-defined primary operations mandate of specific functions to protect against becoming a haphazard accumulation of responsibilities.
  • Fix the biggest operational weaknesses, such as lack of communication and collaboration that pervade and plague the marketing organization, and measure impact, output and alignment to goals and strategies.
  • Fit marketing work management and operational martech to the organization’s needs, replacing outdated and manual processes with integrated and automated systems and platforms.

The full report is available to Gartner for Marketers clients here: “Marketing Operations Survey 2020: A Successful Function That Requires Change to Sustain.”  


About Gartner for Marketers

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About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit