5 Balanced Steps to a Marketing Operations Deployment
When tackling Marketing Operations strategies, oftentimes the focus begins and ends with the actual Marketing Operations software. While technology does play an important role, only focusing on that one piece of the equation will not help you strike the balance — and therefore your ultimate happiness — with your Marketing Ops solution.
The balance should include a careful consideration of your marketing organization’s people, processes, technology and results. As we help clients implement a Marketing Operations plan, what we call our Enable process, we break down the process into five phases:
- Design — This is where we look at your marketing organization’s needs in terms of what you’re trying to accomplish and how a marketing operations software tool can support those needs.
- Build — In this phase the actual software is developed. Typical Marketing Operations software solutions aren’t one-size fits all. A good MO solution is tailored to fit an organization’s specific needs.
- Test — With any new software, extensive testing is critical. At this stage, the software is carefully tested and any bugs or hiccups worked out before the full deployment.
- Deploy — At this point the MO solution is rolled out to the larger marketing organization. The deployment may happen in stages or all at once.
- Support — Once the Marketing Operations technology is deployed, ongoing training ensues, as well as help with any additional software bugs or updates.
While the phases of this Enable process sound like the focus is solely on the technology (or configuration), the process also needs to continue to take into account the marketing organization’s people (through change management), processes (through business analysis) and results (through program management).
Here’s how that balanced approach should look through each phase of the Enable process:
Notice that in some of the phases, such as during the deploy and support stages, the main focus isn’t on the technology at all — it’s on your people through a strong change management emphasis. Similarly, during the testing stage, the main focus is on the business analysis to ensure that the processes that your organization needs are working correctly and being addressed by the technology in a sufficient way.
In fact, the only time that the technology actually requires the bulk of the focus is during the build phase (makes sense, doesn’t it?).
We often hear that people are most surprised to see the focus on change management —an organization’s people — throughout the process. Ultimately, it’s people that make the difference between the success and failure of an initiative. This is just another way to visualize how a balanced approach to people, processes, technology and results fits into the larger Marketing Ops plan.
Want to learn more about how you can take your organization’s marketing technology to the next level? If you have any questions or thoughts around this topic, let’s connect.
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