Marcel Duy, Product Director, Digital Business Planning at IKEA
The marketing operations function should be a key player in helping CMOs make data-driven, strategic marketing decisions. Marketing operations can help CMOs run marketing like a business by using marketing business acceleration to optimize their planning, performance, and productivity.
In our Marketing Business Acceleration Series, forward-thinking marketing professionals share how they’re elevating marketing operations and proving business impact.
In this interview, we spoke with Carissa McCall, Director of Marketing Operations at Anteriad— a full-funnel demand generation and performance marketing company—about her thoughts on strategic marketing operations.
My team’s biggest priority is to make campaign operations really smooth. With each campaign, we evolve our templates or add new ones to help with campaign setup, deployment, and monitoring. This also means including more time buffers, so there are fewer last-minute campaigns, reducing pressure on everyone. The more operationally rigorous we are, the easier our jobs are, and everyone in the department is less stressed. Every process impacts our productivity and ability to meet our goals.
Our second biggest priority is having a clearer line of revenue reporting. Essentially, we want to see where we play a part in opportunity creation and acceleration—even if we aren’t the source of the lead. A large part of that is ensuring all members of our team, and each interrelated department, have access to all of the necessary data to understand their role. This helps us develop our campaigns while gaining better visibility into what’s working.
We switched a few of our technologies to versions that best fit our team’s needs. For instance, we moved to HubSpot for marketing automation because we wanted everyone on our team to feel empowered operating in a system designed to help them. The more technical platforms made our processes clunky and disorganized, and everyone felt they might break something if they clicked on the wrong button. This was a key part of streamlining our processes and campaigns.
Ensuring that our priorities align starts with planning. Before we begin planning for the new year, we gain a clear idea of our past performance across channels. If a campaign, event, or tactic, has better ROI than other programs, we’ll focus on scaling those even more in the upcoming year. We need to be putting revenue on the board to support the business.
To do this, we must have good reporting. With the right tools and data, it’s much easier to make the case that our work has a direct impact on the business. Then, we share those insights with marketing leadership, so we can repeat our successes. I look at the entire lead-to-revenue funnel—not just MQLs. I focus on what’s generating opportunities to ensure we’re revenue driven.
It can be hard to prove the value of the everyday stuff that we do—like regular maintenance activities or database hygiene—since it isn’t tied to any KPI. But if we can show how these tasks let us do our work more efficiently, that’s impacting the business because it leads to revenue faster.
In addition to focusing on what’s driving dollars within the broader organization (not just marketing), keep a constant pulse on campaigns that might be helping influence revenue. We have monthly pacing calls to look at our campaigns, leads, sales accepted leads, and opportunities to see what’s leading to revenue. Then, we work backward from there to build a plan that will help us scale up what’s working and scale back what isn’t working.
Another big strategic area to focus on is campaign optimization. The more efficient you can make campaign deployment, the more confidence your teams will have in you. And one of the biggest areas to optimize is campaign setup. Setup is usually the most time-consuming part of creating a campaign—and if something is set up wrong, you won’t be able to track campaign performance or prove value. But if you have good templates and processes in place, it’ll be easier, faster, and more consistent. An efficient, trusted campaign execution process also gives you the time and space to be more strategic with your overall demand-generation efforts.
Skip the stress of planning season with our free marketing planning crash course