The world of marketing is undergoing rapid and complex transformations, presenting both challenges and opportunities for marketers and entrepreneurs.
With emerging technologies continually reshaping the landscape, marketing operations (marketing ops) professionals are at the forefront of adapting to disruptive trends such as the ever-evolving landscape of marketing and an increasingly complex environment, propelled by emerging technologies and shifting consumer behavior.
To shed light on what the future may likely hold for marketing ops, we turn to the insights shared by Darrell Alfonso, a renowned marketing executive and Director of Marketing Strategy and Operations at Indeed.com who recently shared his predictions for the future of marketing ops over the next two years (Q4 2023-2025).
Igniting a lively debate among industry peers, Alfonso’s predictions include: 1. Martech and marketing planning functions will combine to streamline strategy and execution. 2. Marketing operations will champion generative AI for GTM (Go-To-Market) teams. 3. Marketing ops management will become more visual and less command-based, utilizing tools like journey builders and design platforms. 4. Marketing ops will play a larger role in enhancing the customer experience, rather than consolidating into revenue ops. 5. Companies will shift towards simpler, clear-cut goals and KPIs, moving away from complex marketing measurement models. 6. The demand for VP of Marketing Operations roles will surge. 7. A growing need for marketing ops talent capable of operationalizing both product-led-growth (PLG) and enterprise sales and marketing motions. 8. Collaboration between marketing ops and product teams will yield significant advancements. 9. Marketing ops professionals will shift their focus towards data and strategy, reducing time spent on marketing automation. 10. A rise in global marketing operations, emphasizing coordination and streamlining of global campaigns for different regions.
However, his insights have sparked diverse reactions from other industry experts, marketing executives and operators, reflecting a diversity of opinions within the industry.
Anita Brearton, Founder/CEO CabinetM, finds point 8 the most intriguing.
“I think the most exciting dimension of ChatGPT and similar, is the potential they offer for changing the customer interface and experience. Marketing Ops working alongside Product is what will produce that innovation,” she revealed.
Disagreeing with the idea of reducing time spent on automation(9) and stating it actually creates room for data and strategy, Isaiah Jackson, Director, Marketing & Demand Generation, Digital Divide Data (DDD) emphasized the importance of not losing sight of the customer amidst technological complexities(4,5).
Benjamin Mohlie, also disagrees with point 4.
Advocating for a Revenue Operations approach as a means to enhance customer experience, Mohlie shared “I disagree on point 4. I think this is a false choice. I would argue that a Revenue Operations approach is actually what enables a greater focus on customer experience. In order to do that right, you need a cohesive strategy to manage processes and systems across marketing, sales and customer success, a.k.a. RevOps! This is one reason I expect more and more organizations are going to adopt Revenue Operations as an approach and organization structure, rather than continuing marketing & sales & CS ops siloes.”
Meanwhile, Viggy Hegde, Vice President of Marketing Operations and Strategy, envisions a shift in the agency ecosystem towards more strategic partnerships with internal MOPs teams.
“Today, many agencies hired by marketing ops leaders are either to manage their day-to-day operations or data management, or ad-hoc projects etc. There is a huge opportunity for those agencies to go beyond the norm and play the critical role as end-to-end strategic partners,” she stated.
On his part, Juan Pablo Garcia, Sales Manager at Kapturall, highlighted the role of AI and automation in addressing causality issues in marketing, particularly through real-time correlation. “What used to be done by a team of expensive data scientists in huge B2C corps, will be available as a service from SaaS providers,” he said.
Ron Myers, a senior marketing executive added that Marketing Operations will have increasing responsibility for identifying the intersection between customer journey, marketing lifecycle, and product maturity to optimize campaign effectiveness.
Questioning point 5, Tomás Putnoky, Co-founder and CEO at Forvio, flagged the supposed shift away from complex marketing measurement models like multi-touch attribution.
He said “While MTA is becoming more challenging, especially in a cookieless world, this is where new-gen SaaS-based Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) can really shine. With advancements in MMM SaaS tools, building effective models is becoming easier than ever, enabling more data-driven decisions. Can’t wait to see how the landscape evolves!”
Seva Ustinov, Founder & CEO, Elly Analytics believes MTA is not going away.
Citing Gartner Marketing Leaders, Ustinov noted that it is only going to grow YoY.
Meanwhile, the marketing expert also thinks point 5 is a pain for lots of CMOs “not because of the MTA concept and lack of connection with the consumers but because of the variety of low-quality software providers on the market. To build an MTA that you trust is either highly expensive or is not reliable,” he explained.
Dee Acosta, head of revenue at HockeyStack also expressed his disagreement with point 5, stating that in challenging times, a closer look at data becomes essential.
In contrast, Jenna Weinerman concurred with point 5 as she advocated for straightforward goals and KPIs, rather than complex attribution models.
Weinerman supported the simplification of attribution models while emphasizing a focus on driving company-wide goals.
TJ P, Head of Product & Operations at Octane11, eagerly anticipated the demise of complex multi-touch attribution models and endorsed the use of Figma for more visual marketing ops.
On other predictions, Dejan Blagaic, marketing operations manager at Joorney Business Plans, who celebrated the rise of marketing ops, expressed his optimism on seeing how complexity would evolve from a goal and KPI perspective.
Josh Mings, founder and president of Aimsift Inc contributed that marketing ops would focus on data systems independent of cookies and work closely with product teams to enhance the user experience.