The tautology of marketing operations job titles

Marketing operations (MOps) is characterised by variety – the wide-ranging set of demands, responsibilities and activities is in turn reflected in MOps job titles. However, these addendums are unnecessary, repetitions or tautologies – the saying of the same thing twice in different words. Here’s my run down of real-life, tautological MOps job titles and why fewer words are just as good!

MOps and technology

I thought I’d get this one out of the way first as the eagle-eyed will spot that I’ve held this title myself, my only excuse being I didn’t choose it! Also, I quite liked the fact that it could be abbreviated to “MOAT” (or “MO&T”), which appeals to my penchant for abbreviations you can say… Nevertheless, as far as I’m concerned, technology, and specifically marketing technology or martech, is at the heart of MOps. Selection, deployment, optimisation, adoption and governance of martech is a critical aspect for the function and while MOps is certainly much more than tech alone, it’s the natural home for it. MOps specialists and teams have the technical, analytical and process orientated skills, together with the central position to manage the martech stack for marketing. As such, there’s no need to include it in the job title, it’s a given.

MOPs and automation

This is a variation on “and technology” with a bit more specificity around marketing automation. Similarly, I would see responsibility for management, and in some cases execution, of the MAP falling to MOps so it doesn’t need to be said twice. There might of course a marketing automation specialist within a MOps team whose job is to focus on this area specifically but that just demonstrates the combination of skills that goes to make up MOps.

MOps and process management

Sometimes finding itself the poor relation to more high-profile aspects of MOps, process management is nevertheless fundamental to what the function does. This spans the “front line” processes covering what I refer to as “capture to close” lead handling from web form to successful deal, as well as more internal aspects such as how campaigns are executed or budgets managed. Again, MOps’ analytical mindset and central location in the organisation makes process definition, mapping and governance a natural fit. I actually like the idea, although I’ve yet to achieve it, of including a business analyst in the MOps team who would focus on process development and roll-out. (Take a look at my previous Marketing Operations Dream Team post for the rest of my ideal MOps personnel.)

MOps and planning

The term “planning” in relation to marketing seems a little old fashioned or redolent of old-school media agencies. I remember doing a “Marketing Planning” module as part of my Business Studies degree (many years ago…) and slightly oddly my first real job, at a DM agency, was “technology and planning”. Nevertheless, coining the equally venerable aphorism “if you fail to plan you plan to fail”, planning is crucial to successful marketing - and who better to coordinate and orchestrate it than MOps? As always, its central location within marketing while spanning the function makes it the obvious place for planning to reside as a discipline, especially should specific tools or methodologies be in use that MOps also oversee.

MOps and innovation

Although I actually like this one, I’m standing firm on my premise that less is more. Innovation, of course (a bit like strategy), should be everyone’s responsibility, not just one particular role or team. That said, MOps should absolutely always be looking to innovate on behalf of the wider marketing function, whether in new technologies and tools, process improvements or novel applications of data and analytics. As suggested though, MOps should encourage and facilitate this mindset of innovation across marketing and not be expected to come up with and implement all the ideas. All that said, innovation is part and parcel so no need to say it!

MOps and change

Like innovation, change is everyone’s responsibility and indeed, to invoke another cliché, the only constant is change. Change could even be said to be synonymous with innovation and in many respects surely is what marketing is in business to bring about. Certainly, having a coordinated approach to change management makes sense and MOps will very likely be at the centre of rolling-out new systems, processes and practices. So again, it’s built in.

MOps and analytics

I have to admit to a slight wobble in my conviction on this one, but as it would be a shame to fall at the last hurdle I’ll stick to my guns. Don’t get me wrong, MOps is undoubtedly the natural home for tracking, measurement and attribution  – and I certainly have an analyst in my team with responsibility for reporting and analytics. The nuance for me here though is that as the analytics function grows, there’s a good argument for making it a separate team, that MOps would support from an infrastructure and data governance perspective, in the same way as demand gen or events. Until that point though, it goes without saying that analytics sits in MOps.

MOps, technology and analytics

Well, alright, one final one and I’m sure I don’t need to say too much…suffice to say, know when to stop selling!

I’m only being half serious of course, and you should certainly call the MOps role or team in your marketing function whatever makes sense for your organisation. Perhaps one of the aspects discussed here is particularly important or a historical weak point that needs to be highlighted as being addressed. Even we MOps types understand the importance of branding! Should that not be the case though, I would encourage embracing the natural variety of MOps and the avoidance of tautology in favour of concision.

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