Does Digital Transformation Marketing Work, Or Should I Use Marketing Ops?
April 19, 2021
How many times have you developed a marketing strategy for your brand, or a client, and it wasn't implemented correctly because of marketing organization, either Martech optimization, or resources required to fulfill?
The issue for me, or rather the organization is the difference between what's imagined, and the effort to create and implement.
While I'm a marketer, SEOs has always fascinated me. Partly I think because ranking technology can help us to understand the meaning of words. Though there are biases at play that need to be addressed with such rankings.
And when I worked in Corporate at Forrester, I learned how the analyst firm attempted to build a brand around a term that related to social media. However, social media was the term that came to be used widely in the industry.
And the reason why I think social media won in the marketplace of ideas was because there were more voices pushing the term social media compared to earlier terms such as consumer generated media, or Forrester’s.
My point here is that topics, ideas, memes only work if you can get most of your industry to jump on board with them.
Big Ops + Marketing Operations
I've been thinking a lot about agile marketing, and if the term encompasses what's happening with marketing. To me agile for marketers is not just about the process of management, or the effort to iterate, but rather it's a play for the soul of marketers, are we followers or leaders in the struggle for recognition within the corporate place.
And while I might try to expand agile marketing into the bigger sphere, if the community doesn't support that it doesn't really matter what I say or think.
Much better to look for another term that encompasses the ideas and practices of agile marketing but also that larger issue with how to strategically organize marketing to help companies achieve both business strategy and marketing strategy success.
My effort came up with digital transformation marketing. However, it is a term for the moment. Given that so many companies are focused on digital transformation. Digital transformation marketing is all about marketers using AI, automation, and technology to transform their department into a fully functioning part of the enterprise.
But I wonder if marketing operations is a term that's better suited for the role. 1. because more people are using it, and 2. unlike digital transformation once you've transformed, what's next. Operations will be with us for a long time, but I'm not sure digital transformation will be. I'm also reading articles that reference marketing ops that touch on what I want out of another term, or an expansion of agile marketing. A realization that marketing strategy isn't complete unless it takes business strategy into account, and there's an organization of resources, people and technology within the marketing department to execute on a business strategy successfully.
Getting Marketing Ops To Work For Business Strategy
I used to work at SDL. The company was a language translation. SDL wanted to change its business strategy, from a focus on language translation to one of technology services company offering SaaS services to help improve the corporate customer experience. The effort proved too much for the company. And as a result, it’s returned to focus on language translation though retaining the division on content management with integration for translation. The company was bought out by RWC in 2018.
The lesson for me was that SDL didn't have the capability to retool itself to manage all of its divisions, and the reason for that was because it didn't have the correct allocation of marketing folks with marketing resources. Though I’m also wondering if the market had been a little bit farther along, SDL might have optimized more easily. A matter of being ahead of the times. SDL hasn't been the only example of this problem, too many divisions or products, and not enough marketing resources deployed across those products. I think this problem is one that's one of the biggest problems in marketing, or business. Business strategy not keeping up with modern requirements for marketing if you will. That’s where my search for the right term lies. It’s at the heart of the marketing profession too, if we want to see fewer articles about the poor tenure of CMOs, we have to engineer our profession to tackle business strategy problems not just marketing strategy implementation issues. I might have the best marketing strategy in the world, but if my competitors have a better business strategy, it’s going to be easier to sell their products against mine.
What do you think, what should be the right term for this problem? Marketing of course, but we need a term to focus marketer’s energies on the problem.