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Science in Sales and Marketing Processes

As most tech marketers remain under pressure for improved performance, new IDC research finds that nearly 60 percent of large IT vendors have implemented an emerging staff position within the past two years: the Marketing Operations (MO) manager.

This new role is designed to equip the marketing organization with better planning and accountability, performance measurement, and process excellence. However, while the MO position and job title has been eagerly adopted, IDC sees that the role itself is still in the early stages of development.

Only a handful of vendors have staffed and structured the marketing operations role so that it can have deep impact across the marketing organization.

IDC first identified the rise of the marketing operations (MO) function early in 2005 and provided a detailed analysis and framework for the staffing requirements and responsibilities as industry guidance for this role's contribution to the marketing organization.

Twelve months later, adoption of the marketing operations function continues to expand with 25 percent of tech marketing organizations having newly established this function in the past year.

Michael Gerard, director of IDC's CMO Advisory Practice said "Based upon marketing's low credibility in the average tech organization and the lack of process and infrastructure, the MO team is faced with significant challenges, especially with the breadth of responsibilities that fall within the MO team's domain, such as strategic planning, performance measurement, and marketing infrastructure."

IDC believes that senior marketing leaders and their MO lieutenants need to focus on the following key areas to optimize their potential for success in the next 12-18 months:

- The most effective MO leaders bring deep operational experience to the role with the credibility and political capital to identify and drive real process change.

- The MO team should report directly to the CMO or a global vice president of marketing, focusing on the areas of strategic planning, performance measurement, and marketing infrastructure. This will provide the MO function the greatest opportunity to instill change in the organizational processes of marketing.

- The MO team must be the agent of change to improve marketing's credibility in the organization from a fiscal management perspective. A key success factor is to collaborate with finance and IT to establish the foundation for marketing managerial accounting -- enabling the CMO and other marketing executives to track and manage investment by region, segment, business unit, product line, and campaign.

- Best-in-class MO teams will collaborate closely with sales, the CFO, the CEO, and marketing executives to develop a performance measurement process which cascades from corporate objectives to marketing objectives to campaigns/programs. An important facet of this strategy is facilitating the improvement of marketing's lead management process, which is in a state of disrepair across many organizations.

Contact us to learn more about how to gain the most benefit from your current marketing organization and their investment in market development activity. There's a proven science to applying the most effective sales and marketing business processes, and that's a fact.

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