High-performing b-to-b organizations depend on their marketing operations functions to drive growth by creating efficiency and effectiveness across marketing. But for large organizations, the interplay between global and regional marketing operations responsibilities is inherently complex, and often ill-defined. As SiriusDecisions analyst Ross Graber advised in his session today at Summit Europe 2016 in London, “Neither global nor regional teams can successfully do it alone. Success depends on apportioning responsibilities and defining points of interlock.”
Ross began by providing the audience with an overview of the scope of b-to-b marketing operations. “Marketing operations activates marketing strategy,” he explained. “This function applies insights to drive decisionmaking, establishes the technology roadmap and creates plans for growth.” He emphasized the critical role this function plays in facilitating interlock, noting that “Marketing operations works best when it spearheads alignment across the organization, ideally acting as the CMO’s right hand.”
So, where do region-based operations teams fit in? As it turns out, many organizations aren’t sure, and fail to value this team – considering it a low-impact service role – which results in resource and competency gaps that can compromise effectiveness. Although global and regional operations teams are equally important, they have different priorities and challenges. “Best-in-class b-to-b organizations draw clear lines of responsibility between regional and global teams while maximizing interlock efforts,” Ross told the Summit audience. “Global operations’ need for consistency must be balanced against regional needs of local markets.” He then detailed each team’s particular responsibilities within each of four core marketing operations components:
In closing, Ross cited four characteristics shared by leading marketing operations organizations: strategic focus, formalized interlock, bi-directional communications and reasonable labor division. “Use existing process models to precisely define and reach agreement on responsibilities owned and shared by global and regional functions,” he advocated. “Marketing leaders should ensure a balance of organizational resources to provide global and regional capability, emphasizing the strategic nature of marketing operations.”
Ellen Lind is an editor at SiriusDecisions. She has 15 years of broad editorial experience, primarily in educational, book and magazine publishing. Follow Ellen on Twitter at @Ellen_M_Lind or on LinkedIn.