Projects outside marketing operations’ daily responsibilities must meet acceptance criteria before being prioritized
When candidates apply (or are recruited) to fill a job opening, they progress through a series of gates: Resumes are reviewed, some applicants are phone-screened, and a few make it to a face-to-face discussion with the hiring manager. The finalists are then prioritized, and eventually the successful candidate is hired. The process is efficient and reliable as long as each gate admits the right number of correctly profiled candidates.
In b-to-b organizations, the marketing operations function must implement a system to efficiently review, accept and prioritize projects. If marketing operations accepts too many projects or the wrong types of projects, its productivity and value to the organization can suffer. In this issue of SiriusPerspectives, we outline the project acceptance requirements, prioritization process and criteria that marketing operations should apply when evaluating projects.
What do marketing automation platform selection and implementation, a Web site overhaul, a company-wide rebranding exercise, a data cleansing exercise and a global user conference have in common? They are examples of strategic marketing projects that require the coordination of multiple resources and have a significant budget or potential revenue impact. Each would benefit from being guided or managed by marketing operations.
Unfortunately, marketing operations is frequently referred to as the “land of misfit projects,” which means that in addition to strategic projects, the function is also sent jobs that no one else wants to do. Being burdened with non-core projects can take time away from strategic projects and diminish the function’s value.
Therefore, SiriusDecisions recommends that all projects submitted to marketing operations meet specified acceptance requirements before being considered and prioritized for execution. This ensures that accepted projects are in line with marketing operations’ focus areas. Consider the following acceptance requirements:
Projects that meet acceptance requirements should be assessed and prioritized against other current and upcoming projects. Follow these steps to conduct the assessment:
As noted above, projects should be prioritized using a consistent set of criteria. Through our review of client project prioritization frameworks, we have identified the following frequently used criteria:
Resources, time and organizational focus are finite. If marketing operations receives a large number of ad hoc project requests, establishing project acceptance and project prioritization gates will enable it to focus on the initiatives that will drive the most value for marketing and gain the most benefit from project management. This process will also ultimately reduce the number of project requests. Once project owners recognize that their proposals will undergo this level of scrutiny, they will avoid submitting lower-priority or less-relevant initiatives.