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The Rise of Marketing Operations

Author: Jay Kitchen
Cv Writing

Blog by Matt Darwell, B2B Tech Marketing Consultant 

Here at Forward Role we find the best talent possible to match our client’s needs and in turn, we build rewarding careers for our candidates. It’s a two-way street and when done well, it’s a beautiful thing. That said, it’s the other side of our job which is just as important - our role as marketing and digital experts. Many of the team here have enjoyed careers in the industry before switching to recruitment (myself included) so we have the in-depth industry knowledge in each corner of the marketing and digital landscape.

So what am I seeing in the IT/Technology market?

The staple challenges are still there. Shortages of good candidates, an increase in demand for niche skills like technical content marketers and campaign wizards who can wave their magic wands and summon endless high-quality leads.

What is fascinating is the rise of “Marketing Operations”  and the role that data plays in it. When I first started to see these types of roles land on my desk and directors dropping this phrase into a chat over coffee, like most new buzz words I took it with a pinch of salt. 12 months on, marketing operations and data driven roles are not only on the increase but are shaping the way marketing departments are now structured.


What is Marketing Operations?

"Marketing is now embracing the engineering mindset that for years we resisted, bringing left brain thinking into a traditionally right brain world."

Gary Katz, Chairman, Marketing Operations Partners.

Put simply, Marketing Operations is a central role that augments marketing strategy, technology and IT systems and putting it all under one roof. It reinforces the marketing approach with metrics, budgeting, analysis and business process to achieving more measured and accountable marketing.  In a world of automation and data driven decision making, Marketing Operations has started to assume its natural position within marketing departments.


How does data fit in?

I recently read an article by Amol Rajan, BBC’s Media Editor, in which he discussed “Data being the new oil” and found myself nodding along in agreement. In theory, there are similarities between oil and data - both are found in abundance and if you have the right tools to extract what you need then it can be very valuable. But there is a difference, data is endless.

Using data however doesn’t need to be about volume, it needs to be focused on quality and finesse. Successful integration and manipulation of data in to your business is determined in the way it’s used. If you can extract multiple uses from one single pot of data then you’re maximising a source to help you do better business.


Okay, so how does this impact your business? The components required to make this work are threefold:

1. Having the right person at the top - a Head or Director of Marketing who understands a need for data and what’s required to get the best from it.

2. A senior marketing operations person who can manipulate these moving parts and point them in a commercial direction.

3. Data – This must be treated as a business-critical asset.

Here at Forward Role we’ve seen an increasing number of our marketing candidates upskilling in anticipation for the rise of Marketing Operations. It takes a technical and commercially savvy marketer to grasp the nuances required to successfully align IT, marketing, automation processes and analytics. It’s our job to identify and target this skillset and develop and nurture our network in this area, to provide our clients with the best talent out there.

If you’d like to have an informal chat about how we could help plug a skill gap, offer market information or even salary benchmarking in the above areas, please get in touch.

Matt Darwell,

B2B Tech Marketing Consultant,

07876 872025

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