Marketing Automation vs. Marketing Operations

Heather Davis Lam

Heather Davis Lam

Heather Davis Lam is the Founder & CEO of Revenue Ops LLC, and holds multiple certifications from Salesforce, Salesloft, Hubspot, and other revenue operations platforms.

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Marketing Automation vs. Marketing Operations: What's the Difference?

We know that the world of marketing can move fast, but sometimes, it seems like it can move a little too fast. Remember when SEO was the next big thing in marketing, then it was social media? Tech has done a lot to transform the industry, and it has recently given us a few more transformative and helpful innovations: marketing automation and marketing operations. 

Not sure what the difference between the two is? Don’t worry, a lot of people have the same problem. Each practice can complement the other, but they have some very distinct differences.

Let us be your guide to the growing world of marketing technology! Read on to learn everything you need to know about the difference between marketing automation and marketing operations.

Marketing Automation Defined

When people talk about marketing automation, they’re not talking about one single thing. In truth, marketing automation could be considered a blanket term for all of the software platforms and technology people in marketing and sales use to bring in leads, spread their message, and essentially, do their jobs better.

In fact, we’d bet that some people reading this are using marketing automation tools at work and may not know it yet.

Do you use Pardot or Marketing Cloud to send emails or distribute leads to your sales team? Is HubSpot your main platform for updating website content and managing social media? Congratulations! You’re a marketing automation expert, and you didn’t even know it!Marketing automation can do wonders for generating leads, measuring analytics, and managing different stages of your marketing funnel. With the right tools, you can score prospects, distribute targeted content, nurture leads, and more.

Marketing Operations Defined

Now that you have all of these amazing tools at work, you’re going to need someone who can do more than just ensure that they’re being used properly. You’ll need someone who can develop processes, implement new technology, and help analyze the effectiveness of your overall marketing strategy to enable you to scale your business. This is where marketing operations come into play.

Marketing operations, also known as marketing ops or MOPs, is the backbone of the marketing team. The Marketing Ops team develops consistent processes to ensure repeatable results, proper integration of all of the tools used by the marketing team, and reliable data collection so that data-driven decisions can be made to increase business.

The MOPs team creates the necessary automations to allow the marketing team to do less work but have a greater reach. The data and analytics gathered and analyzed provide the entire company a transparent view of the efficacy of their marketing activities. Data and analytics collected through appropriate technology and processes implemented by the marketing operations team will be a valuable resource to draw upon when planning and budgeting. They assist leadership with measuring progress against marketing goals.

 

marketing automation vs. marketing operations

Marketing Automation vs. Marketing Operations: What Do I Need Most?

 The answer to this question is simple: you’re going to need both. 

Marketing automation can do a lot to transform the way your business views marketing. You’ll be able to work efficiently, and you’ll have the tools you need to truly bring your marketing game to the next level.

However, if you want to use your new tools correctly, you’re going to need context and insight into the data you’re gathering. A strong marketing operations plan can help ensure that you’re using your tools the right way, and it will let you know if any improvements can be made.

It’s also important to note the significant role both practices can play for revenue operations, also known as RevOps.

Bringing in money is only half of the picture, so those in revenue operations understand how important forecasting and growth are to the company. Marketing automation and operations are both critical to success and provide a solid foundation for setting important company goals around revenue.

Tips For Getting the Most Out of Both

As you can see, marketing automation and marketing operations go hand in hand. Marketing automation comprises the tools and processes used to scale up marketing activities while the marketing operations team implements and drives those systems.

Now that you know the difference between both practices let’s dive into how you can get the most out of them at work.

Prep Your Content Strategy

You might be ready to invest in automation and strategy, but is your content plan ready for the change?

Lead-nurturing programs are the bread and butter of marketing automation. In order to have a stellar lead-nurturing program, you’re going to need different kinds of content that can help people at each stage of the marketing funnel.

Take the time to think about your current approach to content before investing in either operations or strategy. Think about your current content calendar and whether you have the internal resources needed to produce content regularly.

Encourage Cross Collaboration

Marketing operations is one part of a larger revenue operations strategy, which seeks to break down the traditional silos between the sales and marketing teams, improve communication, and increase effectiveness.

By implementing the right technology and processes, the entire marketing automation system will drive the front half of the revenue operation strategy, increase the effectiveness of the entire sales and marketing funnel, and improve ROI.

Get Started Now

Marketing operations and automation can be what you need to truly transform your current approach to marketing. When you have the power of tech on your side, anything is possible in sales and marketing!

You’re going to need an expert in marketing and revenue to help you launch the next stage of your business. Luckily, we’re here and happy to help. Reach out to us today, so we can make a plan for your company.

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