This time of year, I’m talking to many marketing operations leaders about fiscal-year planning — revenue planning, marketing planning, and campaign planning. These leaders are being asked to deliver operational excellence with reduced budgets and resources. And yet the work of marketing hasn’t changed. The phrases “do more with less,” “maximize efficiency and effectiveness,” and “reduce waste” are heard in almost every conversation.

So what is a marketing operations leader to do? Forrester recommends that leaders set boundaries, be empowered to say “no” or “not now,” and prioritize … all while communicating back to the business the reasons why some initiatives, projects, and activities will be done and others will not. Marketing operations leaders are uniquely positioned to provide marketing leaders with tools and ways of communicating the “no” while still being seen as valuable contributors to the organization’s goals.

One of the ways that marketing operations help leaders set boundaries is through the establishment of processes that improve performance. B2B marketing depends on processes to develop and execute marketing activities efficiently and effectively. To succeed, B2B marketing functions must manage various processes, each delivering specific outputs for stakeholders. A good process helps marketing in the following ways:

  1. Delivers customer value
  2. Achieves objectives repeatably, in a scalable fashion
  3. Establishes work ownership and governance
  4. Clarifies participants and responsibilities
  5. Enforces standards and guidelines

By adopting a structured approach to process design, marketing functions can optimize processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness. Optimized processes require stakeholder information to be collected; documentation; process owners to create and deploy consistent, repeatable, end-to-end processes; and governance. To scale process optimization, many organizations create an intake process, attempting to control the volume and to prioritize the work. Resources, time, and organizational focus are finite. If marketing operations accepts too many projects or the wrong types of projects, its productivity and value to the organization can suffer.

Clients can leverage the Forrester Marketing Project Prioritization Framework and the Forrester Process Improvement Prioritization Tool to establish priorities, help leaders identify where they can and should say “no,” and filter intake requests to the right set of resources.

How I Can Help

Please schedule an inquiry or advisory session with me to see how to use this research to identify the best-fit solutions for your needs. I’ll walk you through our process steps and help tailor the research to your needs to create a prioritization process that will help your success.