During the SiriusDecisions 2019 Summit (May 5–8, Austin, Texas), I will join Sirius Research Director and new colleague Jeff Clark in presenting the Future Vision session on marketing operations.

Here’s why I’m so excited about it: Marketing operations professionals haven’t exactly been sitting at the cool kids’ table throughout the last decade. For much of that time, they have been associated with assembling landing pages, building reports, and pressing “send” on email campaigns. Almost in stealth mode, they’ve been implementing systems, managing data, and leading martech strategy. They’ve been underappreciated, underacknowledged, and, well, under-understood.

In parallel, B2B buyers gained massive power — navigating their own purchase journeys on their own terms — as if marketers hadn’t gone to the trouble of providing well-designed buyer maps that they should be following.

And guess who marketers will turn to to catch up to this empowered buyer? You guessed it: our heretofore underestimated friends in marketing ops.

If your firm has (and appreciates) solid operations pros that blend domain mastery, expert-level analytical aptitude, and sophisticated tech know-how, congratulations on your foresight. It’s an incredible advantage. For so long, they’ve been the go-to for questions when everyone else is just stuck; they are also the go-to team to empower your future.

Without them, you’re hampered in your ability to respond to the empowered buyer — and in your ability to thrive in the face of key trends that we’ll explore on stage together, such as:

  1. Artificial intelligence. AI accelerates customer expectations for interactions that reflect a deeper understanding of them. Ops pros can leverage AI to accelerate marketers’ ability to delight them in the face of these high demands. And they leverage AI to respond to customers with humanity and creativity.
  2. Adaptability. It’s been said that change is the only constant. Agility is key. Ops pros can build and govern methodologies and processes that are agile while keeping customer obsession as their persistent guiding principle.

We’ll talk about this and more, and I’m thrilled. I hope to see you at the SiriusDecisions 2019 Summit.