As we enter the New Year, Propolis’ Marketing Operations Hive Ambassador Simon Daniels discusses all things MOPs from why the latest tech isn’t always the best to why you need to be tracking your hybrid events. You can find out more from Simon and other industry-leading experts at Martechopia, the UK’s biggest martech conference. Lucy Gillman reports.
What in MOPs’ sake are we talking about?
“With the digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, there’s increasing focus on marketing operations’ core responsibilities,” Simon suggests.
From personalisation to orchestration, MOPs touch all aspects of marketing. “You’re doing marketing operations whether you know it or not,” Simon states. “Whether you’ve got a specific team or if it’s a general marketing endeavour, the focus on all of those aspects is crucial.”
As he outlines, at its best, marketing operations facilitates and drives GTM strategies, execution and measurement. He cautions against approaching marketing operations as a function or service provider; with a central view, it acts instead as a strategic input. “It’s important for everybody to appreciate that,” he adds.
Approaching new tech in 2022: Look in the closet before you go shopping
With wave after wave of new technology and tools, how can marketers see past the hype and focus on the tech they actually need? “The key to marketing technology management is to understand what you’ve got and be clear about what you need,” Simon continues. “As you start considering new tools and technologies, match that up to what you’ve already got.” Audit your tech stack before getting distracted by shiny new toys: what tech do you already have? Are you using it to its fullest potential? Approach new tech through a critical lens:
- What value does it add?
- How is it going to move the needle?
- What’s the cost benefit analysis?
- Who in your team is going to need it? Will they need training?
- Do your people realistically have the time, bandwidth and enthusiasm for it?
“If you can’t answer those questions positively, you’re at risk of bringing something on that’s not going to be successful,” Simon states. Adoption struggles if people don’t see that new tech is solving a problem they have, he cautions.
“If you can keep these things in mind, you can avoid seeing the latest thing and grabbing it,” Simon adds. Be clear on what you’ve already got and what you need (you’ll save yourself a penny or two in the process).
From acquisitions to new tools and vendors, Simon sees no signs of this martech expansion slowing down. His advice for marketers? Where vendors come together, review your tech: does the solution work for you? Will this continue?
He cautions against “scrutinising the landscape every time something new comes along,” or risk falling into “the conveyor belt of endlessly trying to add new things that aren’t necessarily required.”
Understanding your customers’ needs and requirements – the keys to nailing personalisation
Simon refutes the view that “a great deal of complexity is the immediate answer to personalisation.” As he maintains, marketers can go a long way with existing tooling be it CRMs or marketing automation.
So, where does it start? “If you don’t have good data then personalisation is basically impossible,” Simon states. Go back to first party data: understand who your customers are so you can speak to those personas with messaging, personalised content and imagery that fits. “You can bring technology that can respond dynamically to website visitors or deliver digital advertising,” Simon continues. “But if you don’t have the data to drive that, it’s not going to make a difference. You’re always going to revert to a generic message because you don’t have the specifics.”
Personalisation and hybrid are king in 2022
For Simon, time’s up on irrelevant messaging. He marks a growing expectation of applicable and relevant messaging in both B2B and B2C. “As someone in marketing operations, it’s remarkable how many approaches I get from people selling creative solutions,” he adds. “I hit delete as it’s nothing to do with me. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.”
“Partly driven by and necessitated by digital transformation is the need for measurement,” Simon continues. As hybrid events are “almost certainly set to become the norm,” make the most of tracking. “Unless events are properly tracked, you’ve got no idea about the benefit that they deliver. It’s a huge missed opportunity and fairly pointless,” he adds.
In a similar vein, AI and machine learning are set to have their moment in the sun. As Simon maintains, response handling tools “can drive follow-up to inbound inquiries and generate additional engagement.”
Simon’s final advice is clear: “the world has changed for good. Don’t expect it to go back to how it was.” As he predicts, those with an agile mindset and able to continue to drive digital adoption will come out on top.