How To Be Strategic in Marketing Ops

One of the best ways to show your strategic involvement is NOT to overuse words 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐲 and 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐒𝐜.

In #marketingops ops, it’s pretty challenging. First of all, you want to get out of your tech and tactical corner; simultaneously, there is an open question whether the primary subject of the #mops is strategy.

Is it? Well, everything in the organization has something to do with the strategy, including air-conditioning of the office building and coffee supply in the conference rooms. Marketing Ops is a vast professional area, and depending on the maturity level and alignment, it might be as close to the business strategy as far away. Let me put it this way: great MOPs people work towards bridging the gap and pushing MOPs into a strategic alignment. But it is not given.

But what we absolutely must preserve this word from being deflated, devalued, and becoming meaningless buzz words or corporate jargon.

It is just awkward to hear: Yeah, we do strategy. Great, how exactly do you do it? We help companies to [fill in the blank] acquire new names, run ABM initiatives, conduct A/B testing, integrate systems, do data visualization, etc. Of course, I am exaggerating, and people put nice language all around it, but I hope you get my point. And you think: Oh, you mean THAT kind of strategy! Or even worse: yeah, nice try.

We want to show how our actions ascend and contribute to the business goals. We strive to demonstrate the value. We hope to get the seat at that zoom. But labeling everything we touch “strategic” is only hurting our aspirations.

How not sound phony but keep it serious?

βœ… Listen to your leadership and calibrate your language accordingly. It’s critical to understand how MOPs function is perceived, carefully gather those cues, and adjust your vocabulary and communication. Change might take a long time, and it is okay.

βœ… Put a descriptive word before Strategy. Engagement strategy, acquisition strategy. But be careful: if you put something tangible or tactical – email strategy – that might pull it immediately down.

βœ… Separate strategic vs. non-strategic parts of your work. Not everything is aimed to be a pinnacle of your career. Drawing those lines, scoping the work, showing the comparative value of different work streams is quite a strategic approach. 

βœ… See what other language might serve you better: roadmap, priorities, solutioning, goals and objectives, strategic alignment, implementation plan, etc.

According to my experience, it’s better to be on the same frequency with your team, make allies, and earn trust. Only then you can influence, gear the ship the right way, and change the perception over time. Not spreading lofty words that would fall short and sound entirely out of touch.

I am also reflecting: how much could it be attributed to the β€œfemale” communication & leadership style? Starting small and walking your way where you want to be?

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.

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