How to Build Your Visionary Marketing Operations Roadmap

BY: Lindsay Fay

PUBLISHED: 11/8/2021

76 percent of marketers are not able to fully maximize the impact of their marketing operations initiatives while also being efficient, according to a 2020 Gartner survey.

This may lead you to wonder: what are the remaining 24 percent of organizations doing to achieve impact and efficiency?

It’s a simple answer: embracing scalability.

Scalability enables organizations to balance effectiveness and efficiency without overburdening teams. By finding the right balance of people, process, and technology, your marketing operations team will be able to do more with what you’ve already got, allowing you to maximize the impact of your marketing initiatives while also being efficient. It’s a win-win situation.

And let’s remember, scalability is crucial because you can’t grow your business if you can’t scale your marketing.

The bad news, is that it’s not so black-and-white. In order to truly scale your marketing operations, you’ll have to conquer the four stages of MOps scalability – drowning, treading, swimming, and winning. Each stage is associated with a different factor, and as we progress through each stage, it’ll be the compilation of these factors working together that will allow us to truly scale our marketing operations.

The four stages of MOps scalability

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This journey is no easy feat, which is why we’re walking through this process together. As we enter each stage, we’ll provide resources and actionable takeaways so that you have the right tools to scale your marketing and business.




Stage One: Drowning


As we approach stage one, many organizations are beginning to get organized around their marketing operations activities. This consists of activities such as:


In order to keep moving forward, you’ll have to ensure you have those four action items covered. Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?


Here’s the kicker: you aren’t actually thinking about how these items are connected. Hence the name, the drowning stage. If you’re witnessing the following, then you know you’re in the drowning stage:

  • Inconsistent campaign execution
  • Frequent and major mistakes
  • Having to decline campaign requests


So, what’s the difference between organizations that are able to break out of this stage and progress to the next, and organizations that are at a stand-still?


Relying only on people. Many organizations believe that in order to scale, the right people are enough. We’re here to drop a truth bomb: this is a myth. Scaling is actually a balancing act. When you realize this, you’re ready to move to stage two.


Stage Two: Treading Water


Things are starting to look up! We’re beginning to get our ducks in a row, and things are getting a little easier. But, there are still some pain points:

  • Your campaign execution process is manual and slow
  • You have a backlog of campaign requests
  • Frequent campaign execution mistakes are made


So, how can we overcome these pain points and keep trekking along? Technology.


In the first stage, we only relied on the people. Now, we are relying on both people and technology together. This is a great opportunity to evaluate your tech stack: do you have the right tools to achieve your goals and be effective with your MOps strategy? Are there any tools you no longer use? Are there any tools that would help you be more effective with your MOps strategy?


No matter how strong your MarTech stack is, we all know that technology is not the end all be all. This means we will have to incorporate yet another component – processes.


Stage Three: Swimming


The swimming stage is a great place to be in – you’ve nailed down the right people and technology, which is an accomplishment in itself. Now, all we need to do is implement processes. This means:

  • Streamlined execution processes
  • Form intake for campaigns
  • SLAs for campaign execution
  • Minor and infrequent mistakes
  • Enough bandwidth to actually be proactive


At MERGE, we recognize the value of frameworks and processes, which is why we’ve developed a few of our very own:


In order to progress to the winning stage, all you need to do is embrace the power of agility.


Stage Four: Winning


You made it! The winning stage consists of two key factors:

  • Your results are exponentially increased
  • Your team is able to react quickly and easily to the ever-changing market conditions


Your marketing operations team is now benefiting from greater impact and rewards. You’ve mastered the art of navigating market conditions and managing expectations of the marketing operations team from executives and other marketing stakeholders.


But wait, there’s just one more unforeseen stage here that you’ll want to avoid: the valley of despair.


Avoid the Valley of Despair


Marketers end up in the valley of despair when unforeseen circumstances occur. For example, what if you needed to shift all marketing initiatives to digital and everyone became a remote employee?


This actually happened, right? To all of us. Embracing an agility-first mentality will be critical in avoiding the valley of despair.


Have you ever felt your role as a MOPs was misunderstood? And as a result, unrealistic expectations are coming in right and left? This is yet another example of how MOPs end up in the valley of despair, due to an unreasonable amount of campaign requests.


So, how do we break free from an influx of campaign requests? By embracing all four factors – people, technology, process, and agility. You’ve got to make sure your team is staffed with the right people, with effective technology and processes in place, all while embracing an agile-first mentality.


If you can scale and simplify your operations, you can not only get out of the valley of despair, but you can avoid the valley altogether.


Take your marketing operations to the next level


Have you been frustrated with the transparency or outcomes of working with another Marketo partner? We invite you to book an introductory call with us. Let us demonstrate how we’re different, and the results we can achieve together. Get in touch.