We sat down with Renaud Bizet, Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Operations at Splunk, to talk about Marketing Operations best practices for enterprise companies. Renaud is an accomplished Marketing professional with 15+ years of experience in the B2B technology space. Previous to Splunk, Renaud has driven strategic alignment at companies like Marketo, Bio-Rad Laboratories, McDonald’s, and Kodak.
What is the most important metric in demonstrating marketing success?
It truly varies depending on which selling motions Marketing has to support, but typically, we see a bifurcation of the model. On the one hand, we have a more SMB/transactional velocity motion where we measure Marketing sourced pipeline. On the Enterprise/big strategic deals, it is more a high touch engagement model where we track Marketing assisted pipeline/bookings to drive deal growth and velocity.
More granularly, I would say cost per dollar pipeline sourced by marketing is a strong indicator of marketing’s efficacy on the SMB front. For enterprise, we look more at the anatomy of the deal to ensure proper account engagement coverage with the right stakeholders.
What do you consider Marketing Operations (MOPs) responsibility to be?
Marketing operations (MOPs) is the unbiased umpire on marketing’s performance, and they have four core responsibilities:
- Act as a strategic advisor to the CMO to help develop the Marketing vision/execution, set the performance KPIs/targets, and drive Sales/Marketing alignment.
- Be the champion to fully leverage Marketing resources to optimize budget spend allocation, fine-tune the Marketing mix, automate time-consuming processes, and ultimately boost Marketing efficacy.
- Push Marketing to become more data-driven to provide key business insights, to prioritize key business challenges/opportunities, and measure true business impact.
- Develop a vision that will scale for the future to optimize tech stack interoperability, to set up a foundation for long term growth, and to get in front of future friction points before they materialize.
How does MOPs play a role in marketing credibility?
One of the ways MOPs helps the CMO defend marketing’s success to the CRO, or the board, is by providing relevant and meaningful data points on true business impact. Another venue is their intimate knowledge of how operations actually functions from lead creation to bookings and all the interactions in between.
One of the worst things MOPs can do is focus on siloed KPIs that are poor leading indicators to Sales performance. I have personally witnessed Marketers high five each other for hitting their MQLs target, while 30 feet away, the Sales team is licking its wounds from missing their quarterly bookings.
That leads to Marketing losing a ton of credibility and support from Sales. This makes defending future marketing investments and agreeing on performance readouts on true contribution very difficult moving forward.
MOPs builds and maintains the infrastructure necessary to prove marketing’s success and defend it.
Who should own marketing infrastructure?
Provided you have the appropriate level of resources with the right skill set, MOPs should own the entire Marketing tech stack. From budget/campaign planning, Marketing Automation, attribution platform(s), lead routing and scoring engines, data augmentation, account intelligence, intent/propensity to buy models – all those should be completely owned by MOPs.
I.T. should own some of the core systems that span across organizations (e.g. CRM, ERP, Email, etc.), and Sales should own platforms that support their core processes (e.g. CPQ, pipeline forecasting, territory management, etc.).
What is a common mistake you’ve seen with Marketing and Sales infrastructure?
I think a lot of companies fail to extract value from their platforms, as they expect quick ROI with simple “out of the box” implementations while avoiding deep business transformation approaches. Another issue is timeline, we tend to assess a new tech against a business case at the time of purchase but rarely go back to re-evaluate, and check whether the need is still present and/or the sponsor is still active. Running QBRs on the tech stack to regularly measure business impact per the promises highlighted in the business case should be common practice.
Finally, not every organization has the ability and/or foresight to plan infrastructure projects across Marketing and Sales end to end. We tend to be on different stages of our respective maturity curves and/or focus on different problems at hand. Therefore missing the opportunity to tackle cross-functional challenges to maximize business outcomes (e.g. data health, business intelligence, etc.).
What is MOPs role in planning and building infrastructure?
Planning and building the MarTech infrastructure is a key core service run by MOPs and should be fully aligned with the CMO’s vision. Here are some key reasons as to why MOPs should manage the tech stack:
- They have the full picture of the entire ecosystem and its interoperability. So they have a clear picture of where there are technology gaps and room for improvement.
- They have a lot of experience in assessing new technology, building business cases, and identifying whether those promised benefits can be realized or not.
- They have the relationships with I.T., procurement, Security Ops, etc. to efficiently onboard new vendors/technologies.
- They know where that new piece of technology should fit and how to build the proper integrations with the existing tech stack.
- They know which key areas of Marketing need a boost in technology, whether there is a need for automation, velocity, standardization, visibility, accuracy, etc.
- They will monitor the platform performance over time and be responsible for optimizing it long term.
- They scout new technologies and will know when it is appropriate and mature enough to bring it to the existing tech stack, or divest in an underperforming platform.
Marketing operations (MOPs) needs to monitor the evolution of platforms and decide when to divest.
Any advice you’d like to leave us with?
The real challenge is not to collect technologies and end up with a system that is not cohesive. A lot of companies fall into the trap of buying too many technologies and underestimating the cost to maintain them. Considering the long term cost of ownership when purchasing new technology is often misunderstood, overlooked, and underestimated. Optimize what you have first and extract all the unrealized potential before compounding the issue with new tech.
Like what Renaud had to say? Check him out on LinkedIn here.