Marketing is not just about campaigns, content and creativity. There is a lot of “getting things done” going on behind the scenes in order for campaigns to run on time and at scale.
This is where marketing operations come into play – also known as marketing ops or MOps. Marketing operations are the way a marketing team is run. It is that Processes, technology, data and people that is what constitutes a marketing strategy.
Of these important pillars of marketing activity, data sounds like the most abstract. However, it is crucial that the data is correct in your marketing operations.
How you do that? By cleaning, organizing and enriching the data in every app as well Integrate data between your apps.
Maintaining data quality and networking is an increasingly important role for any team or marketing operation manager. This not only includes marketing apps, but also bridges to other departments in the organization.
Let’s examine how this can be done so that you can scale the impact of your marketing operations.
What are integrations?
An integration brings different software parts together and enables your data to interact.
When all is well done, integrations allow your marketing team to:
- Create the most holistic marketing strategy for your software ecosystem.
- Enable the seamless flow of data between major platforms and enrich each one.
- Automate more tasks and save time.
- Deliver a better customer experience with more accessible and insightful data.
- Remove data silos and other barriers to collaboration.
- Deliver accurate insights, reports and decisions.
Think of as an example of valuable integration Your CRM and Email Marketing App. A good email list is a marketer’s most valuable possession. However, for your email marketing to be successful, you need accurate and thorough insights into the interests, behavior, and communication preferences of each contact. You can solve this by integrating data from your CRM.
The integrations that are most important to your marketing efforts depend on your organization and industry.
However, there are certain integration best practices that companies with strong marketing activities follow. Let’s examine this.
Integrations best practices for your marketing ops strategy
- Understand the ecosystem that your marketing data lives in.
- Ensure clean, current data in every app.
- Make your CRM the heart of your marketing operations.
- Use contact segmentation.
- Create a strong focus on sales through integrations.
- Integrate customer data into your marketing apps.
1. Understand the ecosystem in which your marketing data lives.
Having a strong marketing stack that your team likes to use is a key part of your marketing operations management.
This can include an all-in-one marketing platform or individual systems for:
One of the first steps in perfecting your marketing operations is understanding the ecosystem in which your marketing data lives. Some valuable questions are:
- What data do we collect in each app?
- How should data interact with other apps?
- How can we sync apps to enrich the data in each one?
By looking at the answers to these questions, you can decide how best to integrate your apps and enable the flow of data between them.
2. Ensure clean, current data in every app.
To get the best results from integrations, you need high quality data in every app. Dirty data in an app is bad, but the negative effects are multiplied for each new app it enters.
To prevent this from happening, clean up the data in each app before adding new integrations. This contains:
- Duplicate contacts
- Inaccurate contact details
- to unsubscribe
- Returned email addresses
With clean data in every app, you can seamlessly integrate your marketing platforms and create the most streamlined and effective marketing operations.
3. Make your CRM the heart of your marketing operations.
There is a high likelihood that your sales team is already using a CRM to store all the key insights about your customers and their interactions with your company. This is because centralizing your data in your CRM is one of the best things you can do for strong contact management.
One way to test the strength of your CRM is to see if someone in your company can answer questions about a contact and their interactions with your company – be it sales, support, marketing, or billing – by using just take a look at the contact details.
To do this, you can use integrations to bring data from other apps into your CRM. The reverse is also valuable: Synchronize your CRM data with your marketing apps in order to enrich the data in these places.
In addition to syncing names and emails, you can choose what other information should be available in your other marketing apps. This could include:
- Lead status / level
- Customer success owner
- Company size
- Communication settings
4. Use contact segmentation.
Segmenting your contacts using lists, tags, and properties is a fantastic way to create the most personalized customer experience possible. But it’s also a key ingredient for effective integrations.
With an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solution like PieSync, you can create custom workflows and synchronize data based on specific conditions. This way you keep the segmentation of your database across tools. These specific conditions can be configured according to the If-this-then-that rules. For example:
- IF the life cycle stage of a contact is “lead”
- THEN sync the contact with your email marketing tool and add them to the List of Leads list.
If the contact is no longer a customer, you can automatically reflect this in your email marketing app, remove the “customer” tag, and stop sending relevant communications.
To create powerful if-this-then-that rules, segment data into individual apps first, then connect across your ecosystem.
5. Create a strong sales focus through integrations.
Your marketing strategy it’s not just about marketing. It is important that you look at the other teams in your organization and understand how to achieve the strongest alignment.
The most important bridge for marketers is selling. By working together instead of silos, marketers can deliver the perfect leads to sell and both teams can share both how it works and the opportunities.
To optimize your bridge to sales, you can integrate your marketing software with sales apps, e.g.
With your marketing and sales apps in sync, both teams are in the best position to share data, deliver consistent reports, and do their best work both independently and together.
6. Integrate customer data into your marketing apps.
While marketing is usually most sales-focused, don’t forget your service team.
With your data isolated, you risk the nightmare of sending a promotional offer to a customer who subscribed at full price a week ago.
With built-in apps and data, you can keep an eye on your customers with every marketing campaign and create personalizations based on the products, services and upgrades that are most relevant to them.
You can focus your marketing and service team on:
A good starting point is to make sure that all customer interactions and support requests are synchronized with your CRM. Marketers can then easily use this information to personalize campaigns and workflows.
Measure the effectiveness of your integrations
You can measure the impact of integrations on your marketing strategy by asking if:
- Your data is accurate, enriched and reliable in every app.
- You have a centralized contact database that gives you a quick 360-degree view of every contact.
- Your marketing team is sales-focused and can collaborate quickly.
- You have removed all data silos.
- You can personalize marketing campaigns for customers or exclude them from specific messages.
- You have clear marketing reporting that brings together data from all channels and apps and highlights important areas for optimization.
As you optimize your marketing flow, remember to look at the holistic view of your marketing pile and the individual pieces of the puzzle. By observing the two at the same time, you can understand where to connect the dots to get the best overall results across your marketing team and across your company.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for completeness.