Marketing & Operations: 4 Keys to Successful Scalability

People sitting around a conference table with laptops

One of today’s business realities is that everything is marketing. Gone are the days when marketing and sales worked in their own silo. The effectiveness of your marketing department impacts other departments. At the same time, other departments have a direct impact on areas of marketing such as brand perception or customer experience.  

Over the years at Green Apple, we’ve found the connection between marketing and operations is one of the most important relationships in a business. On one hand, successful marketing should lead to more customers. More customers will naturally impact operational needs. On the other hand, many operations teams make decisions that directly impact marketing needs. Whether you’re the CEO of a company or a leader of a specific department, it’s essential to ensure both teams work together so that your company can thrive.

4 Keys to Successful Scalability with Marketing & Operations 

Here are a few specific ways marketing and operations can collaborate. That way, marketing is focused on the right areas of growth, and operations have what they need to scale the business:

1. Define your ideal customer. 

Operations are responsible for ensuring your company can fulfill the business it generates. Unfortunately, most marketing departments are only focused on generating leads… not how you’re going to serve them through the sales pipeline.  

When marketing and operations align, marketing understands the company’s capabilities and what it takes to follow through on what’s promised. This can help significantly when it comes to defining your ideal customer for better lead generation results

2. Align your technology and tools to optimize your processes. 

Most businesses function on an array of various technology platforms and software tools. In some cases, there might be more than a dozen platforms that support your marketing, sales, and operational efforts. While it’s not essential for there to be a seamless integration between all of your tools, it’s important to make sure the core components of your marketing technology stack are aligned with operational tools. 

When marketing and operations align in their technology strategy, they can run the race faster and farther for successful, scalable marketing.

3. Leverage data from both teams to make more informed decisions.

We have access to more data than ever before. Every marketing campaign provides dozens of analytics that can be measured. At the same time, the operations team has insights that can inform customer needs and marketing investment. But we all know there’s a difference between reporting on analytics and creating a data-driven culture for growing your businesses.

How can marketing and operations make sure they are collecting data in ways that can be used by everyone? Both teams need to agree on key business objectives and define which metrics are most helpful in evaluating success. 

4. Create open lines of communication between both teams

Effective communication breeds collaboration. That’s why consistent and candid conversations between the marketing and operations teams are vital. It’s not enough for marketing and operations to simply meet once a year or only collaborate if there’s a PR crisis. 

Instead, there needs to be a consistent feedback loop between marketing and operations. Operations can provide marketers with insight into what customers value. Marketing can inform operations about what’s being said about your business online. 

Need Help Getting Marketing & Operations on the Same Page?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, it’s that you can’t create your marketing plan in a vacuum. As we work alongside clients to develop a marketing strategy, we’ve found that having operations in the room for important marketing discussions is key to building a plan that supports your entire business. 

A rising tide should lift all boats without causing one to capsize. If you’re struggling to get marketing and operations on the same page, our team can help. Schedule a discovery call to learn more about the specific ways our team can help you design a marketing strategy that supports every area of your business.

How to Leverage Marketing Automation to Support Your Sales Team

When most businesses think about marketing automation, they tend to focus on—you guessed it—marketing. They’ll use marketing automation to send welcome series, lead generation campaigns, emails for conferences, newsletters, etc. And, that makes sense. Marketing automation is a great way to create personal and relevant marketing experiences for your customers and potential buyers.

However, one of the often overlooked marketing automation strategies is sales enablement. As I’ve mentioned before, when marketing and sales work together, businesses thrive. But, what role does marketing automation play in that effort?

How to Leverage Marketing Automation to Support Your Sales Team

Here are two simple advantages every marketing automation platform provides your sales team:

  1. Equipping your sales team with insights on any activity from the account. Marketing automation allows you to track everything from email opens to how long someone watched a webinar. This is valuable information for sales representatives when they’re following up with a potential lead. But, in many cases, looking for insights beyond the individual prospect they’re following up with can make a tremendous difference. Finding out what other people within the account are also downloading can provide sales members with a more comprehensive view into all of the potential challenges the organization is facing.
  2. Sending sales emails on behalf of your sales team. There are a couple of benefits for leveraging marketing automation to send emails on behalf of your sales team. First, these emails are tracked. This helps your sales team actually know who is opening your email, who is acting on it, and who isn’t interested. Another advantage is that it gives both marketing and sales the ability to test and see which type of subject lines, messages, and calls-to-action are most effective for converting new business.

Marketing automation isn’t just a marketing tool. It’s a sales tool. However, in order for it to truly work, you need to make sure your marketing and sales teams are completely aligned. Taking the time to discover how you can leverage marketing automation to support sales will not only make your sales teams more efficient, it will ultimately help them be more effective.

How Marketing Can Become a “Secret, Strategic Weapon” for Sales

One of the best definitions of marketing I’ve heard was that marketing exists to be a secret, strategic asset for business development. Whether it’s building brand awareness or developing strategies to accelerate the sales cycle, everything you do in marketing exists to grow your business. The good news (for marketers and sales professionals) is that such a broad definition creates new ways of thinking when it comes to the role marketing plays. Rather than compartmentalizing marketing into its traditional definition of primarily advertising and brand awareness, we can discover new ways in which marketing can play a more “behind-the-scenes” role in business development. How Marketing Can Become a “Secret, Strategic Weapon” for Sales Here are a few of my favorite ways in which marketing can become a secret, strategic weapon for business development:
  1. Write story-driven case studies for your sales team. Someone once said the best stories happen to brands who know how to tell them. And, marketers are natural storytellers. That’s why story-driven case studies are so valuable. Crafting case studies that help prospects see themselves in the work you’ve done with clients is one of the best ways to equip your sales team to be successful.    
  2. Create a repository of easily accessible, relevant statistics. Statistics and numbers can play a significant role in the buying decision. As marketers, we have the opportunity to sit at the unique intersection of having insights on industry-related statistics and data points that are specific to our business. By compiling all the relevant statistics into one easily-accessible location, marketing can help sales teams save a tremendous amount of time.
  3. Research and report what your competitors are doing. Salespeople want to know what competitors are doing and how your organization compares. As a marketer, you can make them more confident and informed by conducting competitive intel. This includes anything from one-pagers that outline competitors’ weaknesses and strengths to links of unfavorable reviews about competitors.
None of these projects require a lot of heavy lifting, but each has the potential to make or break a sale for your business. If you want your marketing to have a direct impact on your business development goals, consider how you can start investing a portion of your week fleshing out one of these three ideas for your sales team.

3 Leading Indicators Your Marketing Is (or Isn’t) Working

papers and coffee
There are a lot of different marketing metrics you can use to measure success. However, many businesses don’t pay attention to whether or not their marketing is working until sales numbers are slipping. And, by that point, it’s too late. Because a lot of marketing is about generating leads and peaking the interest of potential customers, it’s the tip of the spear for your business development efforts. The question is, how can you measure whether or not your marketing is working before it’s too late? 3 Leading Indicators Your Marketing Is (or Isn’t) Working Here are three ways you can determine if your marketing is effectively supporting your business objectives before you’re in desperation mode:
  1. Your messaging isn’t resonating with people. As a marketer, it’s important to know what messaging works and what doesn’t. If the content you’re creating (eBooks, infographics, blog posts, etc.) isn’t resonating with potential customers, they won’t consider you as someone who can help them solve their problems. Paying attention to which messages resonate (and which don’t) will help you create content that actually leads people towards the path of becoming a customer.
  2. Your sales team is spending a lot of time clarifying your unique value proposition. If your sales team is having to spend a lot of time explaining how you are uniquely positioned to help potential customers solve their problems, it might be a sign your marketing isn’t doing a great job of answering those questions. In a world where potential customers are already halfway through the buying process before they engage with an actual human being, it’s important that your marketing is effectively communicating what you do and how you can help.
  3. You’re generating a lot of low-quality leads. Your marketing efforts should be focused quality over quantity when it comes to lead generation. If you’re generating a bunch of leads that don’t fit the profile of someone who buys, you’re creating a fan base, not a customer base. This is why it’s important to define the exact buyer personas you’re trying to reach.
Whether you’re a business leader, sales professional, or marketing director, I know you’ve got a lot on your plate. However, if you can embed these three indicators into your thinking, it will help you keep a pulse on your marketing efforts before it’s too late.