Marketing Organization, Marketing Talent Development, Professional Services

Building Your Marketing Operations Team Strategically

Marketing automation is more than just software. Just as an airline needs a cabin crew, ground crew and maintenance team, your organization needs a great support team to keep it running.

We often have this conversation when helping our clients plan for future resources. Here are a few roles that are invaluable to the success of your marketing operations team. We know that it isn’t always feasible to have a full crew, so we included good-better-best scenarios at the end of the article.

Marketing manager

The marketing manager will drive the overall strategy, and often handles the day-to-day tactical work. This person is likely an internal resource making a lateral move in the organization. It’s best if the marketing manager focuses on demand generation as a full-time role.

  •    Creates strategy and campaigns
  •    Steers overall direction
  •    Determines KPIs

Operations specialist

The operations specialist runs Marketo on a day-to-day basis, building and executing campaigns. This person should be a creative, detail-oriented problem solver. Our clients are most successful when they have a person who is dedicated to this role full-time.

  •    Traffic manager
  •    Project manages
  •    Ensures deadlines
  •    Ensures accuracy
  •    Pulls reports to determine campaign effectiveness against KPIs

Inside sales/BDR

You need to ensure that the leads you pass to sales are quality and handled quickly. It’s best to ask a handful of friendly, trusted salespeople to pilot the program, and training them to work leads consistently in your CRM. Schedule regular working sessions for the team to provide feedback on the quality of the leads being generated, and make suggestions to improve accuracy.

  •    Works MQL leads consistently
  •    Qualifies leads, passes to sales
  •    Provides feedback to marketing team

Content editor

Someone needs to create the content that fuels the demand generation strategy. A good content person can repurpose existing material and splinter it into multiple pieces, each with a hook that brings in your target audience to your funnel. You may be able to utilize internal resources, but be aware that writers who are used to describing features and benefits in datasheets may not be able to write persuasive, action-oriented copy needed for demand generation. Many companies rely on outside contract resources as their team grows, hiring full-time staff once they’ve built capacity.

Graphic designer

A good designer works in tandem with the content editor to produce compelling messages that entice your audience to take action. Like the editor, you may be able to tap the internal design department, but be aware that turnaround time will influence the success of your overall initiative. Demand generation requires a lot of content, and if the marketing department is focussed on tradeshows, your efforts will be stymied. A good outside resource can also be helpful.

  •    Creates custom banners, images
  •    Produces and formats content
  •    Creates ad inventory

Email specialist

In larger organizations running a lot of demand generation campaigns, it is helpful to have a specialist dedicated to building and testing email campaigns. Working with the operations specialist, they ensure high deliverability and are continually testing to increase response rates.

  •    Creates emails from templates
  •    Runs A/B tests
  •    Ensures deliverability
  •    Runs reports on delivery, click-through

Media specialist

This person buys and monitors media spend. Often this can be done by the marketing manager or delegated to the company’s media agency.

  •    Adwords
  •    Media buys   
  •    Testing

Scenarios (Good/Better/Best)


  •    Marketing Manager
  •    Operations Specialist
  •    Freelance Content Editor or use inside resources
  •    Pass directly to field sales


  •    Marketing Manager (does content)
  •    Operations specialists (does emails and campaigns)
  •    Inside sales/BDR
  •    Work with contract designer, media buyer


  • All roles listed above

Bill Anderson

Bill straddles both creative and technical disciplines, with a background both in graphic design and marketing technology. He is a Marketo Certified Solutions Architect and has been a Marketo Certified Expert since 2014.

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