Marketing operations is a hot topic, especially for businesses looking to stretch their marketing dollars farther. And yet misunderstandings abound concerning what marketing ops teams do and how they do it. So, we're tackling 5 common misconceptions surrounding marketing operations to set the record straight.

First things first: what exactly do marketing operations teams do? They work to increase the efficiency and agility of the marketing department, aligning marketing efforts with both overarching business strategy and other departments (like sales and IT). Marketing ops manages strategic planning, budgeting, MRM marketing, process development, professional development, and marketing technology/data in order to measure and improve marketing performance and identify best practices.

Myth 1: Marketing Ops' main goal is to justify marketing efforts.

Fact: Marketing ops teams are objective. They don’t have quotas, so they can look at campaign results objectively to measure performance and attribute credit impartially. Their main goal isn’t to prove the ROI of marketing efforts, but rather to boost ROI through improved processes, analytics, etc.

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Myth 2: Marketing Operations is part of demand generation, and Marketing Operations managers come from traditional marketing roles.

Fact: Marketing Operations teams are completely independent from other marketing departments, and marketers aren’t necessarily the ones filling marketing ops roles; they’re coming from finance, IT, sales ops, and other analytical, process-oriented positions.

Myth 3: Marketing Ops is all about technology and data — automating processes, analyzing results, and crunching numbers.

Fact: Gathering data isn’t enough, good marketing ops means interpreting it, understanding the business' objectives and how the marketing organization fits into the larger organization, and driving change within the organization. Marketing operations teams need to consider first and foremost the customer experience; only then can they determine how to tailor the marketing approach to improve that experience and boost engagement.

Myth 4: Revenue generation is the realm of Sales Ops.

Fact: Good Marketing Ops teams consider their marketing organization's process and strategy by considering this question: how does it contribute to revenue generation? At the Marketing Operations Executive Summit, they shared that "Marketing is now the strategy arm that is leading, and sales is following.” Marketing ops and Sales ops teams need to be closely aligned when it comes to revenue generation, not participate in hand-offs or operate independently.

Myth 5: Your company needs a full-fledged Marketing Operations department in order to have effective marketing operations.

Fact: You can improve your company's marketing operations right now, with the resources you already have. This article gives tips on identifying someone within your current marketing team who would be a good fit for taking on some marketing operations/marketing technologist responsibilities. And this article covers 6 ways your current marketing leaders can improve your marketing operations processes without hiring a marketing ops role (or spending any money at all).

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Learn About Marketing Operations Facts and Figures

Find out which skills are most desired among marketing operations managers, the top challenge facing today's marketing departments, and how high-performing companies are boosting marketing revenue contribution by 69% in this overview of current marketing operations statistics.

Sources: Marketo blog, Venturebeat, Wikipedia,