Marketing operations teams often look to data and analytics teams for help utilizing inaccessible data stored in data warehouses and other tools in the modern data stack. Data teams are swamped with requests and often don’t have the right business context to help address asks from their marketing ops teams. Challenges like these combined with separate goals, different tech stacks, and varying terminology lead to misalignment and misunderstandings.
So, how can marketing ops and data teams effectively work together?
We recently chatted with Stephanie Cameron, Senior Manager of Strategy and Analytics, and Peter Kirk, Senior Manager of Marketing Operations, at Lucid, the leading provider of visual collaboration software.
Lucid has a robust data stack (Snowflake, Marketo, Salesforce, MadKudu, and more) and an extremely high volume of product signups. To effectively harness the abundance of data and drive the right business outcomes Stephanie and Peter have built a successful partnership.
As Stephanie put it, “My goal is that everything we do is supporting the KPIs and objectives of the [marketing] department as a whole.”
Here’s how Peter and Stephanie are driving successful alignment today and how you can, too.
Aligning marketing ops and analytics teams (or, really, most teams) requires tracking towards the same objectives. To reach the shared objectives, diligent planning and prep are not a nice-to-have but a must-have.
“We always come together and write a brief as a way to hash out our thoughts on paper, and then we can use that brief to align with other teams,” Peter shared.
When developing project-specific and quarterly briefs, Stephanie and Peter work together and suggest using the following core sections in the document itself:
Identification of stakeholders is essential to the brief to make sure everyone is involved from the get-go. Don’t assume others in the organization know what is happening. Surface team involvement upfront to drive more successful alignment.
Go beyond business context. Peter and Stephanie shared the importance of the situation and complication sections in evaluating “why now?”. Thinking through the current situation and challenges forces you to dive a level deeper, understand which process may not be ideal or where or where there is an opportunity for growth before getting into what exactly needs to be accomplished.
How do you align with other teams today? Are you utilizing project briefs?
Consider developing a comprehensive project brief to drive the desired outcomes in upcoming initiatives.
Over-communicate. Don’t assume that the other team has all the necessary information without being clear in your communication, expectations, and asks.
Stephanie advises that marketing ops get analytics teams involved early and often.
Here are a couple more tips she shared for marketing ops professionals when working with analytics teams:
“What we don’t want to do on analytics is just be data monkeys who pull numbers, but don’t really know why or what the impact is,” Stephanie shared. Providing context enables data teams to solve problems better and get the right information for marketing ops teams.
From the MOPs perspective, translate the data ask in terms of business impact and context. “Try to translate what you’re trying to do with a specific platform in a way that is more analytics friendly,” Peter says.
Marketing ops professionals should act as project managers to help unblock the analytics team. Marketing ops is responsible for driving towards critical business goals and pulling in analytics as a strong stakeholder and partner.
Turn user stories into tech specs.
Marketing ops professionals are responsible for understanding the type of information sellers need. MOPs professionals need to take findings from collaborating with sales and turn them into data requests for leaders like Stephanie and her team.
From a tactical perspective, Peter logs and digs into all feedback from his sales team as it is surfaced. He also keeps track of all the feedback even it can’t be actioned on at the moment.
This feedback is used to translate requirements, making the request tangible and related to a real business challenge before talking with Stephanie.
“Ask the right questions,” Stephanie shared from an analytics perspective. Make sure to understand the business request and ask more questions if you don’t.
While driving cross-team alignment is never easy, we hope you walked away with some new ideas on how to work more effectively.
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