The Evolution of Marketing Operations


Welcome to Marketing Ops Confessions: How to Navigate the World of Marketing Ops! Over the past several months, we’ve talked with operations leaders in the B2B space like Sara McNarama, Darrell Alfonso, Jeff Ignacio, and many more on our weekly series, Marketing Ops Confessions (register here or watch past episodes here!). These fearless leaders confessed what has gone well throughout their career, what hasn’t, and everything in between. We’ve gathered the learnings from these insightful conversations to bring you this guide. 

We hope this guide will serve as a roadmap for your new (or continued!) success as a marketing ops professional. Make sure to check back often. We’ll update this guide as we learn more from the incredible ops community on future Marketing Ops Confessions episodes! 

Read on to learn more from the best and the brightest! 

“What’s in a name?”

Let’s start with the basics. What is marketing operations (MOPs)?

Marketing ops means many things to many people. You probably have your own definition. There isn’t a single definition of marketing operations because the role has drastically changed over the years and continues to do so. 

We talked with many operational leaders in the space on how they define marketing ops. Here’s what Darrell Alfonso, Asia Corbett, and Ben Lewinsky had to say.


The Evolution Of Marketing Ops

Taking a quick trip back in time, in 2005, Gary Katz published the first article citing marketing operations on MarketingProfs. In 2007 and 2008, respectively, the first benchmark study of marketing operations, Journey to Marketing Operations Maturity, and the first formal marketing ops training courses were developed. In 2011, the term marketing ops became more widely known, and ChiefMartech published their first Marketing Technology Landscape with 150 solutions. 

Fast forward to the present day, and Forbes described marketing ops as “mission-critical to the day-to-day functioning of marketing departments.” The Martech landscape has grown from 150 solutions in 2011 to 8,000 solutions in 2020 (5,233% growth!). In combination with a broad-reaching set of responsibilities, today’s increasingly complex and vast technical landscape makes marketing ops challenging to define.

With so much ambiguity around the marketing ops role, it can be unclear how to navigate career growth and progression. Marketing operations professionals are often overlooked by peers and executives alike. While MOPs leaders work tirelessly to enable and support well-oiled go-to-market machines, they often don’t get the recognition they deserve. 

We’re here to lift up the incredible marketing ops community and share learnings, insights, and tactics that hopefully will serve as a guiding light in your marketing operations career. Regardless of your specific role (marketing ops, revenue ops, etc.), you will benefit from this guide if you’re an operationally obsessed marketer!

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