5 ways MOps can elevate the annual planning process
Level up your 2024 marketing plan by harnessing the unique insights and innovative strategies of MOps teams.
Many enterprises are now doing annual planning for 2024. For marketing departments, it can be a challenging time. How can we make a plan that’s firm enough to serve as the foundation for an annual budget and flexible enough to adapt to unexpected market changes?
Amid the demands, marketing operations (MOps) teams emerge as potential game-changers — serving as strategic partners among marketing leaders and innovators in the planning process.
In a world where many marketing departments merely reuse last year’s plan, MOps teams can bring a fresh perspective. They are well-equipped to challenge the status quo and offer innovative solutions to the planning process.
Here are five ways your MOps team can help transform your annual marketing plan.
1. Build a consistent planning template
MOps professionals are experts in structure and process. They play a crucial role by creating a consistent template for annual planning.
This template outlines the necessary steps — from setting business objectives to shaping marketing tactics. Having a consistent template will enable marketing to communicate with team members both inside and outside of the department.
- Collaborate with different departments to create a comprehensive, adaptable and standardized template that can be the bedrock of all future marketing plans.
- Ensure that the template incorporates business objectives, key actions, how things will be measured and critical dependencies.
2. Streamline information flow
Reflecting on the past year’s initiatives, a marketing leader could easily find themselves submerged in a sea of data and activities generated by their department. This is where the MOps team can step in with their data management and analysis skills.
Serving as curators, MOps can determine what information is crucial for the planning process, where to source it and how to interpret it. They can ensure that each marketing leader has clear and actionable insights at their fingertips.
- Establish an internal data repository or dashboard where all relevant information is updated, analyzed and readily available for marketing planning.
3. Learn from the past: Translate data into strategy
Using the data repository or dashboard described above as a tool, the MOps teams can lead review sessions with cross-functional teams to analyze the performance of last year’s campaigns and tactics.
What performed well? What didn’t? Why? Processing this information is only the first step. The real magic lies in converting these analyses into actionable marketing strategies for the upcoming year.
MOps teams, given their dual skill set of understanding both technology and marketing metrics, are perfectly positioned to facilitate this process.
- Organize cross-functional review sessions of last year’s campaigns. Include team members across the department, from product marketing to creative designers to media agency partners.
- Brainstorm new ideas that could have made a difference to improve last year’s efforts and discuss ways to integrate those into the upcoming marketing plan.
4. Prioritize the annual plan
Every marketing department has more goals and objectives on its wish list than it can actually accomplish. The MOps team can provide significant value by helping marketers prioritize their activities for the upcoming year.
By assessing the potential ROI of various strategies, weighing them against the company’s core objectives and factoring in the available resources, they can provide a clear hierarchy of what marketing initiatives should take precedence.
- Develop a scoring or ranking system for potential marketing activities. This system could be based on anticipated ROI, alignment with company goals, feasibility and available resources.
- Regularly review this system as part of the planning process to ensure it reflects the ever-evolving marketing landscape. As the MOps team, your role is to balance data-driven decisions and fostering marketing creativity. Always leave room for innovative ideas and experiments.
5. Establish the process for ongoing adjustments throughout the year
An annual plan, while crucial, isn’t set in stone. Having the process in place to pivot as things change throughout the year is paramount. Here, the MOps team can introduce the concept of agile marketing to the broader marketing division.
Agile marketing, borrowing principles from agile software development, involves breaking down large projects into smaller tasks, regular check-ins and continuous feedback loops.
- Set up regular intervals (i.e., monthly) for marketing teams to review their progress against the plan, discuss potential challenges and recalibrate if needed.
- Encourage a culture of open communication. The quicker the MOps team is informed about potential shifts or disruptions in the market, the more effectively they can guide the necessary pivots, ensuring the annual plan remains a guiding star and not an anchor.
Elevating the annual planning process
A successful marketing plan goes beyond the boundaries of the marketing department, reaching out and integrating with every tier of the organization. Using insights from MOps teams, marketing can make a flexible plan that adapts quickly to market changes while staying focused on its goals.
Connecting data with creative ideas turns the annual plan into a dynamic strategy. MOps teams that innovate and challenge norms have the ability to improve the planning process and uplift the entire organization.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.