MOPs Rundown: Maximize your resources during a time of peak capacity
Here are some actionable best practices if you're facing crunch time — or a slow down.
There’s one thing we all have in common: The desire to maximize the impact of our marketing operations. Whether you’re gearing up to hit peak capacity or planning for a slowdown, here are a few best practices to follow.
Ensure confidence during crunch time
Whenever your team is stretched thin, we recommend prioritizing workloads. Take some time to evaluate which tasks can be pushed to the new year, and which tasks are crucial to complete in 2021.
Rank your team’s workload with a level of impact and effort rating. Focus on the projects with high impact; and even more so on the high impact projects that are low effort. Anything that is low impact and high effort, should be deprioritized to the new year.
So, how can you best plan ahead before you reach maximum capacity?
We have one word: Prepare.
The simple act of preparing and prioritizing workloads can help ensure your team is aligned and has a clear idea of what objectives need to be hit.
At Perkuto, we apply these two tactics:
1. Leverage frameworks
Frameworks will help your MOPs team produce predictable outcomes, which in part, allows your team to work more efficiently. When your team has a strong foundation to build and grow upon, your team will not only cut down on time, but also cut costs.
Any solid MOPs framework should be what we call SCORE:
S – Scalable
C – Cohesive
O – Organized
R – Reliable
E – Efficient
You’ll have to keep in mind that it takes time to save time, so be sure to make time to incorporate new processes and frameworks.
2. Embrace automation
Embracing an automation-first mentality will allow your team to focus on hitting objectives and strategic work, which is crucial as you approach maximum capacity. MOPs teams can earn back time by automating tedious, back-and-forth tasks with platforms like Workato, Mulesoft, Tray.io, and Zapier.
These tools have the ability to effortlessly and programmatically transfer data from one system to another, and can automate tasks like:
- List uploads
- Manual deduplication
- Data cleansing and normalization
- Campaign creation
- Troubleshooting system integration/sync issues
Make the most out of your slow season
If you’re planning for a slowdown, it’s time to pull out that list of rainy day activities.
Lacking inspiration? We recommend the following activities:
Documentation is one of the most important things your MOPs team can do. Here’s why: during seasonal or unexpected volumes of campaigns, it’s documentation that will keep your team afloat. Documentation serves as the base work that anchors the architecture of what you’re building in Marketo (or any marketing automation or CRM platform for that matter), and it will also help your team improve efficiency.
“Documentation serves as a knowledge transfer — it’s like authoritative team communication, outlining what was previously done and why. Despite the circumstance, having detailed documentation could be the life raft that saves your team and keeps things running smoothly.” Maude Bélanger, Director of Services at Perkuto.
We recommend documenting your lead lifecycle process, which typically begins when a person is a new prospect engaging with marketing and tracks them as they move through sales qualification and then towards a signed contract for a services engagement.
If your team isn’t tracking how leads move through the sales cycle, start with a chart (as seen below), then continue delving into documentation with specifics.
Create a RACI chart for your team
When projects go awry, we find the culprit is typically undefined project roles. No one ever intends to derail a project, but lines can get blurry when team members are unaware of what is expected from them, or they think they know what their responsibilities are. That’s where RACI charts come in.
A RACI chart stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. This chart helps teams “streamline their processes by ensuring each team member and stakeholder understands their specific roles,” according to Lucidchart. When each team member has a clear picture of what responsibilities they own, the odds of the project falling off-track is significantly lower.
Below, you’ll find an example of a RACI chart. Try filling this out for your next project, or even in a general sense to capture your team’s individual responsibilities.
Explore new marketing tech and partner opportunities
Are you considering partnering with a consulting agency in the new year? What about adding new tech to your stack? Get the ball rolling ahead of time — the leading MOPs agencies are already booked a couple weeks, if not months out, and having an agency on retainer can be crucial in maintaining workloads as you approach your busy season.
We also recommend evaluating your current MarTech stack — what tools could you eliminate? Are there any tools that could help your team work more efficiently? (We’re looking at you, IPaaS). Researching new marketing tech can be a drain on resources, so we suggest using your slow season to conduct preliminary research and schedule a few demos.
Perform a data cleanse
When was the last time you cleaned your database?
Odds are, it’s probably time for your team to perform data cleanse. Ensuring a tidy database will “ultimately increase overall productivity and allow for the highest quality information in your decision-making,” according to Tableau.
So, how can you perform a proper data cleanse? Take a look at this chart from AIHR Academy:
Conduct a mini-audit of your Marketo instance
If you’re using Marketo, here are some key areas your MOPs team should focus on:
- Administrative functions:
- Has anyone left your organization in the past several months?
- Are communication limits set up correctly?
- Are there any sync errors happening?
- Are all the Channels associated with the right Program Type?
- Are there any duplicate or similar channels?
- Which channels are no longer in use?
- How many users haven’t logged on in the last 90 days?
- Are there any users who have more than one role?
- Are there any users who could downgrade to a lower level without limiting any tasks they need to complete in Marketo?
- Naming and organization:
- Is the folder structure well organized?
- Are you archiving old programs?
- Scoring programs:
- Are there tokens being used for the program?
- Is there a naming convention that makes sense?
- Do the scoring fields make sense?
- Operational programs:
- Do you have privacy and compliance programs in Marketo?
- Is there a subscription and/or preference center in Marketo?
- Are there bounce management campaigns in Marketo?
Summarize your accomplishments
What has your team accomplished this year? What are some wins, and what learnings would you carry into the new year?
Consider creating a “Year in Review” that summarizes what your team focused on this year – for example, how many campaigns were executed? What was your median open and click-through rate? Not only is this great to share with your company, but your team can also use it to create some goals for the next year.
As you begin mapping out 2022, consider incorporating time in your team’s schedule to embrace new frameworks, processes, and automation.
MOPs Rundown is presented through a partnership between MarTech and Perkuto, a marketing operations consultancy.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.