How Advertising and marketing Ops Can Put together for 2022
PHOTO: Vladislav Klapin | spray out
Planning for 2022 is just as complicated, if not more complicated, than it is for 2021, when the course of COVID-19 remained unknown.
In the last month we have planned a lot in my company for 2022. Budget planning, goal setting, goals and key results (OKRs), number of employees – whatever. It’s a rite of passage for marketing and sales departments (yes, yes, sales departments!) This time of year.
What stands out about this planning process compared to the same time last year is the craziness I encountered in the last year that I expected to wear off, but not. Granted, I’m in a new company, but the fact is that planning for 2022 is just as complicated, if not more complicated, than planning for 2021.
While 2020 was the year of COVID-19, 2021 was the Great Resignation, so I was wondering, “What will 2022 bring?”
As I pondered this philosophical question, one topic struck me: 2022 will be the year of “introductions”.
Why do you ask introductions? Well, chances are, if you take your department’s current org chart and compare it to the org chart from a year ago, a lot has changed. In 2022 you will say goodbye to old colleagues and introduce yourself to new colleagues. You say goodbye to the old processes of your former colleagues and welcome new processes that your new colleagues bring with them from their past. You will be saying goodbye to the flexible and dynamic 2021 goals set in the middle of the pandemic and you will be led towards more aggressive goals now that business normality (hopefully) comes upon us.
In 2022 you will personally introduce yourself to your new colleagues, with whom you have been working for 20 months, for the first time. Will they be 5’3 “or 6’3”, is the question that keeps floating around in my head?!?
In honor of 2022, which is the year of launches, here are my marketing ops tips to help you prepare for the New Year:
Introduction of the idea of an additional number of employees in 2022
Don’t wait for someone on your team to leave and try to stay afloat to realize that your ops team needs a bench. Have you ever heard of an ops team with people sitting around doing nothing? Of course not! There is more and more work by and for ops. Inquire now about additional staff.
Pro tip: If it is a budget problem, suggest that the budget start in the middle of the year. That way, you can start the interview in the first or early second quarter to give you plenty of time to find the right candidate and create a roadmap that that extra person will require.
Related Article: Marketing Revenues Are Inevitable, But They Don’t Have To Be Painful
Introduce a TBD line item entry into your Marketing Ops budget
You are probably the one managing the budget planning process, so this shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds. Everyone in Ops knows that at some point in the next year the marketing team will need a fancy new tool and they will say “I have money in my budget” and they will try to buy it themselves. But when you have the budget, power shifts in your favor and you can control the project and the evaluation.
Pro tip: If your CMO doesn’t understand why you need that outstanding cash in your budget, then you need to better educate your fearless executive about the importance of ops and why investing in ops should translate into improved marketing ROI.
Bring the idea of thinking like a research librarian to the marketing department
My wife is a librarian, but this is not my attempt at brownie points, I promise.
What I mean by that is that marketing companies need to do constant research into their trades. You need to understand the competitors of the tools they use, best practices for using the tools, trending new technologies, and the latest and greatest trends in marketing analysis. The only way to do this is by investing time reading, researching, and networking to not only know about your company’s marketing activities, but also to know what is going on in the industry .
Related article: CMOs: Your Marketing Ops Team is a Secret Weapon
Introduce your team to their future self
Employees are looking for something for their job and their career. To be honest, most of us have no idea what that thing is, but knowing what it could be can be very powerful. As a manager, an essential part of your job is developing your employees and finding a career path that challenges and inspires them. Employees who cannot imagine where their career path should lead in your company will find it elsewhere.
If you don’t get these tips because you have the human resources and budget, are an omniscient marketer, and your career path is perfect, then I have one final piece of advice for you: Re-introduce yourself. Take your marketing ops team on a roadshow in your company, share your plan and roadmap, and show how everyone can use the knowledge and expertise of the marketing ops team. They will thank you for the visibility and partnership in 2022, and hopefully you will thank me for suggesting these tips!
Justin Sharaf is a marketing and marketing director who has worked for some of the biggest names in the B2B and B2C space during his 15+ year career. He is currently Vice President of Marketing Operations at Collibra.