Want to be a Star Marketer: Get into Operations

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Want to be a Star Marketer Get into OperationsCompetency in operations and marketing leads to a serious boost in sales success. Why? Some traditional business silos are no longer standing up to the force of digital change and innovation, giving those who are room to rise.

The path to the top is changing. CIO.com reports that the road to the C-Suite passes through operations. Here at HP, my team and I believe so strongly in the marriage between marketing and operations that we combined those teams under the same leadership, and it’s my honor to lead that initiative. Why must operations and marketing work well together in the quest for sales success? Let’s explore.

Customer Journey: Then vs. Now

Before we dig in, ask yourself one question: How digital is your business? Now ask that same question of your customers—odds are, they’re pretty connected. Keep that in mind as we discuss the evolution of the customer journey.

Usually when we talk about the buying process, we focus on the following: Awareness, consideration, purchase, recommendation, and repurchase. The customer journey, however, has radically changed. Our online and digital operational capabilities have completely disrupted the sales process, and now there’s less of a divide between sales, operations, and marketing. The old-school, face-to-face sales situation, where sales dominated the process, has given way to an operations-powered process, where sales and marketing have merged to play a more equal role in the customer experience. All those digital touch points behind the education, active buying, and closing process generate data and are now more driven than ever by analytics. Big data continues to permeate the industry and affect everything we do, and that includes how we look at marketing and operations in the future.

Beyond the Top Funnel Chart

Graphics source: eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale

Marketing and Operations: Then and Now

It was important note the evolution of the customer journey first before dissecting the traditional and changing roles of marketing and operations so it would be even clearer why they go together today. It probably goes without saying that you should always work with a big picture mindset, regardless of what your business card says. (But if your business card says you’re a marketer, maybe you should take up smarketing. That’s not a typo—I wrote about it recently in this post: Smarketing: Sales and Marketing Meets the Business of Growing Business.

Marketing used to be associated primarily with creative endeavors—thinking of clever slogans, designing eye-catching collateral, and launching chatter-inducing campaigns. The operations side of things, on the other hand, used to include mostly back-of-house activities. Not anymore! Now the two are coming together thanks to the digital movement, or at least they should be for maximum effect. When operations moves front-of-house and marketing is associated with those operational and system competencies—think CRM tools, for example, that are both available to the sales force in the field and provide analytical data for thought leadership campaigns—everybody wins.

At the end of the day, it’s not so much what you do or what you’re called, but rather how you contribute to the larger objective of the business that matters. Are you a driver of positive change, especially positive change that embraces emerging digital technologies? That’s they key to staying continuously ahead in an industry that’s all about innovation.

The Takeaway

In the past, we primarily sold face-to-face. Then, phone-to-phone became the process of choice. Now, of course, we communicate mostly screen-to-screen/digital- to-digital. Tomorrow, it may be robots-to-robots—or at least AI-to-AI. Immersing yourself in operations and building that digital knowledge base ahead of the change can help shape your future as a star marketer and improve your performance in the here and now.

What do you think? How does your business approach the two silos—have they yet merged? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post was first published on LinkedIn .

photo credit: Business Success via photopin (license)

Vincent BrissotVincent Brissot is the Head of Channel Marketing & Operations at HP. With some 14 years of experience in channel enablement, business development, and marketing, he has a comprehensive understanding of and expertise in the IT industry related to hardware, services, and software. Vincent has worked in multiple countries, in regional and worldwide roles across Enterprise and SMB market segments. You can follow Vincent on Twitter @VincentBrissot and also find him on LinkedIn.