SiriusDecisions | Marketing Operations: Planning Assumptions 2021

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© 2020 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. 1 Research Brief "When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait." This quote from Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho emphasizes life's unpredictability and the need to be as prepared as possible to respond and adapt to whatever obstacles we may face. The global health crisis and other world events in 2020 have been the catalyst for change for nearly all organizations. Markets shifted abruptly, face-to-face marketing channels were eliminated, and buyers' needs expanded. These shifts presented an opportunity for marketing operations professionals to reposition short-term and long-term priorities, with a newfound responsibility to the organization to keep what's most important in perspective. The fast-changing market conditions have illuminated how critical marketing operations is in building marketing's infrastructure for agility, data-driven decisions, and technologies that empower the business to take quick action. In this brief, we define five trends that will affect the priorities of marketing operations leaders in 2021. Nimble Organizations Will Survive CMOs are preparing for a sustained period of uncertainty and the need for hyperagility within their organization. Economic and environmental conditions have intensified the requirement for adaptive, nimble marketing approaches for responding to changes and predicting outcomes. The businesses and teams that respond best to rapidly changing circumstances will be the most likely to survive and thrive in the market. Marketing operations is well positioned to help CMOs by developing agility and responsiveness in marketing process execution and partnering with sales to optimize revenue engine processes. As budgets get tighter and teams get leaner, best-in-class process optimization will minimize disruption in customer experience and enable better results for the organization. Many marketing functions are asking their marketing operations team to tackle deferred process improvements including process audits (eliminating waste and streamlining critical business processes), documentation (creating and communicating process guidelines, RACI matrixes, templates, and intake forms), and automation (proactive workflow management, online review/approval, and global marketing calendars). Optimizing processes also can help the organization scale and grow revenue. To capitalize on these benefits, Marketing Operations: Planning Assumptions 2021 Forrester SiriusDecisions research has identified five areas of opportunity that should drive the agenda for B2B marketing operations leaders in 2021 The greatest focus should be on creating a stable infrastructure that enables an adaptive work environment for the marketing organization Marketing operations leaders should be prepared to leverage their skills to provide data, analysis, and resources as well as recommended actions in response to rapidly changing market conditions

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