Marketing Operations Career Path

Best Practices | Marketing

Let’s explore the marketing operations career path and all of the opportunities that come with it. 

Marketing operations jobs encompass a diverse range of roles within the marketing field. These positions involve the behind-the-scenes coordination and execution of marketing strategies and campaigns. You will most often find a marketing operations team member as a marketing team begins to grow and segment. For example, a team of 10 marketers might have content marketers, digital marketers, product marketers, creatives, and marketing operations staff.

At a high level, the job descriptions for marketing operations roles may vary depending on the company, but typically involve tasks such as managing data and analytics, optimizing marketing processes, and ensuring smooth communication between marketing teams. 

Marketing operations FAQs

There is some confusion about this role, so let’s look at some common terms that can cause it.

What’s the difference between marketing operations and marketing automation?

Marketing operations and marketing automation are erroneously used interchangeably; they are not the same thing. Marketing operations refers to the broader discipline of managing marketing processes, while marketing automation specifically refers to the use of software and technology to automate repetitive marketing tasks. Marketing automation is an application or platform used within marketing operations to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in campaign execution. Often, the marketing operations team will be the main owner of the marketing automation platform.

What’s the difference between marketing operations and marketing?

To better understand the difference between marketing operations and marketing, suppose a company is planning a new product launch. The marketing team as a whole would be responsible for developing the campaign strategy, identifying target audiences, creating promotional materials, and executing the campaign across various channels. The marketing operations team, as a subset of the marketing team, would be responsible for managing the project timeline, allocating resources, sending assets via the marketing automation platform, tracking campaign performance, and ensuring smooth coordination among different teams involved in the campaign.

What’s the difference between marketing operations and digital marketing?

Marketing operations and digital marketing are typically two distinct teams in a marketing department. Digital marketing refers specifically to marketing efforts that are carried out on digital channels such as websites and social media platforms. This is commonly associated with paid ads on search engines and on social media channels, and setting up funnels for those journeys that start with ads. Digital marketers are also often involved in search engine optimization. Digital marketers are using strategies and tactics to reach and engage target audiences solely online. Marketing operations, on the other hand, encompasses the broader management and optimization of marketing processes, including in both non-digital and digital channels. 

How to learn marketing operations

Marketing operations education is difficult to find in a traditional sense, e.g. at a brick and mortar college or school. It is common for someone with a general degree in marketing to specialize in marketing operations once they start a marketing career based on their skills. For instance, an entry level marketer on a larger marketing team who shows prowess in application management, data handling, and project management may be encouraged to move into a marketing operations speciality. 

Once individuals embark on a marketing operations career path, companies often invest in marketing operations certification or marketing operations courses to ensure those people have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively execute on the campaigns and responsibilities of the role. These types of courses are offered by marketing associations and marketing software providers. 

A marketing operations course is a valuable opportunity for individuals looking to enhance their skills and knowledge in the field of marketing operations. The courses are designed to provide comprehensive training and education on topics such as marketing strategy, data analysis, project management, and marketing technology platforms. By completing this type of course, participants will gain the necessary expertise to become a certified marketing operations professional (CMOP) and will be equipped to handle the various challenges and responsibilities of a marketing manager role.  Marketing operations courses are typically offered online, allowing participants to learn at their own pace and convenience. 

In addition to courses, it can be beneficial for a marketing operations professional to join a marketing operations group online to continue to hone their skills. 

Marketing operations salary

Marketing operations management jobs can be found in a variety of industries, including advertising, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Companies of all sizes, from startups to large corporations, recognize the importance of optimizing their marketing processes and often hire professionals with expertise in this area.

When it comes to salary, marketing operations professionals can expect to be compensated based on factors such as experience, industry, and location. According to PayScale, the average salary for marketing operations managers is around $72,000 per year in the United States with a range from $60,000 to $120,000 per year. As an added bonus, many marketing operations jobs offer the flexibility of remote work, allowing professionals to work from anywhere. 

Marketing operations team structure and roles

The team structure of marketing operations can vary depending on the organization. In some cases, marketing operations may be a centralized function with a team dedicated solely to managing marketing processes and operations. In other cases, marketing operations may be integrated into various marketing departments, with individuals responsible for specific operational tasks within their respective teams. The team structure should align with the organization’s goals and objectives, ensuring efficient collaboration and communication across the marketing function.

Typical roles and titles are  marketing operations specialist/coordinator, marketing operations manager, and senior marketing operations manager or director are common. Let’s take a look at some details on each. 

Marketing Operations Specialist or Marketing Operations Coordinator job description

If you are a marketer with a keen eye for analytics, a marketing operations job might be a great fit. Entry-level marketing operations jobs are available for those just starting their careers, providing an opportunity to gain experience and learn the ropes. This person will be a heavy user of all marketing applications the team uses, but especially the marketing automation platform. This role is involved daily with building and testing emails, creating, maintaining and segmenting lists, building landing pages and forms, sending mass emails, updating the project management tool and tracking expenses.

Marketing Operations Manager job description

A marketing operations manager’s responsibilities may include managing tasks, analyzing data to optimize marketing performance, coordinating cross-functional teams, and implementing marketing technology solutions. Building emails, creating lists, building landing pages, testing and sending mass emails, and managing a budget may be involved. Also, overseeing a project management tool for the full marketing team and the project management function can be a part of this role. A marketing operations manager should possess a strong understanding of cross-functional marketing practices and possess skills in project management, data analysis, and communication. Job seekers interested in marketing operations manager roles should tailor their resumes to highlight their experience, skills, and achievements in marketing operations.                                           

Marketing Operations Director job description

Just like the marketing operations manager’s responsibilities, the director of marketing ops will oversee tasks, analyze data and direct the implementation of marketing technology solutions. At this higher level along the marketing operations career path, however, the director will serve as a leader on the marketing team, producing reports, seeking areas to gain efficiency, and managing the relationships among the marketing functional leads (e.g. product marketing, content marketing, etc.). This person will likely report directly to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and could be called upon to present data and findings at the company leadership level.                                       

The next step up on the marketing operations career path from a senior manager or director of marketing operations might be a role in revenue operations or RevOps, where you have responsibility for sales operations as well as marketing operations. Read more about the revenue operations role

Marketing operations qualifications

What makes a good candidate for a marketing operations role? Who should get on a marketing operations career path? Ideally, this person has a background in marketing and therefore understands the basic concepts and terminology that is common in the industry. Once that standard of knowledge is reached, the next set of qualifications involves having an analytical mind. A lot of marketing operations is the practice of data analysis. For example, you will be asked, “How did this email campaign perform?” and “Was this landing page successful?” Being tuned in to data and being able to report on it are vital skills. Lastly, a strong attention to detail is required. The click of a button in marketing operations can send an email to a thousand people or a million people. And those emails can go to the right list or the wrong list. As such, it is vital that this person understands the weight of their function.

Start on your marketing operations career path

At Insightly, we understand the importance of supporting the marketing operations function. That’s why our Insightly CRM and Insightly Marketing are on the same platform with a shared data set. With Insightly’s modern, scalable CRM, and feature-rich marketing automation platform, it’s a marketing operations manager’s dream. 

Want to learn more? Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, watch a demo on demand at your convenience (of both marketing automation and CRM), or request a personalized demo of both applications today.