How to Build an Ironclad Marketing Operations Team in 2023

MERGE's Senior Marketo Consultant offers tips on how to build productive and resilient marketing operations team.

BY: Lindsay DiLemmo

PUBLISHED: 2/27/2023

Marketing operations teams are resilient by nature.

As a marketing operations professional, you’re able to navigate excessive workloads and can put out fires left and right.

When you combine this with fluctuations in the economy that impact hiring and budget, it can be challenging to know where to focus your time. So how can marketing operations teams rise above during challenging times to remain effective?

We sat down with Cyndi Marty, Senior Marketo Consultant at MERGE. Cyndi brings 10 years of sales and marketing operations leadership experience at both large enterprises and small agencies. She has built and managed successful teams of 2 to 15 people with experience in both budget and team reduction.

Four ways to stay productive amidst team changes

If your company has been through a restructure, it can be challenging to know where to focus your efforts. Teams are changing and sometimes, marketing operations teams can be left without a CMO. Here are four ways to ensure your team remains productive:

#1 – Create Intake Processes

While your marketing operations team is in flux and evolving, make sure you have a solid foundation to grow from. Creating intake processes will ensure things are streamlined and prioritized.

When thinking about your team’s intake process, consider laying out the impact on the business. Not only does this ensure your team is prioritizing the right things, but it also provides transparency to senior leadership.

#2 – Cross-training

Does everyone on your team understand your Marketo instance? If you lose teammates, you’ll want to ensure you are cross-training the right people. Not to mention, it’s a great time to ensure there is adequate documentation on processes and programs.

#3 – Tidy up your instance

This is a great time to audit your Marketo instance. This is an important job that often gets overlooked during busy periods. Here are some prompts to get you started:

- How many people are on the Duplicate Records list? To audit this, refer to your System smart lists.
- How many people do not have email addresses? To audit this, create a smart list with the following filter: Email Address is empty
- Do any users have more than one role? To audit this, simply check the Users to see if any of them have more than one role assigned.
- Are there tokens being used for the program? To audit this, check the My Tokens tab to see if scoring tokens are created. Open some smart campaigns in the Scoring Program to see if the score is being changed using tokens or not.
- Is the folder structure well organized? To audit this, review the folder structure. Check for disorganization, clutter, confusion, and inconsistency.

#4 – Analyze your leads

While you have downtime, take some time to dig into what’s driving leads – what is making the biggest impact, and is there anything else you can do to maximize this?

Take a look at your past clients and won opportunities. What did these two have in common? The easiest place to begin is by understanding who your customer is and going from there.


Level up your marketing operations team

Whether you’re waiting on strategic direction or simply want to elevate your marketing operations team, here are some ways to ensure your team is constantly learning and evolving.

Ongoing education and training resources for marketing operations professionals

Continuous learning and marketing operations go hand-in-hand. To elevate your team’s expertise, leverage these resources:

- Marketing operations communities:, Marketo User Groups, and MOPs Pros
- LinkedIn Influencers: Darrell Alfonso, Justin Sharaf, and Mike Rizzo
- Blog: Scott Brinker’s Chiefmartec blog, Amy Goldfine’s Marketing Ops Advice, and
- Conferences: The MarTech conference is a great option, as it’s both free and virtual. This year’s conference is March 28-29. For Marketo users, Adobe Summit is a great opportunity to learn from industry leaders on strategy and insight into the 2023 roadmap for Marketo.

Have you utilized your company’s training budget? Whether it’s a new certification, an online course, or even a conference, take advantage of the opportunity to learn a new skill!

Productivity hacks for marketing ops teams

To ensure your marketing operations team is both efficient and effective, you’ll want to leverage a project management framework to ensure your team is staying focused and projects are accounted for. Many teams work in agile marketing (in fact, 51 percent of marketers work in this format according to AgileSherpas), whereas some teams prefer Waterfall Methodology.

Leveraging a project management framework ensures that despite shifts, whether that’s market or organizational shifts, your team can keep projects moving efficiently and provide greater transparency to leadership.

Prove your team’s impact through reporting

Be prepared to show your team’s impact to senior leadership! Showcase your team’s impact on current initiatives through high-level reporting (whether it’s quarterly or semi-annual).

Not only will this help senior leadership understand your impact as a marketing ops team, but it will also foster trust and open the door for more conversations on what other initiatives you could be supporting.

Take on a more strategic role

Many marketing operations professionals want to evolve from a tactical position to a more strategic role within their organization. So, how can you get there?

Show your value to your stakeholders – in a marketing ops role, you have insight into your organization's performance through your MarTech stack. Use these tools to formulate an opinion or hypothesis to propose a new initiative or program for marketing. Not only will this help you gain respect from stakeholders, but you’re also flexing your subject matter expertise!

“Challenge the status quo," says Darrell Alfonso, a Martech leader in stints with, Amazon, and others. "The best marketers don’t think like marketers – they think like general managers – like they are the owner and in control of the money. Think about the right business decisions to win. This will help you evolve from tactical to strategic.”

Gain a competitive edge with MERGE

Are you looking to add capacity to your marketing operations team? Partnering with MERGE means expanding marketing capacity and implementing Marketo best practices. As the #1 customer-rated Marketo agency on G2, we use our deep expertise and a genuine love for what we do to accelerate the value of marketing operations for our clients. Get in touch.