Sales & Marketing Tech

How You Can Boost Your Martech Effectiveness with a Marketing Operations Manager

By | 7 min read | Published

More martech, more problems? Investing in the right marketing software is half the battle.

In Capterra’s recent marketing technology (martech) survey, 66% of small-business marketers think that their company is already investing enough in marketing tech.

Despite this, 23% rated their martech stack performance as fair to poor. This means that simply having the technology isn’t enough; there’s room to increase its effectiveness and impact.

Marketers—especially those at small or midsize businesses (SMBs)—who can’t demonstrate their martech’s value run the risk of marketing budget cuts or poor campaign outcomes.

So, how can you identify areas for improvement, optimize your strategy and best practices, and get the most out of your marketing tech? By hiring a marketing operations manager.

What is marketing operations, and what does it have to do with martech?

What do you need to know about marketing operation roles, and what are the key benefits of hiring a marketing operations manager? Are SMBs with marketing ops support really getting more from their martech?

Let’s start with a broad look at marketing operations before diving into the rest of these questions (and more).

What is marketing operations?

Marketing operations (MarOps) is a discipline dedicated to continuous optimization of the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing as a function. Gartner identifies the main responsibilities of marketing operations leaders as budget management, benchmarking, customer research, performance measurement, driving innovation, and—most importantly—marketing technology management (full research available to Gartner clients).

Marketing operations is an essential martech partner

With companies spending plentifully on martech, having the right talent and resources to manage it is a necessity.

In fact, 51% of SMB respondents in our survey say martech is among the top three marketing resource costs for their company. Another 63% estimate that their companies spend over $250/month on marketing technology alone.

A marketing operations manager is essential to managing and effectively using this marketing technology and ensuring you’re getting the most out of your martech investments.

Why is marketing operations important?

There is a clear need for operations managers among SMBs, as many indicate a lack of talent or resources to utilize their marketing technology to its full potential.

In other words: the tools or technology might be there, but there’s no one with the right skills or knowledge to put them to use.

SMBs lack the talent to effectively utilize martech capabilities

Additionally, marketing teams have evolved over the years. Most businesses have an ever-growing dependence on data and technology.

More than half (53%) of our survey respondents have adopted or used marketing software for longer than two years, and another 37% have adopted marketing software within the past two years.

The vast majority of SMBs (67% of respondents) agree that martech helps them excel at their job. Yet our research found that over a third lack protocols and visibility around important martech tasks such as accessibility, data protection, and privacy and performance reporting.

The role of a marketing operations manager exists to fill those gaps. Take a look at some marketing challenges SMBs are currently facing, paired with ways hiring a marketing operations manager can address or help the situation:

% of SMB martech users

How a marketing operations manager could rectify the situation

44% disagree that there is visibility into overlap between martech applications at their company

Poor visibility into what martech apps are available at an organization can lead to tech going unused or feature redundancies and ultimately, wasted dollars. A marketing operations manager has oversight into the martech budget and investments. They can add visibility into martech overlap through analytics and reporting.

35% disagree that their company has protocols for employees to use or gain access to martech applications

A lack of user access protocols can lead to the misuse of martech app investments (e.g., inaccurately qualifying leads, collecting insufficient data). A marketing operations manager helps provide martech support and management. They can facilitate martech usage across cross-functional teams.

34% disagree that their company is tracking and reporting metrics that prove the value of martech applications

No tracking makes it difficult to prove the value of the technology and can lead to future loss of budget. A marketing operations manager proves value and demonstrates ROI by providing insights into marketing initiative outcomes and performance.

33% disagree that their company has data privacy and transparency protocols for martech tools

A lack of data privacy and transparency protocols can lead to customer data and security vulnerabilities. A marketing operations manager can help by overseeing customer data sourcing and management.

33% disagree their company has a strategy for which martech apps should be used for which tasks

Lack of usage strategy can hinder the effectiveness of martech apps. A marketing operations manager can institute operational processes and strategies for marketing technology.

How SMBs with marketing operations managers stack up against those without

According to our survey, SMBs that don’t have a marketing operations professional on staff experience greater challenges with their martech. And these challenges impact end users as well as business owners.

Challenges experienced with martech among SMBs with marketing operations vs without

And it comes as no surprise that businesses with marketing operations professionals on staff can devote more time to martech activities than those without.

Time spent on martech activities among SMBs with marketing operations vs. without

Marketing operations-supported businesses perform better in meeting marketing goals

One final compelling reason to consider hiring a marketing operations manager is the enhanced effectiveness you’ll gain from martech when it comes to meeting marketing goals.

Our survey found that SMBs with marketing operations professionals have higher martech performance ratings for meeting marketing goals compared to those without such roles.

SMB martech performance ratings among those with marketing operations vs. without

This is especially true when it comes to certain types of martech applications. Small to midsize organizations with marketing operations professionals give higher effectiveness ratings for their marketing analytics and content management apps, in particular.

SMB organizations with marketing operations professionals deliver higher martech app effectiveness

What can you do to make the case for a marketing operations hire?

We know all too well that budget can be tough for SMBs. You’ll need to approach the subject skillfully, whether you are talking to a business owner, marketing team lead, or transitioning into a marketing operations role yourself.

Let’s explore steps you can take to get hiring decision-makers on board and build a compelling case for a marketing operations role at your organization:

  1. Start by figuring out who you need to convince. This might be a specific individual or several, but preparing your pitch with this person or group in mind will help frame the conversation. Think about the specific goals they’ll have for the company as well. For example, a marketing team leader might prioritize responding to marketing opportunities or threats from competitors, while a company owner might be more concerned with scaling or budget.
  2. Assess the hurdles for hiring a marketing operations role that may be in place at your organization. Is it a lack of budget, or more a lack of awareness from decision-makers about the benefits marketing operations can bring? Adjust your pitch based on your main challenges.
  3. Clearly communicate the core functions and desire outcomes for the role. Well-defined areas of responsibility and goals will aid buy-in, and it helps to have a plan in place to measure the effectiveness of your marketing operations strategy. Choose whatever metrics make the most sense based on your business’ overarching marketing goals.

Evaluating marketing operations software?

Explore Capterra’s marketing technology research resources, where you can read up on features and find the best solution to improve your company’s marketing campaign efficiency and effectiveness.


Capterra’s Martech Research Survey was conducted in October 2021 among 663 respondents to learn more about small and midsize business martech usage and effectiveness. Respondents were screened for full-time SMB employees (500 or fewer employees at their business). They must have used marketing or CRM software within the past two years; a minimum of 150 respondents are martech influencers or buyers.

Looking for Marketing Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Marketing Automation software solutions.

About the Author

Meghan Bazaman

Meghan Bazaman

Meghan Bazaman is a senior analyst at Capterra, covering all the latest trends, issues, and developments in marketing technology. With more than a decade of experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research, her work has been featured in publications such as Ad Age, MediaPost, and Martech Zone. In her spare time she enjoys looking for the best hiking trails around Austin and spoiling her cat Javier.

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