Everything You Wanted To Know About Marketing Operations But Were Afraid To Ask

I was a fan of “Mad Men,” and was glad to see Jon Hamm get his Emmy. It was a great show. And, like most marketers and people in advertising, I was struck once again by how different that world was from our world today. The sexy stuff – creative, viral videos, great visual design – is important, but it’s the unsexy stuff – analytics and operations – that is really making the difference these days.

I wrote about this topic recently with my colleague Jason Heller (you can check out the article “How digital marketing operations can transform business“) but I wanted to share this infographic specifically. It provides a great overview of what it takes to make digital operations work effectively these days.


No doubt about it – this is complicated. With 3.5k petabytes of videos being watched every month, and 4 million search queries per minute on Google, it’s overwhelming. While each of the five components of digital marketing operations are critical, I want to highlight the most important element of this graphic: That all these five elements need to work together for the pay-off to come. Process and governance are just as important as analytics because no matter how great the insights are, if you don’t have the processes to make fast decisions to take advantage of them, it doesn’t matter.

Marketing operations requires thinking in terms of systems and architecture at a more profound and integrated level than marketers have traditionally. In many ways, marketing is just starting to go through the sorts of deep changes that operations and manufacturing went through in the US during the lean transformation of the ’80s. Technical and managerial expertise will be absolutely core skills and capabilities if companies want to create dynamic brands that deeply connect to their customers.

Learn more this and other topics on our McKinsey on Marketing & Sales site. Follow us on Twitter @McK_MktgSales and @McKinseyDigital. And please follow me @davidedelman.

Written by carlo