Marketing Operations 101: Your Ultimate Guide to Building a Marketing Backend for E-Commerce Success

Sell Online
November 17, 2022

When thinking about marketing, innovative advertising and social media campaigns tend to come to mind. However, beyond exciting campaign results, the ‘boring’ backend work of marketing operations is often what makes these promotional initiatives come to life. Operational functions like planning, analysis and reporting play the crucial role of the ‘backbone’ of marketing efforts which ensure that different moving parts in these campaigns run smoothly. 

For e-commerce businesses that are starting out with their marketing efforts, it can be a daunting task that requires a lot of trial and error. However, it is crucial for brands to get these operational processes up-and-running as they can often be the missing link to for marketing success. By first ensuring that day-to-day operations are optimised and well governed, businesses can start to foster everyday growth and secure a positive return for their campaigns. 

In this guide, we explore the different facets of the marketing operations function and offer some best practices for businesses looking to level up their marketing game. 

What is Marketing Operations?

Marketing operations refers to the activities that encompass the end-to-end management of marketing campaigns that ensure that they can be delivered at scale. It verifies that marketing processes are aligned with business objectives, facilitates the development of marketing strategies and tactics, while supporting businesses with relevant technologies and tools.  

Marketing operations include a wide range of components including: 

  • Project and Process Management - Planning, overseeing and delivering marketing output and mechanisms from start to end. 
  • Tech Stack Management - Sourcing, managing, and maintaining MarTech tools to meet current and future marketing needs while ensuring stability. 
  • Analytics and Reporting - Guiding marketing decision-making by collecting time-sensitive data to access performance and predict future results. 

Why is Marketing Operations Management Important for E-Commerce Businesses?

Ensuring that marketing operations are functional and effective is necessary for e-commerce brands to market optimally. This is because operations affects every aspect of marketing from advertising to email and conversational communication. 

Marketing operations management, thus, sets guidelines for how marketing will be conducted in an e-commerce business set-up. This will result in a more optimised marketing and business strategy that is aligned and provides measurable value. Once these marketing operations are properly managed, brands can expect better performance and increased success in online sales. 

How can E-Commerce Businesses Build a Marketing Operations Strategy?

When an e-commerce business kickstarts marketing efforts and starts working towards improving their processes, they need to outline a marketing operations strategy. This strategy should identify both their goals and their tactics for attaining those goals.

Here are a few crucial steps for e-commerce brands to create a marketing strategy:

1. Design measurable goals with stakeholders

E-Commerce businesses should, first of all, decide on the needs and priorities that they want their marketing operations strategy to address. This helps to align the team so that any course of action fulfils key business and marketing objectives. Doing this is particularly important as marketing operations should ultimately serve as a foundation to support other marketing activities. 

2. Create an actionable plan

Next, e-commerce businesses need to craft a concrete action plan so that marketing teams have a roadmap to actually carry out their activities. This is called an Operational Marketing Plan -  a strategic document that outline’s a business’s target markets, marketing objectives, programs and activities to run marketing operations. It will also include timescales and the resources that will be used, based on pre-set budgets.

3. Execute marketing operations activities

When planning is done, businesses need to actually carry out the marketing operations groundwork. This execution can vary based on the size of the business and the structure of the marketing team. At this stage, team members need to be assigned specific roles in the marketing operations plan so that they can carry out their scheduled tasks. Also, they can identify the marketing technology and tools needed to effectively operate the marketing function. These tools can be used to automate and streamline marketing processes, collect and analyse data, and while helping brands to reach their audiences. 

4. Measure performance and analyse metrics

Effective marketing operations strategies need to be adaptable and responsive. Therefore, consistently measuring performance in real-time with success metrics outlined in the strategy is crucial for successful marketing campaigns - especially in the long-run. Important metrics that many e-commerce businesses measure include Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), Conversion Rate (CVR), Return on Marketing Investment (ROI) and Cost Per Lead (CPL). By comparing the performance across these metrics over time, brands are able to tweak their tactics and technologies to improve their performance. 

How can SHOPLINE help your e-commerce business build a powerful marketing backend for your operations?

SHOPLINE is an omnichannel retail solution that helps brands to start out and grow online across e-commerce, social commerce and point-of sales. This means that marketing activities across the entire online to offline spectrum can be run out of SHOPLINE’s powerful dashboard. SHOPLINE storefronts are also powered by powerful martech features and applications that can help brands manage their daily marketing operations. 

Capabilities like marketplace integration, social media integration, marketing automation and smart advertising tools mean that brands can save hundreds of hours every month on operational tasks. By cutting down on manual workload and gaining more intelligent insights on marketing performance, brands can focus on creating effective campaigns and growing their business. 

Looking to start out or scale your marketing operations? We highly recommend using SHOPLINE for your marketing operations needs. It’s easy to use, perfect for beginners, and incredibly affordable.

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