Intelligent CXO Issue 23 | Page 51



Gartner reveals a third of marketing budgets are spent on operational excellence

Gartner has revealed that 31 % of marketing budgets are spent on the pursuit of operational excellence , despite having an inconsistent impact on overall organisational performance .

Gartner surveyed over 400 marketing operations ( MarOps ) leaders between August and October 2022 to find that 94 % of marketing organisations are formally pursuing operational excellence . This indicates an acceleration of investment since 2020 , when only 49 % of marketing organisations surveyed had a dedicated MarOps leader .
However , the survey found that 72 % of operational excellence pursuits don ’ t demonstrate characteristics that align with success , putting enterprise growth and marketing transformation at risk .
“ CMOs are under pressure to make every dollar count ,” said Michael McCune , Senior Director , Advisory in the Gartner
Marketing practice . “ However , their teams are spending a large proportion of their budgets pursuing change and improvements in ways that aren ’ t effective .
“‘ Business-as-usual ’ marketing activities have to change , but CMOs shouldn ' t divert funds away from activities that could have a more significant impact on marketing ’ s overall remit to drive growth .”
Only 28 % of organisations demonstrate MarOps success
Strong pursuits of operational excellence complement the day-to-day management of marketing ’ s work and are associated with characteristics such as automated workflows , effective use of agile methods and persistent effort over multiple years .
Organisations with strong pursuits were 43 % more likely to report exceeding their operational performance goals , compared to organisations without strong pursuits . But this comes at a greater cost : They spend 45 % more than average and dedicate 18 % of their staff to achieve MarOps excellence , compared to the average 5 % of staff dedicated to all other pursuits .
“ Marketing organisations can ’ t blindly or ineffectively invest in improvement at the expense of business as usual , given the tight economic and labour markets ,” added McCune . “ They need to lay a better foundation for that investment and can look to strong pursuits for guidance .”
Realising the impact of MarOps investments
To maximise the impact of future MarOps investments , marketing leaders should :
• Communicate to stakeholders that pursuits of operational excellence will not have a persistently high cost . A new pursuit likely has many opportunities to drive improvements , but it should not be a cost dragged out by marketing over the long term . As improvement occurs , resource requirements for continuous improvement should diminish .
• Seek resolution of known critical gaps . CMOs often know about systemic problems but lack the resources to address them at the start of operational excellence efforts . Make sure to have a dedicated team working to resolve critical gaps so that investments have early payoffs .
• Ensure that MarOps efforts don ’ t
duplicate enterprise initiatives . Alignment with operational excellence pursuits in sales and service functions is always a good idea , but CMOs should avoid neglecting the enterprise-wide efforts of other functions that may lighten marketing ’ s load over time . x www . intelligentcxo . com