Building or scaling a marketing operations (MOps) team can be overwhelming. You can build a team in-house, outsource to a marketing operations agency, or utilize a hybrid model that will be customized to meet your company’s unique needs. But which is right for your organization?
We explored these three strategies in a recent article, and readers seemed extra curious about hybrid models. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at what makes up a hybrid MOPs strategy, why the trend is on the rise, and how you can collaborate more effectively with your partner agency.
Definitions: In-House, Outsourced & Hybrid MOPs
As a refresher, these are the three primary models most businesses use for their marketing operations.
We believe that hybrid marketing operations models offer the best of both worlds: specialized expertise and enhanced brand identity, in a more cost-effective and flexible arrangement.
In-house (Internal MOPs)
In this model, companies use the team they have in place, or they hire additional employees, to build an internal marketing operations department that blends seamlessly into the current business.
Agency (Outsourced MOps)
Many modern businesses are partnering with outside agencies that specialize in the skills and expertise necessary to run a robust MOPs program. These agencies manage all aspects of a business’s marketing operations.
A hybrid team consists of both in-house employees and outsourced resources, typically in the format of a small group of internal MOPs specialists who interface directly with a chosen agency.
Why are hybrid MOps models on the rise?
Marketing operations has been called “the future of agile marketing.” That’s because MOPs enable organizations to achieve greater success through efficiency and consistency. In today’s modern landscape, MOPs resources help companies to optimize technology, data, and alignment throughout their marketing functions. As we expand our reliance on marketing technology stacks, getting MOPs right will be ever more important.
Research shows that over 60% of large technology companies have hired some level of staff into a marketing operations role, and there is a trend toward B2B companies in the Fortune 500 staffing defined Marketing Operations departments. That being said, companies who don’t have the resources to dedicate to entire MOPs functions like these can use a hybrid model to achieve process excellence, marketing accountability, and streamlined infrastructure.
As brands work to balance resource allocation and costs with operational needs, many of them find that the hybrid approach is the most practical.
Benefits Of A Hybrid MOPs Model
Businesses who choose to blend internal MOPs resources with specialized agency services experience:
- Extra capacity – Marketing operations is a big job (when done correctly). If you can outsource some of the strategy and execution to an expert who can do things more quickly, not only will you be able to launch programs faster, but you’ll save time that can be applied to other initiatives.
- Specialized expertise – While traditionally a creative endeavor, marketing now requires significant “left brain” skills like planning, forecasting, and measuring performance, plus the ability to master new technology and software. The staff of agency teams are specialized in these areas and have worked with many clients, so they can apply best practices uniformly. They can offer an expert perspective on even the most complex MOPs matters.
- New ideas – It’s easy to get into a feedback loop where marketers are “talking to themselves” rather than hearing and adjusting to new viewpoints. An agency team has seen most scenarios and will have their own background to inform their advice.
- Flexibility – How you work with your hybrid MOPs team is up to you. You can work on a project-by-project basis, or have them implement a new marketing operations program from start to finish. Whether you just want help with a specific campaign or you’re starting from scratch and need a true partner, you can set up the arrangement that works for your particular needs.
- Ability to scale – A hybrid team offers options for scaling. You can scale up as needed, from project to project, and take on difficult tasks your business wouldn’t be able to handle on its own. With a hybrid model, more resources will be available to your team without greater investments (i.e. hiring a full-time Adobe Marketo Engage specialist in-house).
Tips For An Optimal Hybrid Collaboration
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to a hybrid MOPs model. But all models aren’t created equal; your department needs to do their part in order to make the arrangement a successful one.
Here’s how you can set your business up for success:
- Choose the right partner. Take the time to get to know each agency you’re considering and make sure their skill sets, people, and culture are a match for your company.
- Set expectations early. Scope is an important thing to manage from the beginning. Even though things may scale over time, you should have a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish and how that will be measured before getting started.
- Be open to new ideas and expert recommendations. Remember that you hired this team for a reason. Listen to what they have to say and understand what’s realistic for your organization.
- Focus on outcomes. It can be difficult to know if things are going well if you’re not measuring any goals in particular. When evaluating agency performance, you want to focus as much as possible on measurable results versus intangible factors.
- Close feedback loops. Ensure there is a clearly established process for getting and responding to feedback with your agency – and vice versa.
Working with the right agency in a hybrid model makes all the difference. Digital Pi helps companies build, manage, and optimize their marketing operations on a global scale. If that sounds like something your organization could benefit from, please reach out to us so we can talk shop!