Building a Business Case for Legal Marketing Operations

Gordon Braun-WoodburyMarketing Operations

The business case for Marketing Operations – a formal approach to managing planning, resource allocation, business processes and technology across a Marketing function – was first made in the Technology and Consumer Markets sectors about 15 years ago.

Driven by proliferation of customer data, the emergence of new digital channels and the increasing complexity of technology, CMOs have recognized the value of fostering continuous improvement in the way marketing work is done.  Many have created dedicated centres of excellence in operational management within their teams to do so.

Today Marketing Operations is an integral part of most major corporate marketing departments, and is the fastest growing discipline within the Marketing function across all industries.  More than 20 Am Law 200 firms have already established dedicated Marketing Operations positions within their marketing teams.

Following are some statistics from recent research studies showcasing the business case for a marketing operations function.

Marketing Technology Management

  • 85% of B2B marketers felt they were not using their marketing automation software to their full potential. (SiriusDecisions 2015)
  • Marketing technology represents 33% of the marketing budget. (Gartner CMO Spend Survey)
  • Marketing technology spend is now higher than advertising spend for companies. (Gartner CMO Spend Survey)
  • 28% of marketing technology spend goes to infrastructure (e.g., servers, storage, network) to run marketing software. (Gartner CMO Spend Survey)
  • 40% of companies have either “moderately” or “fully” integrated their marketing and sales automation systems. (Curata)
  • Organizations that invest in the skills needed to exploit their martech are eight times more likely to get good or very good ROI as a result. (Demand Metric)

Data Management

  • Many marketing organizations say managing data is their biggest challenge: data storage (36%), data quality (23%), and making data actionable (15%). (Source: The Wise Marketer)
  • 42% of B2B marketing professionals state that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation. (BrightTALK)
  • 17% of salespeople cite manual data entry as the biggest challenge using their existing CRM. (HubSpot)
  • 40% of salespeople still use informal means such as Microsoft Excel or Outlook to store lead and customer data. (HubSpot)

Marketing Process Management

  • Organizations with Service Level Agreements in place are over 5X as likely to be effective. (HubSpot)
  • Companies good at lead nurturing create 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (The Annuitas Group and Forrester Research)
  • 25% of marketers who adopt mature lead management processes report that sales teams contact prospects within one day. Only 10% of marketers report the same follow-up time without mature lead management processes. (Forrester Research)

Reporting and Analytics

  • The less companies know about their KPIs, the less likely they are to meet their revenue goals. 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities. (HubSpot)
  • 24% of marketers don’t know whether their efforts resulted in closed-won deals. (BrightTALK)
  • Of companies using marketing automation and ROI metrics, 69% report an increase in total marketing revenue contribution. (
  • Only 42% of marketers say they are able to measure their social activities. (Social Media Examiner)
  • 6 in 10 small business owners are not able to track ROI from their social media activities. (eMarketer)

Vendor Management

  • The marketing tech industry has seen an average annual growth of 170%, increasing from 100 companies in 2011, to nearly 5000 in 2017. (Scott Brinker)
  • A 2015 report found that 51% of organizations use 21 or more digital marketing solutions—a 42% increase from three years ago. (Econsultancy)
  • 67% of marketers think that they don’t have all the tools they need yet (Ascend2)
  • Only 9% of companies have a complete, fully utilized martech stack, according to a 2015 report. (Ascend2)
  • On average, 49% of companies are currently using marketing automation, and more than half of B2B companies (55%) are adopting the technology. (EmailMonday)

ROI on Marketing Operations

In a law firm, a dedicated Marketing Operations capability is one of the best ways to increase return on the overall investment in marketing/BD people and projects.  ROI can be measured in several ways, depending on the position’s mandate and responsibilities.  Here are a few examples:

  • By ensuring optimal usage of existing marketing technology, a Marketing Operations leader can help to forgo new investment
  • By creating routines for deeper analysis of client and prospect data, an MO leader can help identify new business opportunities, thereby contributing to revenue.
  • By optimizing use of marketing automation, an MO leader can reduce cost of marketing activity and better align it to revenue
  • By implementing a lead-nurturing process, an MO lead can create more sales-ready leads for partners and BD.
  • By increasing the quality of CRM data, an MO leader can reduce wasted effort and increase the quality of client interactions
  • By implementing a disciplined project management process across Marketing, an MO leader can increase the team’s productivity and quality of delivery