Gary Katz and marketing operations

Saturday I received an email from Gary Katz on the issue of marketing apathy.  The email was a marketing tool to boost a class he is teaching at the UC extension in Sunnyvale, but he makes valid points about the need for bringing real professionalism to marketing in the Silicon Valley.

I'm posting the email in entirety here because there may be some marketing people out there who actually realize that marketing in the SiliValley is done primarily by marketing amateurs, not professionals; by engineers looking for a path the to C-level office using marketing as a stepping stone.
And if any of you do realize that and really want to make a difference, then taking a class like Gary's might be your first step toward making that difference.

Dear Lou 

Yesterday, I posed the following question in LinkedIn Answers and, some 24 hours later, have yet to receive a single answer: How important is Marketing Operations as a distinct discipline inside your organization?

Is it that no one cares?

Did my "offer warning" at the beginning of the post scare off people who are so overwhelmed with offers that they unconsciously and automatically bypass legitimate offers that would greatly benefit them?

Or is everyone already off on the Labor Day holiday and I'm due for a flood of responses come Tuesday.

We'll see.

It's hard not to view this lack of responsiveness as apathy. MOapathy, we mght callit. My recent experience is certainly not an isolated event. I have seen a surprisingly small amount of action in the market and much less hunger for education about Marketing Operations as one would expect from a Marketing profession that is hanging in the balance, in danger of losing the standing it has, as opposed to building on the one that it wants. 

Are we so stuck in survival mode and "learned helplessness" that our investment mentality is only tied to sure things, stock market gambles and the Lotto?

Do we feel we can learn it all on our own? After all, everything that is important is on the Internet, right? Have we restricted our education to what we can find on the Web, what we learn inside our companies, what we trade with one another in specialized peer groups that feel safe but keep us confined inside a very limited box of possibility?

Whatever is actually is going on here, I thought it would be beneficial to repost my LinkedIn Answer here, so here you go:

How important is Marketing Operations as a distinct discipline inside your organization?

Warning: This question concludes with an offer. 

I have been evangelizing the evolving discipline of Marketing Operations (MO) for the past three years. As I describe MO, I tend to get responses at the extremes of the pendulum, such as: 

"That's exactly what my company (or previous company) needs (or needed)!" 


"Huh? Isn't Marketing Operations just Marketing done right?"


"I don't know anything about that. I'm just a PR guy (or fill in the blank)" 

For the sake of clarity, let's say the overall purpose of Marketing Operations is to instill operational discipline (process, technology, metrics) and better align with internal stakeholders (executive sponsorship, grassroots buy-in, cross-functional collaboration, helpingeveryone navigate change). 

Or, to more simply reflect our every day experience of getting from here to there: 

* The CMO/VPM and C-team are the trip planner, responsible to determine the ultimate destination(s) 
* Marketing professionals are the drivers (responsible for programs, campaigns, deliverables) 
* Marketing Operations provides the transportation system 

I'd contend the better the transportation system, the more likely Marketing is viewed within the enterprise as: 

* Strategic 
* Integrated 
* Scalable 
* Measurable
* Accountable 
* Sustainable 


So, to what degree is Marketing Operations important enough within your organization to be funded as a distinct discipline? It is well enough understood for your organization to embrace it? If not, is there at least sufficient motivation to become better educated about MO? 

Here's the offer I warned you about. I am teaching the first course on Marketing Operations at UCSC Extension in Sunnyvale from 9/17-11/5. Interested in getting better educated? Know anyone else who should be? If so, please visit the UCSC Extension website