Marketing OperationsWell, I didn’t have any takers go out on the limb by sharing their thoughts on the Henry Stewart Conference in advance of my post, so here we go. One of the speakers at the conference brought a boxful of T-shirts that I think just about says it all. They read: (Front) I Went to MOM training (Back) And All I Got was this DAM T-Shirt. Yes, MOM or MO or EMM or MRM or MEE (Marketing Efficiency & Effectiveness, the latest Henry Stewart attempt at a name for the track) is the poor ugly stepsister of Digital Asset Management. And it’s a DAM shame. We all know that the long-term adoption of DAM will be stunted without a strong MO function in organizations. DAM solves a piece of the problem. MO embraces all the compelling challenges marketing faces in enterprise today:

  • Sales process acceleration/funnel management
  • Marketing scalability
  • Customer profiitability/customer experience management
  • Strategy and change facilitation
  • Return on marketing

We can talk about blogs, Web 2.0, 1 to 1 marketing, mobile marketing, wikis, podcasts and all those other sexy marketing topics until we’reblue-in-the-face, but if we don’t deal with the fundamental infrastructure of our marketing departments and build an effective ecosystem of support for our initiatives, marketing’s impact and stature in organization’s will continue to be disappointing in most companies.

And industry events like Henry Stewart are (or should be) an important rallying point to bring the community together. The Henry Stewart series of events could be the impetus to mobilize the marketing ops community but has, frankly, largely failed to accomplish this objective since it was launched several years ago. Yes, the program tracks have improvedyear-overyear, as has the quality of the speakers. But the MO attendees were once again dwarfed by the DAM folks by 6–7x or more. The number of MO VP and Director titles at the event could be counted on one person’s appendages (and most high-level MO folks came because they were selected as speakers or panelists).

The show is still much more a showcase for a sea of marketing technology solutions than a beacon of what MO can be in the enterprise. The Henry Stewart folks are great people and we’re working with other leaders in the community to help them improve the MO side of the conference. Separating MO from DAM is an especially DAM good idea. Moving the LA event to Silicon Valley is another one. Bottom line, we need to get MO folks at tech companies more involved if this industry event is going to effectively serve its purpose. Otherwise, we might see another event company with more clout than Henry Stewart jump in to the fray.

by Gary M. Katz, Founder and Chairman at Marketing Operations Partners