Customers today are looking for information to help them make better decisions and solve problems. The customer journey therefore includes interactions with online assets, sales, customer service, marketing and product teams. Customers want personalised, coherent information and responses from organisations. It has become impossible for companies to operate in silos and still serve their customers effectively.
As a result, marketing operations is changing. There has been a general move towards a hybrid model. The best marketing operations teams now have a wide mix of expertise: sales, marketing, technology, business, and analytics. Those with experience of marketing technology come from a range of backgrounds, bringing different ideas, skills and approaches.
In the early days of marketing technology, marketing technologists—marketers who understood and could use technology—were considered rare enough to be described as ‘unicorns’. Now, however, in the new hybrid world, that term is looking outdated. It may be better to think of them as chimeras. In Greek myth, this was a combination of a lion’s head, goat’s body and dragon’s tail. A chimera is a long way from the perfection of a unicorn. Nobody has ever been quite sure precisely where the different animals began and ended, but the whole always seemed to work.
It is therefore a very good metaphor for the new marketing operations: teams and individuals with a range of diverse ideas and skills, stitching them together in the best possible way to help customers.