Skip to main content

With legal marketing heading into a data-driven era it is important to understand the ins and outs of the business sector, namely in knowing the difference between marketing technology (MarTech) and marketing operations (MarkOps). While coexisting and collectively serving to advance the firm’s overall marketing output, there are a few key distinctions between the two functions. So, what exactly are MarTech and MarkOps, who works in these areas, and why are they important?

What is MarTech?

MarTech encompasses the range of integrated technologies, software, and tools that enable marketing capabilities and allow the team to meet their goals and objectives. The collection of these marketing technologies utilized by a team is referred to as a marketing technology stack.

One of the essential roles within MarTech is the marketing technologist. This position balances a constant collaboration between the right and left brain by managing both information technology knowledge (IT) and creative marketing skills. The main focus of this role is to ensure marketing strategies are adhering to the overall business goals by maintaining a strong relationship with IT and selecting tech vendors that will best advance the firm’s business objectives. These individuals may also assist in troubleshooting client tech, assisting with client creative, recommending tools and assisting in client data analysis, and implementing content management and workflows.

Why should your firm invest in its MarTech function? The area of MarTech, and the individuals that work within it, serve a vital role in maintaining and advancing the tech stack strategy, budget, and overall data governance. With new technologies constantly coming to market, it is essential to have subject matter experts who can select the tools and applications that will best advance your firm’s operations. Without this expertise, investing in tools that are not a good fit could not only waste valuable time but also tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having MarTech team members who work closely with firm leadership, participating in strategic management decisions and conversations surrounding marketing management, leads to the creation of executable tech-enabled strategies.

What is MarkOps?

The function of marketing operations refers to the planning, execution, and management of marketing campaigns and initiatives to achieve specific business goals. This sector is designed to lead MarTech management within a firm, governing and optimizing the operational marketing processes to improve performance and make strategies more efficient.

MarkOps professionals as a whole serve to improve marketing effectiveness. These individuals have a strong ability to interpret data and further use those insights to improve experience and engagement, both client-facing and internally. The key functions of MarkOps professionals are to manage processes such as administrating MarTech platforms, building and executing campaigns, facilitating accurate and actionable marketing data and reporting, and building internal marketing products and processes.

What’s the business case for building or expanding your firm’s MarkOps function? The answer is fairly simple. The recent influx of marketing technologies and the rate of adoption by companies has produced an inherent need for the facilitation and management of these tools in order for them to be properly integrated. Not only this, but MarkOps professionals effectively democratize marketing data, allowing marketers with fewer tech skills to make use of the tools without compromising speed or workflow, which improves efficiency and therefore profitability. According to McKinsey, marketing operations provides a 15% to 25% improvement in marketing effectiveness.

Driving Home the Difference

While both functions work directly with marketing technology and are necessary for facilitation, the difference lies in responsibilities. Marketing Operations has a broader internal reach, encompassing a more organizational view of marketing while MarTech takes a closer look at, and specializes in, the relationship between IT and Marketing. MarTech professionals may also have the opportunity to play a larger role in external facing communications, acting as the bridge between client experience and marketing operations.

Gordon Braun-Woodbury
Get in Touch

To learn more about how Calibrate can help optimize your firm’s MarkOps and MarTech functions, please reach out to Gordon Braun-Woodbury.