Marketing ops careers are good today – and likely to get much better; here’s the latest data on these roles

Marketing Operations Roles Promoted Frequently

If you’re working in marketing operations, life is probably pretty good. 74% of marketing ops pros say they’re somewhat satisfied or extremely satisfied in their roles. Over half have been promoted or taken new jobs in the past year. And on average, they make about 25% higher salaries than other kinds of marketers in their organizations.

Not bad for a role that used to be considered the “island of misfit toys” a decade ago.

Our latest 2023 Martech Salary and Career Survey, jointly produced with the team at MarTech.org, reveals a largely positive view of marketing operations roles — who we lovingly label as marketing “maestros” for the work they do in orchestrating the people, processes, technology of the marketing department.

These marketing maestros earn an average salary of $152,339 — compared to $124,174 for general marketers. (Most participants in our survey were based in the US, so in other geos your monetary mileage may vary.)

The one dark cloud on this profession’s otherwise sunshiney career news is that, once again, we found significant disparity between salaries for men and women. On average, men in martech are paid 24% more than women.

Now, that gap is smaller this year than the 30% gap we saw last year. And the gender gap for Director+ roles has shrunk to 5%. So at least it’s turning in the right direction. We were also encouraged to see that men and women were now promoted at an equal rate this year, compared with a 14% gap for women last year. But we’ve still got further to go.

Martech Undergraduate Degrees and Salaries

Another finding that I found interesting was how relatively few martech professionals had a degree in engineering or computer science — less than 10% overall. The vast majority of respondents had degrees in business, marketing, economics, arts, or liberal arts. You don’t have to be an engineer or a software developer to be a technology leader in today’s world.

So what do these non-engineer marketing maestros do?

Martech Responsibilities for Marketing Ops Maestros

Responsibilities for Marketing Operations and Martech Pros vs. General Marketers

The most common responsibility in marketing ops roles: researching and recommending marketing technology products (81%). They may not spend a lot of time on that mission, but it’s a key part of their job.

I found it interesting that 64% of marketers also said this was part of their job too. Which as technology continues to be more and more democratized, isn’t necessarily surprising. But it’s another data point showing that despite the forces of vendor consolidation and stack rationalization, marketing teams are still onboarding new technology.

It’s a wild-but-true stat: on average, companies add 6.2 SaaS products every 30 days.

The next top 4 responsibilities for marketing ops complement this tech proliferation:

  1. Train and support marketing staff on using marketing technology products (80%).
  2. Design and manage internal workflows and processes (78%).
  3. Integrate marketing technology products with each other (77%).
  4. Operate marketing technology products as an administrator (73%).

Monitoring data quality (64%), architecting the overall martech stack (63%), integrating with non-martech systems (63%), consolidating duplicative martech (63%), and monitoring martech performance and SLAs (61%) round out the top 10.

What martech tools are marketing ops maestros working with?

Martech Tools Used by Marketing Ops Maestros

Well, ha, spreadsheets continue to be the most common “martech” tool that both marketing ops maestros and general marketers spend 10 or more hours a week working in. The next three most common categories of tools frequently used in marketing ops are:

  1. Marketing automation/campaign management (62%)
  2. Project management (61%)
  3. CRM or customer data platforms (57%)

But while most of these are very tech-focused responsibilities, it’s impressive to see that what most marketing ops maetros see as the most rewarding aspects of their job are demonstrating/proving a positive impact on the business from martech (61%) and supporting other people in marketing who need to use marketing technology (60%).

Most Rewarding Aspects of Marketing Ops and Martech Jobs

Yes, half of them (50%) enjoy keeping up with changes in marketing and martech. If you don’t love change, this probably isn’t the career for you. And successfully solving technical issues with martech software is a source of satisfaction and pride (54%).

But managing a team — hiring, training, supervising, developing, and retaining talent — and working across departmental boundaries, such as with IT or sales, was also rewarding for more than 1/3 of them. At its best, marketing operations is the art of human collaboration in a digitally wired world.

And with the next generation of martech innovation already happening at an accelerated rate around us, the opportunities for these maestros who blend the best of marketing, technology, operations, team development, and organization-wide leadership are only going to grow.

Learn from Marketing Ops Legends for Free on May 2

On Tuesday, May 2 — #MartechDay! — Frans Riemersma and I will be hosting a free online Best of Breed Marketing Summit that will feature presentations from some of the true legends of marketing operations:

  • Mike Rizzo, Founder & CEO of MarketingOps.com, the #1 community for marketing operations pros, giving a talk on What It Takes to Be a Marketing Ops Pro with the best advice he’s curated from hundreds of marketing ops leaders.
  • Jill Rowley, a.k.a. “The Mother of Marketing Automation” and GTM Advisor at Stage 2 Capital, engaging in a sure-to-be-lively discussion with me about The New Rules of Go-To-Market in the age of “nearbound” marketing.
  • Danielle Balestra, Director of Marketing Technology & Operations at the global law firm Goodwin, sharing hard-won advice on how to be Ready to Onboard Marketing Technology to your stack.

…plus over a dozen other talks from martech industry superstars such as David Edelamn, Neil Perkin, Jay McBain, Scott Vaughn, Benjamin Bloom, and more. Frans and I will also be unveiling the 2023 marketing technology landscape and celebrating the 2023 Stackie Awards. (Last chance to enter your stack this coming week!) We’ll also be conducting candid fireside chats with experts from ActionIQ, Flywheel Software, SAS, Snowplow, and Uptempo on their state-of-the-art marketing technologies.

It’s going to be seriously fun #MartechDay. Join us for a little or a lot of the day!

Take a peek at the full program below and register for free here. Can’t make it live that day? Sign up and catch the recordings afterwards. It’s like a free MBA in marketing technology management.

Best of Breed Marketing Summit on #MartechDay

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