Ops Cast | Building Marketing Ops at a Home Builder

In this episode we talked with Tyler Stouder about his experience joining Arbor Homes, a homebuilder based in the midwest US. What many people may not realize is the historical lack of technology adoption, in general, in the real estate industry…especially with marketing technology. He shares some lessons learned on the importance of keeping track...

In this episode we talked with Tyler Stouder about his experience joining Arbor Homes, a homebuilder based in the midwest US. What many people may not realize is the historical lack of technology adoption, in general, in the real estate industry…especially with marketing technology. He shares some lessons learned on the importance of keeping track of data from prior roles (or research) that will help you sell internally to invest in MarTech. 

Recorded live on June 23, 2021.

Hi, I’m Michael Hartman, I’m Naomi Lou, and I’m Mike Rizzo. And this is ops cast, a podcast for marketing ops pros and rev ops pros created by the MO Pros. The number one community for marketing operations. As professionals tune into each episode as we chat with real professionals to help elevate you in your marketing operations career.

Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 14 of ops cast by the MO Pros. We want you to make sure that you remember to subscribe, rate and review on whatever platform you’re on. We’re now on Pandora too. So check us out there. I am Michael Hartman today. I am joined by my cohost Mike Rizzo or usual co-host Naimi Lou couldn’t make it today.

We’ll start to hear Mike say. Hey everybody, episode 14, this is just nuts. Isn’t it? It’s crazy. And we’re lucky to talk to Tyler so that in a second, what’s going to be another exciting thing. Coming from the MO Pros is summer camp. So if you haven’t already registered or checked out summer camp coming up and the Atlanta area, July 14th through 16th, this is 2021.

If you’re listening to this another time or Seattle, August four through six, go to WW. Dot MO Pros dot com and you will see it. There’ll be right in your face should be great. A great opportunity to get together with a fellow marketing ops pros. And today, as Mike mentioned, we are. Uh, pleased to have with us.

Tyler stouter, the director of marketing at Arbor homes. Uh, he’s joining us talking about his journey and building out marketing and marketing ops specifically at a home builder. So if you’re not familiar with home building and real estate industry in general, which I’ve, I’ve worked in, I can tell you from firsthand experience that there is an industry that has historically not been, uh, ahead of the curve, but really behind the curve quite a bit when it comes to technology and things like that.

So at, at Arbor, Tyler leads, marketing efforts for the. And the umbrella of brands and products and has led marketing and digital marketing at several companies before that today, Tyler joins us from the great city of Indianapolis. Tyler, thanks so much for joining us today. Hey, thanks Mike and Michael, I appreciate you guys having me really excited to be.

Number episode 14. I wish I had something like, cool. That went with number 14. Like, I’d be like, oh, this was the reason why, but all right, your job, the job before the end of this is to come up with something that rhymes with 14. How about that? Yeah, there we go. All right. So. Uh, when you and I, we talked about your story.

One of the things that I was reminded of is some of the stories from when I did consulting work in the real estate industry. I mentioned that earlier that, like, I actually remember working at a, with a client at one point, it was an apartment management company that literally used. Yeah, a file of index cards to track rent payments.

Um, and it wasn’t that long ago. I mean, I’ve been around the decks, right? Like it feels like that era, right. Uh, it was around that same time you got it. Um, so when you got to Harbor homes, tell her, you know, tell us, like describe what the situation was like there for marketing and the specifically in the MarTech stack.

Yeah, for sure. Um, so when I, when I came aboard Arbor, uh, the marketing team, um, was developed, uh, it, it’s not as big as, as what it was. We have a, um, our current CMO and there was one other individual that were basically running marketing, marketing ops for, uh, two different builders that underneath our umbrella, um, trying to maintain, trying to assist sales.

Using WordPress as a website, I’m not really having a true, um, CMS system, um, using some kind of outdated technologies, but they were doing it well. I mean, there’s a reason why that the company has been around for 25 plus years. Um, so they did a great job maintaining, um, but it’s just matter of taking stuff kind of to the next level and bringing in other tech and MarTech ideas that existed outside the home building.

Um, and so that’s where my background doesn’t come from being in the home building industry. It doesn’t come in anything construction I’ve been in the tech world. Um, so working with, with Salesforce, exact target, uh, HubSpot’s a huge one, uh, has always kind of been in my, um, weapons list if you will, uh, marketing tools.

Uh, so being able to bring those to the table and saying, Hey, what’s try doing this, connecting these two systems and really get the ball rolling. Um, was kind of how I stepped into where I’m at.

So, uh, one of the things, uh, I, I just picked up from our conversation, your, your description there that I think I missed when we first talked was the fact that you actually were dealing with multiple brands in addition to just core functionality. Like how, how much do you think that the multiple brands like managing multiple brands across hopefully shared tech stack, uh, shared operations?

Like how do you think that affected your ability to move quick? Yeah, I think it plays into it a lot. Um, one of our brands is super high volume and the other one is, um, a little higher price point project or product. Um, so of course you always want to focus on the one that’s the high volume one, because you know, Quote, unquote, turning and burning at that point.

So, um, truth be told that one got a lot of love from a brand standpoint. So a lot of has got invested into that product first and that, um, brand messaging and then the other brand was kind of an afterthought. Um, so kind of moving forward, we’re treating, you know, each brand respectively, um, within the same tech stack, uh, same type of customer flows.

Um, but no, I think it’s now it’s changing his brand messaging and our selling points are S. Right. And I assume you have sort of different, I mean, an Oak be overlap in your customer base, right? They’re all consumers home buyers, but some are maybe looking at the lower end and some are looking at the higher end of, of the buys.

So it’s maybe a candidate, like in the B2B world, maybe a small, like small to startup business to versus enterprise. I mean, I don’t know that it’s that distinct. Is it really like that there? No, it, it really, it really could be because you could have your entry-level buyer who. Um, at our lower price point, but then six, seven years from now, they could be ready to move up to that, that better product, that bigger product.

Um, so like the whole lifestyle style life cycle market marketing comes into play for us is, you know, let’s retarget someone who has purchased in the past, um, and try to get them bumped up into a bigger home because their needs have changed, you know, the past five years. Um, so keeping data points on that, um, and keeping.

Our customers in the loop of what products we have and even different markets that we’re in, um, letting them know that you’re, you know, you can continue to grow with Arbor, um, as we continue to grow. That’s um, that, I mean, that makes perfect sense. Right? You’re it’s just a different journey of life cycle marketing.

You’re talking about literally where people live, which is really, really cool. I just, out of curiosity, like, are you actually managing, um, a database. That is represented. Like all of your brands are inside of one, um, MarTech stack and like the me, like tell us a little bit about how that breakdown works.

Cause I feel like there’s gotta be people in there who are trying to figure out, like, do I actually manage all of my different brand assets underneath this like one tool or not? Um, whatever set. So. Sorry. I said, the way we have it set up is we have our classic builder system, ERP system. You know, everything was within there from our accounting team, you know, down to our, our CAD team.

Who’s actually drawing the whole. Um, and then to the sales and marketing side where we’re writing contracts from. Um, so one of our biggest challenges with incorporating MarTech was, well, we need a software. That’s able to support multiple brands and multiple markets. Um, and so we landed with HubSpot based on my experience with HubSpot, um, in the past.

And we kind of created two separate portals for, um, our two separate brands that we had. But as we continued to grow into new markets, um, we kind of found the need, like rather than having two separate instance. Um, we could use one portal and start using custom data points to really distinguish between the two of those.

So now we start thinking of custom properties that, Hey, this customer a has interacted with X brand and X market with X product. You know, we can start collecting that data and keeping them within the same system. So as we start thinking about different campaigns or data reports, we have these properties now that we can see where the customer lives that’s really cool, or how they interact.

That’s really, really cool. Yeah. So, and it’s, it’s scalable, which makes it great. So as we move into other markets, or if we come up with another product, it’s just more data into a property field at that point. That’s cool. So, you know, one of the things you just sort of alluded to is that, you know, it sounded like you, if I’m wrong, correct me if I’m wrong here, but it sounds like you brought it, you were able to sort of pitch the idea of sort of up leveling the MarTech platform using HubSpot in this case.

Yeah. How did you, this is one of the things I always tell people who aspire to be leaders in marketing ops is that you need to learn how to sell internally. And part of that’s like understanding finance. Yeah, I could go on and on about that, but yeah. How did you approach, especially in a company that I’m guessing where like the idea of spending on something that wasn’t going to be directly couldn’t necessarily be directly tied.

Revenue coming in. Right. How did you go approach that, um, with that organization so that you could start to build a kind of build that out and enable some of the growth and flexibility? It sounds like you’ve got there now. Yeah, that’s a great question. So, I mean, there are umpteen great, fantastic. Like CRM software is out there.

Right. Um, so my experience just happened to be with HubSpot. So bringing that to the table, talking about past experiences and like any marketer, I still have data from previous, you know, campaigns and previous jobs. So it’d be able to present that and say, Hey, you know, we should all be tracking all those kinds of metrics.

Right? Like, it’s just like, it’s the nerd stuff that, you know, marketers still have that it’s. Great to keep around because then you can tweak or reuse or our rewash or whatever it is. But, um, so having that and then be able to present like, Hey, this is the very little data that we have on our leads right now.

What if we had this system and then laying out kind of that roadmap to what that looks like. I mean, we’re still, even today. Now two years later, Um, integrating different customer journeys based off of new data points, we’re starting to collect. Um, so like we’re, we’re in, in it for the long run at this point.

Um, like it’s a, it’s our system or we’re probably not going to change it. Um, and it’s only for the fact that, you know, being able to show a return and when that first return comes in being able to build off it and continue to have success. That makes a ton of sense. I, um, so did you experience pushback or like by, by laying out this plan of attack, so to speak and I guess like one step back on that, like you were brought in, uh, I assume that the director level, forgive me, I didn’t look at your, I didn’t look at your track record or your history or anything, but, um, was that sort of the expectation is that like you were, you were asked to lay out the roadmap.

Um, and then what would you say if somebody wasn’t asked to lay out the road? Yeah, sure. Well, I think, uh, so before I even took the role on, I was kind of doing the freelance thing, you know, I had a couple of set clients that I was working with. You have to lay out the roadmap right. In order to, you know, sell and deliver onto, so, you know, support yourself.

So like that was this always second nature. Um, but being brought in, um, that, that was kind of my role and, and my, my boss, uh, we’ve had conversations on it before. It’s like, there, there was trust in the interview. Yeah. You know, they know that they had to grow in this space. Like this is not his like, lane that he excels in.

So bringing in those experts, in those lanes to help us grow was the way our leadership team has always viewed marketing. Um, To be completely honest, the team that we’ve grown now in marketing, there isn’t anyone who has been in the home building industry before. So we’ve ha we have designers who are doing product design.

We have, um, somebody who is actually working in another agency type role. So it’s kind of the Jack of all trades we’re bringing in. From other verticals that we can focus on, um, growing the business out and kind of my thought process is if someone wasn’t tasked to, to build out a roadmap, I think, um, it’d be a personal challenge for every marketer to always lay out a roadmap.

We should always know, you know, what’s going to happen three steps from now. Um, markets change, you know, new technologies are introduced to us. So to be able to think, and being able to be agile, Should should be part of your role. Yeah. Yeah. I hear you. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I always, you know, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna take Mike’s question even a step further, cause I know I’ve experienced this before, where I wanted to pitch an idea.

Like I could see it like the vision I had the vision of what we could do with whether it was technology or process, or even if it had to do with how we were approaching doing our go to market activities. Right. Yeah, you’re going to run into skeptics, right? Like almost people are almost antagonistic and I’ve always, I’ve had that situation.

Yeah. Did you like a, did you have anything like that, particularly in leadership maybe say in sales, not that we’d ever have a problem with salespeople in marketing, right. Well, that’s a very interesting question. And like, I’ve, I’ve asked the same question before and I think market definitely determines.

How well, you know, a company that it’s not always sales driven, it’s not always marketing, you know, driven. So if the marketing is taking a dip, it’s not exactly sales fault and it’s not exactly, you know, marketing’s fault. And there’s always going to be, you know, somebody saying, you know, that doesn’t work or why don’t you go for this software and whatnot.

And it has to do a lot with personality. I think I, I mean, I’m a very high B person, you know, I, I I’m high as well. I liked it sock in it. I like to have it my way. So just to be able to, uh, have these conversations and just be receptive of feedback and, you know, we’re marketers, right? Some of the, a lot of the stuff that we throw out there doesn’t work.

Um, and so to be receptive that, and to be able to pivot, um, it’s just, it’s part of the. Uh, you know, that, that ability to take feedback and not take it personally, I personally struggled with that early on in my career for sure. But now I don’t need to. Now I actually go out and actively solicit it. Cause I want to know.

If there’s like there’s an issue or someone seeing something. Cause I I’ve realized that I, I just don’t have the same perspective. And I particularly do that with people who are customer facing. Right. I mean, I think it’s really, really valuable to get that feedback and not take it personally. And it doesn’t mean you have to do something every time, but it does mean you should listen and look for patterns.

And that’s really what I do. Well, I just think that goes to show like as a leader too, like we’re always trying to find out how we can get. And so, I mean, it’s one of the first questions I asked my team is like, what can I do better? How can I help serve you? Um, and that’s just, you know, kind of my beliefs were, were meant to serve, right?

So how can I help you get better? How can I help you do better? Cause in the long run, if you’re doing better, the marketing team’s doing better. Um, so of course always asking for feedback and taking it, you know, And now I, and it gets you down to having a little thick skin. Definitely goes a long way. Yeah, totally.

I mean, that’s actually like the impetus of this entire community at all pros, right? Like we re literally wouldn’t exist if we didn’t open up our email inboxes and our slack channels and say, what is valuable to you? Because like, as a community, if you know, if we’re all benefiting from the efforts that we’re putting out here, then the industry and the profession continues to benefit too.

So. It’s all meta man. It’s all together. It is. You’re exactly right. I, so one of our designers, like he loves like the saying of standing on the leaders of giants and it’s so true. Like, you know, there’s a reason why, you know, we went after X software it’s because it’s already been done. Like we don’t have to recreate the wheel.

Like there’s been success at it. So let’s build off that fine tune it to our niche because there are certain selling nuances and in marketing nuances that are different from, you know, selling a home online to selling. I don’t know. Uh, speaker system or something. So there’s just, you know, different things that we have to incorporate.

Yeah. I think, I think what’s interesting is your particular market, even though it’s I would call it more B to C, right. It’s it’s probably got more, more similarity to B2B than a lot of other B2C kinds of businesses. Right. Because it’s such, it’s typically. The biggest purchase that somebody makes in their lifetime, right.

Is going to be at home. That particularly the first time, if that’s what your, you know, your, you know, one brand is. So yeah. You’re a hundred percent correct. It’s, it’s really interesting. Um, okay. So you’ve been there. What now? A couple of years at Arbor, right? Is that, what is, you know, what, when you look back at your time, like, what is the, like, what are you most proud of as your biggest accomplishment in this kinda in this area?

Um, and, you know, Maybe even the other side. Right. Was it something that you really thought you were going to be able to do that you haven’t been able to accomplish yet? Especially if you thought, oh, that’s going to be an easy one. Right? Just check that one off the list. Right. So I’m going to answer, it’s going to be the same answer for both those questions.

So it’s the integration of the ERP system into HubSpot. Um, so like I said, we’re using a very specific ERP system. Um, Is is for builders. Um, only a few guys in the world, know the back end of this and how to update it. So there’s a very close knit group of people that I bet I’ve heard of it. It’s it’s Sapphire is the holding company different one than I thought.

Yeah. So we, we actually have some relationship with some of the early, you know, um, people that started at the company, um, and were able to help us, um, connect. Via API APIs and to HubSpot to be able to pull data back and forth in real time. Um, so that’s like a huge win to be able to do that because now our marketing.

Are a lot differently than export in Excel. She uploading it into whatever mail champer, whatever other, you know, male software we’re using, um, to have that data live real-time within our CRM and at CMS. And then we can just say, Hey, we’re going to take an email. We’re going to target these properties and boom, go like, we’re cutting that, you know, middle export and, and making sure data’s out at the same point, the struggle is I figured we’d be light years.

You know where we’re at now with the API. Cause in my mind, Hey and I API connection points to the exact same software you go to. So we’re now just starting to get into, um, alerting our customers of the status of their home build, you know, in real time. So, Hey, Tyler, your home is now ready to have dry wall put up.

Boom email gets sent out the customer, lets them know. So it’s it’s point in that real time data alerting the customer where they’re at with the status of their bill and what to expect next. So getting into more customized journeys is kind of where we’re really starting to dive into now. Fantastic. Yeah.

That’s awesome. I can tell you, I bought a, I bought a condo that was a new construction. I think it’ll probably be the last time I do that. Um, but I mean, don’t get me wrong. New construction’s great. Uh, but it’s also, you know, filled with its different challenges relative to buying maybe an older home that needs a little bit of love.

Um, and I, if I w if we had those customer touch points along the way that you’re talking about, like that level of customization is, is amazing. And I think, you know, to pull away from just this home builder concept a little bit, like as marketing. Folks are listening to this episode and thinking about how they could impact, you know, maybe the strategy or influence the overall direction of what’s going on within their organization.

Um, that like, we all know personalization is great, but it goes well beyond just. Hey, first name. Um, and we know that at a high level, but I think it’s hard sometimes to think deeper than like, oh, I personalize the person’s name and company in this email. Like I win. Um, yeah, you’re doing some good basics, but like go deeper.

Um, cause that can provide a ton of. Well, you’re you’re 100% correct. So like one of the first things that I actually did is, um, as we did as a marketing team, when I was here was we created what we call a customer portal. So if you start building a home with one of our brands, um, we actually created a web instance that pulls from our ERP S.

That tracks your home. We call it your, your, the home tracker. You think back to the old school, like dominoes pizza tracker, that’s essentially what it is. And it’s the one-stop shop for your piece of track. Right. That was a great poll. So, I mean, we called it for the longest time, our home tracker, you know, internally, it was kind of the internal home name for it, but, and that’s essentially what it is.

So like the next step is that I was like, yeah, you can visually see that my home is waiting for permits or. The, what does that mean? Like what does that mean as a buyer? I don’t. Okay. I’m waiting for permits. Why is it taking four weeks? Well, because everyone in their brothers building a home right now for a while, but to be able to give them content, to let them know that, Hey, you’re just not a number to us.

You didn’t just sign a purchase agreement and we were washing our hands. Yeah. No, there’s actually stuff that’s being done on your house right now. And we want you to know and feel like you’re a valued member of our family. Here’s what’s happening, you know? And so it’s those touch points. Those trigger points.

Yeah, there you go. Yeah. I want to piggyback on that because literally yesterday I was just talking to somebody. How, one of the things that I think is a challenge for as a perception for MarTech marketing ops folks, is that we can often come across as we’re the ones who say no, that’s going to be way too hard to do.

And I think there are times we need to be thinking about, you know, sometimes we just, you know, we’ve got to do the hard work because the payoff is going to be huge. Not only for us in terms of like, this is a huge accomplishment that you got that integration. I went through something like that in a previous role as well.

The fact that you’re, if you’re you’re helping customers, you’re helping the business. Right. You know, that’s, to me, this is like one of these things that really drives me crazy is that the perception for marketing ops is here at the, you know, we’re like, we’re just tactical doers when it could be so strategic, if we were to be bold and aggressive and, and do these things.

And that means also at the same time, by typically what happens, right. Stuff’s going to go wrong in the way. So we need to be ready for that. We need to own it and accountable. But look for those opportunities to really be a game changer for the company. And I think that’s my guess is that’s part of why you were like, that was the first thing that came to mind.

It was hard probably to go as well as you want. And, but at the same time, the outcome has been like it’s changed the, the organism. Started by right percent. Uh, and it’s, and it’s you’re 100% correct. And it’s changed the way that we look at marketing too. Right. So, um, when you first start on this, you’re like, okay, what, how do, where do we need to add to our team?

Well, I know a year and a half ago, And designer was never on the radar to bring in, but like, okay. You know, now we’re creating more visually appealing pieces outside of the, you know, the flyers that go into models or, um, very rarely do we do print materials, but it’s like, okay, from the digital component, um, we need something that’s visually appealing to our customer, you know, outside of.

Me hacking away at Photoshop, trying to, you know, put together an email or something. I learned a long time ago that I’m not a designer. I still try every day though. I still try to stick figures still count as long as it’s selling it counts. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s just, it’s just changed the trajectory of how our marketing teams.

Now we have two designers, you know, so. Two years ago, you never would have thought that a, a home building company would have a designer because they work with agencies or outsource stuff, or, you know, it’s one guy who does their design, their marketing and their pay-per-click they’re everything. They’re Hey.

Oh, definitely. Right. I think. I had that. I was going to say I had that same experience. Actually. I went to work for an early stage digital asset management company by the name of orange logic. And, um, the CEO there said, um, I spent, uh, a relatively short amount of time, uh, at the organization and on my way, Onto another role when I was leaving, the CEO said, Hey, you know, before I had hired you, I viewed marketing as kind of as black box.

And it was just like, you just had one person that did all the things. Um, and it was a black box to just suck money out. Exactly. I need this for this. Right, exactly. Yeah. And, um, and the, the one thing that he was appreciative of at, at a bare minimum with our engagement, um, Just learning that it goes so much further than just one person does it all there’s, there’s specified roles, as you can imagine for anything.

Right. And, uh, yeah, exactly. So there are, there are millions, more people that, you know, know design better than I do. There are millions, more people that know more about pay-per-click than I do there. You know, it’s, it’s like finding those people so we can focus on what we’re good at to get us moving forward.

And as it relates to your marketing operations kind of function, um, You know, It’s sometimes it’s difficult to feel like our leadership understands what the technical and strategic kind of role is of a marketing operations person. Um, do you feel that they understand that function in that role pretty clearly, or are you really just the filter mechanism that kind of.

Filter some of that into leadership and says, you know, don’t worry about it, but it’s, it’s working. Yeah. That’s a great question. And like, I, I, you know, I mentioned earlier about having like old data, right. So we still make a lot of data-driven decisions. Um, and so like right now, And the housing market, you know, it’s shooting fish in a barrel, right?

So it’s, it’s really hard to determine, you know, marketing value right now because we could deliberately open up a community, our website, she got an email and then it’d be sold out, you know, 24 hours later. Um, so it definitely is more of a filter system and delivering the metrics that matter, right. Say we’re running a paid campaign and you know, we’re talking about impressions.

So impressions don’t really mean much impressions. Don’t really pay the bills. Right? So actually being able to deliver the master, the metrics that matter and how they move the needle with more of the rev ops stuff is definitely helpful to help make decisions. And back here, We need a new website now.

Okay. Well, why do you need a new website? Well, we’ve outgrown our current website. It’s taped together right now for all the things we’ve tried to scale into. And this is why based off of here’s the data. Here’s the numbers. Cool. So it sounds like they definitely appreciate the data aspect and like what you’re bringing to the table from the ops perspective, the rev ops marketing ops perspective.

That’s awesome. So kind of continuing on from there a little bit. Um, yeah. The other thing I know about the real estate market, right? Major cycles. Right. And there there’s not a whole lot you can do to control it. So like, how do you, do you think now that, you know, You know, you believe, do you think your leadership believes that you’re now in a position that because you’ve got this, these data and insights that when the downturn comes, cause it’s going to come right.

That you guys are going to be in a better position, say than your competitors to take advantage of that. Like, do you feel like your MarTech stack is ahead of your competitors to a point where it could be a competitive advantage? Yeah. Yeah. I, I do feel that way. And I’ve been account on a couple of conversations like this and a couple of other.

Where like webinars and stuff like that, where we’ve had industry leaders, you know, talking back and forth on kind of tech stacks and learning from each other. And, um, very, very few have sophisticated stacks. And it definitely, it comes with the larger size builder, obviously, because there’s bigger budgets on your, you know, your smaller.

Um, you know, our custom type home builders, but absolutely. I mean, we’re starting to see us a slow decline right now. Uh, I think I was telling you Michael, before it started, you know, we’re up year over year anyway, but we need to prepare. So when this housing bubble essentially does pop and slow down that we’re, we’re prepared, you know, it’s not scrambling mad dash to, to try to get leads back.

Um, so it’s content comes into play with that. We kind of crossed out the word content from our avatar and we’re using customer education pieces because we want to engage in it and inform the customer of what to expect marketing, doing internal marketing. I like that. Yeah, exactly. So it’s like, we’re, we’re creating these pieces to inform our customers of what to expect when this bubble does pop.

What, you know, there will be inventory. We do have land in the pipeline, you know, X, Y, Z, that, you know, we are preparing for. That’s great. So, um, yeah, to kind of, again, kind of bringing this out a little more generically from home building and real estate. Yeah. I’m sure there are other folks who are listening to this who are in an organization in a role like yours, where.

Well, they’re going into an organization where there hasn’t been a lot of sophistication in terms of the technology, the ops piece and stuff in marketing, the demand gen approach and where maybe they’re shifting how they’re going to market. Yeah. What, like, what is, do you have any like one or two or three things that you would recommend, like, this is how you need to approach it right.

In a, in a, in an organization or an industry where marketing really hasn’t been seen as. A major value driver to an organization. Yeah. I think come in coming to the table with real life data in real life examples. And, you know, I think I mentioned earlier, like the marketing efforts that were in place before I started were, were great.

And you know, there’s a reason why the company was around for 25 years, you know, they were, the company was doing something right, but Dave will take that old historical data that we have and say, okay, now with this software, with this, uh, Uh, tactic, you know, we can see this on the customer, which now allows us to do this.

Um, so bringing that to the table, I think is huge, real life data. Like people are visual. Um, as much as, you know, we say, Hey, just tell me the numbers. Like people like to see the visual of where we can go, especially in the marketing world. Um, I always tell people, right, if you’re talking about EVs me, like, what do I think are the most important metrics?

Marketing right. I can go through those, but at the very end of that at the senior level, It’s storytelling, just like it is with anything else in marketing. Right. Storytelling is a part of it is supported by data, but storytelling is there really, that’s the thing you should be looking for, which is, I think what you described.

Yeah. And it’s like, how, how can you basically improve the bottom line? Right. So it’s like, yeah, this marketing software is going to cost this. But it now allows us to do this and because the software replaces X, Y, and Z, you know, you’re not seeing a huge, you know, marketing spend increase because you’re actually reducing spend somewhere else and not to mention internal, like individual ROI as well.

This software will allow me to do X, Y, Z, or our designer to do X, Y, Z, or. Marketing specialist. Did you XYZ where in the past it’s been manual export this list, you know, use some Excel formulators to determine churn. And so what’s our, what’s our web traffic look like, well, we’ve got to export this, like it just there’s softwares out there that can do it for you.

And yeah. So I ran. That is huge. No, I, I, I, again, like, I can’t tell people enough in our space, right? How important it is to be able to speak a language that like a finance person would understand, right. That’s ROI, you know, what is the best cost benefit, whatever way you want to approach it, right. For your organization, the more you understand how that works, the better you’re going to be positioned.

And if you have the data and the story to go with it, right. And you can do a lot of things. Right. That’s great. Absolutely. So, is there anything else that you want to share that that would help our audience? Yeah. Uh, anything else I’d like to share? Um, I think one of the biggest things for us is just the connectivity of.

Of pieces. Um, and when I say like, I want to explore in a new website, we want to make sure that this new website can talk to our other marketing team. Like our MarTech that’s already in place. So we don’t have to do things twice. Right. There’s like connectivity, automation is huge. It saves us time as marketers.

It creates more efficient ops processes. Um, so definitely if things can talk to it. Yeah. That’s always a that’s always a win. Absolutely. No. And I think we’ve done a couple of episodes that talk about understanding your current state of your tech stack. You know, what are ways you can kind of manage the it part of it.

Mike, did you have anything to add? No. And I think, uh, um, I mean, I guess, yes, the answer is yes. Um, uh, beyond just technology too. I know Tyler, you and I have caught up in the past about how much you talk with your, you know, sales teams and collaborate with them. Right. So, um, I think it goes beyond the tech too.

It’s bringing it back to the people aspect of what’s what’s driving the data acquisition and, you know, are we getting clean data and do you have practices in place? Um, and so the collaboration aspect, I think isn’t. I know you’ve done a really good job. It sounds like from, from our conversations there too.

Yeah. So that’s, that’s a really good point to, as being connected to, to those leaders as well. Like, Hey, how can we help serve you, you know, close on these leads. Cause ultimately like, you know, marketing and supplying, you know, 75% of our leads. So to be able to give you better quality leads, what do we need to do?

What information do you need? You know? And, and going down that path, we’re able to find like, okay, what if we collected this information from the customer? Now we can create a better, you know, buyer profile. What’s that look like? So, you know, lead scoring comes into play now. Um, so it’s just a lot of those things like open communication is, is huge.

Um, and then I think the other thing I mentioned is like, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I mean, so like an, I will say speaking from experience, you know, bringing in HubSpot, it’s like, oh, what if we brought this format? And what if we had our warranty process run through here?

What if we did X, Y, Z internal sales requests through here? And it just gets too big to manage that, you know, something’s going to fall off the plate. So it’s, that’s I think a huge, huge, like lesson or just piece of advice I can give to anyone. I was like, just because you can doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

Yeah, it is so true. Right. Because you have a hammer that doesn’t mean everything’s a nail. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. All right. So one last question that we we’ve started liking to ask our guests. And that is if there was something like a certified marketing operations, professional kind of program or thing like that, like what, what would you think.

Would be critical to be included in that, like what skill when now it’s like, what do you think would be a part of that? Oh, that’s, that’s good. I think, um, representing data, I think would be huge, um, as part of that. So what data is important, right? Cause like I mentioned impressions earlier, you know, who, who cares about prep?

And at least in my eyes, you know, impressions don’t matter. What are those things that are going to move the needle? Um, what data points matter, uh, and why do they matter? I think data, data, data, we all talk about it, you know, there’s the data machine, but what points of data truly matter? Um, and, and what, when do they matter?

So what part of that customer journey does this data point matter compared to this other data point? So data being able to represent data efficiently and effectively.

Yeah, I, I, I’ve more and more lately I’ve been telling people, like if I was to start a new marketing ops team, it may not be the first hire, but a very early hire would be someone who could focus on data, data, quality reporting, and finding those stories. I just, I think, cause I truly believe that it’s an effort based kind of thing.

I mean, tools and technology are there to help, but really like nothing’s going to replace a smart human. Yeah, from really like pulling out the insights. And so I, I think we’ve been, been really good about generating tons and tons of data. We haven’t been great about actually leveraging. Yeah, no, totally agree.

And I mean, we’re guilty of it as well. Like I said, you know, you have so much data, but what data truly matters, what data does the executive leadership team need to see? What data does the accounting team need? You know, you have so much data now we’re collecting it and giving it away, like at all costs like for, I, for nothing, no cost sometimes, you know?

Um, but what data points matter. Yeah. And I think being able to tell the story is so critical, we have. We have that person on our team and Mavenlink, and I, I put, I, I pulled him aside, virtually in slack and I was like, you’re, you’re a godsend. Like, thank you so much for being on this team. I need you to know that I personally value so much of the effort that you’re putting into pulling this data together for us, even if we.

Like do something immediately with it. The fact that it’s being thought about alone is just a win for the team. And so, yeah, I hear you, Michael. Like one of the, you know, early hires on a team could be just, Hey, let’s pull this together and try to make decisions based on inputs that we’re getting. So that’s really good.

Well, and from a consistent source too, like, you don’t need to pull it from seven different places. Like let’s fall from one. This is the moment. And yeah. And everyone get on page on the same page with that. Absolutely. Yeah. So all you people who are thinking about getting into marketing ops, a place to start is understanding data.

That’s like, that’s the lesson learned there. Insight there, Tyler, thanks for your insights today. It’s been great. Um, if, if our listeners want to find you online or co follow you, like where should they go? Yeah. Uh, you can definitely check me out on, on LinkedIn. Uh, Tyler stouter. I, I believe I’m the only Tyler stouter in Indiana.

Um, so you can find me there. I’m also going to be at the tech home builder summit, uh, in Louisville, August 17th to the 19th of this year. Um, kind of talking about the same thing. Um, but this time the audience will be specifically home builders. Um, so if you get a chance to check out tech, home builders, summit.com and sign up for.

Fantastic. And also don’t forget about summer camp from the MO Pros in August, in Seattle, in July and the Atlanta area. Yep. It should be good. Tyler. We hope to see you there. Yeah, I got it. I got to check out the calendar. We’ll make it happen, make it happen. Awesome. For all of you listening. Thank you so much for being part of this.

We always appreciate input insights, feed. Suggestions for fever feature topics. Um, if you’re not already a member of the MO Pros community, go to www that the MO Pros dot com and get connected, it is a great community and are that’s the best way to reach us, to give us feedback and suggestions, or if you want to be a guest, let us know.

We’re open with that. Thanks again, Tyler. Mike. Appreciate it. And we will see you next week with episode 15 as well and other. There we go. All right. Thanks everybody. Thanks guys. Appreciate you having me.

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