Ops Cast | Marketing Ops Career Lock, Learning, Trust & Customer Experience w/ Juan Mendoza

In this episode, we talk with Juan Mendoza the founder of The Martech Weekly newsletter and the producer of Making Sense of Martech Podcast about: How vendor-based training fits into learning Marketing Operations and the risks that type of training brings. What is “Career lock” and should you be concerned? Usability trumps education – if it’s easy to use,...

In this episode, we talk with Juan Mendoza the founder of The Martech Weekly newsletter and the producer of Making Sense of Martech Podcast about:

  • How vendor-based training fits into learning Marketing Operations and the risks that type of training brings.
  • What is “Career lock” and should you be concerned?
  • Usability trumps education – if it’s easy to use, learning is less important
  • “Low-trust” created by media in Marketing Technology
  • The future of customer experience and how MOPs / Martech fit into that

Mike also jabs at the Salesforce lead object… we’re not sure if he’ll be on the next episode or not. 🙂

Recorded live on September 16, 2021.

Hi, I’m Michael Hartmann, 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. Welcome to ops cast episode 26, brought to you by the MO Pros. I’m Michael Hartmann, your host, and I’m joined today by coast. Naomi, Lou and Mike Rizzo.

All right. So today we’re saying we’re going to be talking about, uh, the MarTech slash marketing ops media landscape with one Mendoza. He’s a senior MarTech strategy consultant and the founder of the MarTech weekly newsletter and produces the making sense of MarTech podcasts. One has previous experience in strategy consulting, developing communities, business development, and startups.

Well, and joins us today from Australia and we are really becoming global wine. Thanks for joining us today. Thanks for having me, uh, can I say I am a big fan of MO Pros and the ops cost as well, and it’s fantastic to be on the show and have a great discussion. Thanks. Yeah, that’s great. No, this is great. I think this is great that we’re, we’re kind of expanding out both, um, in terms of, so the topics we’re covering as well as the, uh, geography.

So this is great. Well, well, let’s get started as our listeners know one of the, one of the underlying reasons for the podcasts and really the MO Pros community in general is to just provide insights and tips to folks who are in the marketing ops community. And to you have, I think, a unique perspective on the different sources of learning that we have as MarTech and marketing ops pros, you know, where do you see.

Yeah, let’s expand a little bit beyond just marketing ops as a MarTech, but also marketers in general, where do you see that people are actually getting education today to help them grow as in their professions? Yeah, Michael, I think this is, this is a great place to start. Um, when it comes to understanding the landscape of media and how it intersects with how marketers and people who work in digital and it actually learn and progress throughout their career.

So it’d be good to start with a bit of a canvas on where the landscape is and what kind of offerings are out there for people. So you can probably tell, and a lot of your audience would probably experience to this, that there is a huge amount of diversity when it comes to educating around marketing technology.

So you’ve got webinars that are constantly being pushed out by software companies and agencies and consultancies and other organizations. You’ve got, uh, you know, short courses, certifications, uh, that are offered by independent groups, which is great. And also, uh, software companies as well. You’ve got university courses, uh, that are just starting to come out, uh, specializing in marketing technologies.

Um, and then you have this interesting sort of backdrop of just the constant churn of how to content that’s constantly being pushed out to social media. Uh, and you know, it’s, it’s this interesting diverse landscape where you can kind of choose your own adventure. And what I find really interesting is that a lot of people find it very difficult and where to start.

Uh, I mentor, um, a few people that are just exiting university. They’ve done a degree say in marketing or advertising and the question they had and why they approached me initially. Y like where, where do we actually go to start learning about marketing technologies? You know, it’s so fast paced. There’s so much innovation happening in this space.

There’s literally thousands of different technologies to learn. Where do you start? And so I think a great place to sort of begin this conversation is talking about the diversity of education out there, both from the software vendor side, but then also some of these fantastic, uh, independent organizations that are offering education solutions as well.

Yeah, I think it’s, uh, one of the things we’ve talked about is just how, you know, you can go out and get a marketing degree in college, but you can’t really get one for marketing ops or MarTech. Right. So, but, so I think that leads us to the path where, you know, my, my assertion would be that historically the primary source for marketing tech and marketing ops training has come from vendors who.

Right. Wrong or different. I probably have a little bit of a biased approach to this. I mean, what’s your take on kind of the, the, the importance or value of vendor based training? How’s it fit in? Um, maybe a little bit about like, do do should people I know, like for me personally, I’ve got experience in multiple safe marketing automation platforms.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Is it better to be the expert in wine versus sort of a generalist and multiple.

Yeah. So I think there’s a really good aspect to vendor centric, uh, education and training. Um, and I’d like to open with that because I think vendor education. Gives so much opportunity to so many people around the world that would just never have the, uh, the access, uh, in that locale to the kind of tech education that you have today.

So, um, as an example, uh, when I started my career many years ago, I got a certification in Google analytics, you know, and it’s a pretty basic, you know, you learn the basics of web analytics through, uh, through Google, but that was absolutely. And to me, somebody living in Australia, you know, other side of the world for me, I was in the United States to me that blows my mind because I can get a certification.

I can start getting competence in a skill with analytics, uh, and I can do that absolutely for free and on my own time. And like, that’s a really fantastic benefit when it comes to vendor education. But saying that I do think when it comes to, uh, perhaps, uh, thinking about how that education fits into enterprise organizations and perhaps people a little bit more mature in their career, I think there are a few different risks to think about when it comes to relying on vendor technologies for your education.

Um, and also for your progress career progression. And so a few of these may be a little bit continuous, but let’s go through the list. So I think the first one is about. So what I see working with a lot of the major brands here in the APAC region is, uh, we have a lot of technology companies coming in and offering strategy work.

So, you know, how do you go about things like personalization? What’s like a fantastic email, uh, program for loyalty, you know, things like that. Uh, those vendors. It’s really taking the lead on the conversations around how you actually build those things. And that comes in all kinds of different permutations.

Uh, I did a course with a, uh, analytics platform a little while ago and I won’t name them, but, uh, they had, um, uh, uh, a section for educating on the actual platform itself. So the tools and how to use the technology, but then they had another half, which was all about a web analytics strategy and it was all about the philosophy and the foundations of web analytics.

And while that’s great. And obviously the, these tech platforms are the subject matter experts on that particular domain of technology. I also think that, um, that skews, that conversation a bit because strategy which relies perhaps on, or sort of ease, influenced quite a bit by the, by a particular vendor offering.

Does add a bit of a conflict of interest. You can’t really get away from that. And so I do think that, um, you know, thinking about strategy and how business may go about certain things, uh, there is a bit of a role there to play. Um, but I think, I think it’s encroaching a little bit more into, uh, yeah, that world, uh, sort of more broader than what that solution or that technology company is offering.

So that’s a first. Um, the next one is what I call career luck. And this one is perhaps a little bit contentious. Um, but what I do see working with a lot of, uh, different brands and also with the MarTech weekly community. Is that in some organizations, you may have 200 staff members getting trained on a platform like Salesforce.

So they are going through trailblazer. They’re going and getting their certifications. You know, there’s even, there’s some stories around getting a golden hoodie, depending on how far you progress up the chain with some of these programs. But it’s not only Salesforce, HubSpot, Maketto all these other platforms they offer similar types of badges and certificates.

And while that’s fantastic and, uh, enabling people to learn the platform, being able to use it and understand best practice or all those great, fantastic things are what I do see talking with the team Dhabi community is that people do feel at times locked in their career to a particular software vendor.

You know, they may invest three years learning a particular platform, but when they went. Perhaps change their career or go down a different track. That becomes really hard because even if you, if you go through LinkedIn and you browse most job applications, you can probably see that, you know, this specific skill sets that are required, we need somebody who’s, uh, you know, experienced on Adobe, Adobe analytics.

We need somebody who’s experienced on HubSpot, uh, marketing automation. And so there’s this fracturing of specific skill sets for a specific jobs where. Limits people and understanding the landscape of different technologies and how they work together. Um, a lot of companies are moving away from having a, you know, a big MarTech stack.

That’s only one vendor to having different solutions and making them work together. Um, even just before recording Michael, you’re talking about a interesting integration that you’re working on and that’s working with three different vendors. And so I think that’s a really good point here to talk about in that.

Uh, how do people actually get a broader view outside of those specific certifications that are tied to vendors, but like, were you going to say something?

No, you can go ahead and jump in. Well, I was going to say, I think this also shines a light on, cause you brought up, you know, job descriptions. I think it shines a light on us. Those of us who are in a position to hire people that, you know, we. Well, it states it’s another, this is similar to another one we’ve had a conversation about is D do you really need to have, you know, a bachelor’s in whatever to qualify, to do marketing ops, especially as early stage thing.

And I think the answer is probably no, but I think we all have defaulted to, you know, what other job descriptions look like? So they say, oh, if I, if I have Marquetto or if I have HubSpot or if I have whatever, you know, I’m going to look for that, as opposed to saying. That would be nice to have, but really what I want.

And I think Naomi, you, and I’ve taught it, several of us touched by this. Like if what we really look for are people who want to solve problems or are curious and can learn. And if they know how to do one, they could probably learn the other part of that. I’ve been a little bit biased because that’s my story too.

But I do think there’s something to be said about the hiring practices and the way we approach it as hiring managers, like your thoughts.

I, you know, I definitely, um, feel like career lock is a possibility. Um, I, I went out on my way early on to try to avoid getting like too deep into the Salesforce ecosystem. Cause like I just, I had this at the time earlier in my career, I was like, I don’t know that I want to be a Salesforce admin for my entire, my entire career.

Not that like, of course you can, you can change anything that you want. Right. But, um, but I think it’s a real. It’s a real situation that comes up where you kind of get, um, I don’t know if stuck is the right word for it, but there’s just there’s enough opportunity that you kind of don’t have a, a real, there’s no impetus to like go change or.

Make a move of any kind, because there’s just a flood of, of constant need. Um, which of course is not a problem. Like if you want a good lifestyle and you know, you want to work on, on cool and interesting challenging projects, then like, of course you could be a Salesforce certified admin and keep going down that deep path that Salesforce offers you.

Um, but I also think that if you position yourself well enough within that kind of ecosystem, you’ll probably be exposed to lots of different types of business challenges. And you can inevitably start kind of moving into, uh, different groups, whether you start in sales and you move into marketing, or what have you.

Um, but you know, I, I think Michael, in terms of some of the commentary you were making and looking about looking at who to hire Naomi, I think we’ve all talked about this before. Absolutely. Like curiosity and the constant learner. Like those are definitely things. Yeah, we all want to like look for in candidates.

I think that the term career lock too, you can also approach it from, and I think you’ve touched a bit on it, Mike, is that you can approach it from the other direction, right? Where, you know, the example of, you know, the job description on LinkedIn, where it’s like, we need some. This amount of years of HubSpot experience?

Well, there’s lots of people that use HubSpot and conversely like Marquetto and Salesforce too, that, you know, especially if they want to remain individual contributors or that’s just kind of like what they’ve built their career on. Um, you know, they may view that as a good thing and they want to gain the additional years of that experience within the specific platform.

Right? Because then they become a subject matter expert and then maybe they want to, I don’t know, branch out and become, um, you know, like a consultant for. Particular tool sets that they’re familiar with. Right. I have had the opportunity to hire many marketing operations, uh, people in my, um, in my career.

And I would say that almost zero of them came from a marketing ops background. And, you know, like you mentioned, it’s like, how do you, like, what do you look for? Right. And I’m not necessarily looking for, um, people who have a specific skillset with the tools that we have while that would be great. Um, And this has just been my personal experience that hasn’t happened.

And you know, for me, a common theme among the hires that I’ve had that are just have gone on to that are just amazing is that they’re the ones that are always asking questions, right? How do we do something better? How do we do this more efficiently? How do we make the tools work for us instead of us working to fit the limitations of those tools, right?

Someone who’s going to come and suggest new ways of approaching a problem, right. Um, I also have a really funny anecdote about the whole career lock thing. So I definitely came into marketing ops and built my career on a platform called Neolane, which was then acquired by Adobe campaign. I think in, oh, I want to say like 2014.

Um, and by the time I switched to Marquetto within. Um, within an organization that was on Adobe campaign. And when we switched to Marquetto, I had been using a Adobe company for 10 years, and I remember, um, uh, our account executive who sold us Marquetto, you know, saying something to me at one of our last, uh, in-person, uh, vendor evaluations.

And she was like, well, you know, you don’t really want to, you know, base your career on one platform and, you know, like it’s, it’s not good. And you know, her and I are, are really. And also I can say this, but, um, you know, I was like, you know what, I’m going to show you, right. Like, this is, this is it’s it’s, uh, you know, at the end of the day, it’s like, okay, it’s, you know, it, we’re doing the same thing.

It’s maybe just a different way to get there. Right. And so, um, To be honest, like I think within, so about a month before we ended our contract with Adobe campaign, I took my, um, Adobe campaign certification passed it. Um, I was kind of worried at first. I was like, well, that’d be really embarrassing if I’ve been using for 10 years and I don’t pass it.

Right. So passed it. But I would say after probably like four months. I completely forgot everything within Adobe campaign. Like I, if I went back into the tool now, and it’s been almost three years, but even like six months after going off of it and not logging in. For six months straight, I would be lost.

It’s very interesting how quickly you can pick up a new tool and it just becomes like muscle memory and you forget something else. Like I just honestly, like I would not, I don’t even know. I can’t even remember terminology within there. Right. And this is just my experience, but I just thought that was kind of relevant.

I think that’s so that’s definitely a real, I mean, one, you touched on it, right? Like technology moves super fast. So the platform, even if you don’t log in for six months, it’s probably got something that’s changed. And then, you know, it’s just like, Ooh. Yeah. That muscle memory needs to be worked all the time right now in a new job.

Like it’s just a tool that I use five years ago. So one, uh, is there anything else you want to kind of talk about in terms of the, the place for vendor based training or education and all this, or do you want to move on. Yeah, I think, um, I, I, I sympathize with, with the, um, learning the top platform and then forgetting a lot of it.

You know, it’s kind of like learning a language, um, in a lot of ways. Uh, and it depends on what language you want to learn and the different software, particularly the larger ones, they see the world in different ways. And I think, uh, just one quick example, before we move on. Uh, I learned fees. I learned, uh, Tealium CD paint.

So they’re our customer data platform. Uh, they’ve got a specific data architecture. Uh, I went through the training, built a bunch of use cases and fantastic. And I learned the fundamentals of a customer data platform through that vendor. But then. I wanted to go test the limits of my knowledge and then, uh, move on to segment, which recently released a CD pay feature and the way in which they view data and the architecture of data is a totally different language.

It’s like the difference between English and Japanese. Uh, it’s totally different philosophy, totally different thinking. But for me personally, I’ve found. Uh, that really broadened my perspective on things and broadened my thinking generally around this topic of CDP. And so I definitely think that there’s a really good place to learn some of the fundamentals.

I, like I mentioned, I learned Google, I learned web analytics specifically from Google analytics. Um, but uh, this, uh, broadening, I think that needs to happen. I think you’re correct in what I mean in going, yes. Okay. I’ve let my foundations, I can expand out from here. Uh, but yeah. Uh, I definitely think that there’s a really good.

A good place for vendor tech in the space of education, but it does. I think it still does limit people a little bit from the wider world of MarTech and what’s possible. Yeah. It seems to me like really what we, I think we’re all saying is there’s there’s value in this vendor based training. Uh, but we should go into the eyes wide open, right.

And that it’s got its own sort of whether it’s its own terminology or language or, or bias. We just need to know that. Um, so why don’t we switch them to kind of the other side of this, right. There are more, yeah, I’m starting to see more general marketing training. Oh, there’s definitely more general marketing training out there, whether it’s in college or it’s in, um, through professional organizations, things like that.

But I haven’t yet seen a lot. And we’ve talked to a few people who are doing some general MarTech marketing ops kind of training things. I mean, are you as you’re like, are you seeing other things that were not because you were plugged into sort of a different part of the world, both in terms of geography and like specific to MarTech, are you, do you see more of that happening out there that I’m not?

Or do you see, do you expect there to be more growth than that, but kind of what’s your view on that? Yeah, I do think there’s a lot of growth in this space of independent organizations offering education around technology. Uh, one really great example that comes to mind is MarTech Alliance. Now they’re based in the UK, um, and they have a bunch of different courses.

They’ve got Daryl Fonzo from, um, Amazon, uh, in a portfolio of different online courses. And what’s really interesting is that, uh, they’re doing a, they’re doing a bunch of stuff around. Planning and MarTech stack and mostly strategic stuff, but they also offer a vendor neutral solution for CDP training. So, uh, they take examples from different vendors and they give a independent view, um, and courses training on how to.

Uh, managing implement CDPs. And so that is a, that’s a separate organization. They’re literally a company. They run heaps of training, webinars, conferences that happen all the time. And I actually think that’s a really good example. Um, they’ve, haven’t been around for long. Um, a lot of these organizations, even MO Pros, you know, this is all really new, but I think there is a bit of response here to say, okay, for senior leaders, perhaps they do need.

A bit more of a broader view on some of these technologies, as opposed to, uh, you know, going just down the track of one vendor. And so I definitely think that’s something that’s happening. Um, I also think there is a bigger shift into first principles thinking when it comes to marketing operations and MarTech.

So, you know, like if you talk to most people who work in this space, a lot of it is about. You know, a lot of people are obsessed with features, even I’m obsessed with features and the day to day executing of the work, you know, how does this platform integrate with that platform? And I’m sorry, I just want to make sure I speak in the same language with you here.

When you say first principles, what do you mean by that? Yeah, that’s a good question. Um, so I would say first principles is abstracting away, all of the different, uh, nuances and variables of a particular problem and getting to the core, fundamental logic of it. So a really good example of this would be okay.

Uh, we need to set up a, for example, I’m using, I’m working with the customer at the moment. Uh, you know, w want to set up a, a loyalty program or we want to send up a blueprint, it’s going to be three or four different emails. Right. And so where we start is not okay, what’s the emails that what’s sort of a best practice or what’s what we see in the market in terms of other competitors.

We go to first principles thinking we go, okay, what does a customer need? When it comes to loyalty? What, what does the value, uh, that they get from this brand? And how can we deliver on that? And then we go to the software and the platform and go, okay, using some of these first principles, thinking, how do we start applying this into the context of the technology that we.

Got it and what I do see, yeah. It gets a little bit to the, why are we doing this? And then later you get to the, how is that? My that’s my paraphrasing of it. I don’t know if it’s quite right, but it’s close. I think. Yeah. If you’re familiar with the concept of the five whys, it’s asking those different why questions.

So you get to the heart of the problem that you’re trying to solve. Um, and I do think that, uh, and when you apply that to Mattec it’s, then things become very interesting because often when you see perhaps a sales pitch from a vendor, you know, and perhaps it’s a marketing automation platform or whatever it is, a lot of it is about features and Ben.

Um, but when you start asking the why’s and you get to the heart of things, perhaps you don’t need so many of those features, uh, perhaps the problem is simpler than you thought. And so getting away from a lot of the features and the buzzwords can really help get to the core of, um, what you’re actually trying to achieve with a particular program of work.

So, you know, I would say, you know, managing some of the core principles, like understanding how CRMs actually work, getting to the real nitty gritty of that, understanding them and then moving to a place of, okay, well, how does Salesforce fit into this picture? How does Oracle fit into this picture? It’s I think it alleviates a lot of pain because, you know, I think a lot of us can probably agree that, uh, at some point out Korea we’ve invested in some sort of technology.

And then we go down the track and we realized, Hey, we didn’t actually need this. Or we overextended ourselves in some way. And so getting to first principles in solving really flush out, what’s the problem we’re trying to solve here, asking those why questions. I think it’s really important. And I think.

Education, um, sort of feeds into this in like strategy and thinking about more MarTech strategy. And it’s great to see more independent organizations like MarTech Alliance and even MO Pros as well, thinking through like, how do you actually do some of the strategy work? Like how do you approach things like personalization?

Um, so yeah, that’s, that’s my views on that, but I’ll throw it to the group and I’d like to see what you think. Right Tammy that’s uh, I was like, who’s going to go first. All right. So yeah, look, I, I really like that. You’re pulling it back a couple layers and you’re saying, you know, Hey, let’s, let’s not just talk about a specific tool, like a HubSpot or a Salesforce and kind of its capabilities and try to learn that, but really focus on the fundamentals of like the problem that these technologies were built to solve.

Uh, and then thinking about how those, if, you know, if you want to explore, um, your problems such like your situation, your unique business needs, um, and identify like what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. And then see if the solutions out there kind of fit. Like, you know, what percentage of the, of the problem that you’re trying to solve, do they actually solve for, um, you know, in all likelihood, it’s not going to be a hundred percent, don’t listen to most of the providers.

Right. Uh, so I really like that. You’re, you’re, you’re kind of breaking it down in that way. And I do, I do like that, um, MarTech Alliance, you know, Carlos over there is doing a phenomenal job, um, with, with the work that, and the content that he’s producing, uh, You know, and hopefully we’ll be able to do more with them soon, but, um, I like that these different organizations, MO Pros, the workshops that we do with, uh, you know, just kind of doing a deep dive on.

Sometimes they’re really technical. Um, sometimes they’re more strategic in nature, but like the content that’s being produced by the market now, On applying these strategies and the education that’s going in to, you know, helping people really think through MarTech strategy at large, like at a high level, uh, I think is really headed in the right direction.

And, you know, I, for one, I’m happy that like our organization and our little community is, is growing and as a small part of that, but like certainly, uh, certainly there’s a long road ahead of us to, to really educate the market. But yeah, I really liked the way you broke that down. One. Amy. How about you?

Any thoughts about that? Um, yeah, no, I agree with everything that Mike has so eloquently put. Um, I just, I, I, one of the things that I love about this podcast and all of the guests that we bring on is just like the wide variety of, um, thought leadership and perspectives that are, that are brought to the table.

And we’re always just like learning something new and different perspectives. And that’s something that I really have that I really appreciate as part of this. I don’t really have anything to add. It’s just, yeah, I’m just, um, I’m, I’m like a sponge right now, absorbing a little bit. And with you, Naomi. Um, so.

One of the other sources. I know I’ve used this throughout my career, different, different things I refer from when I was a database administrator all the way through today, you know, but the there’s out there there’s, you know, BD and publications that are generally pretty, pretty good for different kinds of places.

They’re starting to become more for, uh, marketing ops. There’s definitely been stuff for MarTech for awhile. Uh, including, I would say maybe your newsletter fits in that, but one of the things you and I talked about when we were kind of thinking about. Conversation is you said that, um, there, you, you think there’s a low trust environment in the media.

We’d love you to sort of unpack that and kind of describe what you mean by that. How did that impact those of us in the kind of the professional side of it? Yeah. Uh, this is one of my favorite topics and, uh, anybody I talk to, I usually bring this up. So thanks for asking Michael. So I buy a low trust environment.

What I mean by that is when you look at my hanging media landscape out there, um, most of it is driven by an adequate. So I’ll talk about that in a minute and unpack that. Uh, but when it, when you apply a meatier environment to the marketing technology space, so, you know, martech.org, you know, there’s, you know, a bunch of different publications out there.

Um, what I do see is. Uh, there is a really interesting paradigm around how media is actually fade into our careers. So, uh, there are three things that I see that are sort of, uh, I would say, have misaligned incentives to an audience. The first is the one that I just mentioned. So, um, you know, avid the ad economy.

So, you know, like a lot of, uh, publications out there, the way they monetize is. And paid ads. So they attract advertisers. They attract publishes, uh, other publishers, other, um, other companies to advertise on their platform. And they, that job as a journalist. Um, well, somebody who’s writing for that particular organization is to drive as much as gay driven as possible because they’re selling ad units, you know, and that’s, you know, it is what it is and that’s, you know, a lot of the free internet is built around that notion.

Um, but there’s also another aspect to this sort of. Paid events, you know, um, partnerships with different tech vendors and things like that. So a lot of that is actually driven by the Attica anime. Um, and moving on to the next one, the sales aspect is really interesting as well. So, you know, since COVID-19 started, you know, we’ve just had a explosion of webinars.

Like every second, LinkedIn posts, Twitter post is about some sort of webinar. And a lot of that is actually driven by marketing salespeople that are trying to run. Yeah. Oh, totally wrong with that. Yeah. And I was just with somebody earlier today that, uh, said, uh, I was late to a meeting and it was because I was running actually what turned out to be a really great webinar about UTM conventions, uh, today.

And, uh, I got off of it and I was late to this meeting. I said, sorry, I was on a webinar. And he says, oh, God webinars should have our AR.

Uh, it was, no, it was just so funny. He was like over like, you know, he himself is in the marketing team, the demand gen team. Right. And he’s thinking about how to create engaging content alongside our community. And, you know, the, the first thing that I said was like, I was just on a webinar. It’s like, oh, webinars from avatar.

Like, man, I agree. I agree. Like we were inundated with them. Sorry I cut you off. I want to hear what’s next, but oh man, the webinar overloaded. Yeah, look, it’s, it’s a combination of, I think it’s combination of the, uh, the zoom fatigue that people are feeling. There was a front of the screens all day, every day working, you know, there’s no human interaction in a lot of places in the world, steel and the, I think the PR the sales aspect of webinars.

So I would join a webinar. And I would get three emails from a business development representative, reaching out to see if I want to buy this software or educating me more and thinking I need to buy this software. Right. And so that fatigues people at Toms. Right. But it’s actually a pretty good port of call when it comes to learning a specific software.

Um, but then the last one, um, I want to talk about is how. So, um, a lot of this, you may have heard of Neil Patel, you know, the, how to type guru, top content of how to set up an analytics program or how to build out an email or how to do Facebook ads. You know, there’s a lot of that, how to content and what I’ve found with the TMW community.

And a lot of the people who have subscribed the most senior exec people work, you know, pretty large, um, enterprise organizations around the world, uh, is that a lot of these people are lifelong learners. Um, and candle is built around this notion that people are constantly wanting to stay up to date what’s happening in the MarTech space.

However, when you have the adequate enemy driving, a lot of the publications, sales driving, a lot of the webinar sort of richer content, and then this sort of proliferation of how to content, which it suits some people that are just beginning, perhaps it does missile on the incentives for that audience.

And so my question when I started TMW just over a year ago now was what’s wrong with having content as the product at the moment in our industry. And if you look at any sort of publication in any country, the content itself is not the product. It’s actually a vehicle in which to sell another product, which is ads.

Um, you know, driving leads to software products will something. And so I started with that notion and that’s why I think it’s actually low interest environments, because if the incentives are misaligned with, uh, with the actual audience, when the audience is not the customer, then how much of the content can you actually trust?

And so I think that’s really good place to think about. Okay, well, when we have this misaligned incentives between the audience and the customer, what does that do to the environment? I actually think it makes it harder for people to learn. Uh, a lot of people reach out to me. And say, Hey, like who are some great people to follow in the MarTech landscape, you know?

And I actually have a list of those people and I would send that over and I’ll say like, why are you asking this question? And they would say, well, like, this is so much noise out there. It’s just a constant churn of information. And it’s just people shouting over each other and I’m like, what’s the importance?

Like, what’s the stuff that I should be focusing on in my career. Um, who’s going to help me navigate that. And so I, I do think that that’s what I mean by a low trust and why, yeah, this, this is hitting really home. It’s, it’s really like, I’m thinking back to early in my career, what I would get, you know, actual Maggie’s like I’d subscribed to these industry magazines.

And I would read them. And I think, uh, I don’t think the, the, the incentive kind of model has really changed much. It’s just gotten faster, right. With digital. But I, I guess one of the things, I guess, I think I did with that was I focused on reading, finding people who I thought were interesting, intriguing, had ideas, but I also never took it.

Gospel, or this is the way it kind of reminds me what I was kept thinking is my, one of the things I’ve talked about before on the podcast and other people, who’ve had the unfortunate, you know, time to spend with me too much. Those they’ll hear me say, there’s this fallacy of best practices. Right. And then, you know, the, the idea that something can translate no matter where you are, um, whether it’s technology or process or, you know, organization structure, Uh, go to market strategy.

And I think, like, I think part of what I’m kind of thinking about is how do you absorb this stuff that, you know, hopefully you’d know, again, getting eyes wide open and right. You know, it’s going to potentially. Biased or skewed or built around an incentive to sell ads, you know, how do you take the best part of that?

It just sort of filter it through what do you need to apply? And just know that it’s a way of maybe it’s one idea, but it may not be the best thing. Right. So it’s kind of, uh, yeah, th that’s what I’m taking away from this is that’s like, oh, I need to make sure that as I’m reading these things that I’m taking it with.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I hear you on that. Um, Michael, and I think like the fallacy of best practices is definitely a thing that even early on in my career, maybe it’s just because I’m one of those damned mid-to-late millennials that kind of questioned everything. But, uh, I, I would often be like, really, is that really like always going to work?

It doesn’t seem like that’s real. Um, but I will say. Uh, there’s, there’s really great. Um, well established ways of thinking. Um, I think a great example of that is when you’re thinking about setting up infrastructure for supporting analytics, um, particularly, uh, like, you know, in Google analytics and UTM conventions and the way that like architecture, uh, when you’re, when you’re defining, like how does that, that system really work, there are some best practices that you can follow and, you know, You can kind of pick and choose which ones of the elements and the best practices that are out there that you would want to apply to your unique business, because you’re either B2B, B2C, B2B to C uh, you know, e-commerce or whatever, but like generally speaking, there’s some things that you, you might want to follow.

Um, and so there is a place for, for some best practices, if you want to like really become efficient in certain areas. That being said. Yeah, probably not. Uh, you know, take it all for a grain of salt and finding the thought leaders, like, you know, one getting back into what you’re talking about with like, um, you know, a little bit of like lack of trust with, with different media brands.

I don’t think there’s any problem. With letting the content be the product. I think we’re starting to see that more and more with the subscription platforms that are out there. I think medium is doing a nice job by allowing people to both write for free and allow people to be, uh, paid writers and let the subscribers to medium at large, you know, uh, pay a portion of their subscription to the readership that they’re, you know, the things that they’re reading through.

Um, and I can’t think of the other, the other writing platform right now that lets you do it. Uh, But I think, I think that kind of stuff is starting to come to fruition. Um, I also think though that we have to be careful with. The experts that are out there, you know, who are, um, uh, you know, really sharing great content and you can learn from them, but at the end of the day, like they’re a consultant, right?

And so like, they want your business, uh, and they want to learn from you or they want you to learn from them. And then, you know, ideally like earn a place, uh, by yourself. While also earning your dollars. So I think we gotta be a little bit cautious of that. Yeah. I think it’s a healthy dose of skepticism.

Maybe, maybe that’s even harsh, but I think that’s, I think that’s what we’re all talking about, right. Is that, so I thought we would, uh, shift gears a little bit away from kind of education and training to one another, one of the areas that you, you and I talked about it, and you have a passion for, and you do consulting with right.

Is. Customer experience. And, um, I know, well, at least I try to think about customer experiences in marketing ops. So, and if marketing comes and says they want to do something or, or sales team, and, you know, how does, like, I want to think about the customer journey, but truth be told, right. That doesn’t always come to the forefront of my mind.

I have to kind of take that stop and pause. Yeah. How do you see customer experience fitting into marketing ops MarTech roles? Uh, kind of what you see is kind of where we’ve been, where we are now, where we’re going. Yeah. Um, that’s a good question. And, um, uh, probably good to give you a bit of a background in terms of some of the thinking, right?

So I recently did a presentation, um, on the past present and future of customer. And, uh, that was for one of Australia’s largest grocery stores. So similar to like a Walmart in the states. Um, obviously not as big because we’re a smaller country, but, um, well effectively that conversation in the, in the, in the discussion around that was really about, um, the topic of integrating experiences.

And how do you actually integrate and, um, create these really congruent experiences across whatever touch point a customer’s having, uh, with a brand and, and how to actually do that in a way that aligns teams. So they work really well together. Well, they also do a fantastic job of integrating their apps, integrating data, um, and you know, creating really congruent content and messaging experiences.

And so I started the presentation with a bit of a joke. Um, it’s it was a 4,000 year old, uh, customer service complaint. Uh, so, you know, back in the, with battalion period, you know, uh, there was, uh, they found they excavated this, uh, it was kind of like a. And I found these stone tablets like piled up high.

There was like a whole row of these stone tablets and what they were were, uh, these customers from, uh, this person in a trade store who was, um, who was, I think that was smithing some sort of bronze statues and things like that ride or whatever they’re doing back then. Um, but they were complaining that.

The product quality was really low. And when they ask for a refund, they send one of their servants to get a refund. Uh, they, the servant went missing and so they kept eventually they kept on sending these stone tablets. And if you’re a customer, you know, and you’re sitting there and you’re etching a message into a stone tablet, that’s a pretty serious customer service complaint.

But I use that as an example, all of customers have been having bad experiences. Since the Dawn of human history and when it comes to CX and all of the complications of technology today, That factor is still 100% true. And so when it comes to focusing on CX, it does just mean it’s, it can be very simple.

Um, it’s just about harnessing technology to meet our customer’s needs in a way that’s really congruent and in a way that makes sense. And it’s all connected. And, you know, a lot of people would say that’s actually a pipe dream and I kind of agree, right? Like it’s very hard when you have a enterprise business with million of millions of customers, a lot of different teams working on different things to wa to harness all of that, to, um, give the customer.

A really great experience, whatever they have a touch point. And so I did give one more example, uh, which was, uh, and I called it in the future of CX. There’s going to be, um, this paradigm shift from the brand, owning the channel strategy to the customer, owning the channel strategy. So the customer will end up owning their channels.

And that’s a really cool it’s like future or present seems like it’s closer to the present and the future. Uh, I still think there’s a little way to go, but I definitely think that we’re starting to edge into that space, but it’s not so much the, uh, the, I think the paradigm shift has to happen inside organizations.

So if you talk to a marketing manager or somebody who’s working on channels, they’ll say, yeah, this is our channel strategy. This is what we’re going to do without channels, but customers don’t care about that stuff. They just want to say, Hey, can. Um, can I purchase something online to click on collect and then get a notification when I’m ready to go to the store and pick it up?

You know? So like there’s this interesting paradigm shift, I think in organizations, which is leading towards a future on that. Uh, but the one case study, which was, I thought really stood, stood out on this, was that, uh, so target, um, you know, uh, retail store, uh, their e-commerce offering has exploited over COVID of course, you know, because people couldn’t go to retail stores quite so much.

Uh, they experimented with what they were calling omni-channel. So like an old channel strategy where they implemented a whole bunch of features. And in terms of the, uh, the combination of channels that a customer used to purchase, versus just using one channel, say, going into a store and then going into, or just using the e-commerce, um, offering.

Uh, they found that there was a four to 10 X increase of customers, a value increase by using more than one channel for a purchase interaction. And so that just tells me that there’s this really interesting change in how customers are using the technology. They just want to be able to interact in the way that they want to interact.

Um, and brands need to be ready for. You know, and that’s really, I think, sort of feeding into the future of CX as well. And it’s not just like e-commerce websites and email. It’s also thinking about things like, you know, external marketplaces dealing with Amazon or apple, you know, dealing with, um, gaming platforms like roadblocks, you know, dealing with all these different new media organizations like sub-second, you know, so there’s a huge world out there and it’s continuing to grow and diversify in terms of how customers may interact with brands.

And so the job I think is really around. How do you align the technology and your people and your data strategy, uh, and your creative and your messaging and harness those things. And so that you can create these really great unified experiences for customers. And so I think that’s the work that that’s in front of us.

Um, and I do think that the customer is probably going to own the own, the channel, uh, more and more, but perhaps we’re already there mocking. Yeah. Well, I think I’m glad you didn’t just give into my, my assertion there, because I think as you described it, I was thinking, oh, what he’s really getting at is like, we need to be ready to as, as organizations that, to, um, to meet that customer where they are at that time for that particular transaction or interaction.

Right. And it’s a. I have a whole lot of opinions and thoughts about that, that probably we don’t have time for it today, but, uh, it might be something for another conversation of Mike. I think I cut you off to you. I was just going to say, I like this is, this is kind of one of those, like them’s fighting words kind of things, but like what, what this brings up for me in the B2B world is like, you know, Hey, Uh, unified view of the customer and unified kind of centric, uh, data strategy to give your customer or your client, however you choose to refer to them a nice experience.

I’m sorry, but like, Salesforce. We’ve got to get rid of the leads. I’m just going to say, I just I’m, uh, I’m in the camp that says like, Hey it going, using the B2C model as the example that you were providing. If I was to walk in to a retail center and I would see the same faces day in and day out, uh, let’s call it the bagel shop.

Right. And that person by week three didn’t know that I was going to order one of three things. All the time I would ex I would start to like, wonder if that person has a brain, right? Like, like, you know my name, I know your name. Why don’t you know my name? Right. If I see you every day for three weeks, if I walked through those doors, it should be really easy for you to say, Hey Mike, how are you today?

How are the kids, whatever it is that we’ve already talked about. Right? I understand about you. We’ve we built a relationship. We fundamentally broken that when you create intentional. Duplicates or leads that don’t automatically get converted. And you’re saying like, Hey, this lead object is like a totally disconnected thing.

Oh, I’m just gonna pretend like, I don’t know you. Right. And so like this for me in the B2B world, I know it’s fighting words. Uh, and the end of the marketing ops space, like, sorry, we are breaking things. This is where someone needs to fix it. This is why those are examples of where technology actually gets in the way.

Uh, an organization. So to me, this gets down to a fundamental discussion about, do we trust people who are on the front lines to make good decisions? And we given, like, this is like, if you’re going to say that all these interactions, whether it’s B to B or B to C, it doesn’t really matter are going to be based on as much knowledge yeah.

Technology and data and all that can do it. But at the end of the day, like if you don’t trust your people or trust your product enough to say. Things like how many, how many places you’ve been, where they go? Should we put our pricing out there or not? What if our competitors get it? Like totally. Why? Why?

So you’re making it harder for your customers or your prospects to make a decision about, do we continue on a path with you or not? And the first thing, you know, if you’ve got a competitor, who’s like, here’s our. It’s not everything, but it’s at least gives you a ballpark so you can show, can we actually afford this?

So that’s the kind of stuff that like, that’s the part that I think is, is preventing a lot of companies from making it. It’s not the technology, it’s this just sort of belief that you’re not in charge anymore. Um, the way I, um, I think about this as an analogy is when it comes to the CX conversation, it’s kind of like a drunk man on a horse, you know?

So he’ll either full. Well, he will fall to the right and what’s the left and what’s the right. Well, the left is okay. What’s the business value we’re trying to create. And the, and what’s the word? Well, what’s the customer value that we’re trying to create here as well. And there is always a tension, you know?

Okay. We’ve got to convert leads fine. Right. We have to do that because we’ve got KPIs, we’ve got goals and we need to achieve as a business. But there’s the other aspect of this is like, well, what’s the customer trying to do and how can we best enable and support them? You know, like Michael, your example is perfect in the sense that yeah, like a, uh, you know, putting your pricing out on the website, you say your B2B, SAS, putting your pricing out there.

Great for the customer, it helps them. Great customer value, but it may actually diminish the value of the business because competitors get ahold of that and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And so I do think that, um, it’s always this balance. It’s always you’re falling to the left or the right. Um, I think the companies that are going more to the, to the right, into that sort of CX and really delivering for the customer, the ones, particularly the beta C and the consumer tech space, they’re the ones that are, I think they’re getting ahead, right.

Because they’re really solving fundamental problems for customers and, um, Tool that I recommend for this particular work, which is called Wardley mapping. Um, it’s a really great way to map your customer needs right down through, into different stages of business capabilities. So, you know, from, you know, perhaps you’ve got some fundamental Genesis type you’re just starting out right through to your really.

You know, you’ve got, you know, leading technology, you’re really, you’re sort of innovating in a lot of spaces. And how do you actually start mapping your customer needs against that different stages of capability for business, and also understanding your competitive landscape as well on that as well. So I think there’s, there’s an interesting conversation.

It’s always a challenge, you know, the way that we do it, um, uh, Well, in my work in strategy consulting is we tend to map whenever it mapping customer journeys and things like that, we’re always mapping against the business and the customer objective. We’re always thinking about how do we balance these three things and where do we want the business to sit?

You know, do we want to sit more rod and we’ll left? For what reasons? What’s the rationale? What’s the data support it as well. Um, when it aligns. So when solving a customer need, um, leads to a tangible business outcome, that is fantastic. And you know, we do see that a lot of that sweet spot. Well, okay. So I think, I think we just opened up a can of worms.

It could take us another couple hours to go through, but I think we are out of time, unfortunately. So one, thank you so much for, for this. Um, so if folks want to, can I connect with you or get connected to the MarTech weekly? What’s the best way for them to do that? Yup. Uh, so you can go to the MarTech weekly.com.

You can subscribe to the newsletter there. Uh, the making sense of my tech podcasts it’s available every way you can get a podcast, uh, jump on, have a listen. Uh, and then I’m very active on LinkedIn and Twitter. So you can just search one. Um, and then, uh, those, uh, social platforms and you can find me there as well.

This is fantastic. So, Juan, again, great to have you. Thanks for, uh, I know it’s super early for you down there and, uh, the land down on. As spring approaches. Um, so thank you so much, Mike. Uh, thank you. Naomi had to drop thank her as well. Thank you all for listening and continuing to support us as always, you know, continue to rate, review, provide your feedback, send us ideas for, for content or, or topics as well as guests with that.

Thanks so much. Bye everyone. Bye everybody. Thank you. Bye.

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