Ops Cast | Measuring Marketing & Revenue Team’s Effectiveness

In this episode, we did a deep dive on all things marketing reporting, analytics, attribution, etc., etc. with Nic Zangre. We discussed ways to approach it, and how the role of “data hero” is becoming more important in Marketing Ops. Recorded live on July 21, 2021. Hi, I’m Michael Hartmann ,I’m Naomi Lou, and I’m...

In this episode, we did a deep dive on all things marketing reporting, analytics, attribution, etc., etc. with Nic Zangre. We discussed ways to approach it, and how the role of “data hero” is becoming more important in Marketing Ops.

Recorded live on July 21, 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 everyone. And welcome to episode 18 of ops cast brought to you by the MO Pros. I am Michael Hartmann. Your host. I am joined today as usual by one of my co-hosts Mike Rizzo. And, uh, we were missing our other co-host Naomi Lou. So first off, uh, shout out to all those folks who made it to summer camp in Atlanta area last week.

Um, sounds like it was lots of fun and lots of learnings there. If you’re listening to this and it’s still. In July or early, early August 4th, 2021, you can still sign up for summer camp up in the Seattle area, which is August four through six, go to www dot MO Pros dot com to get all the details. All right.

So today we are excited to have with us, Nick Zangri, VP of customer success and revenue operations at CaliberMind. CaliberMind is a customer data platform specializing in marketing analytics, ABM, and pipeline attribution. After 15 years leading marketing ops and award-winning consulting TMC. Joining the CaliberMind co-founders is and was running product to bring them to market the next generation of B2B marketing software.

Nick, thanks so much for joining us today.

Thanks, Michael. It’s an honor. And a pleasure. Excellent. So we’re looking forward to talking to you. I think everyone in our audience is going to be keen to hear what your thoughts are about the marketing, uh, marketing measurement revenue measures. Attribution space. All right. So that said some of our listeners may be new, newer to our analytics and marketing technology.

And as a, as a MarTech veteran, how have you seen the ecosystem for this space sort of evolve over the years? Maybe, especially in the last five years, I feel like there’s been a tremendous amount of change just in the last two to five years.

Wow. You’re telling me, uh, well, to start it’s, it’s gotten harder to do what we do, you know, starting out, running marketing opposite. It wasn’t even called marketing ops. When I started, I think it was e-marketing and you know, every, every sister, every company, if you’re, if you were even at the cutting edge, you had maybe two or three tools, max, in your stack, you had a marketing automation at the time.

It was mostly. It was the leader, uh, Salesforce as a CRM and then maybe a web, a web platform, CMS, and you know, today, what was, what was the last count it’s at Scott Brinker’s last a super graphic 8,000 marketing tech vendors these days. So, yeah, so I mean, it’s a blessing and counting, so it’s a blessing and a curse.

I mean, there’s an emerging skills gap as all those, with all the explosions. Uh, vendors, uh, but also opportunities to be a data superheroes, you know, and that’s one of the large reasons I joined CaliberMind is with this explosion of data silos, you know, why not build a platform to help wrangle and make sense of all the data.

So I think it’s, um, it’s been really fulfilling to see that. The ecosystem evolve over the years. And, and I, and I stuck with it. You know, a lot of my peers are CMOs now or running, uh, agencies. And then I went to try a set out to build a product, to do all this and scale it. So it’s, it’s been a great trip.

It’s a hard one though, right? Definitely. It’s like, oh, you need, you need another tool, right? You need one tool to keep all your other tools in check, you know, and prove proven that what you’re doing, you know, early days of being a marketer, you, you make a new logo as a, as a head of marketing and you’re a genius.

You know, you roll out a new brand. Now you’re, you’re really being asked to be a lot more accountable in the boardroom. We gave you a million dollars. How much did you get back from the investing in these tools and these campaigns and being able to prove ROI is becoming really paramount and key to, uh, keeping your job these days with all the turnover and marketing.

Yeah, totally, totally agree. Totally. It’s just a critical component of like staying in the space. Yeah, you bring up the term marketing and it’s one that I’ve had in my titles before, too. So I remember those days, I even that we’re dating ourselves a little bit. I even remember it for those who don’t know, this is the UTM codes that we’re all familiar with for URLs.

I know what the U stands for workers. It was the predecessor to Google analytics urchin. Right. So long time ago, urchin, right? Yeah. Virgin. Yep. So, uh, so yeah, so Nick, uh, so, you know, based on your history, both personally now with clients, customers of, of CaliberMind, you know, when you think about, um, like if you were to talk to one of our listeners, who’s in a marketing ops role, who’s being asked to be this data hero, right.

Um, Yeah. How would you kind of guide them to start thinking about how to structure even approaching reporting and analytics for, for marketing in general, maybe full revenue sort of life cycle.

Yeah, that’s, it’s a loaded question because there’s so many places to start. Uh, and uh, oftentimes you come into a situation where your predecessors have built something and that you’re trying to rebuild, and there’s a lot of change management involved. So first of all, I’d, I’d try to gauge where the organization is from a maturity stage.

If it’s, you know, a, uh, call it a laggard or an early adopter of, so maybe you just implemented your first marketing automation platform. You might not be ready for advanced features like machine learning, uh, or, you know, algorithmic attribution, things like that. So I would say that the best advice is to gate gauge where you’re at gateway organizations that, um, and get started.

You really want your goals to. Ultimately build a data-driven culture across the organization. And whether you’re start with something as simple as AB testing and just every week, you know, you’re AB testing your landing page and show. And then in every marketing meeting, going through the results, um, or something more sophisticated like pipeline attributes.

Um, but yeah, it gets started based on, based on where, and then where your company is in the maturity spectrum, you might tackle different metrics and different systems. Uh, but yeah, I think the main advice is get started. Don’t wait, I too often I hear, uh, we’re uh, we’re just not ready for reporting or attribution or, um, AB.

And I think that’s the wrong answer that it should be. We’re our data. Isn’t ready. So let’s, let’s fix it in parallel while we’re defining our KPIs and aligning on what we want to measure. So I think that where there’s a will, there’s a way, and you just gotta, you just gotta get started.

Yeah, that makes a bunch of sense to me. I, I, there’s been a lot of talk to just on, you know, like whether it’s in the community, um, or on LinkedIn and what have you, where, you know, are, are we. Are we kind of like data ops people first, or are we just operational people that interact with, um, different integrations and tools that touch data?

It, you know, and that’s like kind of, I think it’s, it’s tomato, tomato in some ways, but like, I appreciate the conversations that are going on to kind of echo what you’re saying, where, you know, as an organization, if you’re thinking about data in the right way, It can lead you to a better leveraging that information to enable new programs.

Right. And, and I think tools like CaliberMind, and, and, and I mean, just your marketing automation platforms and all of that are giving us access to a plethora of information, but you have to be willing to. I mean, it shouldn’t scare you away from, you know, taking steps in the direction of new campaign efforts like ABM or anything.

No. And, and I would add that the tail can’t wag the dog, it can’t, it shouldn’t be because your boss wants you to have a certain metric and report on it. That’s the only thing you should be reporting on. You know, I’ve seen too many organizations where maybe the COO is obsessed with MQL. But the whole rest of the marketing organization wants to move to a more of an account-based funnel.

Uh, and then, so you just have, you’re just beating them all drum. And at the same time, the team gets fragmented and alienated. So there has to be alignment top down, bottom up, and then cross-functionally maybe between sales and marketing ops between customer ops, uh, across the whole license. Yeah. And that’s a thing we hear repeatedly, uh, across the board, right?

The alignment cross-functionally and something, obviously I’m championing really hard with, with what we’re doing MO Pros. And I like what you said about ops. Are we data? I guess managers is that even in our charter, I think 10 years ago, it wasn’t in, you know, 10 years ago you had marketing ops was sending email campaigns that nurture us and that’s all they were doing.

And now the same team because of their technical acumen and their abilities and their familiarity with the data. They’re also beginning to get chartered with reporting. And so it’s getting some ops folks out of their comfort zone, but also, like I said, opening opportunities to really. I have, um, great conversations with the CFOs and the CRS and your management team.

If you’re able to, to show and prove out, you know, marketing effectiveness with data, that really goes a long way in your career. I think. And so I would, you know, there might be some, some topics later we cover on career development and how to get into data, but I would definitely encourage it. Don’t don’t just stick to, you know, sending campaigns out of Marquetto hall.

Thanks. Thank you. Bigger. Amen. There’s more to do than that. I have been on. I’ve been getting a stump that, that, you know, if I was to be building a new team, it may not be the first hire, but someone who really gets a marketing specific kind of analytics, that context, cause it’s an it’s different than finance or, you know, other types of analytics or data science and getting that because it’s become.

I do think it’s become an expectation that the marketing ops team will be the, not just the data captures and the ones who use it to do segmentation, but the ones who are providing, you know, understanding what the. Um, what the value of marketing has been, what our taxes could have been, how we’re impacting or not impacting things, our campaigns working all those are good questions.

And I think we’ve done a, we collectively, as marketers and as ops people have not done a great job of taking advantage of all these technology platforms are generating tons and tons of day. Right to inform what we’re doing better. I think it’s, I think, I think it’s still a unusual case when that’s happening more.

Um, so I’m with you on that. I would, I, I’m a big believer. That’s an important piece. I also am a big believer that. Um, yeah, I like you, like, I think the time to start reporting is now not when our data’s perfect. Cause I have not been to any place that doesn’t say, oh my Salesforce, our Salesforce instance scrap, right.

Or our Marquetto instance or whatever. So. I think the sooner you can start reporting on this stuff, the better, because what it does is it usually figures. It helps identify when you see those issues. It shouldn’t go, oh, that’s bad. She figured out why is it bad? Cause it usually starts upstream somewhere.

Right? Where they. E like you and I, Nick were talking right before this, right? Uh, I’m going to be, you know, going to work at a registration desk and an event here in a few weeks, partially because I want to see how, what are the issues with data capture on the front end for people who’ve registered and then actually attended the event that are going to flow eventually into.

Our systems. So, you know, what can I do? Do you, does that sound right to you? Are there other things that you think are important that will come out of doing that early kind of reporting that you start sooner rather than later?

Yeah. I mean, you should also be uncovering processes that could be improved to enable future reporting and better. Maybe you don’t have your website forms integrated with a web tracking script. If that doesn’t exist, you’re going to lose those UTMs and, uh, all the rich web history. Same with the, uh, event example you mentioned.

Maybe you have a way to import, uh, event registrations in a batch process into your CRM, but then you might want to treat booth visits differently than people that don’t show up or that come to the party. All those might ultimately be different quality of engaging. Um, and lead to different types of, uh, I dunno waiting if you’re, if you’re trying to model it more programmatically.

So I think, I think there’s getting the, the, the processes right. Then there’s also thinking through your hierarchies of data. So you have, um, I’ll often thing overlooked is that when I get engaged with a new customer is they have, uh, campaigns, but it’s a very. Structure. There’s no, not a lot of thought often into how do I want to roll this up at a more executive level?

So what are our parent campaigns and programs and initiatives? How do I want to organize my campaigns in line with the business so that the CEO knows maybe you’re pushing three big products and then how do my campaigns roll up to those products so that if I want. Present that report to my CEO, instead of showing them a list of a hundred campaigns, I might just show them three buckets.

How did we do against each of these product initiatives and, and thinking through that strategically and having those dialogues with the, some of the executive leadership, as well as the product team at your organization. I think it goes a long way.

Yeah. I like that idea of a hierarchy of, of what you described a little different than what I was thinking. I kind of tell people, I think of it as like there’s four levels of reporting. What is, you know, sort of system health, um, which doesn’t probably go outside of marketing ops, then there’s sort of marketing campaign tactic level, which I think that’s where there’s a tie in to what you were talking about.

And then once you get beyond that, where you’re going outside of marketing, it needs to be a lot more focused on. Uh, the storytelling behind the data, right? What is the data telling us whether that’s, you know, the full revenue team or the CEO board level? Um, So, yeah. What are the other challenges I’ve I know I’ve experienced personally and probably others have is that there’s, uh, as part of what attracted me to marketing data and analytics in the first place, when I shifted my career is that there’s a lack of understanding about how to interpret and understand just the messy marketing data that we’ve got.

Uh, and that’s, I think that’s especially true in the B2B world where you’ve got lots of different players in the middle of the processes that affect it. But there’s, there’s still a lot less, there’s been historically less emphasis on staffing for like data analytics reporting. So do you have any kind of guidelines or suggestions for, uh, how we should be thinking about staffing to support that?

Right. Um, whether that’s, you know, cross-functional teams, steering, committees, hiring more people, like what would you propose there?

Right. And so, you know, a big trend and, uh, and Mike and Michael, I’m sure you’ve heard rev ops thrown around a ton in the communities. Never.

I mean, I’ll just tell you a story is, uh, you know, is that one organization and we were in marketing. I was running marketing ops. And what was happening was that. Uh, a few, a few challenges with, um, Alignment between the various teams. One is the metrics we were reporting on were very called them.

Self-serving maybe would serve a certain team or our lead generation team or our growth team versus, um, pipeline, et cetera. And then also buying tools. We would buy a tool and then sales ops would go buy a similar tool from a different vendor. So there’s a lot of waste. And finally you have this, um, Challenge cross-training individuals, you know, um, maybe some folks on the marketing team should, uh, wanted to get their Salesforce administrator license or a certification.

Once you get that, you know, maybe you should get the keys to the castle and be able to create a new field in Salesforce and help clean up the data. So what I think rev ops is doing. Is it’s, it’s becoming kind of a Switzerland that’s helping align marketing sales ops, and customer ops all around calming and common objectives and data cleanup and messiness is, is, uh, you know, at every organization, as you mentioned.

So. You know, tackling things like duplication rate is my data stale. Are there obsolete records in there is, are, is there white space? Do we need an enrichment vendor? Are our leads converting efficiently to contacts, uh, in our processes? Um, you know, so I will say that the organization structure plays a, a big part could because I’ve seen organizations where it’s very siloed and there’s this.

Uh, a wall between the teams and that makes, uh, D data integrity projects, especially difficult because you’re one team is trying to drive. Um, tell the other team how to do their job. Yeah, marketing ops is calling sales ops is baby ugly. And you never want to do that if possible. You want to, you want to instead it and say, you know, what’s ugly is duplicated accounts in our CRM, right.

You know, it’s, it’s burning productivity. It’s making it’s, it’s hurting trust in our reporting. So let’s whether it’s a committee, whether it’s a reorg, whether it’s, um, a data governance team that, uh, I’ve even seen it sit out of ops completely like in a center of excellence. That owns all the integrity.

So yeah, something that’s aligned that and the, the team has to be empowered to make the, make the change. You know, it, it can’t be a marketing ops team that wants to deduplicate your, your database and then a sales ops team that won’t let you touch the data. It has to, it has to be two sides of the coin because you’re all working towards a common.

But yeah, I think, I think that the politics is what gets in the way most often. And then it’s then it’s the, how do we hire a consultant? Do we buy a tool? Like, you know, CaliberMind or RingLead that can also dedupe, uh, records, uh, where do we start? You know, um, there’s a lot of ways to skin the cat, but you have to get in there and make some, some joint decisions and then you need the blessing.

The leadership that this is important. Okay. If we’re going to spend all this money and time, um, cleaning up our database, why and what are the metrics that’s going to drive? Well, it’s every sales rep might be able to make 10% more calls every day because they can, they’re able to find the data, uh, easily, you know, reporting would be more trustworthy.

Um, customers won’t get will no longer get, um, prospect communication because my segmentation is bad. So there’s, if you can drive to get sued, all get sued because they asked to unsubscribe, but it wasn’t directed to the right places. Exactly. All that all that’s possible. If it’s not, um, you know, clean and organized.

So yeah, if you could tap to some KPIs and also get the change of management going in the organization to, to, to really make it part of the culture, as I was saying, um, That’s that’s critical for success of cleaning up your messy data. I would totally agree with all of what you said. And I think I was, I was wondering if you were going to touch on how does leadership buy into this concept?

Because it just sounds like, uh, it sounds like, uh, a non-revenue driving job responsibility, but the reality is is that like your, your business can. Take a serious dive and like become a dumpster fire. Like you don’t have, you know, the right process in place to manage the integrity of your data and having teams in place to be stewards of data excellence.

Um, across the board, I think is just tremendous. And whether that’s like, like you said, like just a quarterly meeting even, or once a month. If you’re all in your own silo, marketing sales customer success ops to kind of go back to this idea of rev ops as an umbrella to bring all those together. Take it upon yourselves, just get together and like figure out like what’s going on in the databases and how can we work together to, to, you know, maybe it’s just a meeting once a month.

And it starts off that before the meeting could be supported by a weekly report. That’s sent out an automated of our duplicates are orphaned leads. Um, And some of the, some of the key data, health metrics. I think that that goes a long way to then when you’re in the meetings, you have something to talk about.

Yeah. Like what’s going on, like, let’s, let’s peek behind the curtain what’s going on here and let’s talk about it. And then let’s strive towards like making progress to improve upon everything. Exactly. Th that gets right at the heart of what we were talking about earlier about the, you know, the reporting can uncover.

Process issues or system issues, right? Like leads, it didn’t flow through and things like that. Um, you, you touched on the two things. I think our. Critical to, I think, trust both trusting the data and trust in our counterparts, in other parts of the organization. Um, and I think that’s especially true with things like attribution reporting.

You know, I often tell, say that, you know, marketing attribution was supposed to help marketers tell the story about their, the, you know, the, the return on investment, ROI of marketing dollar spend. Um, but we’ve done a poor job of actually telling the story in a way that makes it. Part of it is because nobody believes it right now, especially when it gets to like a complex long sales cycle, a large deal value B2B sale, right.

That there’s nobody trusted, you know, marketing saying, oh, marketing is the one who, who got this. So. Um, yeah. How do you, in, in kinda, as you think about this, how do you address the, some of the challenges when it comes to that trust issue? Driving alignment, as well as, um, yeah. How much weight do you put on marketing touches versus sales touches or like, does it, H w how do you kind of decide on those as an organization?

Yeah. I love that you mentioned sales and marketing. In the same sentence there. Um, but I don’t know if it should always be versus, you know, and I think that that helps drive some of the mistrust or us versus them or share. I don’t like the word attribution credit. Cause I feel like that could be a dirty word.

Uh, I had one enterprise customer. When they had just started implementing, uh, attribution, you know, something like one, one email click ended up being worth a billion dollars because they hadn’t loudly mapped out all of the touch points across, across the organization. And then that’s a crossroads in the implementation and the trust, you know, do we buy that?

Do we, do we really believe that. Why is it saying that? And what’s it saying directionally? So, um, to culture eats strategy for breakfast, that that’s how that’s I live by that mantra and building the data-driven culture. Uh, like I said earlier is important, but also setting expectations on what something like attribution is actually doing.

It’s not designed to. Be a marketing versus sales tool. It’s designed to show directionality and give you ideas where to place your bets and the most successful organizations I’ve seen adopt attribution solutions actually treat sales touches the same way as marketing touches. Meaning that if you haven’t a good attribution model, You’re able to tell the whole story of the opportunity.

Well, they went into this outreach cadence and then they clicked on a banner ad, uh, through this content syndication partner. Then they came through organic and they downloaded this, you know, white paper. And then they did a drift chat bot, and then they had four more sales conversations, all which get some type of share of the influence.

Um, and then the deal closed. So when trick, I see often, um, for early adopters of attribution where you’re, you know, a company is not quite ready to sell attributes within the realization, maybe their CEO is asking for a single touch model. Every opportunity is either generated by marketing or sales. That that’s what I hear often from us from CEOs and a step in the right direction is okay.

What if we break it into. Um, four buckets, instead of two, you have marketing only sourced marketing, then sales or sales, then marketing source and then sales only source. And so that’s kind of a step towards multitouch, but at least you’re saying you’re painting, you’re building the culture, right? It’s a team effort selling, uh, you know, I see SDR is rolling up to marketing now and a cadence in SalesLoft should be treated like a nurture series in market.

From my eyes. And then once you, you know, once you, once you could level the playing field and say a touches, a touch, then you’re, then you’re, you’re starting to think more like Switzerland. And you’re saying, all right, what, what actually happened to this opportunity? How did we actually close it as a team?

Instead of this email, click is worth a billion dollars. We should do more of that. It’s, you know, it’s more like let’s get all the touches mapped. So. The data and the story is more and the narrative is more explainable and more, you know, easier pill to swallow. And then you could move from that maybe, um, four touch or I dunno, four bucket model, if from a two bucket model to a four bucket model, then to a multi-touch basic model.

And then eventually a machine learning model, which we’re seeing maybe our top, I don’t know, 15% of customers doing machine learning attribution. That’s fascinating. There’s so much going on in the world of like machine learning and the way that it’s going to impact the future of reporting on, you know, business performance to like awesome.

Um, but the inputs need to like dictate the outputs, right? Like what we’ve. Eh, what came of the conversation at last week’s Atlanta, uh, summer camp event, why marketers should pay attention to AI, um, and led by the marketing AI Institute, which for those of you that haven’t heard of them is actually really cool.

Um, the. Uh, the conversation was about, you know, data inputs, dictate outputs for the machines to understand how to best, you know, attribute the future acquisition of, uh, where you know, where you should spend your dollars. Right. And my biggest fear as I was talking to this group last week, my biggest fear was like someone somewhere is going to say like some leader somewhere, you know, it’s just going to blindly throw out the requests like.

I heard AI can help us solve the attribution problem and just like go buy a tool and then just trust it. But like, kind of going back to where the conversation started around just data hygiene and being stewards of good data practice. Yes, it can help you figure out like where attribution should be pointed to, or given credit or it’s all of the multi-touch scenarios.

But like, if you don’t give it the right information, it’s going to be the billion dollar email campaign. Again, it’s heard, I’ve heard data scientists refer that as expert labeling, which, which I think makes a lot of sense. If you think about it, you know, you have an AI that can tell cat or how. But someone had to say, these are hot dogs and these are cats right now.

And so the same thing with marketing, we, you know, I had one customer, we were implementing a machine learning attribution for them and they saying, you know, th this looks a little off. I would expect this person, this persona in the deal to get more credit or more, you know, I hate that word, but more like a.

More of the allocation of the pie. And so what we did was we went in and we labeled that persona in the system. And then we ran the models and the models said, you know, in this personas is in the deal, it’s actually three times more likely to close the deal. But the AI didn’t know to look for the type of persona.

At first, we had to inform it and expertly labeled the data. So that the AI is spitting out something that’s believable and trustworthy. So I think that’s a great, great point, you know, on the, on the labeling of the data and the cleanliness, it’s garbage in garbage out, not to sound cliche, but that’s how I works as well.

Yeah, great points. It’s yeah, it’s definitely not a, just like marketing automation, you know, when it first came into the world, it wasn’t a magic flip of a switch and things just worked, uh, despite all the salespeople telling us that it would do that for us. Um, it takes input. Right. And it takes people to ask the right questions.

Yeah. And so, you know, for what it’s worth, but like, just be thinking about that the next time. So those listeners out there, if someone says, Hey, let’s go get an AI solution to tell us what to do next. Like, don’t forget you better have the right inputs. Oh, it could be. I mean, it doesn’t even have to be high.

It could just be a visualization tool. Right. And like the visualization tools, aren’t going to be as good as the data. And this is one of the things I tell people, right. Ultimately that data. Whether you have AI or marketing automation or other tech in the middle, right. It starts with somebody somewhere entering something.

And if you’re not disciplined about how that happens and the process flow and the data flow from there, then it’s not going to really matter a whole lot, um, until you really address that, that part of it. Um, so. Yeah, we were just talking, touching on something though, but I think this is a key one, right?

That AI is hot right now or machine learning. Right. And that the assumption is that the, those technologies can, uh, do stuff that a human being can’t do. Uh, but you just made the point, right? That even that tool required some human input that you needed a person. So I like, I’m a strong believer. I have a real strong opinion that.

Yeah, the best reporting and analytics is really somewhat of an effort thing, right? It requires people who are smart and know how to interpret this stuff, to get in the middle of it, um, to really get the insights. How, how have you seen folks, uh, you know, fight for, get the resources to do that deeper level of analysis rather than, you know, investing in more tech or higher end tech bef you know, just because it sounds like it will solve the problem.

Human intervention. Yeah. And without asking this question, you also asked the build versus buy question in there as well without knowing it because a lot of times have, you know, informs the tools. If you have someone that built an email solution in the past, maybe you’re not. Rush to buy an email solution.

Um, for example, that maybe a bad example, but I think the same thing with something attribution or you’re building a data lake. Um, and should I buy an attribution vendor to install in my data lake? Or should I just hire a bunch of data scientists and they’re smart and they’ll do it. Uh, so I, if I had to first, I’d start with the build versus buy question.

What are you trying to achieve? What’s your outcome? And to end analytics for your whole company. Is it, you know, I want to saw, create a marketing data repository and start there. And that’s my main goal. That’s my end with the outcome of making data driven decisions. Once you have your outcome in mind, then you could really make that, do the vendor analysis that build versus buy.

So I would say probably when it comes to something like attribution and reporting, um, 80% of companies I strongly believe should buy it. The other 20% are, uh, you know, maybe 19% of them are laggards in their, or their sales cycle is so simple and their product is so simple and they’re not doing many marketing channels.

That they don’t need a sophisticated solution. So you have that, that bucket of laggards or that are where their business model isn’t, uh, uh, miss, uh, not, not a fit. And you have this 1%, the, uh, Uber’s of the world and the lockers and the, you know, ThoughtSpot and snowflake, where data is your, your job, your, your company’s DNA is building and, and data.

Uh, Those companies probably shouldn’t buy an attribution tool or reporting tool. They should build it because that’s what they do. I remember when I was first getting started at CaliberMind, you know, we are a startup and I was, I was doing marketing’s, you know, sales, I wearing all the hats and I had a good buddy that was working at Uber at the time and their marketing ops team.

So I went in, I got a meeting with Uber. And I said, Hey, check this out. You know, you could, you could just re build all your ports right in here and pull queries. And he’s like, you know, dude, we to join the marketing ops team at Uber, you have to take a sequel course. And then we have 20 engineers that just build marketing reports all day.

And marketing capabilities. So I was just, yeah, I didn’t have anything left to say at that point so that they were in the 1%, but that’s crazy. Just put it out there. It’s like crazy. It’s crazy. But it was like, Amazon would be the same too, right? Exactly. They’re there in the 1%, like you’ve built the infrastructure under the data warehouse.

So of course you’re going to build you. But the 80% or somewhere in between that maybe they they’ve purchased snowflake and, um, Tableau and they have some reporting and then they’re at the crossroad. Do I need to hire a bunch of data scientists or do maybe I have one really good data scientist and build and buy a tool that will get them take all of the grunt work out of their job.

You know, 70% of data science is wrangling the data. So if you, if you have the right technology in place to enable that data scientists to not have to wrangle the data and normalize it and standardize it and label it, then you could get a lot more out. From that higher and really set them free running.

And instead of hiring three data scientists, all do, two of them are going to have to do grunt work. Only one of them is going to be doing insights for a fraction of the cost. You can buy a vendor shameless plug, you know, but that does a lot of the wrangling and the normalization and the de duping and all that.

That’s been doing it for years. You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel if you can. And so that’d be my advice. There is, you know, first of all, pick the outcome you want to build, you want to, you want to have, uh, and then then decide the, the staffing and the build versus buy comes out of that. That’s right.

I like that model there. That really, it’s not like build, just build versus buy or do we add more people? It’s like those two go in combination. And you might like thinking about them holistically as the, as the way to think about it is that I think that’s what you’re saying, right? Yeah. I mean, if Y Y buyer by Marquetto, if no one is capable of doing using it, you could get by with, or.

Great. If all you have is, is someone that can, if you don’t have the skills to drive the Ferrari, uh, you know, you’re, you’re not gonna win on the racetrack, no matter how good your car is, right? You don’t need a Ferrari. If all you need is the Honda, then you just, and that’s good enough for, for many organizations, but it’s.

I want to get to that next level. You have to, you have to think of it holistically. I need a really good driver for my car and I’m going to need a good car. And then I’m going to need mechanics that are going to work on it. I think to keep it running. That’s a great, I really like that analogy. And like I wrote a blog post years ago.

I don’t even remember now, but I, it was something about like, there’s no autopilot and in marketing automation and it’s the same thing, right? Like when you’re making an investment into technology, Um, your calculation on the ROI of, of set investment into technology solutions needs to also include the talent required to like manage the absolutely.

Like it’s a part of the, it’s a part of the cost and don’t be, and don’t be shy. Shout out all my consultant, friends out there, and that I come from consulting back in the day and they, they serve a really important need when you get. And I think a lot of, um, uh, marketing leadership is hesitant to spend the 150 200 an hour.

Sometimes the high sticker price that comes with those resources. But the alternative is you’re hiring a six-figure employee a that, and it’s a big commitment when maybe you just need a few months of that resource and then you need a different resource. And so sometimes an agency can really help round out your team.

Instead of hiring a web developer and a data scientist and a marketing ops pro that could run the marketing automation and an analyst. Sometimes you could hire for the same price of a full-time employee. You could end up getting all four of those resources, uh, at a fraction in a fractional way. Right.

That makes sense. Right? Yeah. And then it’s low commitment, you know, if you need to get out, you can, uh, Versus you might get one or two head count for the year. It’s very hard to hire. And you’ve seen those job descriptions that, you know, 10 years of marketing automation and sequel and Python and HTML and Salesforce certification, those unicorns are so rare that sometimes it’s better to hire for acumen and ability, hire someone really sharp and then bring some consultants in to take them under their wing for six months.

Yeah, then, then they’ll become that, you know, Yeah, I agree. I think, you know, we’re, we’re heading down a dangerous path of, uh, the job market, which is just crazy right now, but definitely like, you know, just to, I dunno, maybe put a bow on that, like, or open the can of worms a little further, who knows, uh, the.

The problem is, is that like, people want to hire for these roles because they don’t understand it. Right. And so they just like want to hire the talent to just like, sort of wash their hands of it and like have a partner in crime that like, says like, this is your world. Uh, and so like, cause think about hiring contractors, right?

Like. If I don’t know what I don’t know, I have to then invest the time to go figure out who do I need? When do I need them? And for how long and all, and like, what am I setting out to accomplish? And if I don’t have that expertise as a leader, that’s trying to hire that talent. Right. That’s the reason I’m trying to hire that talent is because they know what they need and all that other stuff.

So it’s just hard. It’s like chicken and egg. And if you just have leadership that isn’t educated yet. Is required to go fulfill on a vision, whatever that vision is. Uh, sometimes the contracting game is really hard, but I totally agree, like contracts, hiring folks in general that are smarter than you in a certain area as always leaders need to be humble enough to do that, you know?

Totally, totally agree with that. Yeah. So, uh, kinda wrap things up a little bit. Well, I was taking notes along the way, and like, I have two words I wrote down that kind of were themes to me. And I would be curious like what you, like, I wrote down trust, right? Trust in the data trust in each other, across the organization, and then discipline.

Around processes, you know how we’re thinking? Like, what do these numbers mean? So that when we get together, we are talking about the same stuff. Um, this like those, those two to me seem to be like the underlying, like, if you don’t have those kinds of things, as part of your culture, culture, Trump, what did, was it culture it’s, uh, Uh, strategy for breakfast, that’s it?

Um, the Peter Drucker Drucker, right? Um, yeah, I think they, so I think that culture piece, uh, you know, I had had a, you asked me coming into this conversation, what I thought, how important culture was. I probably would’ve said, yeah, it’s important, but I think coming out of it, I’m like, yeah, it’s really, really important, right?

To have those kinds of things. It’s part of your culture to be successful. All right. So this has been awesome. One last question for you, Nick, before we drop off that we’re asking everybody because part of the community that Mike started was to try to build, you know, no way places for people to collaborate and get to know each other and help each other out, but also to sort of set the groundwork for.

Yeah. Is there a way to learn, because I think none of us who are in this space now really have went through any kind of formal process to become a marketing ops professional. So if there was such a thing as a certified marketing operations professional, like what would you say? Like this absolutely has to be a part of it like this, what kind of training or knowledge or experience?

Yeah. I’m going to add an unpopular skill is the sequel that I’m seeing more and more become useful to marketing operations. I, one of my customers, they have their marketing ops team goes on a retreat every year and they just, they just go on a training for two weeks and they were picking what asking, picking my brain.

What should we learn this year? What should we do? You know that in the past they’ve. Yeah. So it’s, it’s always going to be some level of CRM certification or, and familiarity. That’s a pretty cornerstone cornerstone. If you’re, if you’re not able to talk to sales ops or your sales team and, or build a workflow in Salesforce, for example, um, you’re going to have trouble being an effective marketing ops professional, right.

Then there’s the marketing automation. Aspect, you don’t have to know all the tools out there. Pick, pick probably two, you know, Marketo and HubSpot, for example, you probably don’t just want one. Cause then if you would go to a company with a different one, you might be, and also it gives you perspective how other tools do it.

Uh, and then there’s the analytical piece, which, which I would argue is starting to become pretty critical into a successful marketing ops person. Um, If I knew sequel five years ago or 10 years ago, I would have been probably doubly as effective in my job because I would not have to do had ask others for reports and data queries.

And I wouldn’t have to spend nights in Excel in front of the TV building, you know, preparing the data for the CMO meeting the next day. All that, you know, I would have saved hours and hours of time writing a simple SQL query versus trying to do V lookups and, you know, listed ports and big downloads of data and crashing my computer because it’s running out of memory.

Speaking to my LinkedIn, the moderate, yeah. Within the modern stack, like that’s a critical skill that I think is, is missing. And probably only maybe 10% or less of barking ops really are comfortable with that level of data access. But, uh, as you said earlier, more and more marketing ops pros are now.

Pulling in data in their chart and their charter, and they they’re responsible for reporting more and more. And if you’re able to, you know, if you have a data science team and you could send them a quick. It’s a lot more elegant of a way to talk and speak their language versus saying, well, you know, I filter this out and add this and oh, and this and or this, um, I’m just, I’m blown away by the power and unlocks.

It’s almost like the matrix. You see, start to see everything in. In code, you know, so, so that’s, that’s, that’s the missing piece, I think for a lot of ops today. And I, I hope that more and more, uh, operations professionals start to understand analytics because I think it’s, it’ll really serve them well in their careers.

Totally great answers. All, all very relevant and timely. And we’re hearing a lot of that from the community, for sure. So I appreciate you coming on Nick. This has been really Michael and Mike Rizzo and Hartmann. There we go times. Yeah. And I think a lot of Michael’s on this group. It’s a small world. And so I know.

We’ll cross paths again soon. Yeah. So, so, uh, Nick, thanks again for, for the insights. If folks want to keep up with you or CaliberMind, what’s the best way for them to do that? Yeah. I mean, ha happy to connect with any folks on LinkedIn. I love helping out, um, aspiring professionals trying to get into the industry.

You know, we’ll see folks from sales, try to cross train into marketing ops and uh, data coming in. So always, um, uh, met open book, um, Uh, connect with me on LinkedIn. It’s just Nick with, and I, and I SEO in my own name. I dropped the case. So was just NIC go to the top of the result to years and years of standing in the back of the lunch line with the Zangri.

And now I, now I go to the top, so yeah, feel free to reach out calibermind.com. If you want to check us out more than happy to, uh, schedule an informational session, uh, we’re not. We’re not a super salesy organization. We’re very consultative. So just happy to have a conversation about your data and your readiness for reporting.

Fantastic. This has been fantastic for those of you listening. Thank you again for letting us be part of your, your day to day routine. Um, stay tuned for future episodes by subscribing and rating and reviewing our with whatever platform you normally listen to with that, it’s a wrap. Thanks so much, buddy.

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