Watch the episode or tune in on Ops Cast to find out what the mistakes were and how (if possible) they were resolved.
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Episode 11 – Amy Goldfine
Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us for another episode of MOOPs TV today, I’m joined by Amy Goldfein. Thanks so much for joining us Amy. Those of you who’ve been over. In the ops space for a little while, probably have some familiarity with Amy. But do you want to kick us off and tell us a little bit about yourself in where you current?
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I’m Amy Goldfein, I’m head of marketing operations at interval and based out of the San Francisco bay area. My pronouns are she and her. I’ve been at editable for about two years. We are a cross-channel platform that Prowers unified and memorable. For experiences for leading brands like Zillow door, dash, calm and box.
I’m on the rev ops team. Currently we are a team of two, almost about to be a team of three next month. Very exciting. And I’m also a three-time Marketo champion and I run the San Francisco Marketo user. So been in the marketing ops space for awhile, love, Marketo love marketing ops and really love educating and helping people.
And that’s why I really wanted to come share this. Obviously this is really fun to talk about cringey moments and I think you probably all will cringe. I’ve cringed listening to all the previous episodes. But I really hope that people can learn something from this as well. Awesome. So you gave us a little bit, but approximately how many years have you been practicing marketing and revenue ops?
Let’s see. So I got into the sort of like general, I say, like modern marketing, working in a tech company in 2013, I was doing email webinars, campaigns, little customer marketing, small team doing everything 2016 is when we got Marketo. And when I like really realized that marketing ops was a thing and.
Like really fell in love with it. Marketo just really fit how my brain work and I loved the way you could scale campaign ops when you’re a team of one. And you’re trying to get more webinars out the door. I love the flexibility of it. I really like finally clicked how it like worked with Salesforce.
I became Marketo certified in 2017 and became a Marketo champion 2019. And now here we are a end of 20, 21. Awesome. Quite a career. I started with, Marketo right around the same time in 2016. And it’s been so fun to watch some of the improvements to the product. Yeah. At what point in your career did the mistake?
We’re going to chat. Today happened happened about a year and a half ago. So far enough into my career where I was like, considering myself, pretty like I was hired at Iterable to manage our Marketo instance. And, I’d been there for four or five. And yeah, definitely look, I’ve had moves throughout my career.
I was thinking, I was like, why don’t we talk about, I could talk about the time I forgot to record a webinar. Everybody’s had like email moops but this one’s fairly recent. I think pretty relatable and I’ve just really learned a lot from it, which I think is the most important if you make a mistake.
It’s not just oh, I don’t do that exact same thing against like, how do I improve my processes? How does my team grow? How does my own, like understanding change from, dealing with this problem personally cringing at the idea of being like four or five months in and making a mistake of the one that you made, because I know that’s where you.
And be like, oh, I’m so I know our systems, I’m starting to feel good. My coworkers trust me. I’m so great. So there was a lot of all that going on too. So set the stage a little. What were you trying to do? Yeah. Let me take you back. I don’t know if. Spring of 2020 when this major global thing happened, that changed every aspect of our lives.
It’s called the pandemic. Does that sound familiar? Which by the way, obviously we’re still living in spring 2020. Everything changed very quickly. We all started working from home our ability to go out and do things and interact with people changed drastically. And so for marketers, a lot of us had to really change our marketing tactics, right?
So we have a pretty robust field marketing program at interval, and suddenly we had to pivot to virtual and so had to, all of a sudden it was like our founding, our field marketing team was like, do we still. Like, how does this, I’ve had to figure out how to do virtual events. I’m a planner, somebody I know called this weaponized anxiety that I’m just constantly thinking like two steps ahead.
So as soon as we there was a whiff that like our in-person conference was not going to happen in person. I was like, we got to talk about virtual events. They got to talk about plans, like talking to people about events. Trying to get on the virtual event train and we moved as quickly as possible, but we still had to move very quickly.
Because I think everything shut down mid-March and activate was planned for June. So it was a really fast turnaround and trying to do something I’d never done before. I’ve done a lot of campaign ops, right? Like I have a really great center of excellence. We have a decentralized team or marketers know how to set up field events, webinars, gated content, but this was like a whole new thing.
And the prep work we’d done for our in-person activate and we had to scrap and start everything over. So we’re picture this time where you’re just, everybody’s running as fast as we can. We’re trying to communicate as well as possible. But there’s a lot of silos. There’s a lot of trying to do things quickly.
A lot of like scratch. And I really appreciate our marketing team. Like they, when I they can be really scrappy and they have a history of just trying to get things done and just move quickly. But it became that like the smart how-to program, like look back at it. It is a mess. And, normally if you’re a Marketo user you’re familiar with the smart campaign being like a workflow.
Oh, one filled out form. Oh no, we had a one. One B oh one. See, because we kept changing the floor and kept changing what happened. And we were adding workshops. It was great, right? Like I can not believe the activity that we pulled off. We had at the end of it all. We had a really great virtual experience, but.
So that’s the headspace I was in. And that’s where my team was at. You mentioned Hedo and you obviously mentioned pivoting to virtual events. So it sounds like Marketo was the primary system, but did really anything else come into play from a systems perspective? It was really Marketo was the main thing, but part of the problem was the fact that we were collecting data in a bunch of different places.
So basically what happened is most of our registrations are we were supposed to be collecting registrations on our website. I think if you’re a marketing ops person, you’re pretty familiar with this, right? Somebody fills out a form on your website. You have a trigger and Mercado to listen for the form fill, and then it does things like maybe add them to a static list, change the program.
Salesforce campaign confirmation, email, whatever, other things need to happen there. So I was under the impression that all of our registrations were being collected on this main registration form on our website. I find out on a Friday that we were collecting registrations customer marketing had been collecting registrations, something to do with registering people for these pre show workers.
I can’t remember exactly why, but we had a hundred customers who’d registered, not on our standard form. And I had not heard about this at all. And like I said, this is just how things had to be. Like, there are a lot of silos moving quickly. We have a great customer marketing team. They are really like tight with our customers.
They’re trying to provide an optimal experience. So field marketing comes to me. Midday on Friday and they’re like, Hey, we have this list. Can you upload into Marketo and register people? I know you, I said, listen, you cringe because you mentioned on your episode that lists list and parts are like the worst way to introduce data.
And I totally agree. And we have like pretty robust list import what I call SOP. Standard operating procedures. And the field marketing team is really good at, they know how to do that list cleanup. So I said yeah, sure. I’m like, let me just tweak the smart campaign so that instead of, in Marketo you can have multiple triggers in smart campaigns.
So instead of just being filled out form, going to add another trigger for added to list. And then when I’m done a field marketer, you can upload that list and everybody over there, process they’ll Marketo program, Salesforce campaign confirmation email, no big deal. So it’s probably two, I said to feel marketing, go ahead and upload your list.
You’re good to go. I was trying to rush to get a jumper too, because I remember I had a vendor call at two, so get done, go my vendor, call talking to him and we’re talking on zoom, blah, blah, blah. And I see my, I see Slack’s blowing up, but I’m like very much like I’m in a meeting. Like I can’t be, I can’t be everything to everyone.
I can’t be available at all time. Whatever slacks, whatever. And then I see that my head of field marketing calling me and so it’s funny if somebody like in different generation or different like work environment would think of a phone call is like a normal, oh, somebody’s calling you in Industry.
And in a lot of tech companies, a phone call means fire drill a phone call. We pick up immediately because we never talk on the phone. So I sent it to the vendor. I was like, I gotta go. I got, I’m like, Hey, what’s up? And she’s we’re standing our customers. And I was like, And she’s yeah, apparently we’re sending the confirmation email over and over again to some people.
And they’re very upset. And I was like, oh my God. I’m like, okay, hang on. I’m like, I’ll get back to you on slack. I’m like, just tell everybody that I’m on it and tell them to like, hold her.
So I like hang out with her. I’m like, okay, first deep breath. That’s like my number one, tip. You’re not going to get anything done. If you can’t relax a little bit and to get a little into the neuroscience of it. If your amygdala, which is your fight or flight response is like firing really, over firing your prefrontal cortex, which is the like part of your brain.
That’s like actually like making decisions and critical thinking. They can’t find it. They can’t work at the same time. So I’m like, call me ma sorry, as a psych major. So calm the medulla down a little bit deep breath. Cause waiting one or two more minutes to fix the problem is not going to, kill anything.
And I’m like, all right, what’s going on? And then confirmation email, I’m like, oh, smart campaign. So I immediately just turn off the smart campaign. And I told her I’m like smart campaigns turned off. Let me figure out what it was. And I was like qualification rules. It was a qualification rules. In a smart campaign, you can set the the number of times somebody can go through the workflow. It can be once every X days or hours, a set period or every time. For whatever reason I’d set it to every time, just because I think it’s because some of those people had already registered.
It was, I don’t know. I created an infinite loop. There was an add to list trigger, and then there was an app, it was an added to list trigger, and there was an add to list flow step. Yeah. So it’s just fortunately it’s only a hundred people. Imagine if it was like a lot more than that, like it could have crashed for instance.
Was it like theoretically anyone that also filled out the form now get stuck in? Yeah, fortunately we had you’re right. Fortunately it wasn’t when we were doing a major registration push, it was a Friday afternoon, but yeah, yeah. So then, and then we like figured out, okay, that’s what it is. I got back on a zoom, we feel marketing.
And they also communicated to the rest of the company and they communicate with the person on Twitter who was like at Iterable yellow. Okay.
The great thing is we mark it tomorrow. Great. So like I said, editable is a cross channel marketing platform. Our primary audience is like email lifecycle marketers. So they get it right? Like they’ve all had email. Oops. They all they were like, obviously annoyed, but nobody was like, not understanding.
So we craft a really nice, like funny kind of, oopsy email. We get it approved. I had a marketing. You don’t get it sent out. Yeah. So that’s the sort of, that’s the way. So you mentioned that obviously head of field marketing starts calling you, which is, and like all of the clients are noticing.
At this point. Tell me a little bit more about the email that you sent out. Did you, how much acknowledgement did you have to the end customer and to the rest of the marketing team at Iterable? I sh I’m sorry, I didn’t pull up the email beforehand, but it was definitely, we have a really great brand.
And so I think we like made some joke about like they’re robots. So at working overtime or something, something, we’re really sorry. We’re really excited to have you and activate not our ideal experience. But yeah, it was a very. So like humility is one of our values at herbal.
So like it showed a lot of humility, also trust is one of our values and we showed that we like didn’t want to break their trust. And we were like showing I was very much this is my fault. I’m really sorry. Like I told everybody and like I, I made it that I was the one who did it.
Like I wasn’t trying to hide. Fortunately, like I said, we don’t really have that. Blamey like finger pointy culture. Nobody was mad at me. They were like, and especially really, it was only going on for 15 minutes, which was a lot of emails, but fortunately I’m still at my desk.
It was in terms of, I don’t think it like really impacted my how people saw me at the company. I think in fact, the stock that I like. It just really like immediately took ownership of it. Which is I think a really important thing to do made it. Okay. Yeah. I very much agree.
You mentioned when you started, this is one thing you learned a lot from, so talk to me, tell us about what you learned as a resistance. It’s funny. So after this happened, our VP of marketing was like, we need to have a retro. And I will admit, I got defensive. And I said to my boss, he’s had a Rabat or had a sales ops and marketing ops.
Cause I’m on the rev ops team. He was like, no, you should really do it. He’s it’s a really good experience. Nobody’s trying to point the finger. We just want to learn. And I was like, because I’ve never done something like that. And I felt, I did feel a little bit attacked. I was afraid it was going to be like, how did you do this?
How, what was this like? Unfortunately I had the weekend to like decompress for very stiff drink after work. And then you had a following Monday or Tuesday and it was me how to feel marketing other field marketing manager and then our head of demand gen. So ran the the meeting and we just, each one of us explained like what happened in our own expense.
You know what we see from our perspective. And then we each got to ask some probing questions to like, make sure we all like, understood what they meant. And then we each gave like recommendations for like how we could do better in the future. And it was such a great meeting and Again, we’re very values-driven at our bowl.
Any iterator is going to tell you that our values are growth, mindset, humility, balance, and trust. But I think you really need those things, right? Like growth mindset. You want to get better humility to admit your mistakes and trust. To know that like you can be vulnerable and your coworkers are gonna be vulnerable back and that’s going to actually make you grow.
So we learned a lot. So one thing was that I had taken this request. I had not asked anything about timelines. I just assumed it was urgent because everything was urgent with activate. But it turned out they would have been fine if I’d done this on Monday. And even if they had said, we need this today, I actually could have said, I can try, but it’s Friday, I’m tired.
I don’t want to mess this up. It Monday, let’s think about maybe doing it on Monday. And that would have been perfectly reasonable and everybody’s like pretty reasonable about everybody understands about like priorities and timelines and balance. So that was like a huge mistake.
And I have. I realized that just like a personality thing. I always think things need to be done immediately. And often when I ask people like, oh no, it’s fine. So you know, that, I think, like asking about timelines, setting expectations is like extremely important. Also like for me, remembering to test, had I just tested one test record, I would have spammed myself and I would have figured that out and I would have adjusted it and figured out the best way to do it.
Now testing, isn’t going to, isn’t going to prevent everything, there’s occasionally or occasionally weird things that will happen that don’t show up on test records, because test records are like treated differently in your system. But it can prevent most issues. So that was a big thing.
The other thing that we realized is we didn’t have a really good like internal processes kind of escalation. And there was like, I don’t know if you’ve ever been trying to deal with like slacks when it’s like a fire alarm, but it’s so many different methods. Can you try and keep track of everybody in this person slacking DMU?
So it was like, how do we centralize that? How do we have one place where everybody can talk about things in one thread? So everybody’s on the same page. The other thing that we really. We were moving so fast that I actually was not really involved as much in the planning. So I would have known the customer marketing was doing this.
I would have I maybe I would have suggested a different way to get this list. So what a non directly into Marketo, or I would have at least known, okay, I’m going to get this list on Friday, let me prep for it and plan for it ahead of time. And the other thing that we realized is. It’s really hard.
Everybody knows it’s really hard to make a marketing ops team of one, but it also is a fair amount of risk because it means that like only one person knows how things are set up. And we have other marketers who are more sophisticated Marketo users and our field marketing team sets up a lot of events.
And so afterwards I went and showed them. I’m like, this is the activate program. This is how this is processing. If this kind of thing had happened and I wasn’t available, they would have been able to go on, at least shut it off. They would have been like, okay, this is the fills out form smart campaign.
It’s lit up. It’s the one sending the confirmation email. Let’s shut this off, and then at least they would have had that shut off valve. So yeah, I think it was like a really good learning experience. I think we were like better for it. Nobody was really mad. It was Lynn.
Now I can look back on it and laugh. It’s like the worst, it’s like the worst that can with basic computer science error, don’t make an infinite loop. Smart campaign qualification rules have they’re like the number one, I feel like thing that can cause issues, but usually it’s on.
The, why didn’t this person qualify for this thing, the side of things. But an infinite loop. Yeah, it’s a problem. I almost, yeah, I almost never set thing. And it’s, and that’s the hard thing when you’re doing campaigns that you’re creating from scratch. My, I always tell people when they’re using, Marketo create a center of excellence, you need program templates, you need really clear instructions about how to use those program templates.
They need to be super tokenized. If you have, I had a marketer be like, okay how do I create my own programs without a template? And I said, you don’t. I absolutely. I like there not a ton of absolute stats and absolute like somebody who’s like just a marketer should not be creating from scratch.
But when you are creating from scratch, you’re creating risk because it’s something that’s not tested. Yeah. And I think it’s funny. I think like the other learning is that I was trying to do everything for activate ops on my own, and that was not like, that was just a lot of work for one person.
And because it was like such a, like last minute we have to drop everything. I was able to clear out the rest of my schedule. I was basically only working on activate for two, three months. But next, the following year I got a contract to have. And agents, we we have agency that supports us that does a lot of different things.
And I got a specific contract for them to work on activate. I still had to do a lot of the figuring out what the fields are gonna be on the form and how things are going to process. And, I was involved in like the planning meetings, but then I can hand off to. Which, really helps the bandwidth.
And actually I’m going to ask for a headcount next year for somebody to actually like own field marketing and ABM ops, because it’s just too much work activates really growing next year, we’re going to have the virtual conference, big in-person conference, a bunch of roads. That’s too much for me and a contractor down.
I love your point about like knowing capacity and asking timeline on things too. I think so many people on ops are victim to every request is urgent. And usually just being like, when do you need this by would solve a lot of people’s fire drills. Totally. And I think that’s such a key learning for.
For everyone in this space. Totally. I know my boss knows this. I have a rule. Like we don’t go, we don’t ship things on Friday in my instance. Don’t ship things on Friday. Don’t do list imports in the afternoon when you’re tired. On a Friday. Yeah, for sure. So you talked a lot about learnings and some things you’re planning on for aggravate specifically for the future.
What other processes have you put in place as a result of this to help mitigate risk? That’s a good question. I think. It’s more of a mindset shift about even when in a really running fast, you have to slow down. One of my coworkers said something which I thought was like really impactful is you can’t move quickly on poorly paved roads.
And I think that is just so important. And, and I think as I’ve been here longer, and as I really built the trust of the marketing team, they’ve pulled me into things earlier. That’s the one thing I just tell them, please pull me in early. Like it helps me plan, helped me fit things in my roadmap.
And I can actually, like I can provide, I realized actually, like in the past year, what I love to do. Although, like I’ll always love building stuff on Marketo and I’ll always like, love the tools. I actually really the operational strategy of it and getting in early and helping people figure out how to do things in a way that’s going to work best in our systems and give them the data that they want.
Yeah. I love that. So wrapping things up with a couple of final thoughts. What would you say to somebody who makes a similar mistake? It’s just software look, obviously you can tell from the way I introduced myself that I really love my job. I love my career. I love the community. I have a lot of friends in it.
I take a lot of pride in what I do, but. It’s just software. Like I, I have this really great coworker, Jessica. She locked her and my last company and she had previously worked for a company that made software for restaurants and she had this phrase burgers and fries, not saving lives.
And I just love that. It just gives you perspective. It just gives you balanced that what you’re doing is important and like you want your company to be successful. You want your company to grow, but We’re not doing neurosurgery. And in fact I made, I cross-stitch and I made this little cross-stitch, I made one for myself and I made one for Jess.
And I keep it on my desk and it’s like my little anchor to remind me that it’s okay. Like I already makes mistakes. And I think I really love that you’re doing this series because you’re having, you said that you just had like just a newer song. Everybody knows Justin, like he’s been a consultant for cutover years.
Everybody really respects him. And having somebody like him talk about moves, like just makes people feel better and makes you realize that we’re all in the same boat. If you have a marketing ops person who doesn’t have a movie. Either, they’re not a marketing ops person and they’re doing things that are very basic or they’re lying to you.
It’s honestly an interview question I ask, and I know a lot of people are in that boat, but if you don’t have a good one. Yeah, I’m not sure I trust, I’m sure I will tell this story probably a little more condensed version in interviews in the future, because I think, yeah, you want to show humility, you want to show your growth and all that.
I think you also touched on something when you were talking, but I’ve heard a lot of people mentioned in their episodes, but taking a deep breath is a such a key element. And I loved your little insight into the science behind that. I think. So impactful. And I know I always feel better when I’m like, now I know why and being able to relax and it’s really hard.
I heard this like a Stanford professor talk about how it’s really hard. Relax your mind with your mind, but if you like relax your mind with your body. So like taking deep breaths, doing like body scan meditation, there’s even one that I learned from our head of learning and development that I just love.
It’s called the call, like the hand tricky. So if you’re just like really stressed and you just, you need something like super focused, you just trace your finger and you like breathe in. And then you breathe out and you breathe in and you breathe out and you do it slowly and try to breathe into your belly.
But you can even do that. Like you’re in a meeting, you did their hands under the table. If you’re like in a meeting and it’s making you really nervous. And sometimes if you’re so stressed out, you can’t even force yourself to breathe. Normally, giving yourself that kind of body focused breathing technique is really helpful.
I’ll have to try that one. Yeah. I like it a lot. Final question before we wrap what advice do you have for fellow marketing and rev ops professionals, advice for fellow marketing and rev ops professionals? I think having pride in your work, but also having the humility to know that you’re going to mess up.
If you’re going to grow from it no you don’t grow unless you take risks. And if you take risks, sometimes you’re going to mess up. Hopefully you have more successes than you do failures, but you’re going to have failures and that’s okay. It’s really easy to be.
Self-critical, it’s definitely like one of the things that I have challenges with. Just, knowing that’s going to happen, I think will help you accept it more. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your lessons. And of course, thanks for having me. This was really fun.
Yeah. I had a great time. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much and thank you everybody for for listening to my MOOCs. And I hope this was helpful for you. Thanks everyone.