Ops Cast | The IT Part of Marketing Ops

In this episode we discuss the part of Marketing Ops that seems to be the most common part of the role, IT, yet is also the part that many of us want to play down. Learn from our guests, M.H. Lines and Helen Abramova on the topic. Find out if you agree that Marketing Operations...

In this episode we discuss the part of Marketing Ops that seems to be the most common part of the role, IT, yet is also the part that many of us want to play down. Learn from our guests, M.H. Lines and Helen Abramova on the topic. Find out if you agree that Marketing Operations is “IT for Marketing” or if it is something more. 

Recorded live on June 9, 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 ops cast episode 13. Uh, remember to subscribe, rate and review on your favorite podcast platform when you get this, uh, we’ll remind you again. Later I am Michael Hartmann. Your host I’m joined today as usual by my cohost, Naomi, Lou and Mike Rizzo who say, hello everyone. Hello, buddy.

All right, today, we’re really excited to have two guests with us. Joining us today are MH lines, the CEO of Stack Moxie and Helen . The marketing operations lead at Verizon. And they’re here today to talk about one of the realities is marketing ops that sometimes those of us in marketing ops don’t really want to talk about or highlight.

And that is that part of the job really is. We’re kind of it for marketing. So let’s get started first. It may challenge. Thank you for joining us today. How about each of you give us a chance to hear a little more about your story and who you are. Um, MH, why don’t you start for. Sure. Um, I’m am H lines. I’m the founder and CEO at Stack Moxie, as you mentioned, um, at Stack Moxie, we do no code, automated testing and monitoring for sales and marketing technology stocks.

Um, you can kind of think of it as allowing ops people to bring the same discipline in quality to their tech stack that engineers bring to their code. Um, and I came to the. From working in marketing operations. So I helped build some of the cooler centers of excellence, um, and marketing operations, and also set up a bunch of little programs that some cool startups as well.

So, um, Marquetto HubSpot different disciplines a little bit apart, a little bit of Eloqua all over the place. Awesome. Thanks. We may challenge. Sure. Uh, so I’m Helen and to right now I’m with Verizon business, but obviously I’m hearing my own capacity. And, um, I’m in the Marketo world heavily involved in managing marketing ops and tech, um, functions, enterprise.

And, um, I’ve been very much involved with Marquetto community and surrounding communities. And then for excited to be here, to talk about. Fantastic. This is going to, I think there’s gonna be good one. Cause we’ve got people who cover kind of different size organizations and things like that. Um, so let’s list like first things first.

I think you, I think I started out right. Saying some of us don’t really like to admit that we’re kind of an it role in marketing ops. We w you know, why, why do you think that, uh, You know, that’s the case with people, especially when, you know, one of the things that defines marketing ops in my world, at least from my perspective, uh, that’s consistent across different marketing ops roles.

Is it, you own the tech stack, right? So by definition you kind of have it responsibility. Why do you think that is the case? That those of us who are in the, in this role, don’t always want to highlight or talk about it.

Who wants to go first? I, I can. It’s funny. We had a conversation yesterday, it’s an age. Um, and we were talking to someone else in the, in the profession and the guy kept saying, we’re a marketer first. Um, I’m in marketing ops, but I’m a marketer first. I’m not ops first. Um, and I would argue that some of the best ops people that I’ve worked with actually were software engineers first or work QA first, or were in some ops role first.

They weren’t necessarily a marketer first. Um, and so I think, I don’t know why. That disconnect exists, but I think it’s demonstrably true that, that it is not how we like to think of ourselves necessarily in the marketing ops profession, in the aggregate. Um, and it’s certainly how I thought about myself, right?

When I thought about wanting a table of at the table in strategy, I wanted to think of. How do we talk to customers? I wanted to think about how do we understand customers, not about the it component of what I was managing and owning a tech stack. What do you think.

So I wanted to kind of expand a little bit on what MH just said, because I do think I kind of fulfill in the same way and I will even say like, I’m business first. Right. And I like, I’m coming from a place we really want to see the bottom line and how, what I’m doing is impacting that. Right. And they really want to understand, and that’s why.

Almost like you have to hide this like technology behind you, because you don’t want to be perceived as like too tactical. Or I do believe there is some kind of technologist stigma around that and as awful as it sounds, but it does feel like you, if you are technical, you are not necessarily invited to any kinds of like started strategical conversation and that’s okay.

Challenge that we are facing. And that’s why I do feel that, um, sometimes we have to kind of, um, foods, this business hats, and it’s like, and, you know, start like this kind of conversation where it would help us to drive those like technology related. They relate it to our conversations a little bit, like one of those.

I think, um, I keep going back to like, no one wants to be the it guy from when I first started my career. Um, the it guy was always the guy who was like, no, you’re so stupid. It doesn’t work like that. Did you try and turn your computer on again? I feel like the ops person is a hundred percent that person to.

Like whenever you call your ops person, they roll their eyes. Like, well, that’s a dumb question, but let me help you restart your computer. Um, and so I think no one wants to be that it guy that who starts with no and who I roles as, as a rule. But we totally are those people almost. I always, I always struggle with that.

Like how do you say no without saying no? Right. But I think because I think there’s times when we have to say no, Um, I do think it’s incumbent on us though, if we want to have a chance at being as have a seat at that strategy table that we have to be able to come back with, this is why I’m saying no to this particular thing.

Right. But this is how I think we can enable you with technology or process or whatever. Naomi, what are your thoughts and all this? Well, I we’ve talked about this a few times before, but I saying that I I’m, it for marketing is really the only way that I’ve been able to explain what I do to family who are not in,

when I say that they’re like, oh, okay, I got it now, 10 years later, you know, um, that’s really the only way. And even within the organizations that I’ve worked. People assume that I work within it, like our own it teams, you know, we’ll have conversations. And then I realized they actually think I roll up into their org and I’m like, no, what do you mean?

Sorry, what? No, what? No. They don’t actually realize that I roll up into marketing and not into our, you know, our head of it or our CIO or whatnot. Um, I am actually okay with that personally, um, because I, I do like the technology it side of things, but I do definitely have moments where. I’m biting my tongue because I’m trying to, and I’m sure you know, and it would be hell on you, you have this thing too.

Or do you ever have the moment where you’re kind of like, well, if I had a crystal ball, I could do this for you. Let me try to read your mind. Um, I always default back to the technology, but on the it side it’s it’s. Regardless of how you want to be described or your feelings around that. It’s the best way that I’ve found to be able to describe, you know, what marketing ops does to non-marketing salespeople, people it’s like, let me whip out a magic wand and I’ll make this happen for you for that request.

And to the point about how do you say no, without actually saying no, Michael I’ve been watching, um, Uh, for all mankind on apple TV plus, and I’m a little late, but I’m getting into season two. And I think it’s like episode one, episode two, the guy like really wants to go on a flight. He’s really got the credentials for it.

And he goes in and he asks one of the main characters. Who’s kind of the controller of who gets to go up into space. And he says, I’ll let you know when you’re ready. And that’s his way of saying no to everybody. So like, I think the next time someone comes to us with a request, we could just. I’ll let you know.

When you’re ready, that kind of a campaign. Wow. I think you, you need, you’re gonna need to duck then at that point, someone’s getting really bad, but Hey, it’s not saying no.

Well, so since I think we all are here sort of acknowledging, right. That we’re it for marketing, right. To take NAMI’s a thread. I agree. Like, how do you explain to your family is, is always tough, but, so what do you, you know, given that, that is part of our role and it usually is, you know, what do you see from your perspective as the, sort of the biggest sort of it sort of challenges that you’re seeing in marketing ops today?

Uh, whether it’s, you know, in general, what you’re seeing in the community or in your own specific examples of where you’re at, maybe Han you go first. Cause you probably like you work at an enterprise organization. Yeah. And, uh, I do think that that’s kind of like, it’s just like general observation, right?

That the biggest challenge is around, um, the fact that the technology that we enable that. Is going to be used by someone else ultimately, and the ultimate success is kind of like out of our hands because we very much reliably rely on people to use it properly. And this is where it’s becoming like, you might have excellent mops people, very talented and very experienced, and the evidence saying and hardworking, but.

Like you, I’m missing some other components in this wonderful cocktail and it’s not, it’s not a working out ultimately, and this is where there are lots of frustration and disappointment happened. And I do think that like, this is the overall, like it lethal C or a mop slew that I see that really needs to happen for it all.

Just kind of come into fruition. So hello. Could I, I want to dive in that just a little bit more. So do you think that, um, ’cause I think you’ve hit on a really good point, right? That the technology is tends to be used not only by people in marketing ops who are maybe a little more oriented towards technology that maybe by other marketers or salespeople, you know, what do you think that is a product of the, the actual platforms that are out there available for us to use and how they’ve evolved to be more or less easy to use from a front end standpoint?

Or do you think it’s more about how we’ve tried to use them as marketing ops profession? So as marketing professionals, right? So I just think that it’s about like, you have this wonderful capabilities, how you assembled, how you orchestrate, how you adopted and how you are like making the ultimate result, like product out of it.

And this is where, you know, you have competing priorities. So you have multiple teams trying to kind of like utilize it or tweak it to their own purpose. And. And someone needs to orchestrate all of it, ideally that some ops leader, but it’s not necessarily the case. And then you have kind of like chaotic usage of all this technology and like doesn’t Silverlake hundreds of technology that might be available in a large organization.

Right. And. It’s it’s a lot of like, you know, back and forth and a lot of confusion how to use it. Like what’s the right approach and how to get to this wonderful capability. So if you don’t have the foundations done, you know, like that’s the biggest, like another big challenge that everyone wants to come like immediately to floor number 30 without like building foundations and like all these like elevator and pipelines.

Yeah. Meaning that the marketing tech house of cards. Right? Exactly. Exactly. No one wants to talk about this. Like, you know, who wants to talk about blaming Nolan, right. But like, you still need to have it before you can let me decorate your beautiful house. So MHG, you know, in, in with your company, I’m sure you come across lots of different sort of environments from an it standpoint from marketing.

And what’s your, like, what are you seeing out there that are the biggest challenges for folks in our. Well, so I can speak to the challenge. That was hardest for me to get my head around. When I first realized I was coming into an it role. Um, we were working on a project at Microsoft, um, and they said, all right.

If you’re going to run the ops side, if you’re marketing ops and you’re going to run the ops side, tell me the metrics you’re going to use to measure your success. And I was like lead, lead volume. MQL. Is there like. Those are marketing metrics. What are the ops metrics that you’re going to own to say that this thing is working and I know vocabulary for it.

Um, you know, luckily I was with, you know, kind of some of the best it people in the world. And I got to sit down with them and learn from them, but I’d never heard the term latency, so I’d never heard any of these operational characteristics. And so it was, um, It got, and it took me months. Right? I still couldn’t get my head around.

Which ones were the ones that mattered. I think we just don’t have the tools and the metrics and the understanding of the, the it side of our job, the vernacular. We don’t have the right words to even describe what we’re trying to accomplish and understand how those are KPIs for the marketing match.

Right. Um, and so I think that’s, that’s what was hardest for me and took me the longest to get up to speed on. Um, good. No, I was gonna say, I think you’re hitting on something that probably has a big, it’s probably a whole topic on its self for us to cover at some point is how do you measure success of marketing ops?

Because I think we all struggle with that. Cause I’ve gone through the same thing where like, I want to say it’s somewhat related to. Revenue or pipeline or leads or some of these things that are not necessarily in our control. And I love the idea that you’ve, you’ve got, uh, you know, sort of identify a vocabulary for how to measure that.

Yeah, it’s, it’s funny. You see the, um, there’s like a direct inverse correlate, uh, an inverse correlation, not a direct, uh, an inverse correlation of the rise of the tools and the it budget that the CMO has and the decline and the tenure of the CMS. Um, and, and I would argue that there’s some causation there, right?

Like the COO is asking their ops person to do all of this it stuff, and then report back and MQL. And that the COO doesn’t understand it. The marketing ops people, can’t kind of. Um, translate it, um, or understand that they should translate it, right. That there should be some, some KPIs that sit here beneath the understanding of the CML that they need to translate it, um, or relate them back to the right KPIs.

Yes, that’s really, it’s insightful. I hadn’t thought about that inverse relationship between CML tenure and the amount of technology spend in marketing, Mike, Naomi, any other additional thoughts from either of you? I think one thing that’s interesting just about that in general is, is that we just got done talking to, uh, our guests, Vivian on episode 12, around how the path to CMO is through marketing ops.

And, and so it’s an interesting comment. That’s come up here, um, where we’re saying, Hey, the CMOs asking for things that they don’t fully understand. And, and it does. Or the team in marketing ops doesn’t know how to report up into that structure. And so perhaps the future really is bringing marketing operations professionals up through their career path to reaching the C-suite.

And it is to get to CMO because they actually understand what they’re asking for and they’ve architected a path forward there. Um, so interesting that it’s come up here again, we’re talking about an inverse relationship relationship. Um, you know, it technology and CMO, tenure and, and, uh, and all that stuff.

So really, uh, insightful, I think the biggest gap between marketing ops and even the CML piece is the strategy part. Right. And so, you know, historically when people think of. People, they don’t generally think of, you know, they don’t associate that with someone who is necessarily going to be a strategic thinker and somebody who can think outside of the box and somebody who can potentially, you know, um, provide best practices or guidance and things like that.

And that’s definitely been something that, you know, folks who were even entering the marketing ops, um, industry that they’ve raised as, like, how do I get taken? You know, more seriously as a strategic thinker, as opposed to just to Dewar. Right. And I think that that’s definitely a stigma or a challenge that, um, needs to be overcome, right.

Because it’s not true that someone who has a lot of technical aptitude is someone that can also not have a lot of, you know, creative ideas or strategic thoughts and whatnot. It’s I think. The hallmark of a really successful marketing operations professional is somebody who has that like combination of right brain left brain.

Right. There is a, um, article that was published. It’s probably over a year now by the Harvard business review. Which calls marketing operations, people boundary, spanners, right? Because they span, um, multiple organizations within a business. And the question like the article headline, I think it’s called something like, you know, do you need a boundary spanner within your organization?

And the answer is absolutely yes. Right? Someone who can kind of bridge those gaps, bridge those lines, be the translator between it and the business. Straddle kind of that fence, um, of, you know, technical aptitude and, and business need. And I think that that’s something that as the marketing operations industry matures, that’s going to be something that is going to become much more.

I would argue though, that the people in their initial jobs, the people who are the most successful at that entry level job are the people who get the most campaigns out the door. And you do that by being a really great button. Yeah, I would agree in my career where it was like the wild, wild west and marketing automation, right?

Like no GDPR, no castle. Let’s let’s, you’re myopic on getting this landing page out the door and you’re thought of as the best person, if you can get that landing page out the door. Fast and ask the right questions to get that one thing out fast. So I think we kind of breed tactical ops people and they get promoted because they’re the best at the tactical thing.

And those people who might go, oh shit, I’m looking at this Marquetto instance and look at all this complexity. And do try and build the complexity into the program. They’re the people who don’t get promoted because they never get that campaign out the door. Um, and so I think, I think there’s kind of a mismatch and what’s valued early and what’s needed to be successful later.

And so I think some of the leaders. Wanting to be strategic, but they don’t have a strategic bone in their body. They want to be taken seriously. And they think strategic is how you do that when they are incredible at the tactical getting things done stuff. Yeah. That’s I think, well, I think that’s not unusual just for marketing ops, right?

I think a lot of people get promoted because they’re good at whatever their tactical functional area is. And not necessarily graded, you know, being strategic. So, but this does bring up, I think another interesting question. So, you know, one of the things we’ve talked about before is how do you get into marketing ops and the different paths we’ve all sort of taken to get there?

There’s a lot of variety. I don’t know if there’s one, but let’s say, you know, we want to avoid that like breeding, tactical, technical people. Is it at the beginning? Do we need to be thinking differently about how we hire and we need to be looking for people who have. Technology experience from the get-go, um, as they enter into marketing ops, or do we need to be maybe thinking about people who have sort of experienced with other parts of say marketing or sales or other functional areas, but who are interested in you have that?

The other part, you have the left brain, right. Brain combination, and that, you know what, what’s your take on that?

How about you go first? Oh, I think it depends on like particular case and liquidity particular role that is open. Right. And like what this business needs. And do you have. Technical support. That’s like, if you cannot have someone on a team with someone else help you, you know, some of it, and I don’t think there are any kinds of, like, we’ll probably statistical, we can kind of identify like the most common scenarios, but they do think that all of us see very different, um, stories and like people are coming to like, literally from everywhere, what technical it experience help.

Yes. But it doesn’t need that. You need to have MIT. I mean you can, but not necessarily. And, um, I just think it’s more about some kinds of like aptitudes and attitudes to be able to spend a little bit more time that like I never did. She used her, um, Ken’s to, in the particular tool and like, identify how it works and like being able to, you know, going to 2000 all over that.

But, um, I would say I would be very open minded. And I would look for a specific like use and like character traits, almost like, like something that I can sense as like, yeah, that’s the guy, that’s the person that we need to have. Yeah, I always, um, well, I mean, a lot of my thinking when I think about team building and hiring always comes back to diversity and diversity for me, very rarely means gender or skin color.

It’s, it’s more about diversity of thought and experience. Um, so when we would be building pods for a large project where we basically needed, um, you know, between our platform operations, Campaign operations team. And we had 11 different teams. We were trying not to only have, um, actual, you know, the diversity that the bean counters count when they say your company has diversity.

We were trying to think about is this person like that smell. Right. Like, do you have a Smee on, on this little, this grouping of teams, who’s always gonna like be watching those releases and learning the newest, cool capability, um, and balance them out with the person who always wants to get something done and get it done with quality and balance them out with the person.

40 hours a week, never misses a day of work, rarely works 41 hours a week. So you kind of have this happy balance on a team of, of being able to put these people together, who, who compliment each other, who have diverse ways of thinking of the world and have diverse experiences to bring to those teams. Um, and I think those make the best.

Hey any team, but I think it really helps, um, uh, people learn how, what strategic thinking is or learn what work-life balance is and how to say no. And, and all of those things that are so hard for all of us to learn when we’re coming into workplace. I want to compliment like this whole idea of intellectual diversity.

I think it’s extremely important, especially as like marketing ops are, it’s like, it’s just like huge. It’s so broad and that there are, so when you need like so many functions and so many different roles you can have, and it’s really helps when you have very different and very diverse team that can handle.

Yeah, I definitely agree with that. Naomi, I’m wondering what your conversations or maybe tidbits of your conversations have been like with, um, some of the work that highway ed is doing in terms of kind of breeding talent to come into the marketing operations space and, you know, we have, or we’re fortunate enough to have a webinar coming up with them in a couple of weeks.

Um, along with Scott Brinker and Debbie , uh, I would, I would be interested cause you’ve been helping to advise a little bit of the kind of content tracks, I think. Right. Um, so just wondering like what some of that advice might have been in terms of helping to find talent and curate talent into the space of marketing.

Yeah. So it’s been it’s so far. Um, yeah, we’re gonna part with the residents. I’ve been advising them on their curriculum and it’s been interesting because some of it brings me back to when I started my career and you know, the questions that I wish I had somebody to ask. Right. And so a lot of it is, um, The start a very high level overview of exactly what marketing operations is.

Because back when I first started in this industry, it wasn’t even a defined thing. I don’t think Marquetto was even petty, even. Born yet. Right. It just, it was just, well, we need someone to help build and send emails. I’m like, okay, well I can do that. Right. What does that mean? Um, and then it just grew into this, you know, industry and this career that’s been, you know, really amazing to watch develop, but, um, a lot of the, the guidance that I’ve been given, I’ve been giving so far has really been around.

Things like, okay. What, how do you do stakeholder management? How do you do, um, you know, project management process control? How do you, like, what are the questions that you need to ask stakeholders in order to develop a campaign from end to end? Um, you know, role-playing activities, you know, things around, um, you know, like.

Sometimes folks don’t necessarily know what they don’t know. And so how do you guide those conversations when you are trying to help them develop a campaign and all of the end to end pieces, what assets do you need to build and to make sure that it runs not just efficiently, but on time and that you’re able to deliver a level of service that they’re expecting.

Um, so a lot of it is discovery at the moment. Yeah. That makes, that makes a lot of sense. I, I, uh, I too was hired into. My first role where it was like, Hey, Hey, we just really need a newsletter to be sent like once a month. Honestly, the first was a newsletter. To I think 50,000 people in north America. And it was just like, okay, Friday afternoon, just hit sign.

What could go wrong? And then I feel like those newsletters are like the bane of every marketing ops person’s existence, because they’re like, oh, Free. It just takes a second and it’s, we’re using our existing tools and it’s like, you know, how much time those damn things take, like for looking at the total cost?

All of a sudden the newsletter is not just. Yeah. It’s a little simple thing. Yeah. Yeah. I had a newsletter newsletter out because it takes a lot of time. I had a newsletter that was so complicated because it was designed. Um, but it was great, great designer, but he designed it as if it was gonna be. Which if, you know, like that doesn’t really translate well into email in particular limo webpage.

And it would take almost 20% of my team’s time or one person’s time every week just to get it built. Tested, you know, make sure all the links were right and, and then run it through everybody in variably. There was always something wrong and email didn’t render right. For the bus, like all those things.

Right. So yeah, if we could get rid of newsletters, I would be a big fan. I’m the boss who has their outlook at 125. At the time don’t like, it’s not rendering, right? It’s like, dude, I’m not rendering for 125% of you on your outlook. Like there is not, that’s never going to happen. Yeah. Also you didn’t update your outlook, uh, application for the last 16 years.

So don’t know what to tell you. Right. Going back to the conversation, update your machine, take your Chrome browser, please. Uh, and Microsoft edge, like sure. If you want to try to use it, go for it, but I’ve heard good things. That is my biggest. It go-to is like people who tried render for everything. Like in most of your marketing operations and email tools, you can see where your audience is opening.

It don’t optimize for something where you don’t have a single subscriber opening. You can get rid of the edge cases. And that’s exactly why the simple, like emails that look as if they were typed by somebody like an actual person that would ever email them. Render the best, because it’s just text yeah.

Text, email, go for it. And by the way, my experience is they always perform better. Right. Um, but you know, by guns. Um, so you liked that Ellie McBeal reference. I met you. I know you and I have this, like my note here suits anymore, but like I totally was, uh, how I lived my, my life. There you go. Um, underrated too.

Um, okay. So what we, I think one of the challenges, I know I had this like as a challenge at different places where, uh, particularly large organizations would, I would find. There would be people in some other organization who would go off and buy some marketing or sales tax that then I find out, oh, we are no longer in compliance with privacy regulations because they’re out there sending emails to this list that they went and like bought from someplace.

But in general, right? I think we all know like the, the marketing tech and now I think sales tech as well, right? The, the, the space is exploding with tons and tons of vendors. And I think we all, like I expected a fair amount of consolidation happened, which doesn’t seem to be happening at least not at the pace they expected it to.

So, you know, how are you, like, how do you think that’s affecting our ability to be good as, as technologists within marketing and, and, and maybe are you seeing, like, it was my perception, do you think you’re seeing something different in the space where you’re actually seeing that some of that consolidation or there’s a slowdown in the growth of those vendors, which what’s your take?

MH, maybe you go for. No, one’s going to appreciate my perspective here. I actually would argue that, um, operations functions should live, um, and operations functions. So there should be a liaison, but the. I know, sorry. Uh, you know, but I think because revenue ops and marketing ops and sales ops and web ops, and all of these things are so dependent on each other for their success and so interrelated, um, that they should be a function called.

Together. I feel like sales ops has always been sitting under sales. And then as a default marketing ops got sat under marketing because the sales guy wanted to own the analyst. So he could, Jimmy has numbers. And like the sales guy had the most pull in the company. Like, no, it guy can never stand up to the sales guy.

Um, and so I feel like that’s historically how we got here. I would argue that. A lot of this should be run using traditional ops tools. Like a hello, made a post that just like spoke to my soul. And I think it’s almost been two years ago and I still reference it all the time. She’s like yet another inbound request by email that could have been a ticket.

And like as marketing ops people, we don’t use ticketing. So we don’t have the visibility into our SLS that we could because we don’t have ticketing systems. And that’s why, um, it and engineering use JIRA for ticketing tracking, right? Like it’s, um, a lot of what we do could be solved by using these it and operational functions that are really well-documented and really well understood in different functions.

Um, so I think there are some, my, my counter to the experts would be to argue that a lot of this actually should not be a shadow. It function. It should actually be an it function. I mean, I, I think there’s something to be said about all of it, rolling into some kind of operational organization. As it is like in the past role, we were, I happened to be interfacing with the client success operations professional at our organization who said, oh, by the way, this new client that’s massive is coming on board.

And they’re going to add some umpteen giant number of users into the product. Well, Hey, marketing ops team. You should probably know that because you’re going to get some giant umpteen number of users pumped into the marketing database and you’ve got subscription tiers, and you need to deal with that.

And so I messaged the ops person and I said, Hey, did you know this was happening? And he’s like, Nope. Had no idea. Right. And so. Just by having a CS ops marketing ops, a sales ops, a rev ops, and a biz ops person all sit in the same room and talk about what the heck is going on in the business. Like, uh, that’s a win, like let alone from just using systems that, that kind of follow the it structure, which like everybody needs to heed that advice.

But just being able to hear what’s going on in the business at the operational side of things is just a big win for us. I want to hear about this post from Helen resonates two years. Well, I’m listening. And I’m thinking that, um, some of what we’ve doing that is a big risk, that it will be attributed and like just like outsource to 80 entirely.

And I do see this as like one of the biggest, like, risks that we might have as a, like, as a function as leaders, because, um, You know, you all losing lots of flexibility and lots of, uh, business opportunity too. If you’re like, just like treat it as a, like a regular, like, like a utility function, right. You really need to innovate.

You really need to keep it like very connected to business outcomes. Um, at the same time, You know, the craziness and this whole notion of like, oh, we are managing it all. And two, we are having all those tools, but nobody is following those. Like, you know, no one that sends the meat and they take it because it needs to be done yesterday.

Like this is like, we will need to figure this out. And I do understand, like, I do believe that mops eyeballing, right? Like, and the whole function is changing and it might kind of like get to a place where are we? Just like, maybe it will be something else, but like the technology side of it, it might be at some point it’s just like being considered some something outside of mops.

This is a little bit with dystopian.

I think, I think, I think, yeah. Regardless. I’m not sure I’m totally bought in on idea of it reporting to a central function like that. I’m also not opposed to it. I do think like if there’s a revenue ops role, we had a whole episode earlier this year about what the hell is revenue ops. And I do, I do strongly believe that if, if you’ve got that, that should roll up into like more of a COO or maybe a CRO, just because I think that’s like, it, it helps take away some.

Put pull that happens from if you’ve got a leader that’s really focused on isn’t synonymous with head of sales, right. As long as it’s bravery. Not this weird bastardization of CRO becoming sales. And I agree like in the way where it’s not revenue operations, that was really sales operations too. Yeah. Uh, and I love like Lytics is a cool company.

Who’s got the revenue ops function rolling up to the CFO, for instance. So CDP in Portland. Um, and I think there’s something really interesting there, right? Like there’s, if, if these are the tools that in. Um, inform our revenue projections, you know, I wouldn’t have them rolling up to accounting. I think it needs to be a CFO, not a, not a head of accounting.

Yeah. I think it’s a really interesting perspective. Yeah, I do. I do think, I think I’ve seen more and more of that where it’s shifting out of either a head of sales or head of marketing. Um, so, okay. So in our last few minutes, I’m, uh, the question that we’re starting to ask everybody, as one of the things about, uh, you know, the MO Pros community that we’re trying to do is provide a lot of resources and everything else, but.

Yeah. One of the things we run into is there’s no like clear definition and like, what if you could define what is a certified marketing ops professional, right. What are like, what are the top one or two things you would include in that, in that, uh, For you. Oh, and how about you go first? I think the most important parts of would be having certifications with specific tools, because I do think this is where it all starts.

And in terms of like soft skills, I do think it’s more important to have certain training. Not necessarily is like, it might be like certification. Training that you had at some point. Um, but I, I do think that it’s so dependent like there. So assuming you think that you cannot stand out of the eyes across the entire function, uh, that’s why I’m kind of like having a hard time understanding how you can certify, I mean, how you can be certified.

It’s like certified 80 professionals. Well, you need to be certified in something.

That makes your thoughts? Um, it’s funny. I was thinking about this recently, so to me, like the certified marketing ops professional in like to Helen’s point, right? Like if I’m great at Marquetto I’m an eye shaped person. Like if you have you heard the concept of like the T shaped in the eye shaped, right.

Um, so kind of to Helen’s point. A lot of people definitely need to be that eye shape person where they’re an expert on a platform. Um, to me, the certified, uh, marketing ops certification is what is that? T-shaped marketing ops professional look like. They’re not going to have a super in-depth understanding of everything, but they are going to have a breadth of understanding of these things.

And if I could bring it back to something, um, I got to meet the CEO of a company here in Seattle called ally, and they do OKR and like, everyone’s all nuts about these. Okay. Ours and I totally still don’t understand the difference between KPI’s and OKR, but whatever. Um, I love it. Um, I think what are the different measures that you would use for kind of each of the potential.

I shaved categories. Um, that’s what it would mean to me. Right? Like, I understand what this is. I kind of understand how to measure it. You know, I’m measuring my team against their capacity. I’m measuring my, um, My tech stack against its latency and throughput and uptime. I’m measuring our impact on the organization by the velocity of MQL are those probably aren’t actually the right measures.

I’m just spit balling. But, um, so for each of those, to me to know what goes into it, to have an understanding that this even exists. And then to know how in theory I could be measured against, it would mean a lot to me and in a certified person. That’s really interesting. And it almost makes me think that there almost needs to be sort of, and it’s probably true in general, right.

To two tracks, right. One is where you’re going to end up in more of a leadership role where that the, the, the T shape one is a little more appropriate and one that’s maybe a little more tactical technical, you know, operational focus that would need to be more of the, I shaped. Yeah, that’s the right way, right?

I as the, yes. Yup. So deeply, deeply technical, uh, in one particular platform. I, that seems to be the trend of where a lot of these like side conversations that I’ve been having with folks, uh, You go as well. It’s this concept of like a really technical certification that’s beyond just the scope of like Marketo’s certification or HubSpot certification.

Um, but something that speaks to their technical acumen and then the other version of it is like a strategic, um, more leadership oriented type of certification where, um, you’re maybe it’s, you’re touching across different technologies and how those impact the business. Which, you know, truthfully, like the T-shaped marketer is, is like less about technology and more about tactics like SEO and inbound and, and PPC and all of these different types of campaign executions.

But I think that that’s very different from a T-shaped marketing operations professional, which is what you’re talking about in H and that’s all, maybe we have an operation. To a shape that T to have it become, you know, a bit of what that descriptor, um, that you provided, uh, looks like in the future. So I think there’s an opportunity and, and Helen, to your point, like, it is hard.

It’s really hard to figure out like how to certify these professionals. Like, it would be weird to say that I’m a certified it professional. Um, ’cause like broadly, it’s just never been brought up. Right? Like how, what does that even mean? It’s like, oh, okay. I’m an expert in Microsoft and Azure and those kinds of things.

Maybe max versus PCs or something. Um, but I think what marketing operations offers is an entirely different. Uh, sweet of, of challenges, right? Like we are faced with technical and business strategic challenges on a day in day out basis and being brought questions about whether or not we can spam email somebody.

And so like, you shouldn’t do that. And you should know the answer to that one. It’s just no. Right. And you should know better. And if you’re certified, like you, you probably have enough of a background to understand that it’s not okay to do that kind of stuff. So the first AI bot I want to build, I want it to, um, go and sit on top of the campaign.

And if any campaign requests says blast in it anywhere that it automatically declined to deprioritizes it. If you’ve asked if we can blast anyone, anything that we’re going to automatically decline it, and I don’t need to spend time on that request. The interest request goes into like close to immediately.

Yeah. I tried to remove the, the terminology batch and blast from my vocabulary somewhere around five to seven years ago. Please don’t say that to me anymore. I think all of us get under the table and start crying when we hear it. Yeah. But it’s funny that we talked about these two tracks, because guess, guess what functions tend to have this already defined it and engineering.

Right. So, um, that’s been around for awhile. Well, as I, as much as I hate to say it, I think we need to wrap this up. MH Helen, thank you so much. This has been a really fun conversation. A topic that I think is probably near and dear to all of us. Um, where can people find you if they want to stalk you online?

Of course not in like get your house. I mean, I’m so desperate to hang out with people in real life. At this point, I’d be totally fine with it, to my house. Um, so I met Stack Moxie, a S T a C K M O X I E. Dot com is the company. Um, and then, uh, and I get alerted anytime anyone fills out a form, so you can totally get me there.

Um, or, um, LinkedIn, please feel free to add me, uh, image lines, LinkedIn and slash M H L I N E. Yeah. And I’m also active on LinkedIn, so we can find you the year and I’m always looking for new conversations and connections and reading you, listening you as well. And the community obviously, sorry, Mike, all that way.

Sorry. They won’t have to be in the community either. That’s all, but if it’s all about, but if you are. But if you are, and if you’re not, and you want to learn more about the community, you go to the MO Pros dot com and find it where you can also find the podcast at the MO Pros dot com slash OpsCast. Um, and everyone thinks this has been a fantastic conversation again, for those of you who are listening.

Thank you, please. Subscribe, rate, and review. And we look forward to episode 14 coming out in a couple of weeks. Thanks everyone. Bye-bye. Thank you. Thank you.

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