The elusive career path of Marketing Operations Professionals.
Is it deep tech?
Is it people management?
Where does it go?
More importantly, where do YOU go?
Recorded live on February 12, 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. Professionals tune into each episode as we chat with real professionals to help elevate you in your marketing operations career.
It’s on your hands and you don’t know how to get it again because you weren’t kind of capturing the grunt of documentation or the processes and structures behind it. And so I feel like when we, when we talk about marketing operations and how we got here for me, definitely that, that non-traditional path.
But I think a lot of the wearing many hats world, which I’m sure everyone on this call has done a thousand. It actually serves us in operations because we end up being, uh, a sort of translator that runs between product digest. What they have brings that back to sales, brings it back to marketing and creates an ecosystem of efficiency through the standardized marketing operations actions and teamwork.
Can you hear that?
All right, so everyone else, let me know if you can hear me. Okay.
I can hear you just fine. So this is, this is Kyle and you know, if, if you are you, is that kinda your journey? Cause I’m happy to pick up. Yeah, totally. I was going to say in that kind of led us to, to where I am today, which is really talking about, um, I think marketing operations as a whole and the past few years, and Kyle, you can totally springboard right out of this.
I feel like it’s become more important than ever, especially in post COVID because everything’s virtual and we rely on these invisible infrastructures to kind of get our work done. Oh, so look, and here’s what I, here’s what I love about your story. Brandy. What I love about your story is, is that it shows, uh, at least for me, that w it’s not as random when you end up in these positions, as people might think, I mean, it feels random, but it sounds like there’s some, there’s some key elements and key components into people finding their journey and find their way, which I think for marketing operations, which really tend to 15 years ago, didn’t exist.
And it sure as heck didn’t exist the way we see it today was about being curious and being willing to say yes when other people were like, Hmm, I’m not sure about that. And so if you take that, that passionate curiosity and the willingness to say yes, when other people were like, I don’t know, you have kind of the, the, the, uh, the cocktail ingredients for how I got my.
Uh, as I’ve shared before, I’m a sales guy, turned marketer. And, and what that means is, is I’ve been on the phones, I’ve knocked doors, I’ve done what it takes to close deals and drive revenue. I’ve been a quota-carrying rep and, and it was never quite enough. Like I go to marketing and I’d say, give me some help.
And they would give me this piece and I’d be like, that’s not really helpful. Thanks. But no, thanks. I need to put together this campaign and it’s like, man, that’s a really, a lot of work to mail out these letters. It’s a really, a lot of work to send these emails. And I found myself just naturally being curious about what was going on on the operation side.
How does the business work? How do we drive leads? How does this information come in and, and how can we be better, better, better, better. Um, and I found myself moving from. Much like you, an art student in college. I was studying graphic design mostly because I wanted to get the, the easiest way to get through college and get a degree, um, was interested in computer science.
I was like, heck no, I’m not doing six years of math. Uh, and then on the backside, what I realized is, is that all of the things that I learned in, in. Art school taught me to creatively solve problems, which is, has really been the journey and path to getting where we’re at today. When I was in a sales and a sales role, it was the first person at the organization to figure out how to put together a campaign, albeit arduous as, as all get out inside of Salesforce, where we did direct mail, had to be able to follow up with that.
With the emails and tasks and phone calls, and that led to management opportunities, which then led to owning my own agency. And I realized, Ooh, I don’t really like websites and SEO and pay-per-click, I understand their, their spot, but that’s not what I’m passionate about. I really love solving problems via process in eliminating communication barriers between sales and marketing.
Using technology and process, Hey, when did this lead come in? When did we follow up? All of those things that start to happen came out of curiosity of like, can we do better? Um, and that’s, I mean, really my path to where we are today is, is asking the question, can we do better? And I think COVID is making everybody asks that question and you’re, you’re, you’re spot on Brandee.
It’s like this, this invisible world that is technology and things that are out. The can we do better? Everybody’s asking themselves that question, cause they’re stuck at home and they’re thinking about how do I solve this problem? The unseen seen. So let me interrupt for just a second. This is Michael Hartmann.
So folks who are who’ve joined, that was Kyle hammer, who was telling you a story. I apologize. I didn’t turn this on right away. So some of you who have joined missed out some of the intro, this is episode three of OpsCast. Um, as usual joined by Naomi Lou and Mike Rizzo, but we also have several guests today.
Michael hammer, Brandy Sanders, who shared a little bit about her story. Joining Justin sheriff, um, Debbie gig ish. Hopefully I got that right. Debbie and Jeff Q. So anyway, um, thank you. Uh, I, I agree with you. I think both of you hit something I think is, um, for, for those who I’ve talked to have been hiring in marketing ops in the past, right.
That innate curiosity and why to know how things work is I think a really important ingredient. So if you’re somebody, regardless of what you do, Um, today, if you think that marketing ops might be of interest, it’s probably because you like to solve problems and do them creatively. Um, so I I’m, I’ve got a similar kind of story.
My, myself, yeah. With that, with that said, uh, you know, we’ve got, uh, Justin and Debbie and Jeff on now. Thank you for joining us, Justin. Maybe you could share a little bit about your story as well.
Absolutely. I’d love to, um, you know, my, my story is not quite as, as unique as the other two, but, but definitely not a hundred percent traditional. Um, so I studied psychology and, uh, and economic. In college and, um, wanted to be a sports writer or a sports psychologist. And, uh, obviously I didn’t either. Um, but I started in analytics, um, doing a lot of forecasting, a lot of Excel, worth business objects work.
And then I found myself, um, being drawn to the business side and working very closely with the marketing leaders and eventually three or four years into my career. Um, One of the marketing leaders left the company I was working for. And, um, and the leadership team looked across the business and they said, you know, there’s nobody that knows the business and the intricacies more than Justin.
And I got my first opportunity to be in marketing and, um, and really liked it. Um, I’ve done a whole bunch of different roles in my career. Um, in, in, like I said, analysis and marketing, and then in marketing, I found myself drawn to the technology and the operation side. I got kind of thrown into a situation where the technology stack was a mess and no one really understood what was going on.
And I just jumped in and sort of learned it on my own and, um, and really found myself, uh, enjoying it. And, and, you know, luckily it was. Decently good at it. Um, and, uh, it did that for a bunch of years. And at log me in, we had over 70 different marketing technologies that we were managing, which really gave me a lot of exposure to the breadth of technologies that are out there.
And finally, I know that the topic of this is career path. Um, you know, about a year ago, I got the opportunity to. Um, move into my current role, which is actually running the whole global marketing organization. So yeah, I’ve taken the path of going from marketing analytics to marketing, to marketing operations and technology.
And then, um, over back to, to running a marketing department, which I think is, is the goal of a lot of people. Um, you know, they want to get back to the business side, uh, at some point. And so I’ve been lucky enough to do that. And, um, so far so good there that’s courageous. Yeah. And I think, I think you’re right.
I think one of the things that we’ll want to talk about as we get here is, you know, what’s the next step after a marketing ops, Debbie. Um, thanks for joining us. We, you want to tell a little bit about your story and introduce yourself as well? Yes. As soon as I can find the unmute button, I was so delighted to find this group.
I, uh, I can’t tell you how delighted I, um, I own a company called the Pedowitz group. I’m one of the two principle partners there, and we’ve been doing what we call revenue marketing since around 2007. So we have about 65 employees and we work with some of the larger brands like American express and Schwab and Aksyon.
And my job in the company is. The chief strategy officer, not for our company, but for what’s going on in the market. So I have like the best funnest job in the world. I get to go out and talk to executives and CMOs and heads of marketing operations and see what they’re doing. Uh, I do consulting as well with some of our larger accounts at a, at more of an executive level.
But, um, I am passionate about marketing operations, uh, so much so that I wrote a book is being published by Forbes. And it’s coming out in may, June of this year. And it’s all about it is about the history of marketing operations. And I’m one of those people. I always like to provide a kind of like a maturity model.
How do you move from a to B to C, to D and along the way I interviewed 26 executives. Some were our clients, some were not our clients because I really wanted to tell the story of how critical. And how important and how marketing operations. It’s a thing that’s here to stay and it is the secret sauce for modern marketing.
So that’s what the book is about. And so that’s what I do.
I’m thinking. That’s fantastic. First of all, I’m really excited that there’s a book coming I’ve I’ve been long passionate. This is Mike Rizzo, everybody. Sorry, I just wanted to jump in. I am very excited about reading that book. So, um, you be sure to let me know when it’s out and then we will be sure to share that with the rest of the community here.
Um, get it out there. It was truly. A labor of love and the forward is actually by Scott Brinker. So, um, it’s going to be, it’s a great book. It’s, you know, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not the detail. It’s more from a leadership perspective and, and what it takes from a leadership perspective to run, to spin up and to be successful with marketing operations.
So, um, yeah, we’re very, very excited about it. So thank you. That’s great. Yeah. I’m excited about the book too. All right. One more guests that we’ve got today, Jeff Q, hopefully I pronounced your name, right, Jeff, if you want to hop on and, uh, introduce yourself and tell a little bit about your story into marketing operations.
Yeah, thank you. This is Jeff Q. Uh, thanks for the intro. Before I jumped into talking about myself, I do want to just, um, give a kudos to Debbie. Debbie. I have your first book in front of me, which I’ve had since, uh, I think the 2016 Marquetto conference rise of the revenue marketer with the green cover.
And you have a sort of a mission statement on the, you know, on, on one of the primary pages. Revenue marketing is the strategy that transforms marketing from a cost center to a revenue center. Uh, and it, and it still is reflective to that day. It’s like, how do we, how do we create that mindset that.
Generating revenue and profit, not just being a cost or, or an expense. Right. And to me, that’s where marketing operations comes in. I actually call it the CMOs Mulligan because the first time they tried to get to revenue, it was without. Dedicated function of marketing operations. And now they’ve learned marketing operations is the secret sauce to achieving that in my opinion.
I thank you, Jeff. I love that. No, you’re welcome. And that I am on your waiting list for your, for when your book comes out as well. I’ve already messaged you for that. So I, my background is, is advertising base. I actually started off doing pre press and print production back in the nineties, learning how to work in a dark room.
Uh, do film, stripping the work on, you know, early versions of Photoshop and PageMaker and cork express in design. I even, uh, and so this is what I was in and I, and I excelled at it, uh, doing print production, um, where essentially an application specialist with software or, uh, with a goal to output files to print.
Uh, but back in 2009, I. Started, uh, I was working at an agency that had a client, which was, uh, elections BC up here in Canada. And they, the studio that I was managing had to output 700 pages of ads. Um, in a very short amount of time, uh, and the only way it was going to get done was to automate it. And so I started doing the research and I found some software from a company in England called 65 bit software was called easy catalog, and I research the tool.
Uh, it w the way it works was it connected to databases. And this was my first intro into optimizing production, working with data. And this is what. Was the catalyst that led me to where I’m working today as the director of global marketing operations for magnitude. Right. So very similar role to Naomi.
Of course Naomi’s at EFI is significant, a much bigger company. Uh, Where it basically, I’m building a team of, of marketing ops professionals, building out process to move those leads from a form all the way through to a closed one deal, building out global processes for companies that, uh, get for mergers and acquisitions.
When companies get acquired, we now have to centralize their, uh, marketing and data functions into a global Stack. So building out those processes, uh, Really, it was just this connection to a database like, oh, look how easy it is to connect the database to, uh, a page layout tool. And then make all those pages get built automatically.
So turning weeks of work into minutes of work. Uh, and so that was this inspiration that led me down this path. I think it’s really interesting that even though we all kind of came into marketing ops in different ways, I’m hearing some consistencies in, you know, Um, creativity is actually a part of it. I mean, some of, some of the folks that have done it, I think most people, when they think of creativity, like Brandy with her fine art stuff and whatnot.
But, um, I think this idea, like there’s creative ways to solve things and, and us as a part of the DNA of the people who’ve been successful, you know, one of the things that. And as we’ve been all been talking to, everyone can kind of jump in how you ever want here that I think we all have sort of bought the idea that marketing ops is a critical part of going to market for any, you know, especially B2B company, but really any marketing organization.
At the same time, I hear a lot of people who are in marketing ops. Um, you know, you sort of be moaning a little bit, the, the F the, the lack of, uh, strategic input that we get sometimes, or the lack of resourcing, you know, how do you, how do you see that, um, you know, playing itself out in your own organizations, what do you think is behind some of that and how do we change it?
I like to throw some thought into this. This is Jeff Q. It’s executive. I think this falls down to executive support, uh, our rolls up to do you have the executive support is marketing operations have the executive support is the COO, does the CFO, does the chief CDO is chief data officer. If that exists in your organization, do they fully support and understand what the capabilities of marketing operations are?
Or do they see marketing operations as just the email marketing folks? Right. Uh, and so they either see that marketing operations is important or they don’t, uh, right. Yeah. And let me know what Michael, this was the reason I wrote the book, Jeff, exactly what you just said a couple of years ago. I was, uh, I was speaking at a MarTech conference on the west coast.
And my topic was from button pushers to strategic enablers. And when I began talking to this group of marketing operations folks, and I said, you know, are you considered button pushers? And do you feel like you could do more? It was like, I reached into their chest and pulled out their heart and there was this visceral reaction of, oh my God.
Well, so we can do so much more. I just had that visceral reaction myself.
So, yeah. So from, from tech gate to visionary from button pusher to strategic enabler from that is the reason I wrote the book because those executives, including CMOs, who don’t get it right, they all need to be fine. Because they have a fiduciary responsibility to optimize the resources at hand. And you know, those companies that recognize the strategic value of marketing operations, those are the ones that are going to win the digital economy.
Make no mistake about it. Yeah, I think it was really, oh, no, go ahead. Do you want to go first? Well, that fiduciary, the fiduciary responsibility is an interesting comment because it’s actually something I’ve used to leadership. Um, and it actually had to do with, uh, and I’ve used them at multiple companies, had discussions where.
Uh, risk management is something that comes into play and that comes around, you know, managing consents and so forth. Um, you know, once you realize that GDPR is actually there, it was probably created to get Google and Facebook. Um, Uh, respecting people’s data and not so much about, you know, johnSmith@abc.abc company, you know, whether or not, you know, he’s actually, you know, getting unsubscribing someone quick enough kind of thing.
Um, but the fiduciary responsibility. It really kind of strikes a chord with me because what I’m seeing and not just that my organization, this is common across all the organizations like, uh, um, the SA the Sanders folks who have the C2 marketing, right. There’ve been talking kind of about this stuff recently.
And. It’s about process, right? How, what we tend to do in marketing ops is we see a lot of things that are going on and we think, well, geez, that’s really not the way for sales to handle it, or that’s not the way for that data to be handled, but this is how the salespeople or the marketers, the growth marketers are handling the data.
So now we have to change our process. To manage that. And what’s happening is we are accommodating bad behavior. As opposed to solving that, fixing that by behavior. Like there’s always numerous discussions of, oh, well, sales isn’t converting the lead. I saw this on LinkedIn. This is a common problem. Sales doesn’t convert the lead, the lead to an opportunity, or they create an opportunity without a contact.
Right. And so that per person may have come in through a, a previous campaign marketing source campaign. Uh, but, and then later an opportunity grew out of that, but the, they were never attached to that opportunity. So we have no marketing attribution. Uh, back to that marketing source. Uh, and that’s so we could, what we could do is go into Bizible, uh, and then power BI and start to build out dashboards that find that data, find those connections or reveal it, which is, you know, that’s going to spend a lot of cycles, use up a lot of resources and dollars in time, or we could go and teach the salespeople how to, you know, click a button when they create, uh, an opportunity.
Um, so that fiduciary responsibility kind of rolls up to whoever owns the sales, the sales teams, the marketing teams, to make sure that people are actually respecting process because it’s there for a reason. I think to piggyback on that idea, that literacy is huge and everyone will probably get a couple frowns virtual frowns on the word literacy.
Cause it’s, it appears that it’s a, it’s like a hot buzzy thing right now to, to debate on things like data, the terminology of using the words, data literacy, or like XYZ literacy, because you can be debatable by many whether it’s savvy versus literacy, but, uh, I’m gonna use the word because I think that if it could be tested, it could be.
It could be equally the word literacy applies. So when we talk about marketing operations and we definitely are going to the low-hanging fruit here, CEO CTO, COO. In the same way that are non-traditional paths or, you know, paper airplanes in the sky career paths brought us into marketing operations. Each of us came with our own, you know, uh, prescriptive, uh, ideals and then also biases and then just base knowledge.
And this is kind of why I love marketing operations is because our job is to codify, uh, to make things that are nebulous and ambient as explicit in documentation as possible. So that when we carry a message forward to. Either above us or, or disseminate and delegate below us on things like process, like, Hey, you got to put it in Salesforce.
It doesn’t exist. All those things. We have to be in many ways, the equivalent of like an education. A psychologist, it’s a little bit of the bartending type gig, right? Like you have to understand what are their understandings like, literally the, do they understand what I am saying to them? Or am I just using like, words that don’t resonate with them?
And so we become a bit of a, like we’re jumping through linguistic hoops to make sure that everything that we’re explaining to them is an action item for them to understand that there’s inherent value in taking these processes and making them muscle memory. And it’s not just me being a huge pain in the ass and saying, Hey, you’ve got to add that this is the, this fields here for a reason.
It has to be populated because XYZ dashboard that doesn’t, you know, it’s, it’s hard to get things to resonate with people less one there’s revenue tied to it, which is super important. Like we talked about the fiduciary stuff too. Um, complete. Cost money and it will cost us money if we fail to deliver it.
And then secondarily revenue, if you can’t tie it to revenue, most people aren’t going to care, particularly above a, and then below the reason we’re doing this is because we can protect and improve our jobs, value your jobs value in our efficacy, which we’re spending money. To do X, Y, Z marketing activities, or to deliver XYZ marketing messaging, et cetera.
We take all of that and it’s defensive data. So that allows us to do is to prove that what we’re doing has an impact. And if we’re doing something that has an impact, then it’s inherently connected to sales. It’s inherently connected to product. And by default, connected to the folks on that long board table where C-suite has to evangelize, talk, budget, talk, revenue, talk, LTV, tuck, CAC, all that great stuff.
And so I feel like in a. We kind of get that short end of that stick because we ended up being a bit of a UN translator and having to cycle through different departments and turn in chameleon ourselves into those people, speak their language, speak with their terminology, codify it, document it, bundle it up, walk over to sales, sit down with.
Talk, the sales stuff, go with a product, get ready to, you know, sit in the dark, like an engineer with our ear phones and talk that, you know, talk engineering talk. And so I feel like that’s the challenge, but I think it’s also an interesting one because we all come into it with this wonderment and this curiosity and we’re natural builders and we’re natural pattern seekers.
They it’s a little bit of a. Because we get to be the ones who control that message and as tough as it can be sometimes to get other people to put on there, kind of like understand why this is important hats. I think it’s also incredibly valuable in that that value is inherent to any company because compliance, I mean, you look up the look up, the fines for GDPR compliance is huge.
That responsibility is huge. The sense of loyalty to our clients, our customers and our interior organization is also huge. So marketing operations is that bad. We traveled in the entire body. We’re connected to all of those infrastructures. Yeah. That is, that is such a great observation. You’re right. It’s like I’m marketing ops.
It’s becoming a new sort of corporate glue across organizations and you’re right. They are UN translators going from one department to the other. I think that is a great analogy. Yeah, I completely agree. And I think the chameleon is another great point, right? You have to transfer or translate yourself or turn yourself into that other person that you’re talking to, to understand what their needs are and how you can get best, get them to be effective.
I think there’s so much enablement in March. Operations. It’s not just about the technology. It’s not just about, you know, the data and the analytics. It’s about getting people to do their job better and putting people in a position to be successful. And those, those different departments all have different neurocognitive.
Well, we live in right? Your alpha sales are inherently intuitive. Process-driven engineers, your creative artsy, traditionally in marketing type people. So it’s like you end up having to jump through and literally, you know, become a different person. God knows. I’ve used that theater arts degree to my
really interesting. I have done this. He’s he’s like the closet sales guy. Who’s turned marketer. And I know I was, I did my spin through sales. And so it’s kind of, what’s kind of what your thought coming from the dark side, if. I’m going to lost audio. We’ll be right back, like in two seconds, but, um, yeah, just my headphones just cut out.
So thanks for, thanks for giving me a second here. Cause there’s a couple of things that I hear in, in listening to this, this wealth of knowledge that there are there common things, but I had a mentor for many years and he said two things, which I think are just very, very salient experiences. What you get when you don’t get what.
And experience is a body of knowledge that can not be taught. And I, I think about that all the time, when we look at operations and how businesses function cause we’re, we started in this conversation. We started on this, this train of thought was, is, well, how can marketing ops have a seat at the table?
How can we be taken seriously in the boardroom? How do we get people in the C-suite to appreciate what it is that we do? And I think it boils down to our power that we have inside of organizations doesn’t come from what we do, because what we do depends. Right? It’s it’s, it’s marketing, it’s sales it’s well, what do we need in this particular situation?
It’s the translator, it’s the moving from one system to the next, the power of what we do and how we bring ourselves to the boardroom is by asking really good questions and, and positioning in ways and understanding not as it. What do you want me to do? But what is it you want to see? Or what is the outcome that you’re looking for?
When, when we do what somebody said. Right. So my sales manager told me to go make 50 phone calls a day and I would get 10 appointments a week. I’d be able to have two or three meetings and I might close one a deal every week. Right? Like that, go do that. When I looked at it and I said, well, what does he want?
He doesn’t care about my activity. What he wants is my outcome. So I went and I did different things. Did I do what I was asked? Sure. But I looked at the same problem and I applied my understanding of technology and things that I felt a little bit of sales enable. Some marketing, because I didn’t know what I was doing as a sales guy was just making it up.
Like every other sales guy out there. And I did these things because the outcome I wanted as a sales person was I wanted a commission check. And I think sometimes when we’re in operations and we’re in. And we’re in these meetings, we forget what’s actually motivating the CMO. What’s motivating the CTO.
What’s motivating the board of directors. We understand that it’s tied to revenue, but we’re not asking questions and listening to what they’re really saying or asking questions to help them understand the amount of work that they’re, they’re trying to ask for a really good example of that is in my last corporate job, we were part of a, uh, eight companies merging into one brand.
Uh, M and a process. And as these eight companies came together, you had six different sales motions. You had an e-commerce motion, you’re an ABM type motion. You had a, um, you had a high paced, transactional motion. You had a longer like th th the eight companies were all functioning separately and the C-suite was pounding the table and saying, we want more revenue and marketing’s not producing.
Start cutting marketing’s budget. When we were able to sit down at the table and ask, what do you really want and start talking about, well, if you remove this, where are you going to get that resource? And where are you going to get this particular lead? How is this going to happen? There became this eye-opening moment for the, the executive team where they went.
Well, maybe we can’t pull back on that budget. Maybe we can’t, maybe we actually need to resource up because what we want is the ability to consolidate. We want better visibility when we’re better ROI. We want all of the things that make us feel like the business is operating better, but if we would’ve just come back and said, we can’t do that, or you’re going to kill X, Y, or Z.
And didn’t ask the question. We would have been in a position of playing from behind, we’re already playing from behind. So I think, I think asking powerful questions is the great equalizer and the way in which you, you know, you help educate up and across. Yeah. So I’d like to kind of bring this home a little bit.
Um, one, just a comment. I’ve been hearing a lot recently in my other markets, like more generalized marketing things about the lack of marketing experience at the C level and board level at a lot of companies. And so I think you’re right, Kyle, that we’re kind of playing from behind. Let me, let me turn this around.
I know we had talked about career stuff and at some point we probably maybe need to do another one of these where we talk about what’s the path up. If people are interested in, in, in kind of a management or a technical track, but for now maybe if we could. Uh, you know, a minute or so you talk about like, based on this conversation, our experience, if you could tell your younger self or, you know, this person who is new to your team, or, you know, thinking about going in, like what’s one piece of advice that maybe they wouldn’t expect that would help them to grow as a marketing ops person, you know?
And, and I want you to kind of, you know, Yeah, going in assumption I would make is like technical chops are going to be important. Right. So whatever tools or technology uses is gonna be important, but what else do you think that they should be investing in their own development? So I think one of the, one of the key things I’ve learned recently as well is.
Remembering that the best way to sell something is to sell it is to tell a story, right? Thinking about where that data is going to go. Uh, at the very top level for marketing ops, we report to my team reports to the CML. Um, The CMO then reports to the board. Uh, I ran through an exercise recently with the CMOs we’re, we’re going through this process of implementing.
Bizible getting that data feeding into Salesforce, which then feeds into power into a dashboard tool we’re using power BI. Um, we can get into the granular data and look at the UTM values and start to report on every single tactic. But. The board doesn’t want to see that what the board wants to see is are we making money?
Where, what are the deals? What are the closed one deals and what are the opportunities that are still open? And if those numbers are high enough and they’re coming from marketing sourced and marketing influenced. Then the board isn’t going to want to see anymore, but if those numbers are low, they’re going to want to start to look further down.
Um, let’s say you had a spreadsheet and you had a bunch of columns and starting from left to right on the left-hand side, you started having, uh, how many MQ ELLs you had? How many S SQLs, how much, how much revenues was lead source? A hundred percent marketing source. How much was influenced? Right? Maybe there was one touch point there from.
Uh, sales generated lead. And now the board looks at these total numbers and says, wow, we’re doing, we’re killing it. We’ve got tons of millions and closed 1 million, still an opportunity to still open. But if those are really low, they’re going to say, well, how many SQLs do you have? Oh, not many. How many MQ else did you have?
Oh, not many. Where, what campaigns are you running? Where are you doing? Your ad spent? So all of a sudden the story you’re telling starts to get a little more painful, right? So if you’re. If you have a nice roll-up of understanding your data, you can, you can go with a story of, Hey, we’re having success. We had to go to market campaign that encompassed all these activities.
Uh, we were not getting into the details of the activities, because look at here, we’ve closed one, $5 million on an investment of 500,000. And the pod that’s all the board wants to see, but if they’re not seeing that return, then they start getting into the nitty gritty of what is going on in marketing.
So a couple of comments on that. Um, one, I think the question was, uh, What do we need to do to like, can you repeat the, the original question it was, if you, you know, if you could tell your younger self who is getting into marketing ops, something you’ve learned along the way that would have helped you earlier on what would that be?
That’s the thing I was having. I was having a senior moment, right. Where sh short timers kicked in. So. I think, you know, if, if I’m talking to my younger self, I’m going to, and I’m, I’m starting out on this career path. I think a lot of the things that Jeff just spoke about are really, really important in understanding why you’re asking questions in the point behind it.
I think the other thing that, that I would, I would tell younger people is be bold, but not bold to the point in which, you know, you’re, you’re. You’re writing or disruptive, but be bold. So be willing to stand up for what you see in the data or what you’re seeing happening in the market or the things that you’re seeing inside the operation to say, gosh, it seems like we should change this, or we should change that this would actually help solve what you’re saying, because I think a lot of times it’s just, we just had a huge migration project.
We did for a. They’re still using Lotus notes, like think about being on the IBM Lotus notes Stack and trying to run a 70 or $80 million company, and then deploy mark tech on top of that, like it’s in a very painful process. The COO has no idea what’s going on with the data. They don’t understand what’s happening.
And they’re, they’re coming from a brain position where it’s like, let’s run all of these webinar campaigns. Let’s do these, these sponsored content pieces. And oh, by the way, I want to track it all the way back to Lotus notes. There’s there’s technical limitations. Like there’s this fundamental limitations to what can and cannot be done.
So as a younger person, don’t be afraid to say what you’re asking for. I hear you. I understand. No, that’s not possible, but if, if I wanted to, to tell myself what to do to be a marketing operations person long-term or wanting to move up into, to senior leadership. It’s be willing to be curious and go places where nobody else is going.
That one last question that you asked that may seem silly. It may not mean anything in this particular moment, but two or three questions later through three meetings later, all of a sudden it’s like, oh, your train of thought was actually on the right path. We actually need to enrich that particular piece.
We need to spend more time thinking about how do we, you know, 10 years ago, how do we actually manage campaigns for marketing inside of Salesforce? What is it that you, how do you really do the operational managing of that and assigned tasks? Well, how do we want to report on this, that one question? How do you want to report on it?
Drives how you set it up. And so there’s, I think there’s just a. Um, it goes back to this curiosity. It goes back to, I think a lot of what I hear with Brandy, with her ballet and fine arts. And even me, it’s like, if you can improv and you can be the CEO, the CMO, the CTO, the sales guy, and do your job and feel like you have a good understanding of what everybody was.
To where you could act and sound just like them, then you probably have a good command of what you need in order to synthesize and tell that good story. I think, I think, uh, you know, asking questions and curiosity is, is, was going to be my recommendation as well. Um, I think that is so important to ask a lot of questions.
You know, if you don’t understand something, just ask and ask and ask and find the answer and, and look for the answer. Yeah. Um, I think that is as so important and that leads into the other one that I’ll, that I’ll say as a replacement for that is make sure that you find, um, managers or leaders or mentors that can teach you about marketing operations.
You are not going to learn. Everything that you need to know on your own. Um, both from a business perspective, but also from an operations perspective. So I think it’s important as you’re looking at your career path that you latch on to people or companies that can teach you about that career path, you know, self, self starters are fantastic and I love self-starters and I love curious people, but at the end of the day, like you, you don’t know what you don’t know.
If you don’t know where to research and where to learn, you’re not going to get the most out of that time that you’re researching and learning. So I think it’s really important to find a manager who can, who can teach you or coworkers who can teach you more about the function, um, or mentors who can teach you more about the function, because you’re going to learn a lot, your scope is going to expand, and you’re going to really, um, find yourself to be more well-rounded than if you just kind of like, you know, put your head down.
Yeah. And I’m in research, a topic or a technology or, or a data model. So I couldn’t agree with that more. And, uh, let me tell you guys a story and then I’ll tell you why I say be opportunistic in your career. I do one class a year at the college of William and Mary, and it’s always about revenue marketing.
Four years ago, I started doing a whole segment on marketing operations. Two years ago, I had the head of marketing ops for come with me and he did a whole presentation on marketing ops and these MBA students, they were, they love this idea of working in marketing operations. It really appeal to them. So one guy raises his hand.
He says, well, that is fantastic. How can we get a job? Doing marketing operations. And Dan brown looked at them and said, I wouldn’t hire any of you. And it was like, you could hear a pin drop, but the idea was that, you know, where do you go to get these skills? How does that begin? So one of the things that I’ve observed in working with companies and seeing how marketing marketing operations professionals advance in the career is they’re opportunistic about the companies that they work for, because you may get one set of skills and you can only go so far in a particular company that where else do you go to learn this?
Right? You either have it in the environment that you’re working with, or you have to go to a, another company to get. So one of the pieces of advice I would give to anybody is be opportunistic about your career. If you don’t, if you’re not getting the training and the skills and the knowledge that you need in one company, then you need to be looking at another company.
I like that. And just, uh, I’ll just shameless plug here, right? For MO Pros in this community and what we’re working on. Um, Justin, you, you talked about finding mentors and finding managers that you can work with and work for. Um, I think, I think the community is exactly, you know, purpose built for this reason.
Right. We felt super alone, oftentimes in these roles. And you’re trying to learn, you’re trying to, trying to speed speed up the time to, um, being able to speak the language of, of the CTO or the CEO or CDO as Jeff talked about earlier, um, And a lot of ways, you know, that’s exactly what this community is all about.
It’s, it’s trying to enable those types of interactions and, um, these opportunities on OpsCast and other places, um, are exactly why we’re working on this stuff. And in addition to that, for those that, uh, Andrew CTOs, chief data officer is what we referred to earlier. Um, and so. Uh, in addition to that, you know, for those that take a moment to join the community, participate and get active.
Um, there are actually folks on our website on the, what we refer to as the directory, the Mopro directory, www dot the MO Pros dot com. And you can actually see, you can filter for people who are. Desire to be a mentor to you. So, um, so if that’s something that’s interesting to you, if you’d like to mentor other people, or if you want to find a mentor, um, that’s, uh, that’s exactly one of the reasons why this exists and so, you know, long shameless plug there, but I feel like, I feel like it’s much needed on the talk of career path.
I’d love. I’d love to it’s Jeff here. I’d like to throw out the concept that a mentor doesn’t necessarily mean someone older than you, but just somebody who has more insight to the scope of what you need to improve on. Um, I could give an example where someone may be more technically oriented, uh, but very weak in social and, um, uh, emotional IQ intelligence.
Right. And those two people who may be peers can actually learn from each other, build one that the emotional intelligent person can build technical knowledge and the technical person can build emotional intelligence knowledge, um, and even going, working with younger people too. So I would encourage that, that accessibility of that viewpoint, that a mentor can be.
Around you, it doesn’t have to be someone who is older or senior to you. Everybody has something to learn from everybody. I would, what I would, what I would say is, is just to piggyback on the mentor thing. I think mentorship and, and, um, uh, iron sharpening iron is really, really, really important, but don’t feel like you only have to work with operations professionals inside of marketing or technical people inside of engineering or data people.
Sometimes the best folks to get mentorship from our folks that are across the island, your sales, operations, sales operations is a bit more developed and it’s substantial in its its pedigree and how it’s been around talking to. So for me, for, for 11 years, uh, my mentor was somebody who had done. Um, computer development, they were, they were incredible database administrators.
They had done. Um, they helped, uh, the AEs deploy their Moneyball system back in the eighties and, and were in a sales operations role. When I was sitting in. My desk or cubicle as a salesperson, we struck up a friendship and I learned more about business and data and systems. And how executives think from that person who was just building reports than I ever have from, you know, listening to a podcast or like, cause you gotta get a chance to have a conversation.
So, and when you can have those conversations in their safe and you could learn that that is right there is what puts you on a place to leapfrog. Yep. Your peers. That’s what puts Mocos. That’s what puts us on a playing field that puts us at the board tables. Cause we’re learning from others, not in our discipline.
Yeah. I think my, my two points are actually a little more humorous than some of these very well thought out ones. When we’re talking about career path and, uh, the tactically approaching the climb. My two suggestions are one learn to play chess, and I do mean the literal. Because in the corporate world, in the startup world, in technology, chess club days actually pay off in marketing ops and operations.
They’re absolutely, they’re absolutely worth it. Uh, but it, because it creates a neural net. It literally creates a neural net in your mind. Um, or D and D that’s right. Hell the, during the, my, you know, 1230 dicer down. Um, but the second one is taken abnormal psychology class because you’re going to run into a lot of it in technology.
You’re gonna run into characters. You’re gonna run into you’re classic, you know, narcissistic, sociopathic, crazy leaders. You’re gonna run into hugely empathetic, very wonderful leaders. And I think that chess allows literally your tack, the tactical strategic side of your brain to be activated all the time and have normal psychology teaches you how to, instead of when you, for example, when you’re learning the language of that group, or you’re learning the political or dynamic personalities in your organization of which I’m sure everyone on this call is run into those at one point or another during our.
And our wins and our defeats in many failures that shape us into who we are. It’s important to understand the psychology of it because each, each leadership, each group, each board, each company eats each entity tends to have psychological elements. To those characters. So I would say take up chess, even if it’s just on your Mac book and you just looking to get a couple of games in and then take an abnormal psychology class because to understand those neural kind of cognitive ways that people who bring inherent biases, who bring in.
Traumas and backgrounds and all kinds of different ways of thinking than what you may have in your mind. It’s, it’s huge. And I think it’s a tool that quite often gets overlooked, where we favor the tech, the tech side, which is fantastic, but also the cognitive ability to understand and put yourself in that perspective and understand why you may be getting rebuttals.
Why you may be getting your hand slapped. If you’re, if you’re asking for change, if you’re advocating for a technology or a strategic process to be put in there, Chess and abnormal psychology really helped kind of ball on that, that, that, uh, that, that Bruce. Okay. I love that now, man. I think, I think we haven’t heard from you on this.
What do you, what’s your, what’s your advice? My advice, I definitely agree with the psychology aspect of it. I find that a lot of my day to day is. Honestly, anxiety management, um, and just making sure that not just my business partners, but also, you know, some of the, you know, my team and also the people that I report into that, you know, they’re making where it may just making sure that, you know, technology is not always this scary, um, thing that people just don’t want to touch, or they’re just not sure what’s happening because it just changes all the time.
A lot of it is definitely, you know, some handholding, some anxiety management, um, learning how to deal with. Different cast of characters and, you know, especially the bigger the company. And I work for, like Jeff mentioned, I work for a fairly large enterprise company. There’s going to be differences when it comes to technology adoption, just how people, how adept people are when it comes to their technical aptitude and trying to make sure that everyone’s on the same page.
And a lot of it is also, um, change management. I think, um, if I were to go back and say something to my younger self it’s, you know, definitely. Um, understanding some project management skills even, right. Because change management is not something to be, I would say, ignored or overlooked, especially when you’re trying to implement new technology or, um, just.
Trying to course correct. Or trying to shift a very large boat or try to steer it. It can be very slow or it can be very, you know, it’s like, I think I’ve seen something together the other week on, I think it was Instagram, right? It was a cheetah just changing direction on the turn of a dime. And that’s something that depending on the size of your organization can be, can be quite difficult.
And, um, you know, how do you make sure that everybody comes along on the, on the same path? Right. And, and that’s just something I would, I would say that, you know, to my younger self. Definitely want to not ignore those pieces. It’s something that I’ve had to learn over over the years in, in marketing ops.
So I’d like to add in there, uh, just about the change management and the mentorship, Naomi, as someone I’ve gone to were, you know, because she’s had more experience with change management acquisitions, um, or I’ve had to reach out and say, Hey, look, this is a situation I’ve had. I’d love to hear. How you handled this, what, you know, based on your experience.
Right? Um, so peer your peer group can be your mentors as well. Yeah, no, I definitely agree. And I think sometimes when you are reiterating or regurgitating information back to somebody, you also, it’s almost kind of a. Uh, debrief for yourself too. And as I, you know, when Jeff and I have had conversations and I, and I speak back on certain experiences, I’m like, oh, you know, I could have done that actually differently.
It’s, it’s always a different perspective when you’re, when you’re saying it to somebody else as well. So great. The mentor becomes the mentee at some point for yourself. Sometimes
this has been really interesting to hear the different perspectives. Um, And just I’ll give my 2 cents worth, I think, piggybacking a little bit on some Burke or adding to some of the things people said. I think grit, um, is a really important one where you gotta be, it’s kind of goes with, um, I can’t remember, was it, was it Kyle who said be bold, right?
I think you, if you’re gonna be bold, you also have to have grit to cause there’s going to be PR pushes, you know, forces pushing against that change. Um, and then I think the other one, I, in people who’ve worked for me are going to, would be disappointed if I didn’t say we all needed to understand finance right.
And how the company makes money and how it thinks about investing the money that we have to do a limited kind of things. I mean, that part. Is a skill that I encourage everybody I’ve ever worked with, um, to understand, because if you’re fighting to have that conversation at the C level or the board level, or even in a large organization, right at the VP level to get, you know, a limited amount of budget towards something you think is an important thing, you’ve gotta be able to speak that language.
Um, that the finance team ultimately is going to be the kind of the ones who are going to decide where that’s going to go. So that on top of that, I loved Brandy your, your point about psychology and in the strategic things of chess. Now I’m going to go, you know, I’ve been watching all these shows that have tested them.
Now I’m gonna have to go learn it. I’ve never been, been wanting to play it, but, um, I think, you know, this has been fantastic. Thank you everyone. Thanks Kyle. Brandy, Justin, Jeff, Debbie for joining us and investing this amount of time into the community and the people here for those of you listening. Thank you so much for joining us.
Um, if you want to, you know, here, if you’re new to the community or not familiar with the community, you can go to the MO Pros dot com. That’s T H E M O P R O s.com and, uh, find out how to join the community to be a part of this on a more regular basis. And as new episodes are come, you know, come up for OpsCast here.
You can go to the MO Pros slash ops casts and to find out more. So for today. Thank you very much. Um, we look forward to future conversations in and, uh, if you have ideas, certainly let us know through different channels, whether it’s the MO Pros community or LinkedIn or wherever, let us know what you want to hear about.
Thanks everyone. Thanks, everybody. Really appreciate your time. Thank you.