Conquering marketing operations is no mean feat. It calls for a strategic mindset, data-driven decision-making, and a focus on continuous improvement. So, can you position your marketing operations for success by developing a solid strategic framework or embracing agile project management or adopting the right technology and automation? Let’s find out.
Xander is a seasoned Marketing Operations professional who believes in driving results and pushing the boundaries of what marketing operations can achieve. As the former Director of Global Marketing Operations at Stratasys and with a successful tenure at Code42, he has acquired a versatile skill-set that ranges from Marketing Operations and Revenue Operations to Salesforce BA/Project Management and Technical Support. With a focus on strategic marketing operations, Xander's passion for empowering teams, optimizing workflows, and leveraging data and technology has led to exceptional results.
Harshika is a seasoned product manager with a passion for business transformation, design thinking, technology, marketing trends, SaaS security, and human-computer interactions. What interests her most is the intersection of these fields, which is why she stays on top of the latest industry insights to uncover strategies for success in today's dynamic business landscape.
00:25 – 1:02
welcome back to another episode of the Revenue Focus Marketer, where we discuss anything and everything related to marketing as well as data. Today we have a very special guest with us. His name is Xander, and he is currently the director of marketing operations at CS two. His experience has been specifically around marketing and revenue ops teams in the B2B space, and he’s super passionate about making changes across the organization through marketing operations.
1:02 – 1:23
So welcome, Xander. We’re so happy to have you today. Hi Hershey. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. So I guess we’ll dive straight in and we’ll start off with just getting to know more about you. So if you could just share about your background and how did you really get started in the field of marketing operations?
1:23 – 1:44
Yeah, absolutely. Happy to share that. It’s, uh, I think a lot of marketing, uh, marketing ops folks where we kinda land into the role, um, in, in certain ways. I hear that story all the time. Right. Um, I was actually intending on being an actor. Um, I was a theater major in my undergrad. Yeah. I am not doing that.
1:44 – 2:14
I am doing some podcasting and that’s about it. So, um, uh, You know, started kind of in the, in the arts and then working backstage and, and really where I got my start in kind of the corporate world was through tech support. Very passionate about technology my entire life, uh, throughout college I was fixing computers and I think that that was like my natural inclination to get into ultimately, uh, marketing and revenue operations was through the automation and technology piece.
2:14 – 2:42
Um, so where I really landed from Salesforce, Marketo marketing automation platforms, different CRMs was, uh, working for a tech startup. Um, they were a little older, but you know, still in that, in that hyper-growth mode. Um, and I was working as a business analyst on the Salesforce side, so, working primarily with marketing, um, and, and sales operations.
2:42 – 3:03
So I did everything from quote to cash lead management, um, you know, all of the pieces. And over time, eventually what we had to do was rebuild our market, our marketing automation platform. And so I led that initiative. Amazing. During that initiative, our marketing operations team left, and so they had a vacancy.
3:03 – 3:27
I had the experience and it was just kind of like one step after another, after another led me into the marketing operations leadership, uh, realm. So was doing that for, for a few years. And where I have landed myself now is I am a director of Marketing Operations at CS two, CS two. We are a consulting firm, uh, actually very similar to Growth Natives.
3:27 – 4:02
We’re working with, you know, high tech companies, high growth companies, um, And we are very focused on marketing operations and revenue operations. And so I am a, a primary contact lead for, uh, for many clients. And I have a team that that works with me on supporting them, uh, through all of their growth. So anything that we’re talking about today, I’m very passionate about and I have a lot of experience both from an in-house and a consulting, uh, perspective, which I think is also unique.
4:02 – 4:20
So, Yeah. No, that’s wonderful. I think definitely having the experience with clients also, and not just internal, gives you a good idea of like different companies, of different sizes, different backgrounds, and how like you know, marketing really varies across the board. It’s not just one packet sort of fits all.
4:20 – 4:41
You have to really have a lot of like, you know, diverse experiences and changes that applies to different companies. Absolutely. I think that you’ll see it behind me here, this little sign that says, it depends. Anytime I meet with somebody in operations, they say, I love that sign because, um, you, you’re right, it’s not a one size fits all solution.
4:41 – 5:05
I think that a lot of organizations think that there is, right? What’s the best practice? And it’s like, well, there’s no best practice. Everybody’s doing something different. There’s a million variables that we have to design around. Definitely. I think it’s really cool that you have so much different background and like you started off from being an actor being in the creative field and now being super into the marketing world.
5:05 – 5:29
So I guess I would love to know how would you really define success and what would be some of the key factors that contribute to having a very successful marketing operation strategy? Yeah, great question. Um, we were talking a little bit earlier about how, you know, marketing operations really started kind of as like email management, right?
5:29 – 5:55
I have a new marketing automation platform, marketing operations and automation kind of grew into that to support campaign operations and, and email execution. Um, Our world is so much different than that. You know, I think anybody that’s practicing now knows that there is so much more to it. Mm-hmm. Um, so when I, when, when I like to think about this and when I’m working with clients, there’s a few different.
5:55 – 6:19
Areas that we really try to focus on when we’re talking through how to grow your business through rev ops, marketing ops. Um, and I use those kind of interchangeably, Hershey, because I think nowadays, like Rev ops has, has kind of moved into like sales operations, taking rev ops. But I think that the marketing operations team has a lot to contribute to a rev ops strategy because we’re seeing everything.
6:19 – 6:51
Thing. We’re seeing everything from upstream all the way to downstream, and we have like a, a big purview. So, uh, things to focus on is go to market design, right? We’re not, we’re not determining where the business goes, but if you are in a business that is a traditional lead management, inbound marketing team, and you say, Hey, I’m gonna move to product-led growth, or I’m going to move to account based marketing, who’s the team that has to figure out all of the systems and all of the processes that need to change to support that?
6:51 – 7:18
Marketing ops, and so we’re, we’re definitely in that realm of, of g uh, of go to market. Management and making sure that we can execute on that appropriately. Mm-hmm. Right. We wanna make sure that we have revenue analytics in place. Uh, I know that this is a huge passion of yours and the teams over, you know, that’s, that’s leading this, but really focusing on the wins that matter, which is revenue.
7:18 – 7:38
Pipeline closed one opportunities, right. G gone is the days of just reporting on M qls. It’s not enough to do that anymore. Right. Um, so having the infrastructure in place to do that, revenue analytics is super key. Um, and then we’re also responsible for all of the operational infrastructure. You know, we just, we still have a job to do.
7:38 – 8:07
We still have to make sure that emails go out effectively. We still have to make sure that leads are coming into the systems and we can have like a, a very efficient speed to lead process. So when we are, when we are working, we have to be thinking in how do I scale our business? The most efficient way possible, and that’s through, you know, all of our operations and making sure that we have the right infrastructure in place from both the process technology and data perspective.
8:07 – 8:28
And then what we’re ultimately trying to get to is wins. And I think that this is where a lot of mops people are, are growing into. Mm-hmm. Um, you know, analytics isn’t always the first place that the ops team goes, especially when we were traditionally like, executing, executing, executing, but making sure that we are delivering good customer experiences.
8:28 – 8:51
Mm-hmm. Making sure that our team is being more efficient at their job and can do more with what they have. And then, um, Really making sure that we have the right insights within our data. Those three pieces are going to allow us to see increased revenue growth, and that’s what’s ultimately saying, are we doing what we need to be doing?
8:51 – 9:14
Mm-hmm. Yeah, and I think like, I love that you sort of mentioned about the piece of revenue growth, right? I think there’s been a recent shift in sort of. Taking marketing not as a spend, but also as an investment. And if you do invest into something, you do wanna know about what the return on investment is, right?
9:14 – 9:40
Yes. So, uh, I think that’s definitely a huge part. And it was also interesting to see like marketing ops is not just about the emails and just about like, you know, this traditional mindset about it is like, yes, you know, operations need to be managed. But there’s so many different aspects, like you mentioned about go to market, but also customer experiences that sort of set the base and set you up for success.
9:40 – 10:03
Yes. So I think I’m really glad that you covered those. I would however, want to sort of dive deeper into what strategies or like tactics do you find most effective when measuring the R O I aspect of these initiatives that you are taking throughout your organization. Sure. Specific measures that you ha might have or like, you know, Yeah.
10:03 – 10 :24
Um, um, so, so we’re thinking more about like, how do we report on this, on this success and, and how do we actually bring to life some of those insights, right? Yeah. Because I think for a lot of these, uh, like, you know, marketing ops people, At the end of the day, you do have a CMO asking you certain questions or you have like, you know, your VP of financing.
10 :24 – 10:42
We are spending all of these mon, this much money on marketing, but what is sort of the end result and how are we sort of measuring those things? So is that something that you face in your role? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Something that sort of helps. You would love to know more about that. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
10 : 42 – 11:03
I, I think that that analytics has had this really tricky spot lately, right? Mm-hmm. We focus a lot on volume of like, how many m qls did I get? How many of those converted into an opportunity? We also talk about value a lot, right? So, so then it becomes this like, Push and pull between marketing and sales.
11:03 – 11:23
It’s, it, it becomes a versus, right? Well, what is sales bringing to the table versus marketing? And, and you’re always kind of like competing with one another when you only focus on volume and, and, and value. And those are two very important metrics that you should be measuring. And there’s a few different ways that we go about measuring that.
11:23 – 11:44
Mm-hmm. Um, But two other ones that are really important to measure is velocity. Mm-hmm. And oftentimes organizations start to think about velocity when it comes to opportunity management. Mm-hmm. Right? They’re like, oh, well our sales cycle is six months. And you’re like, but how long did it take you to get from that very first interaction and engagement?
11:44 – 12:08
I. Top of the funnel all the way to that closed one. It’s a two year sales cycle, right? It when you really take the full, the, the full thing into effect. So finding ways that, how can marketing accelerate that and take it from that discovery, um, requirements gathering to get it in front of sales faster because that’s what you’re ultimately trying to solve from a rev ops and marketing ops perspective.
And then how do you increase the conversion because. If we just think about like, well, I need 5,000 MQL s to hit my goal this quarter. Mm-hmm. Well, if there are 5,000 garbage MQL s that don’t convert into opportunities, it doesn’t matter how many MQL you got. Right. I think a lot of people use the word marketing influence, like yes.
What influences marketing really have, and I think that’s huge to the point that you’re trying to make here. Like you can do a lot of and get these leads, but like I think marketing does have a lot of like, you know, influence in the beginning of. Deciding what the qualities of these leads are gonna be.
12:45 – 13:05
Yes, a hundred percent. My, uh, one of my previous CEOs, he was, he, he got his start through marketing. He was the CMO that eventually moved into ceo, right? Mm-hmm. And he, he never wanted us to have conversations around marketing sourced versus marketing in influence. He’s like, listen, there’s no opportunity that should go across the finish line.
13:05 – 13:23
That doesn’t involve both sales and marketing. You can’t close the deal without a sales team. Yeah. And they’re still leveraging, somebody’s going to the website, whether or not you can see it in your attribution, you know that they, they have to find more information about you some way. Right. So like whether it’s materials that the sales team’s sharing, whether it’s.
13:23 – 13:44
The training that your product marketing team is giving to the sales team, like we’re all in it together, so let’s do less about who brought something to the table and more Utilize these metrics to improve what you’re doing. Mm-hmm. Yeah, right. We spend a lot of time trying to prove what we’re doing as opposed to, Hey, this is where we’re at today.
13:44 – 14:06
I want to have a 2% uplift, and as a result, it’s going to increase our revenue X amount. That’s what’s important. I guess like focusing on those insights is so important because it definitely, like if you don’t know these things, how are you supposed to improve them? Right. So it makes a huge difference in like, knowledge is power here.
14:06 – 14:22
Knowledge is power, and, and we were talking about how important like clean data is. You know, oftentimes when I’m starting engagements, especially with new clients, right? Like typically it’s a C M O who says, I don’t have enough information, so I need some reports. And then they, they reach out and they say, Hey, I need your help.
14:22 – 14:43
Mm-hmm. We get into the conversations and they’re like, okay, I need to know. I need to know what, what my team is bringing to the table. Well, if you don’t have the operational infrastructure in place to set the data values that you need, which we didn’t really talk about, but the way that we typically will measure it is both from like a multi-touch attribution methodology as well as a lifecycle methodology.
14: 43 – 15:07
Mm-hmm. I think that is really important to have, both you, you’re, you’re answering different questions, you’re gaining different insights, so having something where you’re measuring a funnel. A traditional funnel to, to be able to plan your business is really important as well as what are all of the different campaigns that I’m doing, and how many of those things are ultimately influencing opportunities regardless of who sources it.
15:07 – 15:36
And you answer different questions, right? I think the quality, like you said, is really important. Like it’s. We talk about garbage in, garbage out all the time. And so I guess like, you know, focusing and getting it right of what goes in is so important before you can, and that’s why like your analytics, all the insights that you have are gonna be completely off the charts and incorrect if you don’t have certain things in place to get them right in the first place.
15:36 – 15:55
Yeah. Yeah. Something that I’m noticing is that oftentimes in organizations, your analytics team and your marketing teams, they’re, they’re not reporting to the same people, which that’s fine, right? Analytics is usually more than just marketing. Mm-hmm. But if you don’t have a close relationship between marketing ops and your analytics team, Oh man.
15:55 – 16:11
There are some bad decisions that businesses can make. Right, exactly. Analytics team is building these beautiful dashboards, sharing that with the executive team. The executive team’s coming to the marketing team, and then they’re like, well, the MOPS team is like, well, that’s not how we capture UTMs, so we shouldn’t be doing that report.
16:11 – 16:33
Right. Absolutely. Garbage in, garbage out. You, you gotta make sure that you have that managed. In communication, I think, like you mentioned here, is such a huge aspect of it, like even though there might be different teams being led by different people, just ha making sure there is a conversation of how certain things are measured to be able to get those insights.
16:33 – 16:52
That’s huge. I think. Absolutely. Yeah. And if your analytics team is trying to answer specific questions that they don’t know how to, and they go to the marketing ops team and they say, Hey, here’s what I’m trying to get. If the marketing ops team is like, we don’t have access to that data, what’s the team that’s going to build the infrastructure to do it?
16:52 – 17:09
Oh, marketing up. So you’ve already built that gap. You know, you’ve bridged that gap as opposed to oftentimes the analytics team will be like, well, I own the data, so I’m going to clean it. I’m going to do all of this. As opposed to like working with the operations team to make their jobs easier so that that goes back and forth.
17:09 – 17:28
You know, both teams really need to be on in lockstep. For sure. Finding that balance is huge because it could be like, you know, And different teams work differently also. So sometimes it’s like you’re speaking a different language to the other team member and like the end result. Yeah. Just has no relationship to what was actually asked in the first place.
17:28 – 18:01
Exactly. I guess, I guess human touch in this aspect is so huge. Yes. But I guess another big aspect in today’s world is like how technology is part of every single thing that we do. Right. And so technology, you know, it plays a huge role in marketing also. Um, are there any emerging trends or technologies in the marketing of space that like, you know, you are really excited about or you are, you’ve been experiencing with lately?
18:01 – 18:27
Yeah, I, I mean, I’m just so excited about where AI is going. Mm-hmm. Um, you know, we are, we are recording this just at, at the, what feels like the finish line, uh, for people who are like really into all of the conversational AI that we have access to right now. But it is like, so the beginning, right. Wow. Um, I can’t, I, I can’t tell you how excited I am for three years from now.
18 : 27 – 18 :55
It’s going to be a different world. It absolutely is. Um, you know, you, you hear it now. People are saying if, if we are evaluating technology and they don’t have AI included as a part of that package, like they’re not even going to be considered. Every vendor should be including something, whether that’s an integration to a, a platform, whether it’s something else, because that’s where the market’s going to go from my perspective and opinion.
18:55 – 19:24
Um, I think, I think AI has been very interesting, right? There’s some amazing technologies out there that are, that have been utilizing for ai, uh, AI for the past. The thing that always gets to be really tricky to me is that like it was kind of a black box. And to be able to have a platform, um, like chat, G p t or you know, Google Bard or, or any of the solutions that are that, that are coming out right now, you can ask it like, Hey, why did you make that decision?
19: 24 – 19:53
And it will turn around and tell you. Whereas when you think about like a predictive ABM tool, it will say, Hey, here’s the FI 50 accounts that are showing intent. And you can kind of see it in the dashboards and and, and all of that, but you don’t really know why. And I think that that’s going to be the future of AI is that you are going to be able to get those insights, ask those questions, go deeper and deeper and deeper that you don’t get access to today.
19:53 – 20:17
Um, I’m utilizing it in pretty basic ways, but I have some people on the team, um, specifically, uh, one, one of our co-founders who is like, he’s so deep into it, right? He has his own podcast series, um, that’s delivered by CS two if. Anybody’s interested. We have a ton of stuff already out. Um, and he’s just finding ways of like, how can I build my own scoring model using, utilizing it?
How can I build my own attribution tool using it? Um, there’s so many different ways that you can go about doing it, and right now the concern is on privacy. Right. How much do I give to these vendors? Mm-hmm. We don’t give p i, we don’t give anything that’s confidential. But if you’re just trying to figure out like, how do I build a better ABM strategy?
20:38 – 20:57
You know, that’s not necessarily something that’s bad to, to push into a, uh, into an AI platform. But I think that as those things become more private and you start to get like solutions that aren’t shared out with. The broader audience, it’s just going to accelerate everybody’s business so, so much.
20:57 – 21:21
Definitely. I think there’s so many, like even with within analytics, there are so many products and they have so many different reports, but there’s now really a need like to be able to have maybe even an AI assistant who like, you know, focuses on all these in reports and is able to give you an insight that’s actionable at the end of the day, because that’s what we are sort of looking for, right.
21:21 – 21:52
Yeah, the purpose is to use technology to make our lives much easier and with how different technologies are going about. There’s so many options out there, like if you want a report, there are 5,000 different reports. So which 1:00 AM I supposed to look at for giving the correct answer to? So I guess AI will play like, you know, in the upcoming years, play a huge role in even so solidifying our choices with the choices that have been created by technology.
21:52 – 22:11
Yeah. I mean, you know, I look forward to the day when I can go into a platform. I can type my question as a C M O, right? What’s, you know, how, how well did events work in 2022? Mm-hmm. Boom. You get not only a report and a dashboard that’s built for that very purpose that you can just put into your QBR deck, right?
22:11 – 21:34
But then you also get the five bullets and the five recommendations on ways to improve, and it’s utilizing all of your first party data. One of the things that we just talked about was like the analytics team and the marketing ops team, not necessarily knowing each other. Well, if you could pull in all of your data sets, all of your reports, the AI model can figure out what are the fields that are being actively updated?
21:34 – 22:54
What are the fields that are the most relevant? All of those things can start to be answered itself, and we can start to get into this world where we’re not using the wrong M Q L field or the wrong timestamp or the wrong type field. Right? And it’s just kind of naturally figuring itself out through its own learning.
22:54 – 23:13
Um, Yeah, I mean, I’ve talked about where it’s like, we may get into a point where it’s AI models, talking to AI models, trying to figure out what vendor to buy, and then doing all of that for you. I mean, there’s, there’s so many different opportunities in front of us, and I don’t think that it’s necessarily a fear of mine, like, oh no, AI’s gonna take away my job.
23: 13 – 23:37
I just think that it’s going to allow me to work in different ways than I work today. Mm-hmm. Um, I’d love to not have to continue to build data normalization models manually. Right. Like, why can’t I just have it clean, tell the model what I want it to do, and it just builds it for me, right? But then that allows me to then elevate and do more strategic work or what have you.
23:37 – 24:04
I think a lot of people talk about ai. This comes up as a fear, right? Like if we’re gonna have AI do this, what about my job? What about certain jobs that can be and are being automated? But, uh, like I personally agree with you, uh, the fact that like we can use technology to sort of eliminate the repetitive test so we have more time to focus on like the strategy aspect, the aspects where you really.
24:04 – 24:26
You know, right now may not get enough time to spend on it. We can do that with the help of technology. So it Exactly. It doesn’t really necess, oh, sorry. So it doesn’t really mean that, you know, technology’s taking away jobs, but it’s giving you more time and efficiency in a lot of ways to be better at what you’re doing.
24:26 – 24:47
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean it, I kind of feel like, okay, I, I’m still pretty young, right? I’m in my thirties, so I did not grow up where like computers were going, going to take my job. But it kind of feels like that was the conversation that that happened when computers came out. Right? Everybody was worried like, oh, we’re gonna get computers.
24:47 – 25:02
It’s gonna take away my job. No, it just changed the way that we did our work and I think that. You know, with the right, with the right people thinking, cutting edge, I think that AI isn’t necessarily taking away all of the jobs. I think that some jobs are going to get eliminated that, that it’s going to happen.
25:02 – 25:20
Right? I see that happening with certain folks, but I think that you have to figure out like, well, I. Let AI take care of the baseline stuff and make sure that we are always on the cutting edge, that AI is learning from us and mm-hmm. You know, humans are very resilient to be able to do that type of thing.
25:20 – 25:44
Um, so, you know, if you have the passion like I do to drive change throughout the organization, like you’re going to continue to do that and, and have some of the, some of the support that you probably need. Marketing ops teams aren’t growing, but, you know, if we can find efficiencies, awesome. And I think a huge part of like any implementation of technology is also getting the right people to do it.
25:44 – 26:11
Oftentimes people will buy softwares and like, you know, Platforms, but not really have the right amount of support that’s needed to implement these. So it’s important to not just focus on technology, but also getting your people and yourself, if you are a person in this field, getting yourself up to date, what’s happening with what’s trending, so you can really help drive this change like you do within your organization.
26:11 – 26:34
So, Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it, it still comes down to people, process, data, technology. I think it goes in that order. You have to have the right teams. You have to get everybody up to speed on how to use these tools. I think that that’s where it’s going to be really interesting, especially early on, is everybody’s just going to, I think people are just gonna be like, well, AI’s got it, so I don’t have to think about it.
26:34 – 26:56
And it’s like, well, no, no, no, no. Like what if the AI is wrong? You know, these, these data models do learn incorrect things, even ones that are out on the internet, right? There’s, there’s, you get plenty of answers that are not accurate at this point. So it’s like you still have to have people thinking and challenging and, and, and ensuring that it’s right and making sure that your processes are efficient to accept those changes.
26:56 – 27:21
And then that’s where that technology comes into play. So, I, it sort of gave me a throwback to my college days when like, you know, we were learning about this with an mis just in the early stages, and now I’m able to actually see like in my day-to-day work of how this, like, you know how you said keep up processes and technology sort of all go hand in hand and like, you can’t do one without the other.
27:21 – 27:43
So I absolutely, I believe people will be a huge component as long as. We’re able to also adapt and be resilient with what’s happening in our lives. Right. Hundred percent ancient anymore. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. Don’t let up the off the gas. You know, don’t take a backseat to technology just like we did in when we got a marketing automation platform.
27:43 – 28:03
Yeah, definitely. And so I guess going back into the typical role of a marketing operation director, I know you might have a lot of different responsibilities, which might include like, you know, measuring and evaluating marketing performance. Strategic planning, budgeting, developing and improving the overall process of marketing.
28:03 – 28:26
And then there’s still so many different aspects that are left. So how do you really juggle across all of these and how do you prioritize them? Is what I’m really, you know, uh, curious to know about. You listing that off made me exhausted. Like, oh man, there’s so much work to do in mops and I empathize.
28:26 – 28:49
You know, I mean, my primary point of contact in a lot of organizations are other marketing ops leaders, right? I know how much teams are relying on us. Um, you know, I know how many things are changing from the top all the way down. Usually operations teams are the last to hear about it, so it’s a lot of like, hurry up and wait, and then the pendulum swings and you’re working on something else.
28:49 – 29:18
Um, the biggest thing that. I can recommend to anybody to help prioritize is to establish a roadmap and get executive team buy-in on that roadmap. You should be thinking about that, not just from within a marketing ops org, but your general go-to market teams, right? This starts at the top. Some organizations have leaders that are very good about establishing like, here’s my OKRs for the year.
29:18 – 29:36
This is where we should all be focused. But there’s always people on the team who are like, yeah, this doesn’t really align to that overall goal, but it’s really important to me. The roadmap needs to be able to take into account is it aligned to strategic objectives from the company. Is it aligned to our objectives as a marketing org?
29:36 – 30:00
And if it’s not, I’m sorry, we have to say no. Saying yes to something means that you’re saying no to something else. So make sure that you’re saying yes to the things that are aligning across the organization. And then when you’ve established that roadmap, bring it to your cmo. Make sure that your CMO is bringing it to your c e o and saying, this is where my team’s going to be aligned for the next six to eight months.
30:00 – 30:20
It can change, but. If you don’t establish that, people will create your destiny, right? And so a roadmap allows you to create your destiny set priorities, give yourself some leverage and some flexibility because we know fire drills are going to come up and the board’s gonna have a meeting and they’re gonna say, Hey, go.
30:20 – 30:38
Get this new AI tool? Well, we have to have some flexibility. We can’t be a rigid team, but it ultimately needs to be a decision made of, is this more important than what we’ve already committed to? If yes, great, let’s adjust the roadmap. If no, let’s add it to the roadmap and figure out where it does make sense.
30:38 – 31:02
Um, to me that is critical, like just, just. Know where your priorities are. You’re transparent, you’re honest, and you’re, you’re a partner. And not just like this gatekeeper saying, well, I’m already working on something, so no, I’m already working on something. So, no, it’s like be a part of the team and making sure that we’re all aligned toward the same priorities.
31:02 – 31:26
They often say failing to plan is planning to fail. So yeah, I think it’s a huge aspect that you said like, you know, Having a right roadmap, but also getting all your stakeholders to at least know what’s happening in the next near future. Before they’re just like, you know, one minute we’re working under a different direction, and then you switch the directions completely.
31:26 – 31:46
So if everybody’s on board on the same page, it definitely makes it easier. Not that it eliminates all the work that you guys do, but it at least makes it a bit easier to juggle through the different things that need to be done. And of course like being able to adapt and change the plans also if needed is super huge.
31:46 – 32:09
Yeah. I know a lot of people struggle with change a lot in that sense, whether it be personal life, but also professionally. Right. As humans, we’re all designed to like want to function a certain way and change is never like, you know, very exciting. In most cases it is painful. But it’s also very essential to have, to be able to get to the bigger goal that we want as a team.
32:09 – 32:28
Yes. So I’m, I’m really glad that you, you know, mentioned the importance of having the right roadmap for your team and getting those sign offs from like, you know, people who actually have to see this through. And, and let’s be honest, right? Like, like the roadmap has to be aligned to the resources that you have, right?
32:28 – 32:44
So capacity planning is really important. Be better understanding, like we can throw a bunch of projects and say, we’re gonna get all of this done in q1, but if you don’t have. Even an estimate, like get an estimate of how much work it’s going to be. So that way you’re making sure that like you have the right teams.
32:44 – 33:11
Mm-hmm. And then if you need extra support, you either look at, do I hire full-time? Do I bring in a partner and an agency that can help to support me? And where do I need that support? So all of those pieces I think are critical, but you can have a better conversation by saying, Here’s the roadmap. I have 60% of my time to focus on that 40% of my time to focus on fire drills and campaign ops or what have you.
33:11 – 33:32
I need help if we wanna get all of this work done. And then if they say no, then the roadmap just extends. You know? It’s like it’s a give and take. Um, but. The MOPS team should not be the ones that are putting in 120 hours a week. Like that’s just not fair. It’s not realistic. And I think that it’s a real, I think it’s a reality that a lot of us do live in, that, you know, it’s not fair.
33:32 – 34:18
So the more the, the more transparent that we can be, the better. That’s huge. Like one team or one person should never, always carry the entire team. Exactly. So I think it’s important. And that comes through having the transparency, as you mentioned. Yeah, so I guess we’re sort of wrapping up our session now, but since you’ve had so much experience in the work that you do, I would really love to like, you know, hear what advice would you have for people who are upcoming marketing professionals, especially those who might be more like, you know, excited in the field of marketing ops and like, you know, how do they sort of plan their careers to be successful and like be in great physicians like you are.
34:18 – 34:45
Yeah, I mean, the recommendation that I make, like. All of the opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of were opportunities that the organization needed somebody to fill. Mm-hmm. And I knew that I had some skills to do it, not everything, right? Like I wasn’t the best rev ops leader to go into a rev ops role, but I had a lot of, I had a lot of experience in what I was currently doing to grow into that.
34:45 – 35:06
And my biggest recommendation is, is what’s worked well for me and not for everybody, but it is to be flexible, right? I never pictured that I would be a director of marketing operations. I was tier one support when I started Corporate America. I kind of thought I was just going to always stay in customer ser, uh, customer support, customer service.
35:06 – 35:23
I realized that that wasn’t for me, and I, and I just continued to kind of find a path as things were opened up. But I took charge of that career and I, and I figured out like, what are the next things that I want to do? So that’s my recommendation. Be flexible. Always be looking, always be learning.
35:23 – 35:52
Challenge yourself to, to take on new roles. And honestly, uh, when I talk to a lot of people that I’m either coaching or mentoring, they’re like, I’m not qualified, so I’m just not going to apply for that. And I say, make somebody else say, no, don’t say no to yourself. You know, I applied for a director position when I had no credentials to do it, but it got, it gave me honestly an opportunity to meet with the VP of the department, share my passions, share why I wanted to do it.
35:52 – 36:15
And when a junior positioned opened on on that team, who was the first person that they reached out to? Me that would not have happened had I said I’m not qualified for a director position. I wasn’t, but I still took the call. Right? Um, so take, take a chance. Trust yourself, take a risk on yourself, and I think that you will, uh, you will grow a lot in your career.
36-15 – 36:45
That’s really helpful and something that I would personally also always keep in mind. I think oftentimes it’s easy to like, you know, shy away even when opportunities are coming your way because imposter syndrome is always there, right? You might not be like you’re the best person, best fit, but I think there is a huge aspect of learning on the job that people don’t even realize, like, Especially people just starting off like you’re not supposed to know everything from college.
36:45 – 37:02
You’re sup. Like positions are always designed in certain ways that you learn more from doing more. Yes. And you don’t get to do more unless you say yes to these things. So I think that’s huge. Just being able to like, you know, take a risk on yourself and if you don’t trust yourself, how is somebody else going to write?
37:02 – 37:28
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. What what great advice there. Yeah. So thank you so, so much for this session today. I think it was really insightful and I’m sure our listeners really got like, you know, great insights throughout this session. So really grateful to get your time today. Hershe, thank you so much. Um, you know, if anybody wants to connect with me, I am on LinkedIn.
37:28 – 37:47
Um, I, I also host a podcast as well, so any of these topics, if you’re passionate about that, um, you know, I’m always posting that on my LinkedIn as well through CS two, uh, the Revenue Growth Architects podcast. And, you know, just the more that we can share, uh, as a community, the better. So please do connect with me and, uh, yeah.
37:47 – 38:03
Thank you so much for having me on today’s episode, Hershey. I really appreciate it. we love having you, and I hope more and more people catch more episodes that we have and also your podcast, so that would be super huge. I think what you mentioned today is great that we’re building a community, right?
38:03 – 38:31
And she sharing these experiences and talking about certain things just makes it bigger and better for everyone else. So really grateful that we got a chance to talk today. I personally really enjoyed the session and I hope all our listeners did too. Thank you for being here today. You are so welcome.