Takeaways from Live MOps Huddles

Whether you missed a Huddle or want to refresh your memory, get Darrell Alfonso’s key takeaways from past Live MOps Huddles below. It’ll almost be like you’re there in person.

Navigating the climb with confidence: moving from mops manager to director and beyond

September, 2023

Guest Speakers: Paul Wilson, CEO at GTM Systems and Jessica Kao, Senior Director, Marketing Operations and Martech at Cloudflare

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1.  The biggest leap is a mindset shift. You need to shift from technical competency to business impact.
  2.  Translation is a critical skills. Translate tech work and project work into increases in pipeline and revenue.
  3. Remember that there are external factors involved, such as limited ops growth path and limited budget for a new role.
  4. 70% of the town hall reported “I have made my career aspirations known to my manager”
  5. 59% of the town hall reported “career next steps from my manager was unclear”
  6. Advice from Jess Kao – make sure you get roadmap buy in from your boss and your boss’ peers.
  7. Always ask: how can you tie your work to pipeline and revenue?
  8. Spread this message: Marketing ops is the accelerant to marketing – we are the rising tide that lifts all ships.
  9. Conduct a maturity assessment in your organization to see if there is a growth path for you. You may need to look elsewhere for a more accelerated growth path.
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From chaos to control: MOps leaders share real planning and reporting strategies

August, 2023

Guest Speakers: Abby Koble, MBA, VP Marketing Operations at Cornerstone OnDemand and Agness Gaadi, VP Marketing Operations and Martech at A&E Networks

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Plan thoughtfully. All your plans and projects should roll up into business goals.
  2. All KPIs should be metrics. But not all metrics should be KPIs.
  3. Unfortunately, not every project can fit neatly into a “sprint.” Plan accordingly,
  4. More than 63% of marketing ops pros present their reports at the VP level.
  5. More than 45% of marketing ops pros plan quarterly, compared to annually or monthly.
  6. When it comes to reports, the board wants to see ROI and spend, not your multi-touch attribution model.
  7. You can’t do good reporting without good data.
  8. Optimization and efficiency aren’t end goals in themselves. All initiatives should map to business objectives.
  9. One recommendation – revenue ops should own dashboards – marketing ops should own insights.

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Personal branding for marketing operations (it doesn’t have to be icky)

July, 2023

Guest Speakers: Phil Gamache, Melissa McCready

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Ideally, great marketing ops work and results can stand on their own. But be careful not to assume that.
  2. Consider this question when thinking about personal branding: If I were to lose my job tomorrow, would I have any leads in my next role?
  3. Many are concerned about being overly promotional or self-centred. Think instead – what skills and knowledge can I teach others?
  4. One way to build a network is to regularly seek new connections, set up coffee chats, and ask for advice.
  5. Introverts tend to have a harder time with public personal branding. Try asynch avenues instead, such as writing articles or starting a podcast.
  6. Personal branding can drive business, but not the way you think. It’s the second, third, and serendipitous connections you make through personal branding that really pay off.
  7. Many are concerned about getting criticized for posting advice. The truth? Criticism comes in all fields. Focus on the people you will be helping. That’s what really matters.

You can't beat being there live—check the time and topic of the next Live Mops Huddle

How to grow your marketing operations team

June, 2023

Guest Speakers: Justin Sharaf and Naomi Liu

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Managing up is key. Consistently share with leaders the types of challenges you face and what you can do with additional investment.
  2. Invest in people before tools.
  3. Educating your company about marketing operations is critical: Explain your team’s mission statement, principles, the value you drive, and constraints.
  4. Publish this info on the company intranet or wiki.
  5. Start small when asking for additional investment. Try asking for an intern to help with projects or a small pool of funds for third-party support.
  6. The time you allocate to internal communication grows proportionally with your organization.
  7. Self-service marketing ops might be a solution to scale, but your company’s marketers need the skills to support it.
  8. One way to build a team is to have a team of marketing ops generalists who’ll then specialize in a specific function.
  9. Your people are looking for mastery, autonomy, and purpose.

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Finding the perfect fit: How to interview and hire in marketing operations

May, 2023

Guest Speakers: Sara McNamara and Charles Eichenbaum

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Interviewees should prepare a handful of stories that illustrate their skills, experience, and impact.
  2. Interviewers should read “Who – The Method for Hiring”. This book pushes them to check for mission, competencies, and outcomes.
  3. ~60% of attendees were more interested in tips to “get hired” compared to “hire better.”
  4. Attendees agreed that most hiring managers and candidates don’t like special projects, tests, or presentations in the interview process.
  5. Hiring managers can check for technical competency by asking behavioral questions and asking to explain specific examples.
  6. Candidate red flags: no company research, unclear of job role, lackluster attitude toward the company and mission.
  7. Company culture assessment red flags: rude hiring manager, they’re unprepared, the job is actually two jobs merged into one.
  8. Most hiring managers dislike canned questions like “What is your greatest weakness?” However, it can be helpful to ask, “What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?”

MOps goal setting: How to drive purpose and impact with your marketing team

April, 2023

Guest Speakers: Kimi Corrigan and Chelsea Kiko

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Close to 75% of participants use OKRs.
  2. Marketing ops professionals usually set goals around efficiency, implementing technology, or completing projects. However, they want to set more related to revenue.
  3. Some marketing ops leaders don’t have goals as they must focus on large projects, such as a MAP or CRM migration.
  4. Marketing ops goals should be set in collaboration with leadership and key stakeholders.
  5. Most marketing ops pros conduct a quarterly goal-setting process. Some do this annually.
  6. One of the toughest parts of marketing ops goal-setting is quantifying impact.
  7. While some marketing ops leaders don’t have specific goals, most agree that monitoring their team’s progress on key projects is critical.

MOps vs. RevOps

March, 2023

Guest Speakers: Brooke Bartos and Lorena Morales

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Everybody agreed that sales operations simply “rebranded” as revenue operations are NOT revenue operations.
  2. Marketing ops pros want to stay in marketing ops but think there are career growth opportunities in revenue ops.
  3. Overall, participants agreed that alignment is more important than organizational structure.
  4. Most participants agreed that marketing should not roll up to a CRO.
  5. Revenue ops can shine when leaders look objectively at marketing and sales ops to determine how to solve problems.
  6. Marketing ops must find more ways to support and stay connected to revenue, regardless of structure.
  7. Siloes are a killer problem for sales and marketing that revenue ops must solve.
  8. In theory, having revenue ops as a separate, strategic function outside of sales and marketing may work well as a model.

Can you recession-proof marketing operations?​

February, 2023

Guest Speakers: Moni Oloyede and Danielle Balestra

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Ops leaders are cutting low ROI tech.
  2. Stay close to executive sponsors to understand changing priorities.
  3. Create a “gas pedal” budget, a list of investments to make if you get more approved.
  4. Strategic leaders are now creating agile one-year and ideal three-year plans.
  5. Teams are now forced to justify all spending.
  6. What you must define in your ops roadmap: North Star, supporting pillars, outcomes, and key projects.
  7. Work with your team to identify automation opportunities to increase impact.
  8. Even in a down economy, you should still “focus on good marketing.”

How can marketing operations be more strategic?

January, 2023

Guest Speakers: Jessica Kao and Paul Wilson

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. Execs don’t care about naming conventions. Show them the meaningful business impact.
  2. Instead of saying “No,” say, “What would you like to deprioritize in place of this?”
  3. Treat your marketing ops like a product. It has users, features that benefit customers (external + marketers), and results.
  4. Create a “walking slide deck” of your marketing ops plan and how it delivers value—use it to get support from key leaders and partners.
  5. Protect your team from burnout with careful planning, intelligent resource management, and clear communication of bandwidth and output.
  6. Grow your marketing ops career by solving bigger problems. At the highest levels, the issues become more about people and revenue.
  7. Constantly refine internal communication and strategy proposals. An executive should quickly and easily understand them.
  8. Talking too much about the details is a mistake. Focus on the headlines, clear solution paths, and strategic recommendations.

Strategic planning and 2023 predictions

December, 2022

Guest Speakers: Marisa Rybar and Mike McKinnon

Author: Darrell Alfonso

Top Takeaways

  1. The economic state forces marketing ops to do more with less.
  2. Successful marketing ops pros own the conversation about proving value to leadership.
  3. Some marketing ops have resorted to automating laid-off colleagues’ work.
  4. The downturn is forcing tech stack consolidation, but many don’t see this as a bad thing.
  5. Smart marketing ops can quickly and clearly communicate capacity or lack thereof.
  6. Advice from marketing ops VPs: Learn to speak the language of the C-suite.

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