Marketing Operations Leadership Series

Darrell Alfonso

Director of Marketing Strategy & Operations

Thao Ngo

Senior Vice President Marketing

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 | 10AM PT/1PM ET

Topic for this meeting: Strategic Planning and Predictions for 2023

Town hall style meeting exclusively for marketing operations leaders

Moderators: Darrell Alfonso, Director of Marketing Strategy and Operations at and Thao Ngo, SVP Marketing at Uptempo 

No recordings. No screenshots. No sales pitches. This is a no bullshit zone for marketing operations professionals to have an open and supportive exchange about the topics that matter:

• Planning and strategy
• Martech management
• Process design
• Business Intelligence and analytics
• Business alignment
• Career growth

Join us to ask questions, share knowledge, and meet other marketing operations professionals. 

Here’s how we’ll break down the hour:

• 20 minutes featuring our key guests
• 20 minutes open Q&A
• 20 minutes open forum

Register Now

Please fill in the form to register for the meeting. Once verified as a marketing operations leader and approved, you will receive a confirmation from Zoom with the calendar invitation and links to join.

Sponsored By

Uptempo delivers marketing business acceleration to organizations, a new operating model that gives CMOs clarity on the financial and business impact of their marketing efforts.

Uptempo does this with marketing operations software that integrates planning, financial, work, and performance management, so teams can plan better, pivot faster, spend smarter, and execute with confidence.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

No executive role has seen more change and growth in responsibility than the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Managing the brand, growth agenda and the customer experience can be daunting. CMOs need support– like never before.

These expanded responsibilities have given rise to the new role of Marketing Chief of Staff (CoS).

Why are companies like Pepsi, Cisco, and LinkedIn employing this new role? The Marketing Chief of Staff bridges the gap between strategy and execution, forming the “connective tissue” between the office of the CMO and cross-departmental go-to-market teams.

Is your organization ready for the Marketing Chief of Staff role?

Watch our on-demand webinar for a discussion with three Marketing Chiefs of Staff as they share their unique journeys of how they ended up in this role, and how they make an impact within their respective organizations.

Key takeaways:

  • Key responsibilities of a Marketing Chief of Staff and how does this change the dynamics and processes for a marketing team
  • How their CMOs and organizations are benefitting from having a Marketing Chief of Staff on their teams
  • How do you transition into a Marketing Chief of Staff role and other words of wisdom

Elizabeth Ionita



Dan Radu

President & Founder


Kamran Ghazian

Sr. Director, Marketing Operations & Analytics/Chief of Staff, CMO


Monica Ulmer

Marketing Chief of Staff


Hari Won

Chief of Staff, CMO


brandmaker allocadia hive9 uptempo

Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

In this on-demand webinar session, April Dunford shares her thoughts on:

  • How emerging market and customer trends impact marketers today.
  • The best ways to measure the success of your positioning and GTM efforts.
  • The optimal toolkit and automated processes to support marketing agility.
  • Recommended go-to-market frameworks. 
  • How your strategies will evolve in the future. 

brandmaker allocadia hive9 uptempo

Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

Watch our on-demand webinar featuring guests from Forrester and Land O’Lakes. Learn how to accelerate the business of marketing, with real-world examples.  

Disparate spreadsheets, slides, and data sets make it nearly impossible for marketers to pivot at the speed required to keep up with shifting consumer preferences. Volatile market circumstances like inflation, supply chain issues, and economic downturns make it critical for B2C companies to have a better way to plan and manage their marketing resources and investments.   

Uptempo’s guest speakers, Forrester Senior Analyst Jessica Liu and Jackie Massmann, Marketing Budgeting Planning Analyst at Land O’Lakes, share best practices for creating better visibility, velocity, and agility through connected marketing operations.     

Forrester Senior Analyst Jessica Liu will share:  

  • Where to start when connecting resource planning and performance management.  
  • How an end-to-end marketing operations solution is critical to accelerate execution and meet customer needs sooner.  
  • Best practices to achieve marketing agility for each domain across marketing operations.  

Jackie Massmann, Marketing Budgeting Planning Analyst at Land O’Lakes, will explain:  

  • How they transformed their marketing operations with integrated systems—starting with Uptempo for planning.
  • What their team did to create more consistent customer journey, improved their ability to make data-driven decisions, and re-shaped their internal processes.
Elizabeth Ionita



Dan Radu

President & Founder


Kamran Ghazian

Sr. Director, Marketing Operations & Analytics/Chief of Staff, CMO


Monica Ulmer

Marketing Chief of Staff


Hari Won

Chief of Staff, CMO


brandmaker allocadia hive9 uptempo

Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

As part of Uptempo’s Marketing Acceleration series

Our CMO Jim Williams sat down with Bret Sanford-Chung, Managing Director, Marketing Consulting at KPMG. They discuss how we’re modernizing marketing operations with marketing business acceleration, the new operating model for enterprise marketers.

Jim Williams (00:07): Okay, welcome. I’m excited to be continuing the Uptempo Marketing Acceleration series, which is a conversation about all things marketing, marketing operations, and other big topics. And today I’m really happy to be talking with you Bret. Thank you for joining me today.

Bret Sanford-Chung (00:27): Thank you for having me. It’s so much fun. I’m very excited.

Jim Williams (00:30): It will be fun. I’ve been looking forward to this. We’ve been trying to get it scheduled and I’m glad it’s finally here. Right.

Bret Sanford-Chung (00:36): <laugh>, it’s been a rough go, but we’re all, we’re here. It’s all good.

Jim Williams (00:41): <laugh>. So much anticipation. But those of you on the line, I’ll provide a quick overview but then I’d love to jump right into your background and better understand your history, your expertise in marketing. But for those that are on the line Bret Sanford-Chung is the managing director of marketing consultant at KPMG. I think we’re all familiar with KPMG. I’m gonna talk to you a little bit about what that role entails, but as you’ve pointed out in prior conversations, and I’ve noticed by going to LinkedIn, you have an extensive background. You’ve done many roles when it comes to marketing, professor, practitioner, you’ve been at an agency, you’ve been, so I would love to dig into that journey.

Bret Sanford-Chung (01:25): Sure.

Jim Williams (01:26): So let’s start there. What is your role at KPMG? Let’s start off.

Bret Sanford-Chung (01:32): So currently, as you said, Jim, I’m managing director of marketing and marketing consulting. I lead market the marketing operations practice, which is pretty interesting. And I have been at KPMG since the end of September of last year. And so I am actually a management consultant for the first time in my life now at this advanced age which is pretty cool because it allows me to do a lot of what I have done in other roles, which I’ll talk about in a second. And bring all of that stuff to bear for clients. And then actually implementing on the recommendations that I’m making, which is pretty great. Pretty fun. Pretty fun and great stuff.

Jim Williams (02:15): Yeah. So it’s doing many of your prior roles, but now just from a different kind of angle, a different point of view if you will. Right.

Bret Sanford-Chung (02:21): Well because yeah, I’m working with clients in every possible vertical You can imagine financial services as well here in a minute. I have deep financial services background, but financial services, healthcare, commercial products, b2b, B2C, sort of all over the map and really helping them figure out how to maximize that investment in marketing and make marketing accountable to business results. Great. Which we’re gonna talk lots more

Jim Williams (02:52): About. I’m sure we’ll talk lots about it. It’s been like a recurring theme across my entire career. Accountability. Accountability. So tell us, how did you end up in the current role? Tell me a little bit about your work history. Cause it is fascinating.

Bret Sanford-Chung (03:06): Well, it didn’t always <laugh> feel that way, but yeah, I have literally touched brand. I come from a brand strategy background. I’ve touched brand and marketing from pretty much every angle you can touch it from. Most recently before joining KPMG was at Forrester Research as an executive partner where I helped CMOs CDO that a couple of CEOs in my roster by the end there move their initiatives forward really partner with them one on one to figure out how to make a single view of the customer a reality <affirmative>, how to actually implement the customer journeys that they spent so much money on that kind of work. And it was pretty terrific. And again, all over the gamut from brand strategy and brand architecture to organizational structure, team upskilling martech, everything you can imagine. But as you said I’ve sort of touched this thing called marketing from every angle.

(04:10): I was the chief marketing officer of Smith Barney for six years where I repositioned the brand in a much more dynamic way and at the time utilized some of the most brand new tools of that time <affirmative> and really bringing Smith Barney into the digital age and the social age, which was not the easiest thing to do at that moment. And spent many years at ad agencies. Actually started my career, believe or not as copywriter became a creative director and then moved over once I came back to agencies after my stint at Smith Barney I was running very large pieces of business. So ran Charles Schwab, ran the eight agency consortium that handled hs bbc across the globe and ran that for North America, that sort of thing. So been on even both sides of the agency spectrum. And as you mentioned do you teach business and brand strategy at the graduate level?

Jim Williams (05:11): So you’re now at KPMG, you understand what you’re doing there. But tell me about KPMG’s expertise in all things marketing. What kpmg is such a big brand presence of large organizations, solves many problems for many different types of companies and many different types of personas. But tell me a little about what they do in the area of marketing.

Bret Sanford-Chung (05:34): Absolutely. It’s funny you mentioned that we’re known for a lot of other things. I mean, I frequently will walk into a room and the client with KPMG, what well KPMG, marketing, I don’t understand and I get it. Obviously we are known as an accounting and audit firm, but we have a very large consulting organization and a very fast growing marketing consulting arm. Our marketing consulting, as I said, sort of spans the gamut from marketing operations, agency relations, content, martech, measurement. You get the idea that really the whole gamut of everything that marketing brings to the table. And we spend a lot of time given our background and fiscal responsibility and fiscal accountability in how to make marketing as effective in building the brand and making it accountable to business goals. So the reason I joined KPMG is I said I come from a brand strategy background.

(06:37): You don’t want me auditing anything, right? It would be ugly. But it’s interesting as one of the biggest shifts that I’ve seen in the role of the cmo <affirmative>, is that accountability to business goals. I was there, we were always accountable to goals, but tying those goals to business outcomes is, and of course now with the technology that we have becomes certainly not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it becomes more feasible and the scalability of it becomes more feasible. So the ability to do that and have the IM perimeter and the cred to be able to say, Yeah, we understand fiscal responsibility, you need to be able, What I find again with my background, you frequently will see that the CMO and the CIO are at odds. The CMO and the CFO will be at odds. Well the reason is not just cuz they are, but because they have differing motivations. The CIO’s motivation is to mitigate risk. The CMOs motivation is to, if not create risk, create new opportunity, which sometimes opens one up to risk,

Jim Williams (07:49): Create tension which could come create

Bret Sanford-Chung (07:52): Exactly. Create a conversation and which is interesting sort of coming from and where I come from and then coming into an audit firm and I say, Well we need to build a brand this way. And it’s just not in the muscle fiber. You know what I mean? But marketing and the CFO also, they don’t speak to number one, they don’t speak the same language. Number two, their motivations are different in that again, marketing is about test and learn. The she financial officer is not wanting to test and learn a heck of a lot, right? But you need to do that. You need to test and learn in order to be able to get that fiscal accountability. So being able to bridge that gap is incredibly important and that’s where we come in and we help

Jim Williams (08:42): Do you see in your work that the CMO, CFO is the new power relationship? That’s the new dynamic or around account?

Bret Sanford-Chung (08:50): Well, it’s actually, it’s the whole, I mean we actually have a, we’re in the middle of a research series. We call it the force multiplier series. That is literally what the CMOs relationship with the CIO is and what it should be and how do you build that? What are some of the things we saw we just a month ago launched our cmo, cpo, Chief Procurement Officer research, which was extremely interesting because we actually found out in our research and this is empirical data, this is not a self-reported data that have marketing, having a deeper relationship with procurement actually makes marketing more innovative. People who have a better relationship with procurement use more innovative methods in their marketing. Pretty fascinating. I would never have thought of innovation and procurement. Is that

Jim Williams (09:46): The same? Is that rooted in the MarTech dynamic, right? The ever going martech stack and the use of tools and technologies and applications.

Bret Sanford-Chung (09:55): Exactly. And it’s exactly it. A alliance share of it. Yes, it is. Also the fact of having that I’ll use a small team of across the CMO that under who understands I need to have a team across legal and compliance, <affirmative>, financial procurement, sales, you just mentioned sales. That’s actually the next one that’s coming out in September will be chief revenue officer and chief marketing officer. What does that relationship get? You are the entire C-suite is incredibly important. Back to that accountability to business goals. Where is marketing getting a place at the table? How are they getting that place at that table with the rest of the C-suite? What does that look like?

Jim Williams (10:40): Wow. So it’s about relationship CMO to every other major. Every other executive function is the cmo just a troublemaker? Why do we need so much relationships?

Bret Sanford-Chung (10:48): <laugh> <laugh>. Well, and I live this, so I understand it as, it’s just a very funny aside anecdote. I got went into Smith Barney and started talking about brand, brand, brand, brand a brand. You need a strong brand. Of course you understand you need a strong brand. Why do we have so many logos? We were 13 logos when I first got there. Why we need a strong brand. I was, alright, I’m gonna move. I’m not gonna lie, Jim, but I was eight, 10 months in <affirmative> when I figured out that to a bunch of financial consultants, brand means the logo, they don’t care and they don’t understand what it means. So I knew I found out or realized I needed to stop using my language and need to start using their language and realized that in their language, their brand was their reputation. So all I did, I’m not kidding you.

(11:43): I sat in my office and took all of my materials and switched out the word brand for the word reputation and all of a sudden doors started open. So it is speaking very, very simplistic. Sometimes you have to be simplistic <affirmative> a very simplistic but salient example of how you need to create those connections. You need to speak the language of the cfo, have to Now, do you ever wanna be the CFO as the heck no. But you need to be able to speak the language and be able to communicate the value brought by marketing and the relevance of marketing to that part of the business,

Jim Williams (12:25): Right? Obviously at uptempo we’re really, we’re focused on what we like to call the operational side of marketing, right? Or operational marketing. The, it’s so much focus today is on what’s what we think of as the activation side of marketing, the MarTech stack and your automation systems, your personalization engine, your content engine, all this stuff. And we’re very much focused on plans, performance, productivity, that type of thing. Which I think is the much deeper connection to the finance

Bret Sanford-Chung (12:56): Side of, Well it’s interesting you say that. I was just talking to someone this morning who was saying, we just implemented an entire stack of a company we will not discuss and we will not mention the name of, but I MarTech stack and we don’t know how to use it. We don’t use it. So you can have all the pretty toys you want. That is not going to help you. And you would be shocked how often I talk about operations, what you’re talking about. How is the team structured? Do you have the right people in the right seats? Are they upskilled in the right way? Particularly as MarTech becomes more and more sophisticated, are they skilled in the right way? Do you need to upskill them? Do you need to bring in different skills? Are they tracking to the right parts of the organization and oh wait, that big C word culture, do you have the culture to really metabolize these changes and metabolize the MarTech that you have and the data analytics and all of these other pretty fun tools that you have? Do you have the culture and the systems in place to be able to optimize them,

Jim Williams (14:00): Right?

Bret Sanford-Chung (14:01): That’s the issue.

Jim Williams (14:04): Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about how we tackle that problem, cuz it is a problem. We have been talking together, you and I, but not just you and I, k, BMG and oppo about a concept that we call marketing business acceleration, right? <affirmative> the world needs a new three letter acronym. Always.

Bret Sanford-Chung (14:24): Yeah, <laugh>. Well it’s not really new. I mean MBA is not new.

Jim Williams (14:28): <laugh> true. There was definitely a

Bret Sanford-Chung (14:30): News slash branding professional here, <laugh>.

Jim Williams (14:33): Well, cause the notion is that you’ve had long a career as marketer and I’ve had a long career as marketer and gosh, we can point to so many operating models and frameworks and best practices and maturity models, et cetera. On the execution and activation side. Marketers are all too familiar with these. But when it actually comes to how you run marketing, how do you connect business strategy to marketing strategy to plans, to goals, to work streams to outcomes. There isn’t a lot in the way of an operating model. That’s why there’s plans disconnected from performance and budgets are floating around and hundreds or even thousands of spreadsheets. So we see that there’s a desperate need in the marketplace to come up with some type of framework that markers should use, organize this part of the business.

Bret Sanford-Chung (15:30): Absolutely. I mean that’s how I spend actually a lot of my time is folks say, I have all of this stuff over here, but how do I organize to actually do the business of marketing? So I stop proving the value of marketing and start actually doing some marketing. How do I go about doing that?

Jim Williams (15:49): Any idea why? Give your perspective on the market and all the consulting you’ve done through your work at Forrester and kpmg. Why have we gotten to a state where you run the business of marketing on a spreadsheet, but the campaign execution is on a really sophisticated stack of 50 different tools?

Bret Sanford-Chung (16:13): Because it’s funny when it comes right down to it. First of all, marketing has changed so dramatically in the, I’m not even gonna go 15 years, I’m gonna go seven, eight, I’m gonna go 10. It’s changed. So fundamentally that you’ve got a lot of folks in seat who know what they’re doing. They’re darn good marketers. They know exactly what they’re doing. But the way that you actually get things done and the capability to do that doesn’t necessarily exist. It’s not necessarily a skillset that exists. And guess what? It’s a skillset that doesn’t exist in a lot of places cuz it didn’t exist seven years ago. So we’re kind of all making it up as you go and there’s things, new solutions present themselves. But that’s why I think so many folks are looking for the help that we provide because they have the pieces. But putting those pieces together during a huge storm of disruption. There’s been huge disruption in marketing in the last eight years. I don’t care what this issue, I don’t care what you, I don’t care what you’re selling, what you’re marketing, right? There’s been huge disruption. Disruption in the business of marketing and how it gets done. And that has no, through no fault of anyone’s, but that has led folks to just be running and doing my thing and not worrying about, wait, how am I gonna actually upskill get to where I need to get so that I’m not on my back feet all the time, right?

Jim Williams (17:49): It’s a great setup for this notion of marketing, business acceleration, what the operating model is, cuz you just described it. And three vignettes or stories. We think about a baseline as visibility. Number one, just being able to get access to the data, whether that’s plan data or the relationship, the plan to cascading programs or is it the financial data? Do you have a real time view of your budget? Do you even know what your reconciled budget looks like at any given time? I mean the process of reconciliation is so slow at many, many organizations. Exactly. So is that visibility and then from there and

Bret Sanford-Chung (18:24): Hasn’t changed. I mean that’s interesting is that the budget reconciliation process in a lot of places has not changed dramatically in the past 15 years. But meanwhile what you’re spending your budget on has changed fundamentally,

Jim Williams (18:36): Right? Yes. A significant problem. And so we think about visibility as just being a base level in this model. Visibility, just connecting the systems, you have the visibility and then from there we think about as moving towards velocity, right? Okay, good. You have the visibility now you can point the ship in the direction and go go at speed to capture market opportunities. That’s part of the challenge too, is execution done And then finally well,

Bret Sanford-Chung (19:04): Because then when you do that, yeah, that’s when marketing the function of marketing, not your advertising, although that should be too, but not your advertising or your messaging, but the function of marketing becomes a competitive differentiator because you can move at speed and change and pivot to an opportunity that your competition, you just can’t pivot that fast.

Jim Williams (19:31): That notion of agility. <affirmative> know, and I don’t, I’m not talking about caps, agile marketing cap A, I’m just talking about marketing agility, meaning change direction as knows you. There are a million reasons why you need to right consumer change, customer preferences change, supply chain gets disrupted, who knows?

Bret Sanford-Chung (19:52): Well in all that, how do you do all of that without constantly chasing the next big thing, right? Because it also becomes how I have nine, I’m making stuff up now, but I have nine different opportunities in front of me, changing consumer preferences changing marketplace, new competitor in the marketplace, all of these different functions and stressors. Which one do I focus on? How do I determine which one to focus on? How do I prioritize that notion of prioritization is key also, which you end up going to the Excel spreadsheet and figuring out whatever’s gonna make you the most money, which may or may not be the right answer.

Jim Williams (20:32): What do you think is the role of marketing operations and solving some of these challenge is marketing operations, the function up to the task of talking about these strategic problems versus configuring a martech stack or even more commonly just marketing automation systems.

Bret Sanford-Chung (20:55): <laugh>. Yeah. No, it’s market. I mean I run marketing operations here at KPMG and talking every day about, certainly about how do I get more out of the tech stack? How do I attach the tech stack to what I do every day? Of course. But it is so much more than that because operations, marketing, operations in a truly well functioning marketing organization becomes the engine by which marketing becomes successful

(21:27): With that. It’s kind of like if we think about design ops, it’s kind of like the research function in design ops. You can’t do it without that. You’d be going nowhere. It’s the same thing with marketing and marketing ops. You can’t, without a properly functioning marketing operations function, you have no visibility. You’re absolutely flying blind and you’re not going to be as efficient as you could be. And by efficiency, I don’t just mean get the most for your dollar, I also mean time. I mean exposure in the marketplace. I also mean brand exposure. Maybe you shouldn’t have done that Instagram campaign. I don’t know, making stuff up. But you know what I’m saying. And if you have a fully functioning marketing operations function that gives you visibility into the entire organization, you can make smarter decisions that are probably gonna keep you at a more trouble

Jim Williams (22:24): <laugh>. So much more marketing operations at a strategic level, being kind of the eyes and ears for the office of CMO versus the configuration of a tech stack dealing

Bret Sanford-Chung (22:37): With versus the little hamster on the hamster reel. Absolutely. So Jim, I’m gonna turn the tables on you for a second cause you’ve got a little brand story to tell too. You books just changed your name and of a new brand in the marketplace. I wanna hear all about it,

Jim Williams (22:55): The company, what’s

Bret Sanford-Chung (22:56): Going on, what was the reasoning behind it

Jim Williams (22:58): So we’re clear, we’re talking about business here. I’m still Jim Williams and if I had to rebrand me, it would not be Jim Williams <laugh>. Right? It very exciting. I gotta tell you’re the brand expert. I’m not the brand expert. But yes, we have just gone through pretty significant change. The companies are

Bret Sanford-Chung (23:18): Congratulations.

Jim Williams (23:19): Yeah, thank you. Thank you very, It’s very exciting. So of course optempo is the new name for merger of three companies that are in marketing operations space or marketing performance management space, brand maker, Acadian Hive, nine, three companies that came together last year. And it just makes sense to unite them under a common brand, which is uptempo. Very

Bret Sanford-Chung (23:41): Cool. Yeah, well I could tell you that at KPMG we’re very excited by the coming together and the creation of uptempo because it’s just terrific for us. I mean, we partner together and it’s, we’re excited about new partnerships and that bringing those three things together is actually pretty great. And we see huge opportunity there.

Jim Williams (24:04): We believe there’s big opportunity too. And honestly the whole name and the branding and all that is really exciting. But for me, trying to unite the company behind this singular vision <affirmative> of helping marketing teams out there and plan better, spend smarter, move quicker, et cetera, to get this whole operational side of marketing under control or as we like to say, run marketing like a business <laugh>.

Bret Sanford-Chung (24:33): Exactly. Exactly. Which is what that is companies are coming to us help them with is how do I get more out of this business that I’m running? And it’s not only about efficiency, it’s all also about how you utilize, like I said before, how do you utilize marketing and marketing operations as a competitive differentiator to allow you to differentiate in marketplace.

Jim Williams (24:58): Very good. Listen, this has been a wonderful conversation. Any final thoughts from you on the office of the CMO and the role of marketing operations and how you solve these critical problems?

Bret Sanford-Chung (25:14): Folks like you and I are solving ’em every day. The CMO role has changed dramatically. We know this to be true, but it has also in a, I view it as it is taken on far more importance than it ever has before. I think there’s huge opportunity here for the cmo, for the office of the CMO and folks in marketing because organizations realize that there is more to marketing than just the communications and the advertising, so to speak. So I think the opportun, they’re huge opportunities as we move into the next few

Jim Williams (25:53): Years. Yeah, I completely agree. Huge opportunities. How lucky. I think lucky I was to stumble into this profession at some point in my career. Literally what role has changed more in the last 30 years than marketing completely

Bret Sanford-Chung (26:08): Reference I can. It’s kind of insane how much it’s changed, quite honestly. And like I said, I think that that spells real opportunity, I’ll be honest, real opportunity for organizations that who can understand the importance of marketing as a business driver and real opportunity for the people who run those organizations, who are the CMOs, the VPs of marketing, the folks in charge of doing that, being able to take the reins of a sort newly invigorated function.

Jim Williams (26:41): I suppose your students get that right when you’re teaching these classes

Bret Sanford-Chung (26:44): <laugh>. Yes, exactly. Exactly. They do.

Jim Williams (26:48): That’s great. Well thank you Brett. I really appreciate the conversation. It’s really enjoyable. It’s always cover a lot of ground and when we talk and I really appreciate you joining us on the Marketing Acceleration series. It’s a great conversation.

Bret Sanford-Chung (27:03): Well, thank you for having me. It was tons of fun.

Jim Williams (27:06): Awesome.

Bret Sanford-Chung (27:07): Take care.

Jim Williams (27:08): Bye-bye.

brandmaker allocadia hive9 uptempo

Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

As part of Uptempo’s Marketing Acceleration series

Our CMO Jim Williams sat down with Frans Riemersma, founder of Martech Tribe. They discuss what needs to be done to take the business of marketing to the next level and why we are entering the golden age of marketing operations.

Jim Williams (00:07): Great. Good morning or afternoon as the case may be, Frans. I am delighted to be talking with you today. I was really looking forward to this conversation, which is part of the Uptempo Marketing Acceleration series. How are you doing this morning? 

Frans Riemersma (00:24): I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me amd very excited to be here and have a good conversation about yeah, new, , ways of doing marketing. 

Jim Williams (00:34): That’s great. That’s great. So it’s not our first conversation, so that’s why I was looking forward to it. We always seem to get into a spirited dialogue, and I’m sure today will be the same. So, just really quickly for the audience, this is part of the Marketing Acceleration series conversation about the evolving state of marketing operations and a variety of other topics depending where the conversation goes. And today I am talking with Fran Riemersma, who is a veritable expert and influencer in all things marketing operations in martech. I’ll give it the quick background and I will not do it Justice bronze, but, , I understand you are the author of a book on marketing resource management, which is the definitive book on the topic. , you’re also an expert in how to assemble martech stacks, et cetera. You founded Martech Tribe a couple years ago, which is a growing community of marketing operations professionals. And seems like, you know, kind of the crossing of the pond. I know you’re now collaborating with Scott Brinker in North America on the publishing of the 2022 martech landscape. Right? Which strikes, sorry, 9,000 martech vendors Now. Is that the right n ber? 

Frans Riemersma (01:45): I was just doing an update and we passed the 10,000 mark. 

Jim Williams (01:49): 10,000 Martech. I love looking back at, when I said 2011, there was 50, maybe it was 2001 or whatever, hundred 50. And I was pretty close to the one 50. Like, I think when I got started in Martech, there was only maybe a couple of hundred vendors. So it’s just amazing growth in an entire sector. One of the many things to talk about. But let’s start off with just the topic of marketing operations since this is, you’re an expert in it. As near and dear to your heart, I know you’ve been watching this space for some time, I’m gonna say sometime could be decades. And you have some thoughts about the evolution of marketing operations, this notion of, you know, first version 1.0 to 2.0. Can you tell me, tell me a little bit about that, What’s behind that idea? 

Frans Riemersma (02:38): Yeah, yeah, sure. So my background is marketing and technology. So I’m, I’m coding myself and back in the days I code myself a marketing developer. Tough luck. I should have called myself Chief Martech and, start a blog <laugh>. Yes, I co-wrote a book on marketing resource management, as we called it back in the days, and still sometimes do together with Rome Johnsons working with you guys as well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and laying the foundation of what is marketing resource management, managing resources, now it evolved into something called marketing operations or marketing ops. And yeah, having a lot of conversations with people around the globe. That sounds a big, big, but yeah, as we craft, you know, the vendor landscape together is called Brinker. We speak with a lot of people who want to contribute. 

(03:29): We’re not stopping them. So we have conversations about what is marketing ops doing in, in your area. I notice that, yeah, when we wrote the book, we wrote the book with in combination with a lot of CMOs who are working on print, offline, tv, radio, that is gigantic. That’s a gigantic operation. How can you make sure that even, you know, aligns with your website or maybe the mobile app? And, this has been around, I think for 20 years. We wrote a book some 10 to 12 years ago. So, and that was, you know, drafting and, and writing up what we have seen so far. So that’s at least 20 years. And marketing ops, what I also see is a very much linked to marketing automation. So that’s a narrow type of communications is more online, it’s more digital. 

(04:21): So, yeah, I think those are two different ways of looking at marketing ops. They’re not contrary, absolutely not, but it’s, it’s something that I think will converge and it will marry over time. But when I speak to people, and there are even people say, Yeah, but there’s a difference even between marketing ops for B2B and b2c, right? Which has to do with the volume, with the intensity with the specific of the messaging, the personalization or individualization. So yeah, those are are differences that, that I’ve seen happening. And yeah, so the marketing, 

Jim Williams (04:52): It seems to, it, it, it’s funny, you know, it seems to me you mentioned the B2B versus b2c, To me, it seems like that’s the most logical distinction to make between this 1.0 and 2.0. So I have, I’m quite quite old at this point. I’ve been doing marketing a long time, and it’s almost always been digital marketing. Marketing is digital marketing. There’s no distinction between digital and non-digital. But that’s perhaps because I’ve been in B2B so long and b2c, that is not the case. Is that, is that kind of what categorized 1.0, the 2.0, and how do they come together? 

Frans Riemersma (05:25): Exactly. So what you see is with b2c, you have to be out there. You’re not out of home, on the streets, you know, television and all that is now changing. So the, also those smarting ops teams, and, and you could say really in the old days, but now I’m talking 20 years ago, it all started with an in-house agency, you know, insourcing an agency starting in, in-house a and it was all print. They were often called studios and, and, you know, they did print management and all that kind of stuff, and post production mainly for television commercials, et cetera. And yeah, that’s something where you have a large scale and you need to make sure it’s all aligned. You need a lot of MRM in there. Now, with marketing automation, we have a different challenge, so it’s more digital. We need to integrate a lot of those tools, So not integrate only messaging, but also the solutions. So I think, and I’ve not seen that yet, so that’s very exciting why I’m talking to you guys that that should marry 

Jim Williams (06:25): Right now. That make it makes sense. Do you view MRM as a form of marketing automation, or do you have this distinction between MRM tends to be the more b2c, high volume, more print, more brand stuff, and marketing automation tends to be the more b2b, more digital, more lead gen, more, you know, or No, that’s the wrong way to look at it. They’re actually both automation platforms. 

Frans Riemersma (06:51): That’s an interesting one. So I also teach at the business schools and universities. I teach marketing automation. So, you know, the people have to make a plan implemented in the companies that they work at. And it’s typical that, you know, B2B usually is bigger in marketing automation in the sense of lead gen in b2, if they use it. It’s more for brand awareness and make sure there’s a loyalty program or something like a newsletter, those kind of things, more or less,  personalized. But, you know, it doesn’t have to be that specific. And there’s very interesting research from, I believe it’s serious decisions where they say the more the higher the price of your product, the more interactions and messaging you have. So there you have it, you know, with b2b, you need to be more, on top of all your messaging, have more diverse, have a better customer journey. Whereas, you know, if you buy a bottle of Coca-Cola, you don’t need a whole customer journey. <laugh>, I think. So that, that’s where you see that difference happening. But it’s still to make sure you sell that bottle of Coca-Cola, you need radio, television, you need billboards, you need everything. So that’s also huge organization in both cases. You need a huge orchestration behind it in terms of resources, budgets, content, customer view, insights, reporting, and what have you. 

Jim Williams (08:09): Right. Okay. Very, very interesting. So if that’s the case, you need this infrastructure either way, and you look at marketing operations and it’s evolution, Has the term marketing operations become too associated with marketing automation or even Martech itself? Has it become consumed by the configuration and implementation of Tech Stacks in your opinion? Or, or not? 

Frans Riemersma (08:39): I see many different flavors. I was so curious. I had exactly the same question. So last year I did all on LinkedIn, and I found out that 50% of the people, I I, that participated, I think it was almost 200. And they said something like, you know, 50%, we have a marketing ops team. And then I was so curious. I did a little extra research with some of the people I work with, and we said, you know what? Let’s dissect all the profiles of the people who voted. And then we found out a very interesting difference, difference and distinction between the states and, and Europe. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So 80% of the American people that voted to part of, in the poll they say, we have a marketing ops team, you know, with a title, with a mandate and a budget as opposed to Europe, where only 30% said we have such a thing, or call that way. 

(09:32): Then there was another third percent that said, you know, we call it that way, not that way, but we have something similar. Right? Right. And so I think that that’s a big distinction. And it might be also, but this is a bit difficult to, to, to research or to support with evidence. But I do have a feeling that in Europe, because the more countries, more languages, you know, more differences also in strategies for one product, for one brand, you have different strategies in different countries, you know, also by law. So that, you know, I think brings a different dynamics with it. And then you have another challenge there. 

Jim Williams (10:12): Do you feel like independent of the distinction, it’s interesting now we’ve talked about B2B versus b2c. We’ve talked about Europe versus North America distinctions, right? And particular the distinction in Europe being so many language, having support necessarily, you would have to have so much more content management or digital asset management involved, which is typically part of that MRM stack. But just in general, who, when you, did you ask this, and if you didn’t, I’m just curious about your feeling, who is responsible for the more operational side of market? And what I mean by that is it seems at least in North America, marketing operations is primarily responsible for the tech stack. That is how you execute, how you activate your campaigns, how you get your message to an audience, especially on the digital side. If that is the case, who’s responsible for how marketing operates, the business of marketing, you know, where you do strategy planning, financial management, people management, prog program management or project management? You know, like who is responsible for that? Is it, is it a marketing operations function? Is it a different function? Is there a different role that’s gonna come in there? I’m curious. 

Frans Riemersma (11:33): Very good question. What I see so far, is that, for instance, we did some research on how old are the companies, which here are they founded? And then we looked at marketing automations, as opposed to d and m for instance. And Dom and m are way older. So there’s a huge distinction, and I think that plays with this, you know, first type second type of marketing ops mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and, and what is happening. We, so in early days, we detect a problem of this fragmentation of orchestrating what is happening in marketing. And it also comes with the fact that there’s so many different skills involved. People management, like you just said, you know you have to do data science, you have to do technology integrations, you know, coding, experimenting, and what have you. 

(12:22): So that is so complex, and I think that the, yeah, the golden age for let’s say marking up still have to come. So I had the fact that I’m, you know, raising this difference between, hey, there, there, there might be two different marketing ops, you know, ass options or, or notions. I think that is the first step in saying, let’s marry everything and, and make this an official role. And then, and that’s very important. Make this ops role strategic, you know, maybe it’s counterintuitive to the word, but it’s, it should be. So that’s one thing I say. So if people tell me, Yeah, we have an ops team, then I always go like, Okay, are you involved in strategy and planning? Because they should be at the beginning of every process, not at the end, right? And then they go like, Oh, oh, is this, so there you go. 

Jim Williams (13:07): Yeah. Very, we see that as well, obviously, up what we deal with a lot of marketing operations team. And we see like that starting, at least the realization starting to happen, right? That the term marketing ops, just like their CS ops, and there’s engineering and DevOps and everything else, kind of started out in very tactical configuration stuff, actually like the production. And now it’s being pulled into a much more strategic role. , we’re certain starting to see that sometimes it’s not called the strategic marketing ops or a VP of marketing ops. Sometimes, we see a kind of a chief of staff role emerge, or there’s some that’s in a, in an office of planning, that kind of takes on that role. But I do think it’s an exciting and promising new direction for marketing operations, because hundred 

Frans Riemersma (13:58): Percent, Yeah. 

Frans Riemersma (13:59): Should be integrated. It’s, it’s normally you see people who are responsible for budget and maybe sometimes for procurement. They’re not integrated into, you know, campaigns or the new strategy. And those are marketing ops people as well. And they sit normally in a different function, different role, different team. So yes, it’s very much linked to technology, especially when you’re talking about the automation part of marketing. And there’s so much that we can, it’s a gold mine, really. These people are sitting up, they’re producing the reports, you know, on a monthly basis. They’re updating the flows, they see where the frictions are in, the customer journey. So recently, I do benchmark for companies. So I look at what, you know, is missing in the stack or what should be added. I always mainly advise, you know, assign somebody called CX custodian, you know, somebody who’s taking a care of the customer experience, and then translate it back into architecture, into your data driven skill sets, into integrations, into what have you, and then reverse engineer that, that part, , and call it CX custodian or whatever you wanna call it, but, but assign someone who you always have as a kind of a beacon and saying, Is this still working? 

(15:11): I remember in the podcast years we did last year for, for a, for a company it was called Vaughn, who said, you know, marketing ops or whatever we want to call it CX custodian or whatever role we have, where we put ops in a strategic role is it’s all about telling the customer story. Well, at the boardroom table 

Jim Williams (15:34):Mm-hmm. 

Frans Riemersma (15:35): <affirmative>. And from there, you can then explain to the ceo, But we need this tool and we need that integration, and we need that calendar view and then it makes sense, then it’s a no brainer. 

Jim Williams (15:46): Right? Right. That’s an interesting way to present that argument, right? To make that defense or make that ask is centered around the customer’s experience. That’s, that’s interesting. I know that this related the conversation that you and I have been having over the last few weeks around this concept of marketing business. I’d turn maybe conversation towards that, this idea, this concept it seems like it’s just another new three letter acronym, right? There’s a lot of three letter acronyms in the tech market and certainly in marketing. But perhaps we can, we can dive into that, you know, this, this notion that the marketing resource managing space that u have followed, you’ve written, wrote, again, you wrote the definitive book on it, et cetera. It, it may have gotten bogged down a bit, right? Might have slowed like the interest in it as slowed somewhat, I would say compared to other tech sectors in Martech, according to the Martech landscape, MRM is not the fastest growing of those. And, and why is it? And there’s some, some theories around that, right? One, one theory is that it’s so focused on efficiency, the actual name itself, marketing resource management is not the thing that you would bring to the board and say, this is critical to the customer experience, right? It just sounds like how to save money, how to be more efficient. Have you seen that to be the case? Do you have any ideas on this? 

Frans Riemersma (17:18): You’re talking about that it’s, it’s not the fastest growing, is that what you’re saying? 

Jim Williams (17:23):Yeah. Marketing resource management. Why is there more investment in tools that essentially make up to become the infrastructure of how you run market? It seems like a no brainer, right? 

Frans Riemersma (17:34): Yeah, yeah. So based on the research of 800 stacks global stacks and different industries, what we see is that and, and actually it’s a no brainer if I tell you, but right now you’re probably guessing. Okay, what, what the first tool crm, we need to put all our clients in one place. And I still run into big corporates that have not CRM in place, and if they have it, it’s not well structured, You know, you can’t scale it. And that’s one thing. So, and, and, and then the next step is, okay, now our leads, we have to put our leads in a good place. So that’s marketing automation. You need a website. Okay, cool. And now there’s CDPs that, you know, connect the touchpoints and we get a feel for what clients and leads are doing across the board. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. 

(18:19): So that’s the system of record, and that’s basically where many companies are, are working on. Now, the problem there is also these, , technologies tend to reinvent themselves. So CRM becomes now again, in focus because of first party data. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> now you have headless CMS or headless cdp, et cetera. So there you go. So, and this keeps them busy and, and that prevents them from, you know, getting into the MRM space where you can really nail your marketing down in a good way and say, Okay, now we are fully in control, fully optimized, and very mature. You have built this maturity model that you share with me, the 1, 2, 3 levels. If you want to reach three, you know, you, you need to have maybe your system of records like cms, CRM market model in place, at least to, And the thing is there that they try to first implement everything all the time. 

(19:10): That doesn’t work. So now they need to learn, okay, let’s just make sure we have the min minim in place. And then you can pretty quickly move to MIM type of solutions approaches, which is very important because, and that’s where you learn about the customer, what works, what doesn’t work. And if you are stuck in, in implementation. So normally I tend to say also at business schools, they, they come to me and say, We need more data, more technology, more resources. Well, if you say that you haven’t done your homework, sorry. Right? What it means, what you should ask instead is, I need 1.2 full time more within integration between these two technologies, and then this is my roi. And that is something typically these business cases you can build across the board with mrm. And still, there’s not that notion of across the board. 

(19:58): So I spoke to from a big supermarket chain back here in Europe. I, I spoke to a marketer and said, I full visibility on every dollar we spent, I looked at the data and I said, This is media budget. It’s not everything you do. Right? Oh, really? Okay. Should that be involved? Yes. At the business school in universities, we always include all the costs, resources, everything, every minute, you, well not spend in the traffic jam, but, you know, yeah, it’s all included. It’s all in the game. And that, that is something that notion is, is so important. And I think AI concept like mark marketing business acceleration could really help that. 

Jim Williams (20:35):Yeah. Interesting. I think just the idea of cost and making you have your complete view of your cost and factor that into what your efficiency or your is for those, I mean, it seems like it’s basic stuff. Now, this content marketing business acceleration is, it’s, we’re positioning as an operating model, an actual operating model, which I think is an interesting term, right? There’s frameworks and there’s maturity models, and there’s best practices in kpi, but an operating model is actually something that governs what you do when you do it and for what purpose. 

Frans Riemersma (21:11): Yeah. 

Jim Williams (21:11): Similar to, I know you could say, again, this is more North American, but like I think it was serious decisions, which is now forced or research published years ago, what they called the demand waterfall, right? This idea that you put leads in the top of a funnel, and they, you know, they convert their way down eventually to pipeline and, and revenue. And then with that model, they add benchmarks and they add best practices. And here’s where you would do nurturing, and here’s where you do lead scoring, and here’s where you, you know, like all of it’s kind of like, it’s a framework that marketers can follow to execute marketing. And the same can be said for having that type of framework for the internal operations of market. Here’s how you do strategy to goals and goals to plans and plans to a budget, right? And from there to projects and programs and how those get executed, and then from there to something that connects all those from a cost basis to a performance basis, you can get the true roi. That’s the notion of the operating model. Have you, in your experience, you do a lot of consulting with some very sophisticated organizations, Have, have you seen that implemented well in maybe more sophisticated organizations, and it’s just the rest of us that are trying to catch up and become more mature in, in, in operations? 

Frans Riemersma (22:38): Yeah, so in essence, what, what you do, what you talk about, the marketing business acceleration and, and making some, you know, simple definitions that are not so simple because, you know, to make the complex simple is pretty hard. And, but as you said, you said it nicely the more sophisticated companies do exactly that, they know exactly what a SQL MQL is, for instance. And it’s, it’s basically the notion of guardrails. You know, when I go into a company, one of my first questions is, So do you have several levels, agreements? Do we have an governance model? For instance, when do you own an offboard tool or an agency? What are the criteria? And they have no clue. Well, normally it goes like, Yeah, we have that. Then ask, Okay, send me the document. They go, No, it’s, it’s in my head. Sorry, that doesn’t scale. 

(23:28): So yeah, that, that is still not out there, but it, it’s, it’s basically something you would expect people do first, but it’s, it’s not the case. People first implement tools then bump their nose and go like, Okay, we’re implementing tool, but actually whatever we’re using. And then more mature companies say, Okay, actually from this suite of, of, of modules, I only use three. And from that I use these feature sets. Really often those make a difference. Okay? Now you’re kind of mature about what you know and what you need and what drives value. Okay? The same applies to skill sets. Same applies to which type of budgets, you know make a real difference, right? And, and from there you, you start to understand, okay, but these are the notions, and I’ll, I really like what you said, the concept of playbooks, for instance, you mentioned something like, you know, we have a project that belongs to program to charter, what have you mm-hmm. 

(24:23): <affirmative> and, and those playbooks are missing. And I think that would be really important. In, in the past I created with companies playbooks, such as what we call the one briefing doc ent. You know, the briefings all over place marketing is flooded, the influx is over the moon, over the top, sorry. And, and then you don’t know if it dries value. So, okay, first define your trac, what are the three criteria that we measure every briefing against, you know? And then within five minutes, you know, okay, it’s, it’s in or out. And then when it’s in yet your influx decreases, and then you deliver in time that’s more easy. So that’s the one briefing government, and it’s cascading, like you just said, you know, program, project. And the same applies to seven milestone approach. That’s another playbook we created. It’s something like every single marketing material you create, , be it a web banner to a TV commercial, I don’t care, it takes two minutes, or, you know, two years or two months. 

(25:18): It has the same seven milestones. What you do in between, I don’t care. I don’t care which agency use, but these are the line items you use in your budget, and that’s how you do it. So there’s, and there’s always a beginning and the end. So those two out of the seven you can give away. There’s one in the middle that says, Okay, we’re agreeing on the artwork, let’s go build it and then have some extra ones you, you can tailor for your company. So that’s how we started creating some playbooks. And that works well. So every new person that came on board say, Okay, I got it. These are your words, your terminology, your definitions, right? This is <inaudible>. 

Jim Williams (25:51): Yeah. That it makes, it makes total sense to us. We have customers similar to you. We have customers that come to us that, of course, they have challenges in deploying their Martech stack, and they might be, you know, in that situation it’s like, Oh, we have a problem, so let’s buy a tool. You know, that’s the wrong way to think about it. But many of those companies have defined notions of how the tool should work, right? They know the, on the concept of inbound marketing, let’s say b2b, right? We publish content, we optimize it, we attract people, we convert them on our website, and the, they know how that works, right? And what the metrics are and the tools, they might not be great at implementing it, but they have that concept. The same messages have some notion, even today, like a more recent one is this concept of account based marketing, right? 

(26:39): Where you kind of flip the funnel and you start with your most, you know your, your most key accounts are gonna go after and then build a plan for execution against those, right? That, that’s a more modern kind of framework. And yet very few of them come with what you just said, like, Oh, we have templates and an agreed upon understanding and an operating model for how we’re actually going to plan all the way through execution and measurement. Yeah. It’s really just the execution side that they have models for, which seems strange. Maybe it’s something that’s not taught in university. If you get a marketing, I don’t know, I didn’t, I never got a marketing degree, but it seems like people are trying to make up what the, what, you know, the just have the standard language, the terminology, if you will, for how you run marketing. 

Frans Riemersma (27:28): And I think, I think, and this could be the case that more and more you will see that the marketing business accelerator or team or whatever entity will be in, in the different companies will become very critical and pivotal. I had a conversation recently with Scott Brink about projects, process platforms and what have you and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I, I, I came up with the idea that marketing ops or marketing business acceleration type of people will define the future of companies. Now, I know that sounds bombastic but I can, I can explain a little bit. So what you do it, you know, software becomes more and more important in companies, but it, that is not only it, you know, companies become software. So if you look at John Deere, for instance, they sell tractors, yes. But onboard that iot and IOT is measuring, you know, how well the crops are growing compared to the neighbors, compared to other country, and they can give you database. 

(28:29): So now you have data, you get it in a portal subscription. Now they’re software. So how does that happen? And it happens through this, you know, marketing ops, we do projects, you know, we’re firefighting, Those are projects, you know, beginning and panic, and then that’s it. But once, and this is typically the skill of marketing operations, we start to get to see patterns and we start to ize, like you just said, you know, create playbooks, and once you start to standardize stuff, you can automate it. So it’s project, process, product. And now suddenly you are a kind of a product creation department a product marketing, product management department within your company, maybe not doing it yourself, but driving it. You know, we, we have low code, we have no code. Those kind of things that all come with the territory. So they can really become not only the drives of the innovation in marketing, but for the entire company. Again, sounds bombastic, but it, it does make sense, right? 

Jim Williams (29:28): It’s not that bombastic, you did like what other, what other business function has had, frankly more transformation in the last 15 years than marketing. It suddenly has become the steward of, it’s got the most sources of data. It’s fire hose of data coming at it. That data needs to be interpreted to run the business, the business strategy. So I don’t, I mean, isn’t it expansive? Do we have a ways to get there? For sure, but it is a likely outcome. Where else will that product information come from, if not from the, all these myriad of direct touch points with the, with the end customer? And I think that, I think that compliments this whole idea of marketing business acceleration, because it, while marketing is challenged on so many fronts, right? With new sources of data and you know, privacy regulations and, and there like, this is never ending you know, list of things from marketing to figure out. 

(30:27): In some ways, I feel like one of their biggest challenges is agility. We’ve been talking about agility forever, but not agile, the methodology. It’s much more, okay, if you’re able to collect the data, do you have visibility into the data? Okay, good. Can you take action on the data, move in a direction, you know, velocity, this idea of velocity. And then most importantly, when the data changes, how quickly can you actually change what you’re doing? The notion of pivoting, or that’s what I mean by agility. Know when a consumer preference changes, when regulation changes, when market conditions change, when supply chains get disrupted, when everyone goes to work from home, suddenly, how quickly can you react to that? It’s a real challenge that that could be the thing that defines the winners and losers in the new economy. 

Frans Riemersma (31:15): Would you, would you think that market, business,marketing business acceleration is also responsible for not only the technology, of course, and the integrations, the data, the customer, but also the skill sets of people, because that’s normally, the weakest chain? 

Jim Williams (31:33): Yeah, that’s a, it’s a really good question. You know, this concept is pretty, we’ve talked about, it can be very expansive, but trying to figure out exactly what fits into it is, I think the next evolution is clearly the marketing resource management that you’ve talked about. Definitely part of it, right? We an operating model, the marketing operating system that needs to fit into it, and on the performance that there’s certainly, which is part of me certainly the content, digital asset management, when it, but when it comes to people, right? Do you have the right people? Are they in the right, are they in the right seats? You know, are they doing the right thing and do they have the right skills? And how do you evolve those skills? I think that is a, a whole area that needs to be defined. Where, what part of, what part of the operating model does that represent, you know? 

Frans Riemersma (32:17): Yeah, so for instance, you see a lot based on, on the recent resource that if you, from Martech or, so, if you change your systems, do you hire people or train people? And the vast majority is training their people, which is great. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But now we have another challenge. So now we have the data available in the systems. Can you experiment? Do you have data driven, you know, techniques and skill sets o drill down and to understand what it’s really saying? So again, with the business schools, they normally say, I need more data or CBP and I, my standard answer is without even believing my eyes, it’s like, no, you don’t. No, If you can’t make sense out of the date you have already because we have a lot of data, then what are we talking about? 

(33:02): So go back and try to figure out, and then they come back with a notion, Yeah, we need like 400 data points. No, you don’t. You need three to five, maybe about one persona or one customer journey. There can be more feeding into those data points, but you know, you have to make a distinction between which ones are important and which one’s not. And that whole notion, data driven thinking. So I’ve been in working with supermarkets back here in Europe where they said, we do have now everything made available in data sets. So it’s almost like a data as a service. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and the people just don’t experiment. They don’t have the skills, they don’t know where to start. Or there was this other company that it took them three years to, to build this and to make it available. , and now they’ve created a layer that does work finally after lots of training of the marketing staff and they call it the data can land. 

Jim Williams (33:58): That’s a great name. 

Frans Riemersma (34:00): It’s the candy store we’re all waiting for, 

Jim Williams (34:03):Right? They’ve made sense of the data and they can actually interpret it and figure out new business opportunities, new ways to service the customer, et cetera, and maybe perhaps even innovate on the business model, right? 

Frans Riemersma (34:13): Yeah, exactly that and the marketing people do that, you know, it’s their data because this, this was a different retail chain, not a supermarket, but, , it was a funny story. The data scientist that was hired by marketing to start working on the first day, he said, they told me, Go to it. We don’t have data, we don’t have access to systems. That was his first working there, and in three years he turn it around and he had a data. 

Jim Williams (34:36): Interesting. Very interesting. It’s a great example. It’s a great example. I loved that. That is you know, you don’t look to grocery stores or chains as the leading innovators in the digital economy, but just a perfect example. Look, I, I know what, what we, we need to wrap this up, and I know you had asked me about, you know, a topic that I think is <laugh> when we talk about all the systems and process and data driven, Actually, it’s a process that is much less data driven <laugh> than many in marketing, which is branding and rebranding. And so I thought, I thought I would just quickly address that around uptempo why we rebranded you and ask me that question. 

Frans Riemersma (35:20): Yeah, that’s, it’s fascinating because, you know, you, you are rebranding, there are three different brands coming together that is not, you know, a mean feat. It’s not simple. And so talking about, you know, what is it chasing your own medicine or drinking your own champagne, Which one was it? 

Jim Williams (35:38): Yeah, it’s, it’s definitely the case of drink your Own Champagne, but it’s challenging. You know the company formally known as the artist, formally known as Brand Makers, is really the combination of three organizations, Brand maker, which has its roots in Europe, actually in Germany, you know, very strong player and marketing, resource management ot of cus, lot of B2C customers, consumer brands, global brands, Acadia, which is a company that was much more B2B focused, much more mid-market, real specialization around financial management and budgeting. And then High Nine, which is of, of the, of the three companies, a startup really oriented towards marketing, performance management and the planning side. So you, you take these three and stick ’em together, and suddenly you realize that,  you know, you put brandmaker on the name of the company, then people have a set interpretation for what it is the company delivers. And the same with any of these, it made sense for us to combine and rebrand as a new company up tempo. And I think the word up tempo speaks a lot to many of the concepts we just talked about. You know, visibility, speed, and agility, right? This idea of, hey, it’s not just about managing resource, not just about efficiency. It’s about being more effective from a marketing perspective. How can you get to market faster? How can you move quicker? How can you pivot quickly? That’s the notion behind the name of tempo. 

Frans Riemersma (37:06): I like that, that really resonates with acceleration, right? 

Jim Williams (37:09): Yeah. It’s the idea, kick it up a notch. Now, I’m not a musical guy myself, but I do like the analogy of the up tempo beat <laugh>. 

Frans Riemersma (37:17): Yeah, I I like that. Yeah, we should. And we have to speed up things, you know, more quickly, you know, you can’t always plan that far ahead. , so I really like that up tempo. One of the things when people ask me, so we should buy a tool that, you know, is future proof. , I don’t know what future means to you or others, but you know, we can’t loop beyond three years window. So, and that doesn’t apply only to technology. It’s about life. It’s your family, it’s your technology, it’s your campaign strategy. It’s, it’s just hard. And, and why would we try to mortgage the future? You can’t. So, you know, up tempo, make sure that you deliver fast and learn fast. 

Jim Williams (37:59): That’s exactly right. I think, I think that’s, that’s the idea behind it. Again, interesting project from a marketing point of view, not the, not the most data driven of things that you do in market <laugh>, it’s a lot of subjectivity. But that’s the direction we’re going. Sounds, I think, I think we can wrap. Look, I think just, this was a great conversation. I learned a lot. , I really appreciate your perspective that you bring on marketing ops and Martech and especially, and this notion of 1.0 versus 2.0 and your bombastic predictions for the, the, for the future of marketing operations. I agree with them and I don’t, they don’t even seem that bombastic to me based on all the examples we chatted about.  

Frans Riemersma (38:45): I think it makes sense if you look at the future, but future will. So thank you so much for having me. I love the conversation and, and looking forward to many more of these. 

Jim Williams (38:54): You got it. Thanks France. Appreciate it. Have a great day. 

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The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

As part of Uptempo’s Marketing Acceleration series

Our CMO Jim Williams sat down with Scott Brinker, editor at chiefmartec and VP of Platform Ecosystem at Hubspot. They discuss the explosion of martech over the last 10 years and what’s been missed: the digitization of the business of marketing itself.

Jim Williams [00:00:06] Excellent. Scott, I am so glad to be talking you to you today, so I’m looking forward to this conversation. Thank you for making some time. 

Scott Brinker [00:00:15] I have been looking forward to this on my calendar for many weeks. My friend, it’s great to be here with you. 

Jim Williams [00:00:19] Yeah, we have it seems like we’ve had many conversations leading up to this one and I’ve been looking forward to get it on record, if you will. So for those of you who are tuning in to this video, my name is Jim Williams and I am delighted to be speaking today with Scott Brinker as part of our marketing acceleration series that’s brought to you by Uptempo. It’s basically a series of conversations where I talk to marketing operations experts and influencers and observers and pretty much anyone else that’s thought about the marketing operations world, and so that’s why I’m really looking forward to this one Scott. 

Scott Brinker [00:00:59] Awesome. You’ve got quite a long history of leadership in the marketing operations world too. So many of our chats tend to dig right into that, so definitely looking forward to it. 

Jim Williams [00:01:11] That’s true. I have been around a long time. So Scott Brinker, if for some reason people don’t know you out there, of course, Scott is currently the vice president of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, where he does magnificent work, but he’s best known for, I think, the editor at Chief MarTech, which is just a steady stream of observations on the world of MarTech. And of course, a big part of that history is the publishing every year, every two years of the MarTech landscape, which has grown exponentially over the years. 

Scott Brinker [00:01:45] Yeah, it’s like some sort of Dickens story of like, you know, the best of times and the worst of times. You know, that landscape of all these different marketing technology solutions, I don’t know if it’s the most loved or most hated graphic in the marketing world, potentially somewhere between the two. But yeah, it’s just amazing to watch how this field, you know, has exploded over these past few years. And I think one of the comments I feel about it is, we all know that marketing has been going through crazy cataclysmic changes over the past ten years. I mean, just the scope of what marketers are responsible for doing has, you know, expanded exponentially. But it’s often very hard to quantify, you know, just how significant all this change has been for us. And I think the one thing about the landscape is, you know, it’s by no means, you know, the centerpiece of change. It’s just a small piece of it. But at least it’s one sort of like tangible artifact that you can look at and you can say, well, just the technology component of marketing, look how much it’s changed in the past ten years. You can imagine everything else we do about our organizations around that, you know, has been at least, you know,  as significant. 

Jim Williams [00:03:01] As much of a change. Right. I think I think that’s a really good point. Right. Didn’t it start at 150 vendors and you’re now we’re tracking close to 10,000 or something along those lines? 

Scott Brinker [00:03:13] Yeah. I mean, we’re talking two orders of magnitude. I mean, that’s pretty crazy. 

Jim Williams [00:03:20] Yeah. Yeah. But I think it’s a really good point that just the number of vendors itself, it doesn’t speak to the profound change. Right. That the changing your way of life as a marketer and the things that you do, what you’re responsible for, what you track, what you measure, how you operate is is so much more vastly changed than just the number of MarTech vendors that there are in the landscape, like the whole profession has been radically transformed. This is really interesting. 

Scott Brinker [00:03:49] So you see that much change just in the landscape. You’re like, Wow, imagine now you start to really appreciate why marketing has become definitely an Olympic sport. 

Jim Williams [00:04:02] Well, let’s talk a little bit about the state of MarTech. I know this is a prior conversation we’ve had, and I wanted to bring it up here because, you know, we kind of were speculating and you’ve been asked in the past about is it consolidating MarTech or is it continuing to diversify or is that just a natural ebb and flow that occurs? 

Scott Brinker [00:04:25] Yeah, I mean, the head twisting answer to that is both, you know, I mean, we certainly see consolidation in the tech industry in the sense that, you know, within different categories and different platforms, you know, there are leaders, you know, that emerge in these categories. There are now public companies, you know, that you can look at and say, okay, these are kind of, you know, the 800-pound gorillas, you know, there are companies that are, you know, accelerating towards, you know, going public and, you know, and so you’re like, yes, we see consolidation. We see those companies make acquisitions. I think you might be able to chat a little bit about some of the recent acquisitions you’ve personally been involved with on this, but we’ve seen that consolidation. However, at the same time, you know, because there are no barriers to the software industry anymore, in fact, quite the opposite, you know, through all these like cloud platforms, AWS, and Google Cloud and Azure and, you know, open source. I just, you know, the wherewithal for people to create software, you know, is incredible, you know? And so even while we see consolidation moving up to the head of that long tail of all these MarTech apps, you know, we continually see this renewal of like new startups in the space, whether they’re focused on some particular niche, like a lot of MarTech companies aren’t aiming to become like the multibillion-dollar juggernaut, you know, but they’re serving a particular niche in a particular way that is phenomenal. But then you have other startups said, Yeah, they’re looking to be the next wave of disruptors, and some of them actually will be. And so I think one of the things that’s really interesting is that consolidation and diversification, the way you described it, I thought it was the best I’ve actually heard anyone describe. It is kind of like an ebb and flow, you know, of just how technology evolves today. 

Jim Williams [00:06:14] Right. Right. Because there’s also just the reality that a lot of people want to change the world and then a lot of people actually want to build a business. All great businesses get sold one way or another, either as the public buying it or is another company buying or whatever. Then they sell and then immediately go and start another business and their co-founder starts another business and the VP they brought in goes and starts a business to address them. So you just have this, you know, one company combines with another and then what six spawn from that or something like that. You keep seeing that over and over again in this space. 

Scott Brinker [00:06:47] I think part of it is just yeah, again, speaking to like, you know, it’s not about the technology per se, it’s about the fact that again, just the behaviors, you know, of buyers and the dynamics between buyers and sellers and markets, whether it’s in the consumer space or in B2B like the world is just continuing to evolve. And as it evolves rapidly and, you know, expectations change and channels change and capabilities change, you know, market. Have to adapt. We have to serve the customer where they are. And so as long as there continues to be that just larger force of change in the world, there’s always new opportunities, you know, from our tech startups to say like, oh, and here’s a new piece of that equation we can deliver. 

Jim Williams [00:07:31] That, right? It makes total sense. You know, the other thing we were talking about, which is related to this whole MarTech landscape, is that I think the considerable job that you do to try and group innovative companies together into a quote unquote category, product category, market category, what if a category you want, which it looks like it’s a big job just from just scanning over the landscape. So do you see the same thing or categories getting bigger or do they like you know, they like the amoebas? You know, you kind of get to a certain size and they split and then they split and then they split. How difficult is it to categorize vendors into the number of categories that continue to multiply. 

Scott Brinker [00:08:13] Next to impossible? You know, I can only say like categorization sucks. So the only thing that sucks more than categorization is no categorization. And it’s true because, you know, in many ways categorization at some level, it’s almost like an analyst game. It’s like, okay, we’re looking at this whole industry and we’re just trying to make some sense of it. So we have to create boxes and we put things in boxes too. 

Jim Williams [00:08:41] Gerrymandering? Yeah. 

Scott Brinker [00:08:43] Kind of, actually. I’ve never heard anyone use that phrase, but I think actually that’s a very analogous way of looking at it. But the truth is, you know, and I really believe this very strongly, you know, what matter is for any given MarTech product is is it addressing the needs of its customers? Is it solving the pain points that they have? And those pain points don’t always fit or even the solution. The creative solution doesn’t always fit in one of those, you know, nice, neat analyst boxes. I always take categorization with a really massive grain of salt. That being said, I think, you know, there is some reality to categorization even for, you know, customers, even for the marketers who are buying this stuff in the sense that they need a name in order to search for what they’re looking for, like, you know, the problems they have, you know, if they just type up all those problems and they’re out in the Google search box, you know, they might get something interesting content. But, yeah, it’s, you know, they’re not the fastest back, you know, but if they know a name, if there’s some sort of category that like, oh, this category is generally the thing people have been trying to use to solve this problem. Then they can type that into a search box and then they can start to find who those folks are. 

Jim Williams [00:09:58] So on the category front, I can empathize with you how difficult it is, especially when I always think that. You probably hear from a lot of vendors that don’t like the box they’re being struck in and that kind of analyst curse role. But in general, with this category, there’s also, as part of that, this obsession, I believe, with the notion of category creation in tech in general, but especially in MarTech. Every founder wants to be the category creator because, you know, there’s this general thought that whoever creates the category dominates, which I’m not sure is entirely true, which seems kind of it seems kind of odd because, you know, this constant creation of categories just splinters and splinter and splinters and exacerbates the buying problem that you talk to, you know, like you don’t know which category as you walk into the grocery store, you know, you kind of know the aisle you’re looking for. You might not know where in the aisle. And now it’s like. Every product wants to have its own aisle and it gets to be really challenging. 

Scott Brinker [00:11:00] Yeah. I mean, again, there’s, there’s the seller side and the buyer side, you know, and I think, yes, the incentives on the seller side is if you can pull off category creation. Yeah. There generally tends to be like very strong economic benefit to that. But that being said, I, I also think there is potential benefit. I mean, for buyers, it is a mixed bag, right? Like, if there’s too much category creation happening or attempting to happen, it just becomes confusing for them because they can’t find what they’re looking for. On the other hand, the truth is we are facing new problems and we are discovering new and better solutions to the problems we have. And we need names for what that new solution to, you know, those problems are. And so I think when a category does start to get created, it’s because it really resonates with the buyer. So that they’re like, yes, that label speaks exactly, you know, to what I am trying to solve to, you know. So it’s I think it’s a good thing for everyone to to push in that direction. But I also think, yeah, as you wisely noted, it’s it is a challenge to successfully execute.

Jim Williams [00:12:16] Well, look, let’s put it let’s put a pin in that naming of the problem we solved. I want to come back and have a discussion about that. But first, I just want to turn to something I found really, really fascinating. When you did the state of the MarTech report as part of your MarTech day and then some of the derivative observations you had. And I couldn’t help but note that out of all of these categories and all of the very popular products within them, the products that I’ve spent the last two decades trying to put in my own stack and sometimes evangelize, you know what? What comes to the top of the list for the most popular MarTech tool of all is Excel, Microsoft Excel, which is just it’s shocking and sometimes a little comforting. And I found that really surprising because, as you know, you talk about the emerging companies Uptempo is the merger of three MarTech providers, Brandmaker Allocadia and Hive9, all of which provide marketing operations, software or marketing resource management software. The software that you use to run the business of marketing and. And the number one competitor we run into and the number one competitor we probably lose to the most. Spreadsheets. Spreadsheets. Yeah. 

Scott Brinker [00:13:35] I mean, you know, it’s both surprising and not surprising. It’s like surprising like, you know, for those of us who spend so much of our time thinking about, you know, the tech stack and its evolution and, you know, what are the, you know, sort of the state of the art capabilities that we can bring to bear, you know? Yeah, sort of like, wait, excel. That thing from the eighties, you know, is bit surprising. But then on the other hand, for anyone who actually is, you know, in marketing, you’re like, yeah, now that you mention it I do spend a lot of my time on Excel or Google sheets. Sure. You know, and I think it’s actually really interesting because when you start to break down, like why that is, I mean, certainly that is just a hey, it’s the tool we know. But I think it also speaks to the fact that in many ways it’s been this really flexible way for marketers to both be sort of builders, like they use spreadsheets as a way to sort of model what they think is possible. You know, from an operational perspective, you know, it’s been one of the few tools people have been able to use to. Yeah, just really be able to All right, this is what I’m tracking and this is how I want it to relate to this other thing. And this is the calculation. And those are all like really powerful. In fact, these are things that are so important to marketing, but they don’t always get celebrated because it’s not the sexy campaign. It is the mechanics behind the scene that allows the sexy campaign to actually happen. But that being said, it’s like I think this is one of the areas where there’s enormous opportunity for disruption, you know, because while Excel has been, you know, incredibly useful to us, I also think, yeah, everyone uses like, well, you know, yeah, it is kind of a pain. And now this, this is not the most perfect nirvana I could imagine for all of these aspects of my marketing board. 

Jim Williams [00:15:23] Right? I mean, for better or for worse, it is the so universal martech training wheels, right? Like start with a spreadsheet and you start to get the hang of where you go first. Where do you go next with your investments? The thing that that I find so puzzling is that while the activation side of MarTech, right, how do you actually reach your buyers? How do you track what they do or do you serve up great content to them? How do you put them on journeys or do you get them to convert? How do you all the things that the vast majority of those 10,000 applications? While there’s been so much investment on that side. The actual operations of marketing, right, where you do planning, where you do budgeting, where you plan your projects and work and programs, that is it’s still completely dominated by spreadsheets. And then maybe to a lesser extent, PowerPoints. I mean, everyone has a plan that starts on a spreadsheet, ends up in a PowerPoint, so it can present it to a board and an executive team and then the leadership team and cascade it. But they don’t there doesn’t still doesn’t seem to be this universal system of record for getting those things out of spreadsheets and PowerPoints into like some workbench, some living, breathing, continuous planning system. I’m just curious, as an observer of this space, is there a reason for that? Like, how does that come to be? 

Scott Brinker [00:16:48] Yeah. I mean, again, I think it’s one of these things marketers have just had a ton to, like, learn. I mean, like, just the amount of change, you know, that marketers have faced. I, I wasn’t kidding about saying marketing is an Olympic sport. I mean, the I cannot think of any other profession that over the past 20 years has had the incredible breadth and depth of change that marketing has. I mean, lots of professions, lots of change, marketing, just epic change on every single dimension. And this, as it turns out, is like really hard, you know, and it’s a ton of learning and it’s a ton of adaptation, you know. And so I think out of all the various things that marketers had to, you know, like learn and figure out and adapt to, you know, sort of the internal ops that they were managing with spreadsheets was like, All right, well, we can kind of get by with this for now, you know? So it wasn’t necessarily as pressing, you know. But I guess here’s the reality is one of the biggest changes to marketing has been this. Multiplication of activities and channels and touchpoints, you know, and again, all of those touchpoints, all of those customer-facing experiences, at the end of the day, the customer-facing piece of that is a relatively thin veneer, you know, on top of what is, you know, incredibly complex, you know, set of operational capabilities to deliver that. You know, and I think you now really do see that, like, okay, yes, we’ve we figured out what we want to do. We even figured out, you know, how we want to do it, you know. But wow, the process of actually managing this from an operations perspective. Oh, my goodness. Like we are straining under the weight, you know, of just the limitations of, you know, what Excel does. And so I do think, like, the timing is quite right, you know, for people to have a better way of thinking about, hey, you know, how could I actually harness this technology thing like make my life easier? 

Jim Williams [00:18:58] So, yeah, exactly. I mean, is it possible, do you think, that despite all these, you know, transformative things that have happened over the last 20 years, you know, the rise of marketing operations, if you will, or, you know, robots or whatever, the rise of that. Is it possible that the sheer complexity of the tech stack and the integrations and the flows and managing all those systems, talk to one another, be able to measure the outcomes, be able to orchestrate over all these channels. Is like it’s cause marketing to get kind of stuck in the weeds. Have you seen that as a possibility where it’s just not possible to get out of tactical configuration of the systems themselves and level up to a place where, you know, you’re actually in a marketing operations role. The eyes and the ears of the CMO. Like, what is our strategy? How is it playing out? Are we being successful? Do we need to pivot? What do we need to change? And the systems informed that both those insights. But instead we’re kind of in a place where marketing ops is just overwhelmed with keeping up with the machine. 

Scott Brinker [00:20:08] Yeah, and I’m sure any marketing ops person who’s listening to us now here would be nodding their head vigorously that yeah, this is not a hypothetical situation like this is for almost all marketing ops people I know like their life right now. I mean, it is an incredibly complex, you know, job that they’re running right now. And I think the recognition is certainly that like, okay, yes, there’s enormous value to managing, executing that complexity, but also being at the heart of that complexity, the heart of like everything that’s flowing in and out of, you know, the marketing organization, the potential for like insight and, you know, strategic contribution from that is enormous. And again, like a lot of marketing ops leaders, I mean, they’re so well poised to do that, you know, but I think you’re you’re your instincts here are right that, you know, what’s holding them back is not that there’s theoretically enormous leverage there or that, you know, they don’t have, you know, the capabilities to do it. You know, personally, it’s just more of that, like, wow, all the other responsibilities, you know, and operational management that they’ve got going right now is just a tremendous weight, you know, on their time. And so I definitely think that yeah, again it just goes back to what we were chatting here around you know, excel to the ability to just steadily, you know, like improve the actual operational technology and marketing be incredible. 

Jim Williams [00:21:39] I think that’s a great segway into you talked about you know category creation or an idea for people to log on to. And I think that that would be you and I have been talking for a while about maybe a new way to think about the operational side of marketing, this concept of what we’re calling marketing business acceleration. 

Scott Brinker [00:22:00] Yeah, I’d love I mean, I know you’ve shared a bit of this with me, but yeah, I would love to bring that back into this conversation of, you know, I kind of feel like there was, you know, in earlier stages of marketing’s evolution. You know, we started to talk about things like, you know, marketing, resource management and some of these capabilities in that context. But yeah, sort of the scope of like what’s actually possible now, it’s just very different. And yeah, I think some of the way you and your team have been thinking about this marketing business acceleration is, is pretty cool. But maybe we should start like from your perspective, what is marketing business acceleration? 

Jim Williams [00:22:39] Well, I’m very pleased to tell you we don’t consider like a product category. We’re not going to I’m not going to come appeal to you to draw, you know, gerrymander a new category and call it marketing business acceleration. The notion is pretty straightforward. You know, ten years ago, 15 years ago, when I was actually running marketing operations, we’re consumed with demand generation and concepts around that. And suddenly this framework appeared that came out of serious decisions called the demand waterfall. Right. This notion that which by the way, since then it’s gone through so many changes. But this notion that, you know, there is a system to cultivating leads that then can be converted into opportunities and workplace sales. And, you know, there are these different stages and there are natural conversion rates that you can benchmark it give marketers something to hold on to. Okay, there’s a system here. I follow this system, I can see how I’m doing, benchmarking against myself and against others. And then after that came, you know, the notion of flipping that funnel and those account based marketing and those people talking about intent-based stuff. And so there are all these frameworks on the activation side of the house, but there aren’t a ton of these quote unquote frameworks or operating models on the operational side of house. How do you actually run marketing? Right. There is a business strategy. The business strategy has an operating plan that gets cascaded into a marketing strategy, which has a plan with a set of goals that then becomes programs and tactics. It gets, you know cascaded to teams and then there’s dollars aligned to those things and those need to be tracked. And then there’s, then there’s work streams and projects and yeah, that there’s not, there doesn’t seem to be an agreed upon model for that. And we think that, we personally think that’s a gap and that that gap needs to be filled. That’s the idea behind this marketing business acceleration. 

Scott Brinker [00:24:47] It’s fascinating because like yeah, I mean, I think your insight here that like, you know, sort of the demand generation activation acquisition like yeah, you know, that’s probably the piece, you know, the post-digital transformation marketing that, you know, we’ve got our arms around the most, but it’s also for the most part, those things, you know, are largely entirely in marketing’s domain. Like we know what that work is, we know the scope of it. It does feel like when you start looking at the operational management side of marketing, it’s not even necessarily as clear to people like what are the components, you know, of that? Like, you know, it’s not just the customer side of things that is very much like internally, like, you know, was it like, you know, the planning, you know, with finance, projects, people like do you see that framework like sort of pulling all those things together? 

Jim Williams [00:25:44] I do. And I think that’s pretty expansive, that side of it. But it’s not typically thought about like what people think of like categories of MarTech. They don’t think about planning and budgeting and maybe project management, etc., but it is all of those things. You might even go as far as to say, well, a huge part of marketing given all these changes is talent acquisition, right? And actually, how do you invest and give people the skills that they need to actually learn all these concepts? So it’s all the things you need, the ingredients you need to be able to run a campaign that gets activated through this really complex, sophisticated MarTech stack. And for me, that definitely is at least the basics of planning, financial management, work management, program management. And so to some extent, I do think around, you know, assets that you have or content that you have, the fuel of campaigns, all of those things need to be pulled together into a system. And that system, like many systems like it should have a kind of a maturity framework when you start with the basics. But step one, what? Step two what’s step three? How do you systematically mature how you run the business of marketing such that you can get to some state of some excellence of maturity, such that, you know, you’re running marketing like a business with natural inputs and outputs that you can report on using financial language or at least language that business owners understand. So they don’t have to become experts in marketing. 

Scott Brinker [00:27:18] Yeah, no, I think that’s that’s a very powerful angle to this too, because yeah, again, we were talking earlier about the landscape like, you know, in some ways it’s this artifact that gives us some hint to like the scope of change that’s happening in marketing. I feel like when you think about like the operating model of marketing, again, this is another one of these things that we know is changing and it’s like huge in scope. But I almost feel like the crystallizing version of that is what are the questions you as the CMO are going to be asked by the board, are going to be asked by the CEO, you know, because very often, like this gets out of a whole bunch of the, you know, the details of, oh, well, this particular campaign and, you know, this, you know, brand postion, this is how we’re doing this demand, you know, effort to like none of the questions you’re going to get from the board and the CEO are going to be different. What are those questions? And is this new operating model, these new capabilities, do they help you answer those questions better? 

Jim Williams [00:28:20] Yeah, that’s exactly the way to think about it, because as soon as you say what questions from the CEO, it really depends on the CEO. You have Scott, to ask questions about this like color and is that the right word or should it be? But just putting those aside right now, the great question, the hardest questions you get asked are the questions that come directly from, frankly, the ownership of the company, which says, you know, if I were to double your program, spend, what type of growth can you engineer with that? Or if our growth rate is going to be X percent, X percent, X percent, what do you need in terms of resources? And how do you think about what the ratio of marketing budget to revenue is? You know, is it based on the steepness of the curve, is that, you know, there’s those types of questions or even better yet, okay, you’ve demonstrated that you can enter one market. We want to enter a new market. There’s a new opportunity there. How you think about risk forcing that business strategy from a marketing standpoint? Those are really challenging questions to answer. And they’re they’re not they’re not the answers I can get by. You know, picking out any of those tools or MarTech applications and the execution side or the activation side and go digging around looking for answers. I just can’t get answers there. 

Scott Brinker [00:29:45] Fascinating. I feel like, you know, so much of the talk over the past ten, 15 years in marketing from a technology perspective has been like, oh, we want the 360-degree view of the customer, which I agree that’s a good thing to have. It’s almost like this is like, okay, how do I get the 360-degree view of my marketing or my actual, like, you know, operational execution of how marketing runs? 

Jim Williams [00:30:12] Right. Yeah, exactly. So why did why invest in this particular headcount versus this particular headcount? And in order to answer those questions, you know, you kind of almost have this you have to have this kind of extraction layer above the tech stack that allows you to pull performance data and compare it against investment data. Like, everyone talks about getting ROI, but it’s it’s not very often where anybody pulls the I into the equation. You know, they say, well, we did this trade show and look at all this pipeline we got from it. You know, there’s not like a true ROI at a macro level for marketing. And and I think that that should be a very straightforward question to answer. For marketing executives, which means you need to tie your investments to your plans, to your workstreams, to the outcomes and the performance data you get out of this activation, this MarTech stack. 

Scott Brinker [00:31:08] Do you think, like a lot of marketers out there, are maybe scared isn’t the right word, but like, yeah, apprehensive the like they just haven’t really been able to do that very effectively in the past. Like, is, is there just some concern of like, can I do this? Like, how do I get my arms around this? You know, what would be your answer to that? 

Jim Williams [00:31:30] Well, I think that the worst answer you could possibly give is, oh, well, this is all new. This is a whole new thing we’re going to do totally different. We’re going to change the world changes now. Like marketers simply don’t want to hear that everything changes. That’s a terrible value proposition because it’s a constant state of change. And I have a different view. I view that like if you’ve been on this journey. The last 10, 20 years, you know, that we’ve just scratched the surface. And you also know that the capabilities that are being offered to you that are available in the marketplace changed dramatically in a very short span of time. You know, like customer data platforms weren’t even really talked about like five years ago and now all this. So I guess the best way to put it is we I think that this appeals to marketers and particularly marketing operations folks’ natural curiosity to want to connect these systems together and be able to tie all of the performance data that you’re getting out of these different systems to the operational data. You know, planning your financial management, your cost behind the structure, where your investments are flowing to, etc.. It’s not that far of a leap to try and get to these ROI scenarios. You know, it’s just a natural. I think it’s the natural evolution. 

Scott Brinker [00:32:59] It makes sense. So, you know, when we started telling about this, you know, while my question was like, okay, well, you know, in previous incarnations, you know, people had talked about this category of market resource management and, you know, as a set of tools to help achieve this, it definitely feels like there is there’s an evolution in thinking about just, you know, how people think about that. But I guess how similar or different is, you know, this marketing business acceleration concept, you know, from what historically we thought of as MRM. 

Jim Williams [00:33:32] Oh, that’s really good. I think of MRM is still it’s a product category for sure. And I think that the notion of marketing business acceleration is it’s a it’s an operating model, right? It’s a state of maturity. It’s how you use MRM products thinking in conjunction with other products to mature how you operate as a marketing organization. So I don’t see marketing business acceleration. That’s really a product category or product at all. It’s just it’s like I said, the state of maturity. MRM Systems just because you asked about them specifically, they’ve been around a long time. I don’t think it’s a category that has necessarily caught fire. And why is that? Because, number one, it just it focuses on efficiency. The first message around marketing resource management was one of efficiency. You know, how can you efficiently reuse your assets and your content and everything else? And yeah, I think that’s important. And of course, that will grow in importance in the coming in the coming months if things are going the way we think they’re going right now with the economy, you do need to be efficient, but that’s not what appeals to marketers. Marketers want to be effective, right? They want to not just doing their marketing better. They want to do better marketing. That’s what you’re known for. So you build your career on, that’s what you aspire to. And so I don’t think MRM really spoke to effectiveness as much as it should have. This notion of marketing business acceleration, out of all of those three words, the one that rings most interesting me is accelerate because they’re trying to get to market fast is the name of the game to beat the competition, to meet the expectations of the consumer or the buyer where they are take advantages of new opportunities or overcome disruptions. We’ve all seen a lot of that recently and speed is of the essence in today’s day and age. Yeah, I think I think that’s a significant difference between MRM and marketing business acceleration. 

Scott Brinker [00:35:34] Makes the time sense to me. Well, can we maybe pry down just to the next level on yeah. Marketing business acceleration. That groovy new logo, you know, above your shoulder there for Uptempo. Tell us a little bit about the yeah. What you’re doing here with Uptempo. 

Jim Williams [00:35:53] Oh you still you want to totally pivot from data-driven marketing to highly subjective marketing and branding?

Scott Brinker [00:35:59] What is that? All politics is local. That’s right. 

Jim Williams [00:36:04] Yeah. Thanks for asking. So Uptempo. That’s right, Uptempo. We recently rebranded to our tempo, actually renamed the entire company again. The company was a was a merger of three companies Brandmaker which is an emerging MRM player primarily European based very focused on big brands to C type organizations Allocadia, I think many B2B markers are familiar with Allocadia, an expert in financial management and but in budgeting served primarily B2B companies a lot of high tech customers and then Hive9 an innovative company that really focused on marketing performance management, focused attribution models, etc.. So you kind of bring those three together and we just wanted to unify them under a common name and have a name that spoke to some of what I was just talking about. You know, marketers desire to move a little faster, to kick it up a notch, and thus the Uptempo name and brand. 

Scott Brinker [00:37:03] All right. Well, I’m not pandering to you. I. I see a lot of MarTech names. Uptempo is a phenomenal name. I love it. Very catchy, very memorable. And yeah, I think, yeah, it definitely speaks to exactly, you know, that that acceleration keyword that you underlining there. It was also super fascinating to me. You know yeah the three companies that came together in forming this is yeah it just it really while each one of those were strong, you know, companies and products, you know, in their own right yeah It’s worth stepping back and seeing those is pieces of a larger puzzle. It’s been super exciting. So yeah, I, I can see you can imagine this is like the galvanizing idea if there’s another side to like, oh, we need a galvanizing idea. And marketing business acceleration sure seems like a fantastic one. Usually the other thing we have on that is like, okay, well, let’s who’s the enemy? What’s the enemy? What are the thing that we’re going up against? Who is or what is Uptempo’s enemy? 

Jim Williams [00:38:11] And it’s a great question. So, you know, it’s funny, we started off this conversation talking about spreadsheets and I’d be crazy to make spreadsheets the enemy. But I think the the enemy very much is these disconnected processes, right? It’s somehow in the profession of marketing. We’ve just got used to not being able to have visibility over how marketing operates. So I think it’s just, you know, we go through this planning process and then like I said, we toss around some PowerPoints and we’re all agreed and but there is no system of record for a continuously evolving plan, even though we need a system for that. And the same thing for, you know, for budgeting. It’s just it’s simply astounding to me that we talk to some of the biggest brands in the world that literally operate on not just hundreds of spreadsheets, sometimes thousands of spreadsheets and SharePoint sites and collaboration tools. And no, nobody has one view of something as simple as, you know, the financial management of the entire global marketing organization. It’s just crazy to me. And if you have no single system of record to even view something as profoundly important, is that how the heck do you pivot? When it comes time to change, how do you change it? I was reading a I was reading this review of a customer that we were we were engaged with. And the CMO kind of uses the analogy of, listen, we can pivot, but when we pivot, it’s like trying to steer a freight ship like a freighter ship with using your arm as the propeller takes a long time to turn. That, you know, sounds like there’s no notion of agility at all. And so the enemy really is this the state of being where we rely on self that’s disconnected, the lack of visibility, the lack of velocity and the lack of agility and the operational side of marketing. 

Scott Brinker [00:40:10] And that’s a very vivid metaphor with the freighter ship and have to trying to use a kick board. Yeah. 

Jim Williams [00:40:18] Exactly. 

Scott Brinker [00:40:19] Well, I think, you know, maybe one last thought on this, too, is, you know, again, the the concept, you know, like really the galvanizing idea. Yeah. What is the thing that, you know, you’re conquering over the old with the new, but maybe just close to it. I’d love your thoughts on the WHO because I feel like marketing ops. I believe two statements are true. One is I think they hold the keys to the universe in like how marketing is actually, you know, performing today. But two, I think they’re generally underrecognized and underappreciated, you know, for their critical role that they play. And to be honest, while many marketing ops folks, you know, have been the champions of, you know, my world in MarTech, which is great and it’s awesome, you know, again, MarTech MarTech is not business results. MarTech is one piece of an equation, you know, of how we deliver, you know, on what the business needs from us. And so happy to have marketing ops people be the champions of MarTech. I think they’ve got like a higher calling, you know, in their role. It sure does seem like. Yeah, where you’re headed here with marketing business acceleration is perhaps the way to rally them to that higher calling. 

Jim Williams [00:41:41] I think it’s one way to rally them. There’s a number of ways, but I completely agree with you that the goal is to rally marketing operations professionals to a higher calling. And we think I mean, we see that quite often we will engage with marketing operations folks. And then sometimes people come into conversations that, you know, they have titles like Chief of Staff to the CMO and the Office of the CMO or Chief of Staff of Marketing. And they actually are very operationally focused and they’re in touch with marketing ops, but they’re operating in a little bit of a higher plane, you know, much more of a strategic plan. Like I said, being the eyes and ears of the CMO, who has a real challenge, making sure that, you know, the whole plan they rolled out suddenly didn’t dissolve among the widely distributed teams and different systems. And so I do think marketing ops will evolve. I think it’ll diversify into a much more strategic level versus kind of like a martech operational level. And that’s just fine because, you know, if you say software is the world and every company is really a software company, then it’s not that hard of a stretch Scott to imagine that every marketing function is really a marketing operations function. It’s not that hard. If marketing is really data-driven and marketing is really triggered by, you know, events, and most marketing is going digital and all that’s flowing through a martech stack. It’s not really hard to see how marketing operations is the up-and-coming function in modern marketing departments. 

Scott Brinker [00:43:23] I couldn’t agree with you more. And I am quite sure our listeners from the marketing operations community are sharing this. I feel seen and it is really, truly a great, great opportunity. 

Jim Williams [00:43:39] I thank you. Thank you. Listen, I will not take up more of your time. It’s been a great conversation. I feel like we, as per usual, covered a ton of ground in the conversation, Scott. So thank you. Thank you for your observations and for your time today. Greatly appreciate it. 

Scott Brinker [00:43:54] Awesome. I always love chatting with you and best of luck with Uptempo. Love the name. Love the mission. Can’t wait to see where you go. 

Jim Williams [00:44:02] Great. Thank you. 

brandmaker allocadia hive9 uptempo

Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

RevGenius | RevCon 2022

Let’s face it. The relationship between sales, marketing, and rev ops isn’t always a smooth one. This disconnection (or sometimes all-out battle) can result in more than just a bad day, including big-ticket items like missed market opportunities and growth targets. 

Marketing ideas can stem from all corners of an organization. Everyone wants to grow the business, but it doesn’t mean all ideas are necessarily good ones. Without strategy and metrics in place to lead data-driven decision-making, our efforts can become reactive in nature, actually doing more harm than good. 

What if we changed the conversation from leads and ideas to ROI-driven marketing? Marketing that’s trackable and can be tied to sales and revenue impact will get sales leaders to perk up, and rev ops can be a strategic partner in this endeavor. 

Top takeaways
  • How flipping the conversation to ROI-driven marketing can make a positive impact on the relationship with sales and rev ops
  • How marketing leaders can shed their arts-and-crafts reputation and show they deserve a seat at the leadership table
  • Putting all of this into action and how technology can connect your marketing strategy to the bottom line

Watch on demand now:

Elizabeth Ionita



Dan Radu

President & Founder


Kamran Ghazian

Sr. Director, Marketing Operations & Analytics/Chief of Staff, CMO


brandmaker allocadia hive9 uptempo

Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

Marketers have a plethora of tools to execute incredibly sophisticated data-driven campaigns. So why do they still struggle to prove business impact? Short answer: Little to no investment has been made in running the business of marketing. 

Disparate spreadsheets, slides, and data sets make it nearly impossible for marketers to pivot at the speed required to keep up with market disruptions or shifting customer preferences. And with increasing inflation, supply chain issues, and possible economic downturns, it’s critical for companies to have a better way to plan and manage their marketing investments.  

Uptempo’s guest speakers—Forrester Principal Analyst Katie Linford and Thomas Gunter, Director of Cisco Marketing Planning and Operations—share best practices for creating visibility, velocity, and agility through connected marketing operations.

You’ll learn: 

  • Where to start when connecting resource planning and performance management.
  • How an end-to-end marketing operations solution is critical to accelerate execution.
  • Best practices to achieve marketing agility for each domain of marketing operations.

Cisco will also share how they leverage insights from Uptempo to optimize strategies and continuously drive higher performance.

Read the Full Transcript Below

AMY BEAUDOIN Hello, everyone. We are just going to give everyone a quick minute here just to get online. But welcome to Today’s fireside chat proving business impact through connected marketing operations. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN So just give a second here before we start to make sure we get more people online with exciting session that we’re really thrilled about. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Alright, Deployment passed. Well, hello, everyone and again, Welcome to Today’s fireside chat uh session proving business impact through connected marketing processes. I’m Amy Bodeway very nice to meet you virtually. Um, and i’m the director of product marketing here at up Tempo. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN I’m delighted to also be joined by Katie Lindford. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Um. She is a Forrester analyst on the B Twob. Side 

 AMY BEAUDOIN uh Katie has over eighteen years of broad marketing experience um in solutions, implementations and operation really across quite a few different industries. Um! Prior to serious decisions, which is now Forrester. She was a senior marketing technology leader at one of the most dangerous place for me to shop 

AMY BEAUDOIN whole foods. I think everyone can agree. Um, She is focusing on platform management and gave deep uh expertise in technology, selection, evolution and efficiency and business and technology process design in an agile environment. And again, we all know we need to be agile today prior to whole foods you that uh digital marketing technology at Amd. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN It has prior um technology experience before that as well. I’m also delighted to be joined by Thomas, who I was able to meet in person in Austin. He’s very tall, by the way. Um! And he is here, and also actually Katie is also from Austin Texas. He’s a director of planning and operations for Cisco marketing. His responsibility spanned from planning enablement, 

 AMY BEAUDOIN investment, strategy, budget management to spend operations and compliance Thomas and his team really facilitate across organizational community of strategy, planning and operational years across Cisco marketing. So thank you for both of you for being with us today. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Katie is actually going to share a little bit more around in a perfect world. What parking operations would look like, and Thomas will share his learning from their journey at Cisco towards marketing operational excellence. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN So before we jump into this exciting discussion, I just want to share a little bit about who up tempo is, we actually just rebranded recently? Um! But up tempo delivers marketing business, acceleration, and that’s really a new operating model for marketers. It really gives Cmo’s clarity on the financial and business impact of their marketing efforts. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN And up Temple does this with our marketing Operation Suite um, which really integrates planning, financial work, financial management work, management, performance management, and that really allows teams to better plan, 

 AMY BEAUDOIN pivot faster, spend, smarter, and execute with confidence, and also report with confidence, and of course, gaining visibility, velocity. Agility is more critical today than ever. We all know that we’re in a higher inflation market uh with me or budgets, so it’s very important to know what you’re doing with every dollar. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Some of our customers include big brands like Cisco. We also have autodes best by Charles Schwab Juniper networks land of lakes, you again make amazing butter. We have quite a quite a mix of industries that we serve 

AMY BEAUDOIN at the end of today’s session. We also want to welcome you to remain on the line. We will provide a live demo, and it will be within context of the Cisco use case. Um, so you can stay for that. It’s a ten minute demo at the end of the session. If you wish to ask any questions, you can do so at the bottom of your screen. You’ll see there’s just a little Q. A. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Button there, and you just have to enter it that in, and we’ll enter it at the end of we’ll. We’ll answer it at the end of the presentation. The recording will also be sent to you. Um tomorrow as well. So again. Thanks for joining, and let’s dive in to this exciting discussion. One hundred. 

 KATIE LINFORD So just to start with Katie, my first big question, Why is it essential for marketers to connect planning through to performance. Oh, boy, this is a big one uh B, two B marketing teams, as i’m sure all of you listening now are under so much pressure to demonstrate the return on their efforts and show that marketing is an investment, not an expense, 

 KATIE LINFORD and structured marketing. Planning is critical to making marketing. Successful. Effective planning helps leaders align their resources to the areas of business that are going to have the highest impact, as well as of course, prevent disruptions, or at least help limit them. 

 KATIE LINFORD And this planning cannot be done in isolation. 

 KATIE LINFORD Planning should always be a really highly collaborative effort that incorporates and takes into account the companies grow strategies um portfolio offering roadmap um quantifiable annual business targets. Things like that to help build out the approach that marketing should take um, and where they should focus. 

 KATIE LINFORD Now, one of the key elements here is a clear understanding of the Company’s goals and strategies. So without this it’s, and we see this all the time. I know I’ve worked in organizations that 

 KATIE LINFORD this has happened. Different marketing functions and teams can really easily in interpret or misinterpret. Um, you know their own. 

 KATIE LINFORD Take on what those goals mean, and this leads to marketing. Sprawl, disconnect silos, um, and a lack of this cohesive um strategic direction for marketing. 

 KATIE LINFORD So um! This clear identification of this strategic direction um is important as well, because 

 KATIE LINFORD marketers and i’m guilty of this as well um have a tendency to bypass this kind of guidance on approach, and really go straight to selecting tactics right? It’s easy. It’s something that you can align on It’s it’s actionable. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um! And you know these are often created on. You know, net new demand things like that. Um, and that may not be the direction that the business wants to take. 

 KATIE LINFORD So along with, you know, reducing the silos um. The strategic direction also is going to give the marketing leaders uh what they need to establish their priorities. This is really important, because marketing serves many internal and external stakeholders, and it’s it can be difficult to know. What do you do first? Where you commit the most resources? How do you find this balance? 

 KATIE LINFORD And this is where understanding Um! The goals to get this prioritization comes in. 

KATIE LINFORD No, I’ve just said a whole bunch of stuff, and Haven’t even really mentioned planning, and it seems like a lot of work upfront, but it. It’s so important because, as we talked about, this is all about marketing, showing the value that it provides, and to do that with a marketing needs to ensure that the goals and objectives are really focused on the work that is going to have the greatest impact to the business 

 KATIE LINFORD then marketing can get into. What is this plan? Look like to accomplish that? Um! How are the different parts of the organization going to help achieve those objectives? And, of course, How are they going to be measured? 

 KATIE LINFORD Um, you know marketing also, as those alluding to kind of has this impulse to um use the planning process to do the new exciting stuff, this new demand, and stop the current campaigns that are running, 

 KATIE LINFORD and we all have been through this right. We get bored with our own, our own brand and our own campaigns before our our customers do so. Having this solid plan that is really clearly aligned with this business outcome. Um help mark their stay focused on the highest priority work that needs to be done. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um! And this may sound like a lot, and you know it’s it isn’t simple, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be hard. 

 KATIE LINFORD So one of the ways that you can set yourself up for success to do. All of this is to get a tool that can help you, centralize, optimize, probably communicate, and manage all of the work that you know marketing is going to do, and this can’t be done in spreadsheets, even if your spreadsheets are in a shared location, we need a much more robust tool. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Okay, that’s awesome. Thank you. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Yeah. And I guess with that Um, you know, we’ve seen, and you know, especially in the past, and I know myself and other industries as Well, we’re relying on these antiquated kind of tools of really excel to be doing all of our budgeting all of our planning. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Um. But really there’s been a lot more investment on the what we would call the do side of marketing and and less on the run side of marketing. So can you maybe talk about? Why, um! That is what that’s been the case. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um, Because the do part is more fun right where the action happens. It’s where you know marketing actually gets to, you know. Put something in front of customers, and that’s what you know. That’s what they’re there to do, and and and it’s great, and we love the excitement around the do. But 

 KATIE LINFORD for without having that well established running of marketing um, you know, this can lead to to use the you know, kind of old cliche, the random acts of marketing, and it’s really easy to mistake this like set of activities, you know, especially if they have due dates right, and you’ve written it down like That’s as a plan, right? That’s that’s not a plan. Um. So really thinking about making sure that 

 KATIE LINFORD then you’re talking about a marketing plan. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um! It is per purposeful, and it has this strategic direction. Um, for these marketing efforts. Um! And you know, make sure that the resources are allocated in the best way. Um, you know, to get the best return to help marketing. Meet the goals, and I will say it again. This can’t be done in Silos um Marketing organizations have this tendency to um to this fragmented planning, 

 KATIE LINFORD and and when this happens the planning is happening in marking, but it’s happening it uh, you know, and maybe an individual team level. And what can feel? Um, you know what can feel off about this and where it seems kind of misleading is that a lot of times this 

 KATIE LINFORD practice of of planning at this level first is fostered by um budget allocation. Um, and you know kind of where marketing resources are distributed within the organization instead of thinking of the larger business priorities. So this disconnected planning leads to this misalignment which leads to you know, mismatch priorities, and least of this kind of marketing sprawl, and it really dilutes the that that marketing can have on the business. Um, 

KATIE LINFORD so um! And another reason. Um Why, I think that this running, you know marketing and this planning doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. Um! Is that a lot of organizations? Um, you know that I’ve spoken to, and also that you know I some that I have um been in as well 

 KATIE LINFORD don’t have a really clear idea of what a good plan looks like. Yeah, because, mark it, it, it’s hard right. It’s hard to get there. Marketing plans can be um overly complex, and they can contain way too much information, and it makes them hard to read and hard to understand, and 

 KATIE LINFORD really hard to maintain. And then they’re they’re out of date, and they become more relevant or um like I was talking about earlier. They end up kind of being too simple and end up being this list of tactics. And then they’re really just about delivery and not strategic. And 

 KATIE LINFORD you know they’re not up level to the impact um that marketing can have on the business, and making sure that’s all aligned. Um! But this one can be fairly easily uh remedied by again getting in place a good tool that can support 

 KATIE LINFORD robust templates that you need that can be distributed to the teams that can be linked together. So you can get that broader picture of what marketing planning is going to look like, you know, across all of your teams um and done in a consistent way. So it’s easier. Um, It’s easier to manage. And everyone has that visibility. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Yeah, it’s more standardized. Format. Yeah, we’ve definitely been using the forest or plan on a page. We find that just even like I know if you use that as all Thomas, but we just find it. It’s easier to share, especially with other teams like sales, for example. So 

 AMY BEAUDOIN um yeah, it just sort of distills it down. And it that’s easier to if there’s changes right. That’s the main thing to like if you think about companies that might have multiple brands or something. There’s a lot to manage there, so it’s just easier to have your strategies kind of listed out. Yeah, thank you for that. Um. So I guess really what’s the best place for a lot of um. Well, just in General B to be marketing operations to start really on this journey of like, in a sense, modernizing and connecting all the operations across and planning all the way through the execution. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um start at the beginning. Marketing efforts need to really be aligned to how the business plans to grow 

 KATIE LINFORD um and marketing leaders need to use this information that they get upstream, and and from you know, their counterparts to really inform the effort Right? They need to understand the corporate strategy, the the product. Roadmap um Revenue planning. All of this is essential for informing. 

 KATIE LINFORD You know what marketing does, and ensuring that marketing is again doing the things that um that move the needle. So if you don’t have this information um, you not pass. Go, Do not collect two hundred dollars. Do not start your marketing plan until you understand what the organization’s broader goals are. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um, and I know that’s easy for me as an analyst to sit here and say, Um, I also know that not all organizations have well-defined um corporate goals. So in in this case you know, do the best with with what you have. Um, at least you know it. Within marketing you can set goals. You can set that direction and give your teams something to um to ladder up to right. That gives them this, this prioritization that 

 KATIE LINFORD that lets them know um where marketing is going to have um the greatest impact. Um! And that makes it a lot easier to see how the operations need to start connecting across um across marketing. Everyone is. Everyone’s pointed in the same direction. Everyone’s focused on the same priorities makes that connection so much easier. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN yeah, they’re all on the same page. Essentially. So that’s good for sure. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Um. So how do you quantify? I guess this, you know, once you’ve got everything connected. And obviously Thomas is going to share a little bit about this, because they’ve taken the journey there. But I know isn’t always easy. But um! Once you get there, how do you sort of look at, hey? This is, you know we rolled it out, and it’s Now, you know, we’re able to look at our um results in context with our plans, et cetera. How do you sort of quantify the that outcome that success, whether or not it really is successful to have connected all your processes. 

 KATIE LINFORD Yeah, I I mean it, 

 KATIE LINFORD you know. Really, it all comes down to being able to deliver for your audience and for your buyers. Right? That’s that’s what we’re here for. That we’re focused on. That’s what we’re looking to do. Um, and 

 KATIE LINFORD those by our needs, as we all know, are constantly changing and constantly growing. Uh and marketing has to be able to move faster and pivot with intent to not just spin, and and you know, point at whatever tactic seems um easiest or most comfortable. Um, and again can’t do this if you’re working in silos uh, and one of the um one of the places that may not 

 KATIE LINFORD seem like the most obvious place to look to really start to foster this? Um, you know. How can marketing um, you know, really be connected? And and and how can you drive this impact and and measure? It is is actually marketing operations. Um, 

KATIE LINFORD you know, we think that marketing operations is in a really unique position. They understand, with various stakeholder needs right. Their involvement across marketing with the stakeholders is is broad, and because of this visibility um, they can influence alignment and help drive prioritization when there’s conflict and really kind of help um uh drive that direction coming from this this bigger picture. Um, and not just focused on 

 KATIE LINFORD um. You know the important. But you know maybe kind of individual. Um, you know tactics, or or you, you know, even campaigns. Um! 

 KATIE LINFORD The The other thing that marketing operations professionals have is a really deep subject matter, expertise in marketing, in data and in the technology. And so when um, when they combine these things together, um 

 KATIE LINFORD marketing operations is really the one who can take a look at what the marketing organization is doing, where it’s going. Um! The capabilities that it has, what it needs to accomplish and really help um put together this vision of these unseen possibilities. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um, And this is where um, you know, measuring this impact as well, is going to come with how productive and efficient and effective. Um, marketing is 

AMY BEAUDOIN um, And I I guess one thing that people really struggle with to like. We’ve seen it with our own customers where it can take them, even sometimes like three years to get to. True. Roi. Um! But I guess i’m just wondering where most customers are at that. That you talk to 

 KATIE LINFORD um, and if they’re not there yet Um, where do you think you know? Where are they on their journey, I guess towards or Why, yeah, this is um. This is, I will just say, this is a tricky one. Um, traditional roi calculations 

 KATIE LINFORD really add some unnecessary complexity, for most Bdb: used cases um like textbook marketing. Roi was really designed for B to C where it’s um. It’s quick um transactional sales, um, and you know you can see this more immediate return on. You know these incremental marketing um elements. 

 KATIE LINFORD It doesn’t mesh very well with the longer sales, cycles of B to be, or you know, including a a sales team, you know. Oftentimes it includes a broad definition of an investment that has a kind of narrow return, and it doesn’t it doesn’t Recognize this um interdependence of the multiple tactics that are really super critical for 

 KATIE LINFORD B to b um, and all of that, just, you know, makes like said makes it really hard um for marketing to get there. And there really isn’t at this point A. You know, a one size fits all 

 KATIE LINFORD definition of marketing roi that every B to B and business needs um. So it we really recommend that you start with. You know the business question, The what are you trying to assault to excuse me? What are you trying to solve? And then adapting um? You know the roi calculation in a way that um that fits for you. And when we see organizations um kind of 

 KATIE LINFORD open up to that a little bit more because it feels it can feel uncomfortable at first right? Because it’s like, you know it is like our Why is the thing? And you know this box. And again, that that box wasn’t made for B to b um. So when um 

 KATIE LINFORD when you can um adjust and kind of pivot the thinking toward you know what is meaningful for you? What are the outcomes that are meaningful for you and and adapt the roi equation to that. That’s when we start to see um b two B teams get a better understanding of um the impact and the value that marketing is providing 

KATIE LINFORD right. That makes sense. And it does. It does take time. Um! And And and, as you said in part of what adds to the uh to the time that it takes is really defining. What does this roi mean for your organization? 

 KATIE LINFORD Because there are so many steps and so many people involved in a B to B sell things like how much credit should marketing receive for the success. Um. You know how much we turn is being delivered by an individual tactic? Um, you know there are, You know there are things like that. That Um! It’s up to, you know, organizations to to really um better understand 

 KATIE LINFORD um. You know what again this looks like for them, and you know, using the foundations of the roi, but adapting it into a way that that makes sense. Um, that makes sense for them. Otherwise it’s the you know, square peg round whole um. 

 KATIE LINFORD And yeah, and like I said I, I and I will say again, understand that it takes time right? There’s a lot of data to be collected. There are a lot of steps involved. There are a lot of people involved. Um! And give yourself the bandwidth to to get there and get there in the right way. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Exactly. I think the main thing to you is just like zeroing in on. What was it that you know someone sealed the deal You’re looking for that right? It can take, you know, ten or twenty touches before that happens. So you know, we would always say influence to the pipeline as a way to get cover. That marketing got some. Yeah, Yeah, definitely. 

AMY BEAUDOIN So okay, And then guess really in terms of um performance. Um measurement. Obviously, that’s a huge part of uh, what for her talks about, and and a lot of your reports, but just wondering, really. Um! What does that feature look like there, and what’s going to be expected of Cmos because their role is really shifted. They’re supposed to be, you know they’ve got a growth mandate now all time um have sales reporting to them, too. So 

 AMY BEAUDOIN i’m just wondering on the performance management what we expected in the future. 

 KATIE LINFORD So we are going to, you know. Continue to see Cmos play um play a a big role in um in delivering this as well as as driving it. Um, So again, all has to come back to understanding how the business plans to grow 

 KATIE LINFORD and how marketing is planning on helping them reach that. So um! With this there’s a lot of information that the Cmo needs, and a lot of things that the Cmo needs to understand. 

 KATIE LINFORD And you mentioned this. You know um that sometimes there’s sales reporting in um. This idea of Rep. Of Rev. Ops. Whether it be an organizational structure or mar just kind of process. Ways of working is really critical for B to B right. The silos that we’re talking about. We have to break down the silo between marketing and sales as well. We need to understand who our customer is throughout the entire. By our journey 

 KATIE LINFORD we need to know what impact we’re having through each of these steps, and how these steps impact one another right. These steps also can’t be looked at in silo. So, having a good relationship with um with the the Cso. Understanding the sales cycles, um, you know, starting to to again break down those walls. Um is going to be critical. Um. Also having a good relationship with the the Cfo 

 KATIE LINFORD um. This is a newer thing and something that that I know we’ve talked about uh as as well. Um, the Cfo. And you know the the executive group really needs to understand 

 KATIE LINFORD what marketing is, what marketing is doing, and it needs to be more than a line item in the budget, and so it’s um, very likely on the shoulders of the Cmo to really move forward and start building that relationship with the Cfo 

 KATIE LINFORD um, and and having it be more than than just, you know the spreadsheet that gets sent over helping helping the organization Understand? Um, You know what these things mean beyond like the marketing influence, um, or whatever it may be 

 KATIE LINFORD so along with this um we hear a lot about dashboards as well. It’s very. 

 KATIE LINFORD I’d like to say it’s very buzzy, but I think It’s been very busy for a while now, but it’s um with this mandate and this pressure that the Cmos are under to um really demonstrate this value, and to make quicker decisions. They need the information readily available in a way that is easily consumable for them, that they can understand that they can find what they need. Um, so they can respond in a more timely fashion. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um! So we’re seeing a lot of emphasis there on making sure that um you know. Not only do we have these great plans in place. We’re understanding the goals. We’re tracking everything from, you know, from first touch to you know um completion of the sale and and beyond through customer success. Um! That the Cmo needs to have visibility into those elements that are um 

KATIE LINFORD impacted by marketing, and that marketing impacts. So it’s a It’s quite a bit of of pressure. But you know our Cmos are are ready to take it on. Um. I think that they have, uh, you know, to some degree been kind of waiting waiting for this right? Because this is really 

 KATIE LINFORD putting them um stepping up front right? They are not just again this line. Item. It’s, you know, All right marketing. What are you delivering? And it’s a great opportunity for the Cmos to 

 KATIE LINFORD to take it to the next level, and to really show um how marketing is changing the business. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN All right. Well, thank you for that. That was a really good overview of again. How great question, Yeah. And Thomas has been for the trenches himself. So i’m gonna pass it over to um, Thomas. Um, But thank you, Katie, for those insights. Um: So yeah, I guess, Thomas. Uh, obviously you’ve You’ve got up tempo’s uh marketing operation. Software 

 AMY BEAUDOIN And i’m just wondering how that has reshaped some of your internal processes, because, as we know a lot of times when you go through this, there’s some change management involved as well. So Yeah, That’ be my. 

 THOMAS GUNTER You know we’ve been on a journey, and we’re still on that journey uh to to reshape those processes. So what our tempo has allowed us to do is kind of lay a standardized foundation on where we record a plan of record, and in doing that 

 THOMAS GUNTER it’s driven us to standardize on. How do we think about planning? How do we call campaigns and programs and tactics? What are those looks like in forcing us to sit there and really work across the teams and in standardize in the way that we talk about marketing 

 THOMAS GUNTER the way that we invest in marketing 

 THOMAS GUNTER the planning process itself. So it’s helped by that foundation where we’re now recording that information and leveraging it in the decision making process. So through that standardization and developing this foundation, it’s allow us to become more deliberate in our planning, 

 THOMAS GUNTER I’ll find in our planning. This helped us to draw more realistic timelines on what is the planning process? Look like where the key decision milestones, what happens when? And it’s allowed those decisions that are made, and recommendations to be uh 

 THOMAS GUNTER much stronger in how they’ve been informed with the data that’s coming from the teams or historical data that we’ve seen uh from prior years. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Okay. And so you’re seeing, I guess, with all this visibility and and having everything tracked living plans, if you will. Um, so your Are you able then to make changes to strategy a lot faster as well. 

 THOMAS GUNTER Yes, yes, we, you know, as we come into this uh our ability to see what that impact is or could be in making those changes is starting to light up for us. We’re able to do that a lot more effectively than when we didn’t have a standardized platform when we’re living off of slide, where to make decisions and to roll up the information. 

 THOMAS GUNTER And so it absolutely has enabled us to be very thoughtful in the process, and thinking about what our overhead costs First, How does that, you know, impact our envelope and then starting to look at? Okay, what does this really mean for our activation dollars. How do we 

 THOMAS GUNTER um think about those investments to maximize return? You know, How do we think about G uh geographic specific investments versus vehicle or or tactics specific investments. Uh, it’s it’s allowed us to be a a lot more deliberate, and to make those decisions uh faster in the process. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Um, and I guess, in terms of quantifying success. I guess, in operations or the areas that you’ve seen You’ve mentioned some of them now, but just the areas of the biggest gains. Can you maybe talk a little bit about that? 

 THOMAS GUNTER Yeah, you know, when I think of marketing operations in in this bigger role. Um, 

 THOMAS GUNTER you know. First, I would say that you know at least that Cisco for us marketing operations is there to really enable the business to get to work and to effectively and efficiently get to work. So we look at success as  a variety of things. When you look at directly more planning specifically in operations. We look at success as have we enabled a data based decision making process for our leadership team 

 THOMAS GUNTER that’s occurring in a time of manner that allows them to make informed decisions in time for us to then implement those decisions into plans and to go and execute. And so we are the backbone of How does that process really work? What are those decisions that’s talking about earlier? That that you have to have along the way we help build that planet, and we have to lean on tools to help us do that. And so success for us Looks like, 

THOMAS GUNTER did we do that? Did we? Was the leadership team able to make these trade off decisions early enough to be able to understand the impact. You have to communicate that impact and then 

 THOMAS GUNTER to to eventually convey to the teams. Okay, let’s let’s go Execute these plans. Here’s where they are, and, as we all know, getting as far down to as well. Now I have to go open up purchase orders that have I lost any time there to actually execute. 

 THOMAS GUNTER So the the big piece for us has been uh the kind of the number one uh piece there is enabling that process and a timer with accurate data uh allowing us to to to run uh at an appropriate time. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN That’s awesome. That’s great to hear that you don’t to be honest, I don’t know if I can go back to spreadsheets after you have the information at your fingertips. So we go. Um! So what were some of the critical steps that your team needed to uh take into consideration, I guess, in order to ensure success, 

 THOMAS GUNTER change management as critical. You know, understanding who the stakeholders are, who the different audiences are that need to hear what type of information, and when it it cannot often be an afterthought, because we’re compressed on time. 

 THOMAS GUNTER And you’re sitting there working through? Well, what is the planning process? What do I need to do by the end of October, and you’re just working to get the deliverables and get the meeting set up to communicate it and decisions, and you’re not thinking about. What about the greater audience? So 

 THOMAS GUNTER do we need training materials. Do we need a newsletter? Do we need a You know a chat space, you know not the deliverable. It’s not just the decisions. Um! That is a huge piece for us, and it’s it’s a skill that’s not uh inherent in most people. It’s something that you have to really think for. We we tend to think of project management, but not necessarily change management. 

THOMAS GUNTER And so for us it’s. It’s a learning as well learning that skill, and sometimes having to slow the planning process down in order to ensure that we are effectively communicating the change uh across the organization. So you know, that has been probably one of the most critical steps, and then I would say, secondary to that is back to kind of the alignment on data in understanding. 

 THOMAS GUNTER You know the taxonomy and marketing. Um what we’re actually measuring. How granular did we need to be in data collection in um in a planning process, you know. Um 

 THOMAS GUNTER really getting that alignment across the organizations uh which then allows us to really refine that process. So i’d say that’s probably our our second biggest area. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Did you have a lot of resistance, I guess. Just curious internally, the change management, or did you do people get on board relatively fast when you describe benefits? 

 THOMAS GUNTER I would say, uh, I wouldn’t say we had a lot of resistance. Uh, I would say more skepticism, because we we’ve tried this before, you know, and and we’ve gone through several cycles. Of what does our operating model look like. How do we talk about our framework? 

THOMAS GUNTER And and some of those have lasted several years, some of them not so long, so it’s a little bit of skepticism upfront that through change management allows us to um 

THOMAS GUNTER show progress in our thinking, so that we are actually delivering. And over time we’re using the same language or using the same planning process 

 THOMAS GUNTER uh building trust in the organization. That Yeah, this is. This is really how we work together, and it’s being adopted across the board. 

AMY BEAUDOIN Oh, that’s awesome. Glad to hear that um. Was there anything that you learned along the way? That was a surprise. 



 THOMAS GUNTER several different platforms in the past that were intended to line on kind of the investment side of marketing 

 THOMAS GUNTER in the planning piece of marketing, and they’ve they haven’t been very successful at all. They They usually last about a year to two years before they this allow, and what we observed when we started down this path now with a tempo is when we look back at what caused those projects to fail 

 THOMAS GUNTER uh a lot of it was getting too granular to quick, 

 THOMAS GUNTER So we wanted to be very deliberate and to take it slow and to understand. In year one 

 THOMAS GUNTER the data is gonna be directional at best, And that’s okay. We’re gonna learn more about ourselves and what we really need to that process in a year or two. It gets a little bit stronger in your three. It’s stronger. 

 THOMAS GUNTER So we’ve taken deliberate, slow steps in this process, so it’s not to lose the momentum, 

 THOMAS GUNTER not to lose the interest, and to have time to learn and adjust. 

 THOMAS GUNTER But what was surprising to us is kind of. Once we’re a couple of steps, and the pace that we want to move as kind of a steering committee on How we do planning is a little bit slower than what the rest of the business wants to do. 

 THOMAS GUNTER And so we started to see this turn, where, uh, you know, in a the business. And then by I mean what I mean by business is like the field marketing teams, the the functional marketing teams are 

 THOMAS GUNTER now starting to ask about to deliver more detail, Or can we give you more detail on the plan. It’s really important. So now we see them putting pressure on us to move a little bit faster to that level of bring it already, and that was a surprise uh to us. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN So a great game traction pretty quick. That’s great. Um, yeah. What were some of your initial goals? Um. And did you achieve them, 

THOMAS GUNTER Sure, uh. So one of our initial goals would be, you know, or or was it still is 

 THOMAS GUNTER uh data really looking at data aligned to key dimensions. So of interest. And 

 THOMAS GUNTER we we have definitely achieved that where we were several years ago in spreadsheets. Uh, with, you know, everybody having a different view On 

 THOMAS GUNTER How do you refer to paid media versus social media? Or uh, you know even what what different campaigns are we running? And how do you walk through that? Um. 

 THOMAS GUNTER It was important for us to build on that. That’s something that was not good. And if if we didn’t have that basic structure in place. Then we couldn’t really model Roi effectively. Couldn’t enable the leadership team to make decisions. And um, so that I would say has been our our strongest achievement, where we are today, 

 THOMAS GUNTER in our ability to articulate what we are invested, for what purpose? Where we went, for how much and for what outcome? Uh, we are miles of miles out of where we’ve been. Um, not just in capability, but also in consistency and standardization. And how it hat’s been uh one of the biggest goals that that we’ve had, and it’s really a primary goal for us that we are. 

AMY BEAUDOIN Were you having? I’m just curious about that. Were you having some oversaturation in certain markets before? 

THOMAS GUNTER Is that something you experienced? Well, hard hard to tell. Yes, we can see that. But we didn’t necessarily always um This the scale of of our marketing, and the breadth of what we cover it was 

THOMAS GUNTER uh not always clear you know. Are we over-invested or underinvested in certain areas. It’s hard to decipher that information. So um 

THOMAS GUNTER bringing that clarity now allows us to do that 

 AMY BEAUDOIN awesome. Um, Okay, and then the other one I just want to ask in in terms of. Was there any other um benefits that you achieve that you didn’t expect um like? For example, you know the world that we’re all in um, you know. Are people able to on board faster? Was there anything that you didn’t expect out of that, and that ended up. 

THOMAS GUNTER Yeah, um. So uh it was touched on. Katie touched on. This was the partnership with the Cfo. So we’ve got a strong partnership with the Cfo yet. But what I will say is that our partnership with our financial controllers the next layer down has really really strengthened 

THOMAS GUNTER in the past. You had marketing operations who really had to help tell, help, finance, tell the story of what it is we do. What’s the impact? What does that mean? 

THOMAS GUNTER You know, when you talk about account engagement, what does that mean? 


THOMAS GUNTER we have brought finance along the way with us in this process, and they are in a tip of. They are working in the plans and and seeing it. Um! 

THOMAS GUNTER And now our finance team is no is is learning and knowing marketing, and it’s not just 

THOMAS GUNTER yeah. The marketing guys over there. It’s they really understand it. And there’s in there a partner with us and helping us to to articulate the impact. You know, when you put a dollar into marketing, what did we get out? And so that’s a growing relationship that will help them support the Cmo 

THOMAS GUNTER working with the Cfo, and to really bring and deliver that a dollar and get you this out of the system. So I would say um, you know that was uh, you know that was a a benefit that we knew we needed, but didn’t expect to necessarily see mature so fast, 

THOMAS GUNTER so absolutely. And And then, in addition to that, I think the tool and of itself, our ability to bring somebody onto a tempo and how to do it is very quick. The user experience is is easy uh to pick up and understand 

THOMAS GUNTER um in the ramp time, you know, to get somebody on up and running and understanding, and whatever coaching we need to. However, it’s been a lot faster than 

AMY BEAUDOIN Oh, that’s awesome. Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely a bit of both right. You’ve got the marketers learning more finance and finance for any more about. But at the end of the day it’s for the the common good of of driving revenue. Um, So what? What’s What’s next for a cisco’s marketing team 

THOMAS GUNTER going going deeper. So you know I talked about finding the right level of granularity to step into it. So now, really, looking closely at this tactics and um aligning that uh depth to what did we actually spend our budget on? Is it? Um! 

THOMAS GUNTER In a world like ours when we open up a purchase order with the media company that may span multiple campaigns and programs and countries, and when you’re in a system you start to you, can. We can plan for that. We can articulate that. But then 

THOMAS GUNTER the spending actually changes. So how do we then bring in that data, and in we we talk about 

THOMAS GUNTER Our ability to stay is we could come in, and we can say, I intend to invest a dollar in this campaign, 

THOMAS GUNTER and during execution I can show, you know i’m opening up those i’m. I’m uh Cross charging within the organization. This amount of money in support of that campaign, and then. So our next step now is really bringing in the financial ledger. 

THOMAS GUNTER Bring that connection into the process to be able to say, and what I actually did, if it’s this, and really getting to that true roi piece. Now, instead of just return on our investment intent, being able to display a return on actual investment 

THOMAS GUNTER and leveraging that back again into the planning process, being able to look backwards. That results model forward looking expectations based on investment levels, 

THOMAS GUNTER you know, bringing that together back into the planning process. Um, which ultimately gives us the information we need to make the 

AMY BEAUDOIN so it sounds like a little bit more predictability before you deploy resources or dollars out. Okay, that’s excellent. Yeah, um. So that really wraps up our reception there. But if you had any uh any other comments, Thomas, let me know. But yeah, i’m glad. I know that we you know our services team is really good, and and hopefully they helped you a lot through that change management process, because we’ve had a lot of companies in the same boat as yours, so I will. I will tell you. Um! 

THOMAS GUNTER The services team has been phenomenal, and they have been extremely responsive any issue, whether you know or not issue, but question or capability. Ask that we’ve had whether it’s super small or really big. They have been great about um 

THOMAS GUNTER helping, guiding us, and sometimes challenging us to say, Do you really want to do that? Here’s why you may not want to do that. So the partnership that we have uh with up tempo, is It’s been 

 THOMAS GUNTER uh it’s probably one of the strongest partnerships that we have that relationship uh compared to some of the other platforms that we use in the company. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN That’s correct. Which? Yeah, I find that that’s super helpful. Well, thank you very much for sharing your sorry. That’s very interesting, Jeremy. Again. I know at the beginning there is usually trepidation in any of these type of projects, and a lot of times marketers. Don’t want to be doing bunch of things right. But but but yeah, like, I say, I know myself once I’ve had it because I’ve been in other companies where they’ve actually overspent in certain areas, and then the rest of us had to kind of make up for it, and it was. It was very difficult, and then we couldn’t shift anything. Um, for the rest of the year. So 

AMY BEAUDOIN yeah, thank you very much again. Uh, Thomas and Katie for joining us today. I really appreciate it. And um definitely um wanted to see if there’s any questions here from the audience. So just gonna see if there’s anything, 

AMY BEAUDOIN All right. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Um, I guess. Uh yeah, I guess with that Um, Katie, with a lot of the inquiry like people that are calling in uh for you right now. Um are a lot of them. Just still. Have they tried other solutions because the one thing I also know that some have tried their own 

AMY BEAUDOIN solutions uh on home, grown, if you will, but then they weren’t they had an issue with scaling, so i’m just curious as to whether that’s something that you hear um as well. That’s something that I know that people I’ve talked to have said they’ve done it, and then sometimes the developer leaves as well, and then the good one was support it. So that comes up 

KATIE LINFORD it. It does it, and it just you know it. It runs the the gamma, and then it’s one of the um. The interesting things and things that I really enjoy about being an analyst is, I get to talk to so many different um, you know marketing operations and marketing leaders and different companies all over the world of different sizes. Um! 

KATIE LINFORD And so with that, of course. Yes, scale is um. Is it an issue? Um for and for a number of organizations? Uh, I rarely encourage building your own software Um! There are, uh, absolutely some companies out there who have built themselves up to be able to do that and to be able to support that. Um! There is a level of understanding that needs to 

KATIE LINFORD uh be there across the entire company around what this takes and what it means, and 

 KATIE LINFORD and all all of that and um it’s. It’s a significant um investment. It’s a significant level of effort to it’s It’s not just building right. It’s then maintaining and enhancing and it evolving um involving the product. And um, you know, and getting a really good understanding of what the needs are, so that the development teams knows when to say yes and no way to push back a little bit. Um, 

KATIE LINFORD so it’s it. Just it ends up being a lot um for a lot of organizations so definitely. Um, definitely talk to some who have either yeah homegrown. Um, you know, home built uh applications or things that are kind of 

KATIE LINFORD cobbled together, you know, with spreadsheets, and you know with you know um, you know, file transfers from one system to another that happened, you know Fridays at midnight, or you know, or it may be um, but um having a purpose built platform in place that 

 KATIE LINFORD you know, offers all of the features that you’re looking for, and can integrate well with um. The systems that you have can really help speed um this process along and get you to a place where you are. Um on this jury that Thomas has been on right where you can start moving forward and and making progress. 

 KATIE LINFORD Um, But yeah, it’s um. Don’t wanna let the tools slow you down. Um, you know. Also, you know the tools need to be brought in for the right reason. So don’t let them drive the requirements, either. Um. And if you want to build them, just 

 KATIE LINFORD make sure you really understand. You understand what that means, and you’re ready to take it on. 

AMY BEAUDOIN Yeah, it’s a definitely a lot for sure. Um. So Thomas question for you, is It’s really around the reporting side is, Are you using reports through up tempo or something going to a data lake, and then a bi tool. Or how do I guess the rest of the executive see what’s going on in marketing 

THOMAS GUNTER it. Currently, we’re using uh the reports that are in the platform itself, and we are moving to starting to Now, bring that data into a data like can bring it through uh up into the dashboard uh, so that we can see uh different areas in the dashboard where we can 

 THOMAS GUNTER um to control access to the right information to the right audience and and really build out. And since we we use the platform, not just for 

THOMAS GUNTER execution dollars, we use it, for overhead costs for total operational budgets. Uh allow us to kind of build some financial views. In addition to then, the marketing effectiveness, views, budget utilization, um people program ratios things of that nature. So we do most of that now in the platform itself. And yes, we’re moving it to integrated now with the metrics. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Okay, So the rest of the executives have access to, too. And then you mentioned around, like, you know, just really again solidifying that trust um with the finance team. Has there been any um really great benefits out of that, like in terms of, 

AMY BEAUDOIN I want to say, unlocking more budget. But you know. Are they sort of less, you know, because I know in the past, you know. Sometimes they’re very um concerned about loosening that the her strings, if they don’t have the confidence. Um, But are you seeing you seeing that kind of open up 

 THOMAS GUNTER we we have, we have seen, especially with with finance uh our ability to articulate impact for them to trust that impact and understand it. Um has definitely strengthened. And so 

THOMAS GUNTER uh, it’s allowed our kind of our more local finance folks that we work with on a day to day basis. To be strong advocates in our business case allowed us to kind of 

 THOMAS GUNTER partner with them more to to deliver a stronger business case, and for them to be that advocate for us for the uh. You know the Executive Level finance team. Uh, and as that’s taken shape of the last couple of years, we we definitely have seen um 

THOMAS GUNTER more benefit uh to that uh, not just being treated as an expense, but really being treated as an investment area of the business. That that kind of pendulum has started to swing towards that investment view of marketing and what it 

 THOMAS GUNTER come out of marketing. So it’s. It’s been instrumental in helping us make our case for what we can do for the business. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN Oh, That’s fantastic. That’s so great. Okay. So i’m just going to share my screen again. Here, Um, 

AMY BEAUDOIN give me a sec. So really, right now, we’re going to move into the demo portion. So for those that want to stand the line, and we’re going to show you again a demo that will actually highlight um. Thomas’s use case, but he’s walked us through, 

 AMY BEAUDOIN and um so definitely. If you have any feedback for us as well at the end of it, though there will be a survey that pops up on the screen. Um, we’d love to get your feedback on this session. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN So just before our conclusion, i’ve just spread red to conclude. Now, Amy, So if it’s good for you. I will hand it right back to you. I know that was one hundred miles an hour. I hope you all appreciate that. Yeah, Thank you very much. Well, just yeah, thank you all for showing us how it actually works, how it comes together again. It is a very easy to use a solution, as Thomas said. So again. Thank you, Katie and Thomas. I had the pleasure of meeting you guys in real life which is really nice and hopefully. Um, I can. I will see you shortly. 

 AMY BEAUDOIN But um yes, thank you very much. Everyone for joining us today. And um again there will be a survey that pops up now. So please give us your feedback, so we can make sure that we can make these better. And thank you again. Have a great day. 

Elizabeth Ionita



Dan Radu

President & Founder


Kamran Ghazian

Sr. Director, Marketing Operations & Analytics/Chief of Staff, CMO


Monica Ulmer

Marketing Chief of Staff


Hari Won

Chief of Staff, CMO


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Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.

The Rising Role of The Marketing Chief of Staff

A fireside chat featuring speakers from Ciena, Splunk, Protegrity, and Macro

Wednesday, November 30 @ 9am PT/12pm ET.


Recording coming soon.

RevGenius | RevCon 2022

Let’s face it. The relationship between sales, marketing, and rev ops isn’t always a smooth one. This disconnection (or sometimes all-out battle) can result in more than just a bad day, including big-ticket items like missed market opportunities and growth targets. 

Marketing ideas can stem from all corners of an organization. Everyone wants to grow the business, but it doesn’t mean all ideas are necessarily good ones. Without strategy and metrics in place to lead data-driven decision-making, our efforts can become reactive in nature, actually doing more harm than good. 

What if we changed the conversation from leads and ideas to ROI-driven marketing? Marketing that’s trackable and can be tied to sales and revenue impact will get sales leaders to perk up, and rev ops can be a strategic partner in this endeavor. 

Top takeaways
  • How flipping the conversation to ROI-driven marketing can make a positive impact on the relationship with sales and rev ops
  • How marketing leaders can shed their arts-and-crafts reputation and show they deserve a seat at the leadership table
  • Putting all of this into action and how technology can connect your marketing strategy to the bottom line
Elizabeth Ionita



Dan Radu

President & Founder


Kamran Ghazian

Sr. Director, Marketing Operations & Analytics/Chief of Staff, CMO


Watch on demand now:

brandmaker allocadia hive9 uptempo

Interested in learning how 625k+ marketers around the globe accelerate their planning, performance, and productivity?

We’d love to chat with you today.