The Golden Age of Marketing Ops with Frans Riemersma

Frans Riemersma joins our CMO, Jim Williams,
for episode 2 of the Marketing Acceleration Series.

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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