3 Marketing Ops Lessons from MO Pros Summer Camp

aschwanke
by: Participant | Platinum Partner
Participant | Platinum Partner

3 Marketing Ops Lessons from MO Pros Summer Camp

 

Marketing can be a challenging function to define – there are so many aspects to it! 

 

Thankfully, there are marketing operations roles, where the sole focus is pulling together the processes, people, and technology to power a well-oiled sales and marketing machine. 

 

While this role might not be as popular with smaller orgs, it’s a necessity as you grow!

 

A New Seat at the Table

 

With the release of Operations Hub earlier this year, HubSpot is quickly earning a seat at the ops table. However, as the relevant newcomer, we know we have a lot to learn as the Hub gains more users. 

 

That’s why the HubSpot advocacy team was excited to team up with MO Pros: The #1 online community of Marketing Operations professionals. 

 

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With over 1,800 members, this online community encompasses a variety of marketing automation platforms, balancing all types of tools in its tech stack. Furthermore, it’s giving a bigger voice and connection to the ever-so-critical role of marketing operations. 

 

Peeling Back the Curtain on Marketing Ops

 

As a HubSpot solutions partner and long-time advocate, I was eager to learn more about marketing ops from the perspectives of other users, advisors, and leaders. 

 

I was also excited to get back to the in-person relationship building we’ve been missing for the past year!

 

In peeling back the curtain, HubSpot reached out to some of its biggest fans (including myself) to attend MO Pros Summer Camp 2021. Our goal was to learn a bit more about the pulse of marketing ops and how we can better drive value in this role.   

 

Practical Takeaways and Next Steps 

 

Recapping an entire event can be tough due to the variety of content covered. However, there were a handful of things we felt were important to marketing ops folks, as well as all marketing and sales teams. 

 

Here are some themes I left with: 

 

  1. Marketing Ops Maturity 
  2. Marketing Ops Documentation 
  3. Marketing Ops Community

 

Now, let’s dive in! 

 

#1: It’s time for Marketing Operations to grow up and earn its place in the overall strategy. 

 

Marketing ops is still a newer role compared to the traditional titles that have long filled a marketing or sales team roster. 

 

What may have started as platform “button pushing” in the eyes of some has become ever-so critical to the success of company growth, customer advocacy, and profitability. It’s essential for the marketing ops role to increase in authority and value in the organization – and that comes down to how company leadership views the discipline, and how they invite (or don’t invite) marketing operations to the executive table. 

 

Resources to help apply this insight:

 

From the Backroom to the Boardroom: I got a signed copy of this book from Dr. Debbie Qaqish and it’s quickly rising on my list of “books I must buy for every member of my team.” In her research, Dr. Qaqish talked with CMOs and CEOs about how to shorten the gaps between marketing, sales, and revenue – this book is the result. 

 

Not only is it insightful and challenging, but it’s packed with frameworks and diagrams in the back that you can use to power conversations and drive strategy. 

 

Helen Abramova’s Mo Pros Summer Camp presentation: Helen is Marketing Operations Lead at Verizon. Helen’s presentation was a powerful one, helping the audience visualize the evolution of marketing ops. One of my notes pinned a point Helen made about the maturity of marketing ops within organizations – growing from “job” to “strategy.” 

 

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Don’t worry, MO Pros says they’re going to release slides from the event soon. Until then, make sure you follow Helen on LinkedIn!  

 

#2: Document. Document. Document. Review, update, and repeat.  

Many of us have been talking about documentation over the years as it relates to HubSpot-specific items – think “lifecycle stage definitions” and “sales flow charts.”

 

Effective marketing ops requires that we document MUCH MORE to scale and decentralize.

 

From a show of hands, there were a few in attendance who were nailing this takeaway like a boss – but the rest had either not started or were somewhere haphazardly in the middle. 

 

Not only does this include processes and definitions, it also implies keeping a handle on the tools in your tech stack, what they cost, what the business case for those tools are, and how often you’ll reassess. 

 

Nobody likes to be surprised when their HubSpot renewal comes up and their superiors question the value. There should be a business case defined and reported on in order to communicate effectively both laterally and upward to management in the organization. 

 

Resources to help apply this insight:

 

MO Pros Marketing Ops Playbook

 

Each of us got a copy of this as attendees, but we also got the interactive version. It contains eight key sections that guide you through an essential list of things that should be defined and agreed up on in an organization. If you haven’t built something like this for your org, or for your agency clients, this playbook is an excellent place to start. 

 

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If you didn’t attend Summer Camp, the playbook is sold for a low price on the MO Pros website.

 

Documentation Ideas:

As we pondered it further, the goal of documentation is to get everyone on the same page, clarify any muddy areas, and make it possible to remove yourself (as a marketing ops person) from being in the middle of each problem because you’re the only one that knows the answer. 

 

As a group, we brainstormed the different things you COULD have in documentation:

 

  • ability to search for content
  • video documentation
  • version history/updates
  • RACI Matrix 
  • starting tutorial (how to use this wiki)
  • glossary of terms 
  • definitions of lifecycle statuses
  • tools in your tech stack/what they're used for
  • overall lead management and flow
  • hierarchy overview
  • FAQ - who to contact about what
  • content editor
  • usage counts
  • robust naming and tagging conventions 
  • guide with goals and responsibilities
  • where the graphics and assets are located
  • UTM documentation
  • lead scoring definitions
  • swim lane charts
  • integration flows
  • data dictionary
  • stage gates
  • chat bots
  • SLAs
  • Google Analytics
  • diagnostics
  • archive/sunsetting
  • required fields
  • personas or ICP

 

The speaker, M.H. Lines from Stack Moxie, also shared a great public documentation example that is a wonderful way to get your wheels turning. Check it out here: Marketing Operations Handbook. Remember, the best time to start documenting something was yesterday – but the second-best time is today

 

#3: Don’t underestimate the power of a peer community. 

 

By now, you should have guessed this one was coming. Community is a fundamental value of HubSpot, and it’s one of those characteristics that I go looking for when I develop myself

 

While we can all search the answer to something, it’s so much more effective to be able to tap into the experience, perspectives, and successes or failures of our peers. 

 

In discussions one-on-one, in the roundtables at lunch, or in the context of the greater group, the collective wisdom gained from all participants was worth its own notebook of takeaways! This was a good reminder for myself that while I want to buckle down and work hard, it pays to lift your head up and connect with someone who may offer you a different perspective or an easier road to get there. 

 

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Whether this leads you to communities like MO Pros, HubSpot’s community, user groups, or random Slack channels – you get out of a community what you put into it!

 

Putting Marketing Ops Insights to Work

 

If you’re anything like me, you leave an event with more ideas than you have time to implement. But that’s okay because it gives you time to let them marinate, sink in, and then you can weigh the pros and cons of investing your time in those areas. 

 

For me, I’m going to act on some takeaways shared above, including: 

  • Shoring up our documentation
  • Making an intentional, strategic effort to tap into the power of community more often
  • Buy several copies of Debbie’s books and share them with marketers!

 

What about you? Anything you read here that you’re interested in trying?

 

Let me know – perhaps we can chat or implement it together!