Ops Cast

The Impacts on Marketing Ops from the COVID-19 Pandemic with RJ Andaya

July 06, 2022 Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo and guest RJ Andaya Season 1 Episode 60
Ops Cast
The Impacts on Marketing Ops from the COVID-19 Pandemic with RJ Andaya
Show Notes Transcript

The COVID pandemic affected everyone in different ways. The impacts to Marketing Operations professionals was no different.

In this episode we talk with RJ Andaya, Director of Marketing Operations at Observe.AI about this. In addition, we talked about his journey into Marketing Operations.

Some of the key impacts we discussed include:

  • How work is prioritized and done
  • The increased focus on data and insights, and the relative importance of that vs campaign operations
  • The speed at which we are now expected to move and deliver
  • Impacts to jobs - titles, career path, and compensation, as well as professional development

 

Episode Brought to You By MO Pros 
The #1 Community for Marketing Operations Professionals

Michael Hartmann:

Welcome to another episode of Ops Cast brought to you by marketing ops.com. New home for the, for the MO Pros. I'm your host Michael Hartmann joined today by Mike Rizzo. Our host Naomi Liu is unavailable today. So it's just the two of us. So you're gonna have to suffer through that. uh, Mike. What year is this?

Mike Rizzo:

It is the year of the MO Pro and it's officially a thing. Now, marketing ops.com launches. We got the Mo pros community. This is great. I'm excited.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. And so we're recording this on, um, it's almost the end of June, which means that summer camp is less than two weeks away. Yeah, that right? Yeah. Wow. All right. So summer camp in Seattle can't wait. Awesome stuff. That's be fun. Let's get into this. So today we are gonna be talking about, um, kinda some of the impacts that have happened. Through the pandemic and after the pandemic, in terms of not just business in general, but for marketing ops pros, and probably we might touch on re op as well, a little bit, and to help us talk through that today, as we have our guest RJ and, uh, who is currently director of marketing operations@observe.ai. Prior to that, RJ worked in multiple roles in marketing ops, marketing strategy, demand, gen general marketing. He's kind of done a little bit of everything in those areas. RJ, thanks for joining us today.

RJ Andaya:

Hey, Michael Mike. Great. Happy. I'm excited. So, um, I, I just joined GoPro maybe a couple of months ago. A lot of great knowledge from that already getting from it. So, um, super excited to be a guest here.

Mike Rizzo:

That's awesome, man. Yeah. Fantastic. Glad your guest and thanks for the feedback and you know, as always keep it coming, we appreciate it.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. And as we learn, as I learned, I still need to do it as like last week. We, we, I need to go set up a profile and you do too on marketing ops.com with the new capabilities there. So huge, huge opportunities down the road there. So why we, when we do this, I know we want to talk about, um, kind of your observations and art, like all of us on kinda the impacts. The pandemic, but, um, why don't we start a little bit first, you know, we talked about your background a little bit and that you've covered a lot of ground in your, in your, your journey. So, but curious how you, can you share with the community, our listeners, what, uh, how you led to your, how your, your career end up in marketing ops? Yeah, of

RJ Andaya:

course. Uh, I think like, like everyone's like how everyone got their, you know, got to the stage of, uh, their career where they're at today. So like myself, um, I really wasn't looking to get into, I don't even know what marketing op was before I was an accounting major. Um, I found that to be boring, not well for me. Um, so I switched it's okay.

Mike Rizzo:

It's boring for a lot of people. but Hey, to your point, some people really enjoy it.

RJ Andaya:

uh, but I do like numbers though. So, um, and. I, I was pretty technical as a kid. Like I built computers. I was a gamer. Like I was a, I was pretty nerdy and geeky. So I switched to MIS, um, was a good blend of like business and it in it. Um, and I took marketing for GE. Um, I actually found that to be very boring, too. so I was not expecting myself to be in the marketing field at all after college. um, but you know what, when I graduated, I, um, I needed experience, right. Everybody needed that. So I took the first internship I could get. Um, and the first one that I got an offer for was a marketing internship. Uh, so I took it, you know, uh, I was pretty open minded. I'm like, I it's, I, I, I thought to myself, it's probably a lot different than what it was in a classroom. So I'm like, you know, let's go, um, and I'm getting paid for it. So that's a, that's a huge. um, so I landed that role and really that was more of like a Swiss army knife type of role. Um, it, uh, it was a lot of things from like graphic design, uh, you know, digital marketing, um, managing a little bit of budget for digital, um, managing the text, a reporting it's it's pretty much like everything under the marketing umbrella, um, as a general generalist type of role. Um, and it's a small company. We have like 50 people. We have just one product marketing leader, a field marketer, a web designer, and there's and there's. So I, I got to do a lot as an intern. Um, uh, anything under the marketing, uh, marketing sun really? Um, and, you know, I found out that all the stuff that I was really good at, um, and it made me really shine in that, um, in that internship, I got employed the month in my second month as an intern. Um, uh, and the things that really made. That's awesome. Yeah. It's like, I'm like, I know I got this that's my second that, uh, that, uh, that really made me sign was. Are things under the marketing operations umbrella. Right? Cause some of the first things I did, there were a lot of analysis and setting up their, um, their CRM and integrating it with, um, their marketing automation. At that time it was Aon. Um, again, I was the only marketer just kind like do for them cuz somebody was doing that. Um, so I found out the skills I was good at. Um, Really or in that marketing ops umbrella. And I didn't even know it was a real function until I decided it was time to move on to, uh, a company with more growth potential. Um, and when I was looking for jobs and, you know, I was typing my skills on LinkedIn on indeed everywhere. Um, all the roles that were showing up are marketing labs. And I was like, oh, this is so marketing is a thing. Um, so. I applied for that next job. It was a marketing op specialist role. And, uh, you know, that was kind of like my path to led me here.

Michael Hartmann:

That's incredible. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's interesting. I was, when you were describing that internship, I was thinking about my, uh, the co-op job I had while I was still in college. It at times IBM and yeah, I think there's something about that stage where you're like, you don't know any better, like you, so you just like, you like to. If you like to tinker, right. And that kind of stuff. Right. It's real easy to, to find opportunities to do that. So, um, yeah, so fun stuff. All right. So let's, you know, we were gonna talk about impacts of the pandemic. I thought maybe what we could start with is not necessarily like we, I think we could dive into some details. Along the way here. We've got a while, but yeah, maybe like top level, like what are you seeing as, as like major impact from the pandemic and I, and I suspect there's gonna be some that were generally positive and some that are generally negative and I know kinda what your thoughts are. I'm sure I'll have opinions though, cuz I'm not sure on that.

RJ Andaya:

Yeah, I think, um, so I mean, if I have to summarize it, um, to like four different things, um, There was definitely a need for, uh, a quick turnaround on digital transformation. Right. That was the number. I'm pretty sure that's the number one thing that everyone in marketing pandemic, um, you know, gone with the days that needs walk up to someone for a request, right. Um, for explaining what the data means, like all of that has to be done digitally. Now, how do you do that? How do you transfer information cross functionally, um, in a, in a streamlined way, right? How do you. uh, how do you, uh, generate insights and make sure those get to the right people? Um, uh, quick enough, um, you know, there's a lot of that really happened. Um, at first it was kind of like, uh, you know, a lot of that's needed before pandemic. Um, but it happened at a lot slower pace. Um, and when the pandemic happened, it's like, we need this yesterday. Um, So that was probably like the, one of the biggest things that I've seen. Um, the other one's probably, um, uh, there's a lot. I mean, of course the biggest impact also is. Kinda like how we market, um, you know, without events, without seeing people in person what do you do? Right. Um, so there's a big shift on going digital. Um, and I saw a huge increase in, uh, like our, you know, our tech budget for advertising. And also I couldn could do that better. Um, you know, can we add ABM to our portfolio? Right. um, and you know, uh, an increase of, uh, budget and tech additions as well to help people be more productive, um, and also enable better reporting and automation. Um, the last thing is, you know, account accountability was used before, but I feel like it became even bigger. Um, during, during, during the pandemic and even up to now, um, like from a high level, there was a lot more focus on budget management and. Um, especially there was a, you know, there was a recession, uh, a short recession that happened, um, during COVID. Um, so there's a lot more eyes on that. And on a macro level, there's a bigger need for, uh, cross-functional alignment. Um, and again, a streamline way to really just transfer information in, in a distributed environment, um, and being able to make quick shifts in strategy. Um, in, in, you know, in, in a new, in a new kind of, uh, in new kind of business world, right?

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. So, um, I'm glad you kind of broke that last bit down. I was trying to, I, I was gonna ask some questions about that, what you meant by that, but, um, so one, so let's go a little level, another level deeper here. So one of the things you talked about just then. I, I think you kind of alluded to it is that, um, you know, prioritization mm-hmm is becoming more important, right. Um, through, through this. So for, for mob. So when you say that, like, are you talking about what projects do we do? Is it prioritization of, you know, campaign activities and support? Is it is a little bit of both. Like, how are you, like when you say that, what are you thinking.

RJ Andaya:

Yeah, I think what really changed with us here at observe, uh, here at my current role is, uh, you know, focus on, um, uh, focus and prioritization on, um, one key segments that we target, right? Where do we wanna spend our time on, um, both on sales and on the marketing side, um, our time and money. So there's, there's constant iteration of our ICP and more regular reporting. um, and our core focus of our personas that we wanna, that we, that we sell to. Right. And spend time on. Um, so that was, uh, that was huge. I started doing that every quarter. Um, and you know, maybe, maybe, maybe like the first quarter, you don't see a lot of shifts, right. But three quarters down the line or four quarters down the line, as he release more features, more enterprise level. Um, capabilities, uh, as far as seeing more of those, you start seeing a gradual, um, shift in, in your audience and who you're targeting. So there's a lot of like, um, constant iteration of that to make sure we stay focused. And we, we, we keep evolving our sales and marketing emotions to, to where our market's going.

Mike Rizzo:

Let's um, so observes, you guys have been around for the, the organization itself has been around for a little while. I was just trying to do some quick Googling. It looks like funding wise. It's been established for, for quite a bit. There's been, uh, I think it looks like an acquisition. How big is your, how big is your team, uh, that you have that you're sort of working amongst, across marketing, you know, and then I guess specifically, are there more than just one of you on the marketing op team?

RJ Andaya:

Uh, so, so the marketing team, the marketing team is, uh, about like 15 people right now. Okay. Uh, we have a couple of roles open. So if anyone's, uh, you know, if anyone's looking for a new role or a new job, You know, you've been, uh, affected by the layoffs. Um, come to our website. We have a lot of roles open everywhere. Um, I love that plug,

Michael Hartmann:

plug it, plug it, plug it. Are, are they listed on marketing ops.com though? That's what I wanna, they should be

RJ Andaya:

don't roll open. I might open number roll zoom, hopefully to kind of help me out. Cause I'm only a one man team, right? um, but we have 15 people in marketing. We have three, um, designers that we work with, um, you know, on a day to day basis in India. Um, and across the board. Okay. We have, uh, two 50 plus employees, um, across the, okay.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. Um, so sizable organization, you have to support. Yeah.

RJ Andaya:

And we're distributed, um, workforce, um, we're primarily remote at.

Mike Rizzo:

Okay. Cool. And then, um, when you're talking about sort of these, you know, the way you're prioritizing projects and you're, you're shifting ICP, ideal customer profile for, for anybody that didn't know that acronym, um, You know, is that coming top down? Uh, so far as you can tell, like, is it, is it almost like OKRs that are set at the top level of the organization and then trickle down to, to your team and, and then you're making decisions on how the go to market motion might change and then, sorry for adding sort of a layered question here. Uh, but as it's being, you know, uh, consumed and you're deciding on what that prioritization is, uh, for how long are you focused on that? Is it a month or is it a quarter? How long do you guys usually go?

RJ Andaya:

Yeah, it's a great question. Um, so I was the first marketing op IHA hire in here. And, uh, I started as IP exercise last year. Um, there wasn't really an ask for it, but I did notice that we need some focus on where we're, we're putting our efforts. Um, so I ran the first exercise around last summer and I started doing worldly after that. Um, now it became a real thing that we do. Um, and I'm currently trying to do this on the renewal side. Um, you know, the acquisition is one thing, right? It's like, what's your ideal customer profile from an acquisition standpoint, but we need to look at, who's actually renewing with us and who is, um, what companies are we expanding our footprint in? Um, so just that's the current exercise that I'm trying to evolve this ICP exercise into, um, and. What was the next question?

Michael Hartmann:

sorry.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah, it was layered. And I apologize. So, so to reiterate, uh, so it sounds like you, you initiated the ICP discovery, which is great. Uh, and so sort of focus, uh, which for all of our listeners out there, like just goes to show you, you know, someone in a marketing ops role can really establish a norm that has, um, incredible value to the organization. And if. If you're not organized in that way, hopefully you find a different way to do it. So ICP is one of them. Uh, and then the, the second part, uh, RJ that I was asking is how long are you focused on the ICP, uh, before you sort of do any type of reallocation of funding and, and maybe target messaging and all that stuff.

RJ Andaya:

Yeah. Um, so it, so it depends, it depends on when we see a shift in, um, you know, in, in that core ICP. Right. So that's why we do it every quarter. Um, we didn't really see a big shift until, um, until recently to be honest, I've been running this for a year. Um, but you know, for the, for the past year, we haven't really released that many features. Um, but this year we have, we released a couple of enterprise features. Um, and you know, everyone's, you know, if you're. If you're a fast growing company, your, you know, your goal is to try to move up market. Right. So we're trying to see if we can find trends that, um, prove that we are moving there. Um, and there's some evidence that we are. We might not be quite at the enterprise level yet, but we are moving at the, at the higher end of the midmarket as we define it here. Um, so that's when we started shifting our strategy from like the smaller end of the midmarket to the higher end of the midmarket as it is today. And that we're focusing on, right? We're not, we might not be focusing more on the, on the billion dollar companies just yet. Um, but you know, we, we've seen an evolution that we are moving up market from the smaller SMBs, um, to the higher end of that bid market. Um, so now we're, now we're spending more money on that more time. Um, we've also defined the key industries, what will win the most. um, with deals that move the, with deals that move fastest for us with the highest velocity. Um, and we're focusing on those, uh, five key industries. As part of that I ICP today, you don't have to, to mid market. Right. And then just the higher end, the mid market. So that's kind of like how it's evolved.

Mike Rizzo:

That's that's awesome. Uh, you don't have to reveal any secrets of who your, uh, target target audience is by any stretch, but I am curious, and I, and I know a consistent theme in the community is, is the how's the cookie made Uh, and so if you could unpack a little bit about maybe. You know, the tooling that you have in place to be able to understand the deal velocity and how you came about figuring out which, which industries are good or potentially better. Um, maybe just share a little bit about like the, the tech stack and the process and programs you do to analyze that information and, and the people you work. If it's not just tech, but also people, uh, that's really helpful for folks to try to figure out like how they shape their career and then maybe how to go answer some of those really challenging questions inside their org too.

RJ Andaya:

Yeah, absolutely. Um, uh, I work super, super closely with, uh, our sales ops, uh, sales op leader. Um, and we, we, we pretty much built this tech stack together, um, in close alignment. Um, we have Salesforce, we have HubSpot, right? um, as our marketing automation tool, um, and to, to run this ICP, we also, uh, acquired, um, zoom info, right. That will kind of help us measure our Tam, um, to help us look at, look at how many companies are in our space, um, that are in our target markets. Um, and then analyze kind of like our deal size or deal velocity and all. um, so with analyzing this, this ICP, there's a lot of data work that had to be involved, right? Because this involves personas. This involves, um, um, revenue sizes, this involves, um, industries. So this involves like data from all different objects in Salesforce, and there's a lot of work to do. Um, and in order to report on this, you have to standardize your data and clean it, right? You can't have like a hundred different, uh, a hundred different iterations of retail. um, it's impossible to be able to report on it that way. So we had to create a higher level that, you know, categorize the, these, um, these industries into a higher level of industry that we can report on, um, to maybe like, you know, like 25 to 30 different values. Um, and a lot of those live in, uh, those, those rules live in zoom info, actually, you know, as you, as you, uh, enrich your leads, your accounts, um, you can have, um, automated settings on zoom info. Like if they belong in this industry, make just a value. Right. So, uh, it's pretty easy to, to do there. Um, whereas thinking at the data goes, um, and then from there it's really just like reporting in Salesforce, on the opportunity data, right? Like how fast we move to conversion. Um, and from conversion, how fast does that lead move or that, that opportunity go to, uh, to stage two stage three. Um, all the way to, um, pose loss or close one, right? How fast did those deals move? Um, and we created a dashboard for this to kind of show this through the whole org too. Um, it shows like lead to, um, lead to MQL conversion, um, lead to SA Sal is pretty much a meeting for us. Uh, SQL conversion, all way, got into opportunity conversion. Um, so now we can kind of see like that high level conversion for everything. And then we just break it down by like different industries and different types of personas that are converting, um, in a standardized way. Uh, for personas, we have to standardize, um, uh, the different departments and functions that we target. Um, and also the different title levels, like manager level, director level C level. Um, and who's really converting and what the roles are and opportunity like who's the economic, who's the economic buyer, um, who is the decision maker, um, in the opportunity as defined by sales. Um, we also created a, um, a custom object of Salesforce called, um, gaps. So, um, these are pretty much, pretty much, um, product gaps that, um, our customers and prospects. um, to be blockers for, um, uh, blockers for the product. Right? Ooh, I like that idea.

Michael Hartmann:

That is, that is awesome. That's really interesting. Yeah.

RJ Andaya:

And, and cause of this, um, I was able to actually like use this data to influence some road decisions. Um, because if you over list, if you overlays this data to the current opportunity data that we have, um, and see the gaps in it and break it down by mid-market SMB is an enter. Um, each segment has different gaps, right? Um, so you can see like all the gaps reported in enterprise. So if you wanna move to enterprise segment, if you wanna move up market, um, you said the gaps most reported. So these are probably like the gaps of need to cover in our product to be able to move up there. Um, so we built, we built a pretty, a pretty good tech stack here that identifies a lot of that. So I'm pretty proud of what we've done in the.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. So this is, I mean, that, that last bit about like taking that gap data and feeding it back to product is I think that's phenomenal. So I. Right there. There's like the gym for all of our listeners to take back if they're in that kind of company. Um, so one of the things that is coming through there, right? The tech stack, when you talked about this tech stack, every, just about everything you talked about had to do with, you know, data, whether it's enrichment quality, completeness, or reporting and analytics, you didn't really talk about like, how are we using this to go to market, right. Whether go to market motions and how so. Yeah, I know you and I talked about this a little bit, uh, when we were. Prepping for this that you talked about, like, there's this, you seeing a shift of more need to focus on data in gen I'll generalize at that versus like, I think we, we said sort of campaign support or campaign operations. If we wanted to use the four pillars kinda model, but you know, is, is this exactly what you're talking about? Like, are you, are you spending more time doing analysis and deep understanding? Although quickly, because like you talked about speed is an important thing. That's come out of the pandemic, but then are you then able to then do maybe fewer things or maybe more targeted things? Like how, how has that affected the, that side of the business and is that, um, second part of that is how much of that is you supporting that and doing the heavy lifting of whether it's building out emails or campaigns or whatever, or you do you partner with other parts of the marketing team to.

RJ Andaya:

Definitely partnering with other parts of marketing team. A lot of this is enablement, uh, for me able, for me to be able to spend time on, on these strategic initiatives, like, you know, you can't be doing everything right? Like it's impossible. especially if there's only one of you. Um, so a lot of comes to this to make sure that the team is trained, um, to use the tools that you have, um, that they understand, um, What's going into the data that we're presenting, um, and what they mean, and also making sure, making sure that there's some sort of like approval processes in place, um, to make sure no, one's like going off the rails and, you know, sending emails without approvals. Um,

Michael Hartmann:

sometimes can I, can I ask you, can I, can I ask a question about that? Cuz this is something that I've struggled with. um, how rigid to make those kinds of approval processes. Um, in D in different kinds of organizations. So are you, you know, do you have a ver like a really rigid one that says you can't deploy something until it's approved by a certain person or two? Or do you say you can't deploy until you either get approval or an SLA has expired and you can, you basically, like whoever was supposed to approve it, didn't do it in time. So you're gonna go, go forward. How are you handling that? Or are you doing like, is it very specific about what they look for or are they looking like, is it. I'll call it principal based. Right. Um, I go into a whole nother analogy about soccer versus football, but I won't. Um, but, um, just curious about that, cuz I think that's, I know from my standpoint, that's a struggle I've had is like to what degree do you sort of force a approval process? Cause I've always. What I keep finding on that is that slow again, going to the speed thing, right? The more of that you have the slower you are able to move and that's, I think that would be my fear.

RJ Andaya:

Yeah. Trying to find a good balance of it. So it's, uh, it's not a SU it's not a rigid process at all. Really. It's just about permissions that people have in, um, in, in our marketing automation platform, like people have, um, you know, edit rights to emails to be able to create those. um, but people don't have send rights. So in, you know, before sending those emails, they have to, you know, log it to me on monday.com, which is what we use right now for a pro project management tool, uh, for me to check the email, um, to make sure that the list is right, the links work, um, tests have been sent. Um, and then from there, you know, I can say, yep. Um, you know, I'll go ahead and press that tomorrow morning or I'll schedule it at eight o'clock. Um, so, so people don't have. those rights to, you know, really mess anything up um, that you can't fix. Um, so we try to create a process that's process. That's making it, you know, that, that makes it easy for everyone to do their jobs go faster, but at the same time, um, uh, mitigating, mitigating some of the risks that might come from giving somebody too much permission, right. Or too much control into something. Sure.

Michael Hartmann:

Right. So I have, I have a follow up question. This is maybe HubSpot specific. So I'm gonna have to lean on you, both of you two, cuz I don't have the HubSpot experience. Mike knows this. Um, so, uh, my, one of the things. Again, going to like review and approval, right. Uh, what I've been trying to push people to in my last few stops is that, you know, we need to sort of prioritize the level of scrutiny we put things through before we go live with them, if you will. Um, and part of that thought process is, you know, what can be changed after we quote, go live? Right? And you know, the only one that really. You can't get back as email. Right. But everything else, like if it's a webpage update or a display ad or search ads, things like that, I think you've got more opportunities to do that. Um, so do, are you, are you managing that? Do you have that same kind of process that you enable through HubSpot and roles and you know, his stuff for different kinds of tactics? Not even know if it's possible. So if I'm way off here on HubSpot, let me know.

RJ Andaya:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, you, you touched up on it, right? So, um, the, the things that you can't get back, like emails, definitely, definitely, uh, be a little bit more strict on that. Um, but for webpages, we do keep those open. Uh, we have a pretty, um, uh, a pretty big, not a pretty big, not really that big of a team, but we have a pretty solid team of, uh, of web designers. Um, that know their way around HubSpot, you know, obviously like super knowledgeable about, um, formatting webpages and landing pages. So they, they get permissions to, they have permissions to edit those webpages as long as they, you know, um, for as much as they can. Um, and they also have, uh, published rights for those pages as. Um, but we do have some steps in place to make sure, like, you know, there's QA in place, right? Like, um, let's say we're doing a launch for example. Um, and we're creating a bunch of landing pages for it. Um, you know, this has to go through, um, QA from, you know, from the content owner who gets the final say on whether the fi the content's final enough to be published, um, or not. Right. Um, so at the end of the day, um, We have people calling shots on, um, whether it's finalized, um, or not for them to be able to publish it. But we, we, you know, as far as like gating, who can, who can, you know, click, publish and not click on publish, um, we didn't go that far.

Michael Hartmann:

Got it. My curious, so what, what has your experience been with that? Like, I guess mainly with HubSpot, but in general as well. Yeah, the,

Mike Rizzo:

um, so HubSpot, depending on what part of HubSpot you're talking about, the permissioning is pretty robust, like from a user provisioning permissioning perspective, you can get pretty granular on read, write, and, uh, different objects that they have access to, um, being able to create, but not publish pages is certainly a thing. Um, you know, as it relates to some of my brief time in the Marketo instance, The whole, you know, approve a draft type of functionality. I know is limited probably to certain roles or functions. And permissions for Marketo users. Um, that concept doesn't really exist. Like there isn't a sense of approve and publish, um, kind of step in the process, uh, unless you're sort of looking at. Like the HubSpot CFS, where they actually have a staging environment where you can go from staging to production and kind of go through that flow. But on the landing page side, it doesn't really follow the same, the same mechanics. Um, and certainly not on things like a workflow, which in Marketo, you know, your entire program is pretty much a workflow. So, um, there's also sort of that missing element of. Rigor around, you know, who should have the right to approve this thing and, and set it out the door. You can, however, at least limit who can hit publish, and then sort of build in those manual processes. It sounds like RJ did on the HubSpot side. So there's, there's definitely some limitations, but also, um, enough there that you can have control. I think.

Michael Hartmann:

Right. Sorry for grilling everybody. I was just like that, that that's like, that's an area where I think we all, um, every, every place I've ever been has struggled with. Yeah. How much review,

RJ Andaya:

there's always a balance of like, How much do you wanna, how strict do you wanna be with these rules versus how fast do you wanna, you want the team to move, right. And you know, when you're in startup where you have, everything's kind of like a fire drill um, you, you, you have to keep it open with some sort of controls.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. And I, you know, oftentimes in the startup environment, um, just speaking from my own experience, uh, there were so many occasions in which an email would hit my desk ready for, you know, quote unquote, ready for deployment. And I read through the copy and the content. And I was like, I, I don't think this is what you wanna put out into the world. Like, I don't think anybody actually read this thing. Uh, not at least for the audience you told me I'm supposed to send it to. And so. Those provisionary steps that need to be there, uh, are really difficult to manage. Right. So it's, it's even before it gets built and deployed, like, is this the right message? And that fundamentally is one of the things that like I struggled with in marketing operations was like removing myself from being this like. I don't know, copyright reviewer or what, what have you, right. Like, I shouldn't be implementing, you know, the, the content and reading it and going, oh God, like, what's wrong with this. Right. Uh, it, it's just not your role. Right. It shouldn't be your role. It. To that end. If you see something, say something folks, like if you, if you think that maybe there's a problem, at least voice it. Yeah.

Michael Hartmann:

But I, I was, I was just gonna say, right. Yeah. It shouldn't be your role, but also you shouldn't totally abdicate. Yes. Don't some amount of responsibility.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. Do you take responsibility for it, but it is such a, it's such a struggle, which is, you know, reinforcing the importance of some of the work we're doing in the community. And the reason why we do these interviews with folks like you, RJ, is to try to understand. What is the function of your role and what should you be working on? And, you know, reviewing content and copy. And the messaging strategy for an audience is certainly not one of them, but if you see something say something

Michael Hartmann:

yeah, I think, but you just brought up two different things, right? Like reviewing copy. If you're in the middle of building something is like, it, it. unless you're so like, if, unless you've got so much volume and stuff going through that you just literally can't spend the time to scan through an email content. Um, or then yeah, I mean, I like it shouldn't be a top priority. Messaging strategy. That's a whole nother thing to me. Right. I think that, to me, that's like clearly shouldn't fall into marketing ops in sort of what I think of its core function of it's marketing ops say demand gen, right? I think totally

Mike Rizzo:

game. Totally. But I will also make the argument that if it's at the stage of build, right, like it is ready for build, that means it's ready for. It is not there shouldn't be copy, review happening anymore. Like we've hopefully gone through enough cycles.

RJ Andaya:

yeah. I mean, that's, that's one thing I also struggle with all the time. Right. Whenever we launch a campaign, it's like, we shouldn't be changing content the day before we go live with something. Um, so,

Mike Rizzo:

but it sounds like we all face

Michael Hartmann:

the same problem. so we're all at the same boat folks. well, yeah, like, so this is like, this is again, another sort of. This hits me hard because I think every several places I've been is you think, you know, who's got the final approval until, you know, it's about to deploy. And then someone with a certain title thinks that they have to review it and that their input is absolutely required. Um, It can even be good input, right? Sure. But it's, it's at the wrong point. Um, the other, like I was simply like, we needed clear clarity on whose approval. Ideally it's a single person mm-hmm and everybody else gets input, but it's input, not veto power. And I see too many places where input is considered absolute regardless of where it comes from and, and that somebody, anybody virtually, anybody can say. We're just not getting, and those things do two things. One, they get you into sort of the cycle of slowing things down, especially, and it's usually towards the end, right. When that comes up. And then they also, what, what I found is it's, it's like, um, I used this term earlier this week with somebody is like, it, it becomes. You know, the Frankenstein bit of content, right? So someone's like, like they're not thinking, looking at necessarily all the way through. They're like, oh, I need to, I need to fix this little, like portion of one sentence in the copy, but then it makes the whole flow of it change. Right. They don't actually like, they don't sit, stop and go. I'm gonna read through this out loud. Like, I'm gonna say it out loud. Like how, how will this sound to somebody who's reading it if they were actually like, if I was to read, say this out loud to them, would it actually make sense? And I think there's a lot of places where I've seen that things fall apart in that

Mike Rizzo:

scenario. Mm-hmm yep. Yep. Me too.

Michael Hartmann:

It's unfortunate. Did I say I have a little PTSD from this kinda stuff?

Mike Rizzo:

We all, we all do.

RJ Andaya:

I'll tell you an example. Like we, you know, there was one time when we were doing a launch. Um, this is an example for my, for my career. Not, you know, not this job specifically or my last one. Um, we would do a launch and, um, Like you said a certain person with a certain title comes in, um, on the, on the day before the launch and decides to change up every, the entire copy of the database email announcement that we were about to send in. I'm like, this is not supposed to happen. Um, this is where a marketing officer really comes in, right. To really try to enforce the process and, um, make sure that everybody, uh, you know, abides by it. Um, cause we're, we're trying to move fast. We're trying to be streamlined. We're trying to avoid mistakes. um, this is exactly how you make mistakes. um, if you keep making last minute changes like this. Um,

Michael Hartmann:

so yeah, audios can't see me like vigorously

Mike Rizzo:

by my head. Yeah. It's like, oh yes, yes, yes. Yes.

Michael Hartmann:

Oh, I'm so like, I could probably go on about this and rant about it for a while, but, um, I think it's probably best we'd move on. Well, RJ, this has been a great conversation. I think our audience will have gotten a lot out of it as well. Um, just some of the key things that you talked about and what you've done, and I think, uh, a good inspiration for. Especially, what you've done is sort of starting from marketing ops, doing things like ICP definition and all that. So I think that's great. So thank you for that. Great to have you, if, if, if folks wanna kinda keep up with what you're doing or, uh, wanna be in touch with you, what's the best way for them to do that?

RJ Andaya:

Uh, LinkedIn is gonna be the best way for me to send me, send me a, send me a request. Uh, I'll make sure we connect, um, or slack me in the, uh, marketing op slide channel.

Michael Hartmann:

Awesome. Fantastic.

Mike Rizzo:

thank you for joining us. Really appreciate it. And, um, I think, you know, giving people a lens of how to think about marketing apps as you enter an organization, uh, has been really helpful. So appreciate your insights.

RJ Andaya:

Awesome. Thank you guys for having me. It was fun. Absolutely.

Michael Hartmann:

Well, as always, thank you to those of you who are listening and have been supporting our, uh, little project here. It's been a lot of fun. It always continues to be, we are excited about the additional lineup of guests we have planned, uh, over the next several weeks. So watch for that. I mentioned summer camp at the beginning. So if you haven't, you still think you can fit in summer camp in Seattle, July 11th, Mike, right. July 11th through 13th, July 11th through 13th, 2022. Yeah. So, um, I I'm, I'm gonna say this and I don't know if that's true, but if I. Guessing there might still be a few slots open, but I have like maybe

Mike Rizzo:

one

Michael Hartmann:

or two slots open.

Mike Rizzo:

All right. So if you're you're hankerin' for an in person experience with the marketing ops professionals, uh, you're probably gonna want to reach out to me ASAP, cuz I got about one room left. I think.

Michael Hartmann:

There you go. All right. So hopefully by the time this gets published, that will still be true. If not, sorry. You're outta luck. Um, Anyway. So with that, thank you, everyone continue to send us your feedback, suggestions, uh, and support. If you wanna be a guest or, you know, somebody who would be a good guest, let reach out to Mike or Naomi or me. And with that, we're a wrap. See you next time.

Mike Rizzo:

Bye.