Ops Cast

The War Between the Art & Science of Marketing and Measurement with Camela Thompson

August 23, 2022 Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo, Naomi Liu and Camela Thompson Season 1 Episode 65
Ops Cast
The War Between the Art & Science of Marketing and Measurement with Camela Thompson
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode, we talk with  Camela Thompson, VP of Marketing at CaliberMind, a B2B Marketing Analytics Platform. Camela has been with CaliberMind for almost three years. Prior to that she spent 15+ years in Revenue Operations in the tech industry in successful startups such as Qumulo, Extrahop, and CDK Global (formerly Cobalt) before proving herself as a customer-first growth marketer. She is deeply familiar with the pain points that Ops teams face and is passionate about helping Ops professionals accelerate their careers.   In addition, she hosts CaliberMinds' podcast, The Revenue Marketing Report. 

On this episode, we cover: 

  • Camela's take on the trend of bringing Marketing Operations under the Revenue Operations umbrella.
  • Is the driver for creating a Rev Ops function is usually driven more for alignment or to manage costs/headcount? If so, what kinds of challenges does this create?
  • What Camela means by the "The War Between the Art & Science of Marketing and Measurement"

Link to The Revenue Marketing Report Podcast: https://www.calibermind.com/revenue-marketing-report/podcasts






Episode Brought to You By MO Pros 
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Michael Hartmann:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast brought to you by MO Pros now powered by Marketingops.com. I'm Michael Hartmann. Your host joined today by my cohost, Naomi Liu and Mike Rizzo. Are you

Mike Rizzo:

Hey, everybody.

Michael Hartmann:

Check, check.

Naomi Liu:

Hello.

Mike Rizzo:

check is my mic on today?

Michael Hartmann:

I know somebody's mic

Mike Rizzo:

No. Do you get

Michael Hartmann:

talking, I heard like bang.

Mike Rizzo:

Do you get it is my mic on today.

Michael Hartmann:

Oh,

Mike Rizzo:

Mike Hartmann's back. cause this is the episode after the one. Yeah. All right. Sorry, dad. Jokes for days.

Michael Hartmann:

Wha all right. Wow. And so I think we, we have a tie into our guest actually, because I've seen some of her LinkedIn posts with jokes and I think they've all been better than yours, Mike. Yeah, so I, I.

Mike Rizzo:

good.

Camela Thompson:

the whole title is bad joke Monday, cause. They are terrible.

Mike Rizzo:

you could just, oh, we are recording this on a Monday. I was gonna say, you could just steal this right now and

Michael Hartmann:

There you go.

Camela Thompson:

Oh, I already ran with one, but I might work it back in.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah, there you go. So our guest today is Camela Thompson came is currently the VP of marketing CaliberMind, which is a B2B marketing analytics platform. She has been with CaliberMind for almost three years. And prior to that, she's spent 15 plus years in revenue operations in the tech industry at successful startups, such as. I'm gonna get this wrong Camela. You're gonna have to cumulate extra hop and CDK global formerly

Camela Thompson:

You nailed it.

Mike Rizzo:

Wow. Nice.

Michael Hartmann:

Before proving herself as a customer's first growth marketer, she's deeply familiar with the pain points that ops teams face and is passionate about helping ops professionals accelerate their careers. In addition, she hosts caliber mine's podcast, the revenue marketing report, which we'll have to put a link to in our. Podcast description. And to on top of that, she's had her own consulting slash advisory business. So came, thank you for joining us today

Camela Thompson:

thanks so much for having me looking forward to it.

Michael Hartmann:

and we're gonna have to, somehow we're gonna have to connect the dots to the what do you call it? Bad joke Monday. And what's the one on Friday, Fridays.

Camela Thompson:

Friday.

Michael Hartmann:

I see Fridays.

Camela Thompson:

I've been challenging people to stump me cause I've started doing them live, which is always risk. I feel like Elon Musk with this shatterproof glass moment.

Mike Rizzo:

tough. I didn't realize they were alive now. I gotta pay more attention. What am I

Michael Hartmann:

right.

Mike Rizzo:

that's awesome.

Michael Hartmann:

All right. Yeah. Thanks. So when we were planning for you to join us we talked about a trend happening toward revenue operations and bringing marketing operations under that umbrella. So I think one of the things I wanna start with cause cause I've seen revenue operations. Roles posted, for example, that to me, there's, they're all over the place, right? Some of our really just sales operations with another title, some of them are sales and marketing, some of our sales and marketing and customer success ops. But how widespread do you think the trend is? Do you think it's continuing.

Camela Thompson:

It's a fairly new function. Like it's the newest ops iteration. I'm a fan. If it's done correctly. That's a big if so I see a lot of organizations setting it up. Rev op is actually revenue BI. So they're focused on analytics. They work on sales compensation. They're looking at reporting that has to do with mostly the sales funnel. I've seen it branded as sales op 2.0, and if you're doing it that way, you're not getting the full value. I think the original intent was to recognize operations as its own discipline and to have the functions in a single group that. Can be problematic if you have it steered by somebody whose interest lies in one silo, as opposed to looking at the total, go to market motion and a customer first experience. So I think just really depends on how people set it up. It could be just as problematic as the siloed orgs. I think some of the benefits to it though, are if you have a strong rev op leader, And I'm telling you, there should be a C R chief revenue operations officer, because there are so many talented operations people with the full scope of vision who should be making decisions at that level. And if you had that. It would be much easier for somebody to articulate budget resources, all of these things that operations teams are starved for in a way that builds a business case and ties it to actual revenue outcomes. So I'm excited to see things continue to evolve. I think we'll eventually get there, but so far, that's what I'm seeing. Does that resonate with what everybody else is seeing?

Mike Rizzo:

Yes. And I'm really glad you called out the like C R O piece. cause that's the thing. That's been a struggle for me. And it sounds silly, but like where, what is it called at the C-suite level? And it's like, all right, just tack on the extra O like screw it cause it's needed. Like I agree.

Michael Hartmann:

The only person I know who has a title close to that is, is that Rosalyn said, Elena, I'm trying to get on as a guest. Rolin if you hear this, this is my request.

Camela Thompson:

You are invited

Michael Hartmann:

Yes.

Naomi Liu:

I'm curious if you think that organizations can jump right into building out a rev op org or function, or do you think that they have to start at, a marketing op and a sales ops mature that, and then that grows organically into a rev op function.

Camela Thompson:

It's a great question. We're actually starting with Rev Op. And we've been very cautious because most of us at the company have a rev op background. We're very cautious in how we define the roles and keep them narrow enough for one person to actually accomplish things. So I see a lot of companies there's calling it rev op, but they really want somebody to manage both their marketing automation and their CRM. Those are two separate full-time jobs. So I think it's totally possible to start with rev op in mind. And I think it's a good mindset and muscle to start building really early, but don't make the mistake of building a job description. That's impossible for somebody to succeed in. So like consult with other operations people before you put it out there.

Michael Hartmann:

So you alluded to one of the things that I think, and you and I have talked about this a little bit, is that, it seems like unless there's a CRO, right? The rev, if there's a rev op function that goes across sales and marketing and maybe customer success, if it applies to that company More often than not. It seems like it, it rolls up to a head of sales or at least somebody, or at least somebody who's bent. I, even if it's a CRO who's bent is coming out of a sales leadership function as opposed to a marketing or C. What do you think the sort of risks and benefits of that are, and maybe even add in I have seen the most the most unusual one I've seen is where it rolls up to either a COO or even a CFO, which

Camela Thompson:

Yeah.

Michael Hartmann:

I'm torn on whether or not I like that.

Camela Thompson:

Yeah. I'm gonna ask your opinions too, but I'll throw mine out there because it's me. And that's what I do. B2B sales, where it's less product led, it's CRO tends to be sales when it's really product led. We see marketers up for CRO and that's because it's closer a little bit to a B to C motion and that product. Responsibility rolls up into marketing instead of its own designated thing. So I have seen marketers be CROs. It's rare in a lot of the tech companies I've worked in. It's usually a salesperson. And what I've seen is instead of aligning. Everybody across and everybody working really well together, we've introduced a tiebreaker and now you're just focused on sales primarily because that's no, and it's no fault of their own, really that's where they know how to spot a problem. And that's where they know where to put resources. So I get it. I think it's a huge mistake for businesses to. That one person can oversee all of these really diverse skill sets and different focuses that all of these people have to do and be an expert at all of it. So that's why I'd really advocate for the C R O instead of the CRO. I just don't think you're fixing your misalignment problem.

Michael Hartmann:

So before we get to, I wanna hear Naomi and Mike's as well, but so if you have a C R O, who do you think that should report to? Is it the CEO or president or something like that? Okay.

Camela Thompson:

And I see a lot of operations professionals getting frustrated because their career caps out at director, maybe VP, and there's a lot of talented people that have nowhere else to go. And they have this wide field of vision over both the strategic and tactical, which is so important to have a leadership person. Some of these folks go and successfully start their own companies. but I would love to see an executive track for them because they deserve a seat at the table.

Mike Rizzo:

I was like debating on how or when I wanted to jump in on that one. Yeah, I, okay. So going so to Hartman's question I would agree Camela that I think it would roll nicely into CEO. I do think that there's. A long road ahead of us before a CEO can understand the value. And before there's been enough value articulated to the CEO for them to go, oh, I'm gonna open up another C-suite and argue that the board needs to approve this and

Camela Thompson:

Yeah. And I totally agree with you. I'm not saying that this is something that's gonna happen overnight.

Mike Rizzo:

oh

Camela Thompson:

but I'm seeing more operations professionals become either a marketing or sales leaders. They do the functional thing in either marketing or sales for a while. And then they get into that leadership position. It's the only way to get to the C-suite right now for an operations professional. And I think that's a shame because there's so much they can do to optimize the, go to market motion. In the the operations function. And when you're speaking as somebody who's in a board meeting representing marketing, now I'm faced with investing in analytics and tech stack or what we view as go to market or lead generation or demand generation functions. And when you have a bunch of sales people screaming at you that they need more add. It's really hard. Even as somebody with an operations background to balance things out, like they should be. So it's tough.

Mike Rizzo:

We were just starting to talk about this with Evan last week and maybe it was on that episode or maybe it was just in the conversation I was having with him prior to recording. But the constant struggle of look, I have an operations background, but I still have to like, be a growth. Individual, particularly even here@marketingapps.com and the community, right? How do we engage them? How do we make sure that they're getting value? How do we eventually extract some value and hopefully get earned their, their subscription, right? The like we've done the right thing, but foundationally did I build all the like, pipe to be able to do it the way that I need to. And I. Forever battle myself on I need something today. And so I'll just try to fix it tomorrow. Question mark. And it's you just constantly have to deal with the struggle between laying a pipeline and foundation for scale versus. Optimized for done. And it's I, there's no question there just like an agreement of yeah, it's really hard. And so when you have executives or marketing operations folks or operational professionals in general, they end up feeling like they're forced into one of those categories. cause one of those two things ends up being the thing that gets the attention.

Camela Thompson:

Yep.

Michael Hartmann:

Naomi. I'm curious. What kinda, what's your take on that? That thought about the importance of where the revenue operations would roll up into and what would you see think would be the major things to

Naomi Liu:

I think I've been fortunate that the organizations that I've worked with have. Always had a strong emphasis on like technology and marketing ops and sales ops and whatnot. So I do currently I roll up into the VP of worldwide marketing who rolls up into our chief revenue officer who rolls up into our CEO. So it's, I've always had that Structure and alignment even before this conversation really started gaining traction. So it's been interesting to see it from, for myself who has worked in an organization where that's always been really heavily aligned. We have so much overlap with our sales op team. We're constantly meeting with each other, even in other operational divisions with DFI. So even our, our professional services and our support teams and our field service engineers, like all of those areas where they are revenue generating and they do roll up into our CRO. Yeah, I, it I love it. Like I work in an organization where all of that is generally like very aligned and I. Don't like, I struggle to see how an organization can be efficient if those things aren't tightly integrated. If that makes sense.

Camela Thompson:

It's generally not efficient.

Michael Hartmann:

I I think, I. I think this gets to, one of the hardest of the question is like is the goal of develop let's assume that the revenue operations is going across multiple functional areas. So sales, marketing, and customer success. Yeah. If the goal is to facilitate alignment, then you know, that's one thing. But if the goal is to. Manage cost or headcount. Like then I think you've got a different scenario there. So I know again, came

Naomi Liu:

Can you expand on that though? Like what do you mean by

Michael Hartmann:

so Camelo brought and I talked about this and I think there's something to it, right? That there's a belief, right? This is gets to the point, like if you've got job descriptions that are looking for people to cover more than is realistic, because there's a lack of, I think to some degree, cause there's a lack of understanding and some of us is our own fault right. Of. It really takes to do ops. Then I think you run into trouble that as opposed. So there's a, if you, the perception is, oh, it's just a simple thing and you just need a handful of people. And if you consolidate these functional areas into one team where you get a cost benefit

Camela Thompson:

And it's a combination of both of those. Like usually people. I'm gonna assume that they're well meaning and they think they don't know what all goes into the job. And they think one person could manage their marketing automation platform and their CRM because they're small company, 50 people maybe no

Mike Rizzo:

No, just no, even 13 people, even less okay. If you're a team of one, sorry, you gotta do it all, but

Camela Thompson:

And I get the budgeting constraints. I totally do. And if it's for five months, six months, and you have a plan to hire someone quickly after maybe, but usually they're not thinking that far out, and they're not thinking about how to create a sustainable career path in their company for this person that they're gonna burn out. Maybe 18 months.

Michael Hartmann:

so damage. Does that make a little more sense?

Naomi Liu:

Yeah. I wanted it actually, this kind of reminds me of a question that I have of a discussion I had with a colleague last week. And it's like kind of the chicken or the egg type conversation. And it's do you acquire the tech or do you acquire the person first? So if you

Michael Hartmann:

I was waiting for

Naomi Liu:

right. So if you and it's very timely because we we acquired a E I acquired a company who was in the process before the acquisition of looking to sign on. CRM and just getting to know the company, I'm like who would actually be running it within the organization? And so that kind of spurred this conversation and yeah, I've just wondered that if you bring in Salesforce, for example, do you bring it in? Do you bring it into the company? by people who aren't necessarily going to be running it, or do you hire the person who is a Salesforce expert that can then like help to negotiate the contract and tell you what you potentially will need and all of the add-ons and what you can get away with right now? Like what does that look like?

Michael Hartmann:

I think this is such a fascinating question about like people, especially the people versus tech piece. I think. I remember it.

Mike Rizzo:

poll right now.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah.

Camela Thompson:

I know cause I

Mike Rizzo:

I'll tag you camel so

Michael Hartmann:

I, I key I think about it was about a year ago, I was on a, a similar, like a group chat, tied to another community. And there was a CMO who was a team of one at a startup and was asking the question of this group, would you, if you were in my role yeah. Look to spend more the next dollar on acquiring technology to, to be able to do more theoretically like scale, or would you bring another person? And it, for me, I was like, and I'm the, I'm more of a tech op. I was like absolutely higher. The person,

Camela Thompson:

so

Michael Hartmann:

especially if it's a good person, if you can get the right person, I think you could do so much more than you can with just a brand new set of te.

Camela Thompson:

If I could have ops take one thing away from this it's that skills are transferable. and just because you haven't been an admin in Marketo and you've been one in HubSpot doesn't mean you can't make the change. So I'm always a big advocate of getting somebody in. Who's done this before has done multiple implementations has been in different tools. Start start the conversation with what does my company need functionality wise today? What will we actually use? If you're, you've got three sales people and you're thinking about buying gong, do you have the time to go through all those calls and get through the analytics and actually make use of it? So I think the conversation I encourage people to have is am I buying a cruise ship when I really need a tugboat when it comes to technology and how much has my text deck sprawl gone? Crazy.

Michael Hartmann:

I would even go one step further and go, can I accomplish something in the direction that I think I need to go without even acquiring new tech

Camela Thompson:

right. Oh yeah, absolutely.

Michael Hartmann:

Use the technology? And the best example for me has been, cause I've never actually implemented any ABM technology, but part of that's because I've always thought either the organization wasn't ready for it. Like the idea of like actually identifying the top a hundred accounts that we wanna focus on. like that was by itself, a challenge let alone like building some new technology to try to do it at scale when, if it was gonna be a small, relatively small set, could we accomplish something through our existing, basically marketing automation and CRM platform

Camela Thompson:

I see this happen. I think a really good example is lead scoring. So I see a lot of people who don't have never implemented a model, don't know the best practices. They'll sit and interview a few people, few executives maybe, and they'll come up with a model and you might as well just throw darts at a dart board because you need to look and see if your enrichment is there and the values are populated. And if they're actually converting higher, because people have recency bias and they introduce all this stuff. So before you go running headlong, Into something that could get you in trouble with sales hire the person. Hi hire someone first. I would hire the person first.

Michael Hartmann:

Me.

Mike Rizzo:

I, I would hire, I think lead. Scoring's a great example of that. I advocated for not doing lead scoring at an early stage startup because there was literally no data and it was just like, let's throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks like. Yeah, sure. We can make stuff up like, oh, each page view is a point like who cares? Now lead scoring from the perspective of I've identified my ICP and then those

Camela Thompson:

Different

Mike Rizzo:

sure. Totally different story. But early stage, early enough stage organization, and we went through this at Mavenlink where. We adapted like our lead form routed leads to self-serve versus the sales team over the time that I was there at, we made 3, 4, 5 changes to that. So lead scoring actually, would've been a total nightmare to deal with if we did it all based on ICP. So I agree. I think that's where it comes up a lot. I think ABM, I don't think anyone should ever do ABM. unless they have someone to actually focus on what are you going to get out of this? And by focus, like straight up project, manage the shit out of it. Exp exploitative like BLE beep cause

Camela Thompson:

yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

like it is at the end of the day, it is a series of a lot of tasks. Sure. It can be backed by technology, but it is just a lot of managing the process of every single thing. And someone has to own that.

Michael Hartmann:

And if you can't get alignment internally about how you're even gonna approach what accounts to

Camela Thompson:

where it usually dies.

Mike Rizzo:

That's usually where it

Michael Hartmann:

Which is what I said, I've experienced.

Camela Thompson:

Oh yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. I'm advising an organization now where it's pretty clear, which accounts would be good, but it's the getting like that part actually, isn't where it died. It's more like. Hey, how do you actually do this? What size of the ABM do you want to try to go after? And if you don't have any tech to support it, then how do you actually manage that project and who owns it? Like who owns the KPIs,

Camela Thompson:

if you can't get your sales team to personalize an outreach sequence.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah.

Camela Thompson:

gonna have problems with ABM because everything should be highly hard targeted. So if you're a marketing team spending a lot of money on the individual tactics in the multi-channel approach they're taking and sales refuses to do any research or personalized, just don't do it.

Mike Rizzo:

it's just not, yeah, it's just not worth it.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. For those people who are listening, who might be in sales, go back and listen to our podcast episodes about how to sell the marketing ops and learn a lesson. Okay. So I wanna kinda shift a little bit, I wanna pick up on, you were talking, I think Camelo about in your role, right? Being in the board at the board and talking about deciding like where you're gonna invest in either higher pick, take things. And the I think one of the things I've seen for a while, and it cuts across a number of different sort of things related to it, but I think. Sales is fairly and this is not to a dig against sales people. Cause I think it's, they're absolutely critical to any organization is sales is relatively black and white, you either won a deal, you didn't win a deal. You cl you know whereas marketing, I think metrics. So a, I think they're more, and they're more consistent. We've talked about that across businesses. Whereas marketing stuff is, it varies a lot by the new market. And there's less consistency about what's important. And we try to do, attribution modeling. We try to do look at MQL, like all these different things, and there's, we're always going back and forth. So one, one of the things that I was gonna argue is that I think actually, and this kinda goes maybe as a piggyback on Naomi, a little bit of what you were saying is I think ops people are probably better, especially marketing ops folks are better at looking at things as trade offs rather than right. Or. When it comes to this, but what do you like, what's your take on this? What do you think about the impact of the relative sort of commonality of metrics in sales versus the less common kind of metrics in marketing and how is that impacting people who might be in revenue operations or PE companies that are looking at revenue operations?

Camela Thompson:

I just, I wish there was more education around what boards and the C-suite are looking for in those board meetings before people actually get to that level. Because what I see so often, and what I saw in my career prior to where I am now in rev op, was. We were throwing a lot of things against the wall, seeing what worked and then spending weeks after every board meeting, scrambling to answer questions. And we could avoid a ton of iterations. Like when I got into my first board meeting, I'm like, oh, we could have answered this so much better if I had known exactly what you were looking for. So like transparency about what you're looking for. Maybe not why I, I get there's a lot. instability in the market and you and the board have to plan for a lot of different scenarios. Fine, but you can communicate why different metrics are important and your ops person might be able to suggest something that's even better. So at my company, we use go ahead,

Michael Hartmann:

to clarify. So when you're saying you might be able to define better, are you talking about the board or are you talking about the head of marketing head of,

Camela Thompson:

ops. So if you hear, so if we understood that the board really just cares about run rate, so how you're spending as a, according to growth, how growth is and whether or not marketing is contributing enough to that growth, to justify continuing doing what you're doing, what you're gonna do to adjust, to meet expectations. If you hear it in general terms like that, it's a little bit easier to know that social media follows probably isn't where they wanna concentrate.

Michael Hartmann:

Page views on our website.

Camela Thompson:

yeah, I think a lot of marketing leaders and particularly in smaller companies where they're just in the board room for the first time they focus on the big initiative. And reporting those outcomes as opposed to consistently reporting on the same thing. So the board can understand the trend and you're shooting yourself in the foot. You're making your it look like inadvertently, like you're hiding something. If you're always changing metrics because every other department, if you watch them, they're constantly reporting on the same thing. So I think it

Michael Hartmann:

is I like, I almost wanna go put a point pin in that that is such an important point there, I think not only. And I think it applies not only just to board, like if I if you're at a bigger company and you're reporting up to maybe an executive team, like the same thing can apply.

Camela Thompson:

and if you look at the stats, there's awful research out there. Like 80% of CEOs aren't impressed or don't trust their CMO. And I think it has a lot to do with this wishy washy. We need to get better at being data literate as CMOs, we have to be better about communicating what is and isn't possible and why. And I think it would benefit all and it's gonna take forever to get here, but to try to standardize, and it's gonna be crawl, walk, run, because earlier organizations can't afford to do some things bigger organizations can, but we should standardize on something. Or at least know that reporting on the same metrics will show a trend. And that's ultimately what the board OFS is looking.

Mike Rizzo:

I've been in a number of board meetings where. you don't know that like the board didn't even know they were gonna ask that question and so while you said Camelo, oh, I could have prepared for this better. Sometimes the board actually just like it, it sends them on a thing, a trajectory, they see some number and then they go, oh what about this? And then, you

Camela Thompson:

That's part of it though, is understanding how to restrict it to a certain set of numbers. cause if you show them everything, exactly what you described is gonna happen. They're gonna go down a rabbit hole and that's, especially if there's some mediocrity or a problem. So if they think there's a problem they're gonna dig in and how's your website, traffic. How's your social?

Michael Hartmann:

Yep.

Camela Thompson:

If you could start the conversations with bookings back to pipeline, back to leads back to overall engagement and just leave it at those four stats and show trends over time. You're gonna avoid a lot of the minutia.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah

Michael Hartmann:

I think I heard a statistics somewhere within the last couple years that said, if you looked across boards and I don't think of even distinguished size of company, if you look across boards like the number, the percentage of board members that have any experience in, in, in management, let alone leading marketing. Is something like less than 10%, maybe less than 5%. So you're already starting with people who probably come from a finance background or sales background. That's probably the predominant ones or they're investors. Which is finance basically. So when, so the hard part is, I think what you hit on is that they may not understand the metrics you're reporting, but they recognize patterns in numbers. And when they see patterns that don't like their anomalies and they wonder, like, why does it say that? And you can't explain it. You're gonna get yourself in trouble. If you can't be ready to explain it.

Camela Thompson:

Yeah, I personally, haven't had a problem, keeping it boiled down to those four metrics. And there's an anomaly, I have my team do research and give me backup data to understand why it's there so I can explain it when it's there. But if I'm only looking at four data, that doesn't mean I'm not looking at more. It doesn't mean that my team members aren't responsible for their respective areas and reporting that up. It just means I'm keeping the message concentrated on what they want to know. And I'm not opening the book to a wormhole that is website traffic.

Michael Hartmann:

Oh

Camela Thompson:

and a lot of it's education too on like, why something might not matter because if they ask for social shares, I can go into a long winded Diri as to why that's not the best indicator.

Mike Rizzo:

Could you walk us through that? I'm

Michael Hartmann:

why don't we, why don't we do this? Why don't we do this? This may get to it a little bit. Is it Kimberly? You used the phrase with me, like there's this battle between the art and science of Mar marketing or marketing operations. And I think the metrics in particular. So how does that tie into this whole conversation and what do you mean by.

Camela Thompson:

I think in the last week I've seen the MQL is dead attribution. Doesn't work. Like people are this click Beatty stuff that is meant to provoke peop conversational marketing is where it's at M QLS don't matter anymore. Like all of these things. So I think when we. And I worked at in tech startups, and I experienced these founders who were highly technical engineers and knew what was possible. And I'm doing that with air quotes. As an engineer, everything is very black and white. They program it. The program does what they tell it to do. If there's a bug it's because it, they told it to do something wrong. When it comes to marketing data, they thought digital meant trackable a hundred percent and you could see every single thing going through and it's taken a lot of education in the companies. I've been a part of to explain why there's gaps. so talking about privacy laws and privacy, first configuration on browsers and why third party cookies have gone away for some major browsers and why we're losing, tracking and why certain things are looking bad. So we have to rely on correlation. So it takes a lot of energy to educate these folks that. digital does not mean a hundred percent trackable. And like you said, in those board re rooms, there's a lot of finance, accounting investor backgrounds, where they're used to balance sheets that balance down to the penny and marketing data will never do that.

Michael Hartmann:

which is always the, all the controls that they're used to that which, which gets to me like the other part that you didn't hit on, which I would've, which is the discipline that's required. If you wanna get close to that in marketing, you it requires so much discipline across, not just marketing, but marketing and sales.

Camela Thompson:

And like one of the things we have to rely on are UTM parameters, and that is such a flaky thing that so many things can go wrong with if you don't have a template, but even then anyway, so we had this extreme demand to track everything. And now we're having this knee jerk reaction where people are going out and saying, gut's good enough. Literally gut is good enough. You don't need to measure it. It's fine.

Michael Hartmann:

What I hear Naomi saying all the time.

Naomi Liu:

That is fake news. I'm sorry.

Camela Thompson:

shenanigans,

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah.

Camela Thompson:

is always somewhere in the middle and if you're not measuring things and you're going with the gut is good enough, you're limiting your career. So just don't do it.

Michael Hartmann:

I think there's a balance. It's interesting. So I, I remember years ago when I, cause I was in the like part of what attracted me to, I think what is now marketing operations back then? It was the. Was the idea. It was really when page search really came about, you could try, you could actually see impacts pretty quickly. You could make decisions. And there was something really appealing to that with an as an engineer of my background at least by education. I remember talking to a CMO at a big company. There was a friend of mine and we were having. We were just catching up and I was talking about how I think this is a really big trend. Like we she's at the same time, I think there is a place for that gut. There's a, I think he's actually on sabbatical now. Kyle Lacey is CMO from less Lee and then seismic. He, I remember him talking about how he would just basically, he had bought enough credit with his board. He's here's my marketing budget. Here's how I'm gonna split it up. But there's this, and I'm gonna measure the hell out of it for this, the things that I want to, but there's gonna be a portion of my budget that I'm just, and we're gonna try stuff. That's just maybe crazy. And we're just not gonna. Not gonna not even gonna try to measure it because we don't think that there's gonna be a near enough term impact. And I think that, I think there's a balance there that is important, but so I like how do you, I don't know.

Camela Thompson:

Okay. So I'm all for being creative and using gut, but you have to be prepared to say I was wrong. And the only way you can say, if you were right or wrong, is if you attempt to measure the things you're testing with. So even with the podcast that we have, we're still looking at which pages people are visiting. We're still talking to the sales team about where referrals are coming in. We still, ask people where they heard about. There's still ways to measure it. And when we go on a summer break, do overall website traffic form fills, do they dip is there a correlation there? We can tell there's a lot of different ways where we can say, yeah, this is worth doing again. Or, it's not worth the effort. So I think that's, I totally agree that this. Part art, part science, you need the creative piece. I make ridiculous videos and I'm slightly worried for my career because of them, but

Mike Rizzo:

I'm not word at all.

Camela Thompson:

we have spikes in traffic every single time I do it. And it's let's give the people what they want and hope for the best for my career.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah I think, but I think the point for me, what I, what resonated with me was not necessarily that the part about not measuring it. Because I, to some degree, I think you should still have some articulated goal that you want to achieve with it, even if it's not tied to, to pipeline, for example at the same time, what I worry about and this is, was the, a moment for me was if I'm only looking at these metrics and the metrics that I look at are just somewhat limited all the things we've talked about. It's I have the, I run the potential of not actually trying something different that is gonna make us stand out compared to everybody.

Camela Thompson:

The worst advice I've ever heard given to a marketer is if you can't measure it, don't do it. That's insanity.

Mike Rizzo:

I agree.

Michael Hartmann:

Naomi. What do you think? So our listeners can't see, she had this like pucker in her face. Come on, bring it.

Naomi Liu:

Yeah, no, I totally I've actually heard that quite a few times, like directed at me or my team. And I don't know. I just don't agree because, and I understand if, budgets are tight. I. That you want to be able to show an ROI on things, but at the same time, like there's tons of non-tangible things that, you know what do you guys think about airport ads? Like what are your thoughts on airport ads?

Michael Hartmann:

I try not to.

Mike Rizzo:

I try not to think about them.

Naomi Liu:

look at them, think about

Michael Hartmann:

And I don't like, I don't try to,

Naomi Liu:

them,

Mike Rizzo:

so I personally really I it's hard because I think. This podcast, episode and recording. And a lot of our listeners are marketers. There's a part of them. That is a marketer at the end of the day. And so we tend to pay extra special attention to things I'm saying that very blanket statements. So maybe that's not always true, but for me, I walk through an airport and I look at every single one that I can see

Camela Thompson:

I'm the opposite.

Mike Rizzo:

do you

Camela Thompson:

I'm a total introvert. I've probably been at a business meeting. I'm hangry and I just wanna get home. So I'm totally the opposite.

Mike Rizzo:

That's

Naomi Liu:

So you come off the plane at SFO or San Jose and you walk through the terminal and ads for Barracuda or like snowflake and. Honestly I think in my mind, I'm like, how did they, like, how much did this cost? And do they do this often? The answer's usually cause I see them all the time. And my thought is like, how did they justify this? Is it just a write? Do they just have a pool of money every quarter where they're just like, we're not gonna get any measurable ROI on this. And it is what it is,

Mike Rizzo:

yeah, so I went because of my attraction to essentially what click up did which it was hard to miss them. They were everywhere. I explored the out home advertising space and we ended up running a couple of trucks at Moss. Just like the little digital ads at the MOSCON event, this past SEP, whatever last month or a couple months ago. I will tell you that the, that yielded next to, very little traffic to our site, which is fine. It was an experiment. But through the outta home stuff, it's actually quite measurable through. The correlation data that you can get from phones who have been in and around your ads and whether or not they end up on your site later. So there's actually like a ton of supporting technology that as a marketing ops person, I was nerding out on super hard. That I can't, I could not actually go and further expand upon cause I just don't have those kinds of budgets cause it is extremely expensive, but there is a tremendous amount of data that can actually be supported by this. In fact, bill ups for shameless plug bill ups actually has a partner offer on our website right now. So if you want to go explore out of home stuff, go for it on marketing apps.com. But it's super interesting to that end though. I think it can work because it's outside of the norm. So going back between this art and science. Like it's way outside the norm. It's exactly why when someone writes me, even if it's a fake handwritten note and it gets delivered to my home or my office, wherever I'm at, I'm like, all right, I pay attention. Cause I open almost every piece of mail that comes to me cause we don't gain any mail anymore. So that stuff works.

Michael Hartmann:

yeah, no, I'm

Mike Rizzo:

doesn't work though. Unless you have somebody to manage the project to putting it out there again.

Michael Hartmann:

yeah I think it's it. But this gets back to a, you hit on something. I didn't even like the out, out of home. And the technology is behind that. I have no idea what that like nothing,

Mike Rizzo:

we never have a chance to explore it, but I'm telling you it's super fascinating.

Camela Thompson:

Yeah, there's some pretty cool stuff out there now. I don't know if it's gonna last beyond all the. data privacy.

Mike Rizzo:

yeah. I'm curious about that

Camela Thompson:

Yeah. In three years we might be in a different spot, but for now, if you can track machine IDs beyond the IP address and actually make some pretty cool connections.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

You might not get all the way out of it though. I don't wanna go down the rabbit hole, but Google and their like walled garden in that regard, like anybody's got a pixel like phone or they're using Google maps to navigate. There's probably always gonna be some, I know heartburn has a pixel. I used to be a pixel guy. I had to make the switch, but anyway,

Camela Thompson:

You'll be able to find me in the desert if something happens, cause I use all that stuff.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah, I like, I actually got

Camela Thompson:

the true crime.

Michael Hartmann:

I got I got my new pixel, like within the last year. And then literally two weeks later, I listened to a podcast about like how much data is tracking on you. It's.

Mike Rizzo:

Oh, it's in, yeah. It's wild.

Michael Hartmann:

so we, that could take us that really down a rabbit hole okay. So I maybe this may be the wrap up, but let's go see where this goes. So one of the things that I know I argue about is that, and this is broader, probably just marketing, but marketing ops people in particular. I think there's a heavy focus. I think Naomi's kind of joked about this way, the way she describes her job to people her family is that it's it for marketing. And I think a lot of us do that, but I think there's it, to me, it begs like what is, what are the skill gaps in marketing ops today that we need to we probably need all need to be thinking about if we don't have this skill level or a basic level, what should we be focusing on? If you were to pick a couple of those, what do you think those would.

Camela Thompson:

Oh, so many of us are introverts and it's just gotten worse with the pandemic. And now we have excuses not to go places and network and do things, find an online community network there. Marketing ops is a great place to do that. But I think a lot of people neglect, they wanna be known for their skill set and they want that to shine for them. But the truth is, and this is unfortunate is you have to do self-promotion. So the other half of that is when you do a project. Take a snapshot of all the metrics before you do the project and watch it for six months, at least afterwards, and take snapshots and communicate the wins you're seeing in the data because when you can go from Iran and implementation of Marketo to, I use conversion rates to identify the highest converting leads, expose those first to sales and we uncovered a million more in pipeline in the first month alone. Your resume. Is a very different beast and much more attractive. So networking self-promotion. And then the other thing is I think marketing leaders need to be better about sharing what happens in executive meetings, in the boardrooms, in terms of what motivates other people on the C-suite. what exactly are they looking for? And then that will help your marketing ops team develop that skill set and understand what kind of reporting they need to build.

Naomi Liu:

wanna just double click into one thing you said about, the communicating with the C-suite and just, managing the visibility of the team, because I find that is a, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I find that is something that historically has been a challenge where, when things work, people don't tend to look too closely, right? Like you go to a website. It's mobile friendly. It just works. You just don't, you just assume it, you don't really look too deeply unless wow. This consent banner, the button is off the screen. I can't even, you don't really pay attention until something is not working. Right. And

Camela Thompson:

was the cost center. The lights are on. Why am I paying you? The lights are off. Why am I paying you? Yes, a hundred percent.

Naomi Liu:

during the pandemic, I really wanted to put a focus on. How do we up level and get more visibility with the team, especially because, people aren't going to offices anymore, there's less travel for conferences. There's even just less travel between, internal meetings and offices. So even getting that visibility for my team is more difficult. And I think it's honestly, as it, what I have found has been beneficial has been. Short bite sized, either biweekly or once a month at the very least marketing ops wins. So 10 bullet points of, what the team is currently working on. Some of the quick wins that have happened over the last, two to four weeks that can then be. regurgitated by your senior leader, into, the rest of the SLT, right? Whether it be, just a one pager slide that can be incorporated into, their weekly sales calls or pipeline reviews or anything. I feel like that is something that's like super beneficial on top of quarterly QBR, maybe biweekly office hours for your team. Like just things that will help to elevate the visibility of the team within the organization internally.

Camela Thompson:

And unfortunately, projects alone. Aren't always enough. If you can tie the project or efficiency gains into pipeline and bookings, That's when you go from the person who doesn't smile, but gets a lot done to the person I actually know is contributing to the business.

Mike Rizzo:

I was gonna, I was gonna articulate, sorry,

Michael Hartmann:

go ahead

Mike Rizzo:

I I was gonna articulate something similar around, or just like advocating for the ability to speak the C-suite speak and translate what's going on in the business. Going back to some of the earlier points we were talking about where a lot of these operational folks end up. Products or companies and they tend to do that really well. It's often because for those that decide to take that like leap. I do, I would argue that it's often because they have this visibility this. The art of the, how, or the art of the possible. They understand the fundamental elements that go into all of that. And as soon as you put on your hat and say, okay, if I was gonna go build this company and I'm looking at all these pieces, and there's all these like questions around, how does this thing work? What does the cost of doing that thing? If you try to like, put that hat on as. CEO, CRO board member, what have you, and you start trying to figure out ways to uncover answers or uncover anomalies or whatever it is that you want to do with your skillset. And you start to communicate that through, into your leadership. You can do something really special. You can correlations and tie data back in ways that almost no one else can. cause you understand the art of the possib. And so just lean in on it cause that's the thing that can really set you up,

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. So to me, all of this kind of ties into three sort of three things where I think if we could tell people to focus on building their skills, not only just to like their day to day skills, but so I would put it into I'll call it understanding Nu the numbers that matter to the executive team. So that's both, I think, under. You'll no spike and Naomi will probably be not surprised by this, but finance, understanding the basics of finance. And then I think statistics too. There's a real like I even like teenage kids, like I keep telling them yeah. I keep doing the advanced math you're doing in high school, but really what you, I want you to learn is statistics. Cause that's what you'll probably use the rest of your life. So I think really understanding that and be able to communicate that to Mike, your point, is that I think The ability to do the storytelling and that communication, like I think generally people would call that soft skills. And I think a lot of people at ops to some degree would go, Ugh, like, why do I need to do that? But I think even if you don't like it or comfortable I, what I believe is it's just another skill you can learn and it may not be easy or comfortable or come naturally to you. that said there are ways to learn it and to get better. I'm a strong believer that you can learn just about anything you wanna learn or get better at. You can, you may not be world class say but you can still get better and it's only gonna help you. And I think that piece there if you can understand those numbers and you can then communicate and tell the story about how that works, right? Whether it's correlation causation, and then you can have intelligent conversations. If you're get to the point where you're in a board meeting, you get to say, Hey, we have this amount of money. We either can go hire another salesperson or we can invest or maybe take it, just stay in marketing. We can either invest in more programs to drive more at bats for their sales people, or we can do this technology to

Mike Rizzo:

I would

Michael Hartmann:

it. Then you can talk about the trade offs.

Mike Rizzo:

you, you can I love that. I think you can reach a point where you can make those. Discussion points or those recommendations, but I would pause it that you simply saying here's all of this stuff I collected and here's why I don't have the answer to these questions. I'm pulling this together to propose to the room that these were the questions I had in my mind that I thought you may want to try to. that would be such an eye-opening experience for so many leaders to say, wow, this person's really thinking like a leader. They don't know whether or not they should hire another salesperson or they're not proposing one way or the other. They're just teeing us up because they have this question because they tried to put this hat on for a minute and think about what might be coming next. So you don't have to get to that level yet. You could just tee up the information.

Camela Thompson:

and if I could give marketing marketers and marketing leaders, one piece advice, it's read the book mindset, the system marketing ops too, but read the book mindset and realize. Even if you were told, if you're creative, you can't do math. Find somebody who can explain it to you in a way you get it, because anyone is capable of learning. And like you said, Michael, you may not be knocking it out of the park every single time, but you're a heck of a lot better off than when you didn't know what you were talking about.

Mike Rizzo:

Yep. I agree with that. If I could. I know we wanna wrap it right now. Cause we've had a wonderful conversation so far, but I did post that poll. about which comes first, the person or the tech it's been up for 28 minutes so far, we're at 94% of the people are saying in person

Michael Hartmann:

It's

Mike Rizzo:

it's only 18 votes. In speaking of understanding,

Naomi Liu:

who's

Mike Rizzo:

not gonna name names, I'm not gonna name. However, I will say that speaking of statistics, we are not at statistical significance yet from 18 votes, but this is pretty, pretty interesting.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

We'll see where it shapes up. It's got a week to go people.

Michael Hartmann:

So this has been such a great conversation came. I, so thank you for joining us. If folks want to keep up with you and get the bad joke Monday or feisty Friday or anything else related to what you're talking about, what's the best place for them to do that?

Camela Thompson:

Yeah, you can get your hot takes on LinkedIn, mostly Camela Thompson. You can find me on don't find me on Twitter cause I'm not on there a lot,

Michael Hartmann:

Definitely don't

Camela Thompson:

LinkedIn is probably the best bet for sure.

Michael Hartmann:

LinkedIn. And then what your podcast is.

Camela Thompson:

The revenue marketing.

Michael Hartmann:

Okay.

Mike Rizzo:

So good.

Michael Hartmann:

We'll have to, we'll have to make sure we link to that for you.

Mike Rizzo:

We will.

Michael Hartmann:

All right. So thank you, Camela. NA Mike, thank you as always makes for an interesting conversation when we all join in here. And thank you to all our listeners for allowing us to invade your personal space.

Mike Rizzo:

While you do the dishes, Ian he's gonna be like, whoa.

Michael Hartmann:

And thanks for your support and ideas. And if you are, if you have an idea for a topic or a guest or wanna be a guest, reach out to us, and we are happy to talk to you about that further until next time. Thanks everyone.

Mike Rizzo:

bye everybody.