Ops Cast

Maximizing the Marketing Ops <> CMO Relationship with Scott Vaughan

February 27, 2023 Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo, Scott Vaughan Season 1 Episode 87
Maximizing the Marketing Ops <> CMO Relationship with Scott Vaughan
Ops Cast
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Ops Cast
Maximizing the Marketing Ops <> CMO Relationship with Scott Vaughan
Feb 27, 2023 Season 1 Episode 87
Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo, Scott Vaughan

In this episode, we talk with Scott Vaughan about how to maximize the relationship between marketing ops and the CMO. Scott is currently a Fractional Executive & GTM Advisor to CXOs & Investors at Vaughan Go-to-Market Advisory - his own advisory/consulting business. Prior to that Scott was the Chief Growth Officer and CMO at Integrate. Scott was also CMO at UBM TechWeb and has held other marketing leadership roles in other industries. Scott is a prolific writer and speaker about marketing, leadership and business.

Tune in to hear: 

  • What the best marketing ops leaders and teams do to help their CMO.
  • What skills and experience are needed to reach the CMO role. 
  • Listen to Scott talk about the common or potential career path for marketing operations professionals to CMO and how can our listeners set themselves up to move up. 
  • What Scott meant when he mentioned learning to step outside of marketing - understand customer journey, etc.

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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we talk with Scott Vaughan about how to maximize the relationship between marketing ops and the CMO. Scott is currently a Fractional Executive & GTM Advisor to CXOs & Investors at Vaughan Go-to-Market Advisory - his own advisory/consulting business. Prior to that Scott was the Chief Growth Officer and CMO at Integrate. Scott was also CMO at UBM TechWeb and has held other marketing leadership roles in other industries. Scott is a prolific writer and speaker about marketing, leadership and business.

Tune in to hear: 

  • What the best marketing ops leaders and teams do to help their CMO.
  • What skills and experience are needed to reach the CMO role. 
  • Listen to Scott talk about the common or potential career path for marketing operations professionals to CMO and how can our listeners set themselves up to move up. 
  • What Scott meant when he mentioned learning to step outside of marketing - understand customer journey, etc.

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

MOps-Apalooza is back by popular demand in Anaheim, California! Register for the magical community-led conference for Marketing and Revenue Operations pros.

Support the Show.

Michael Hartmann:

Hey. Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by MarketingOps.com, powered by the MO Pros. I'm your host, Michael CMOn. Joined today by co-host Mike Rizzo. Mike's in the house. What's

Mike Rizzo:

happening? I'm in the house. I'm literally

Michael Hartmann:

in my house. In the house. I think that's the way we all are, including our guests. So, so many of us. Let's just get right to it. So joining us today, talk about how to maximize your relationship between marketing ops and the CMO uh, is one of my favorite marketers and leaders, Scott Vaughan. Scott is currently a fractional executive and go to market, advisor to, uh, the C-suite and investors, um, with Vaughan Go-to-Market advisory. Which is his own business. Um, prior to that, Scott was the chief growth officer and CMO at Integrate. Uh, Scott was also CMO at UBM Tech Web, which is at the predecessor of where I work now, and was held, has held all their marketing leadership roles in other industry. So Scott is a prolific writer and speaker about marketing, leadership, business and uh, just an all round great guy Scott. Welcome and thanks for joining us.

Scott Vaughan:

what an intro. Thanks, Michael. Thanks. Nice to, nice to talk to you guys. Talk shop. Love what you do.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah, well it's, it is, no and no one better. So We are, we are glad to have you here. So, all right, so let's get right to it. So, Scott, you do have a unique perspective on the intersection of marketing operations in. CMO role because you were a CMO, you've led marketing, you also worked at MarTech companies selling to marketing ops probably a lot. I know. That's kind of how you and I met. Um, so when we chatted before this, um, that you said that like folks that are in marketing ops are primary audience should. Should understand what is on the CMOs agenda, but I think it would be good to have you sort of explain what do you mean by that and then how can our, you know, the listeners we have or audience kind of get a better insight into that maybe for their particular situation where they have a different, maybe their marketing leader. Um, they haven't really connected the dots on that. Yeah,

Scott Vaughan:

well every organization's unique and in my background, um, I got excited about market tech and you. 2005 67 when put in a first instance of eca, probably more, uh, correctly shoved it into, uh, an organization that was using an old database. And, uh, I bought the dream that we were going to be revenue marketers because we had some market marketing tools at last, beyond an analytics that we just didn't have before. So that's been my passion around the, the value of technology and the process. as a CMO, but one of the things I've learned over time, especially getting to sit down and work hand in hand with so many marketing ops people and, and also bringing marketing, uh, technology into the organization. And I mean, when I say technology, I mean data process, analytics, all the components is that the marketing ops role has a chance to be, and it depends on the company, but a chance to be literal. the chief of staff, um, to run marketing like a business. I believe that from day one, the technology and data process is exactly what's needed. Because one of the biggest challenges, uh, in marketing and certainly for A C M O is to, uh, not just prove the value, but to deliver business value to so many different aspects of the organiz. We go through periods where we get so locked in as sales as our customer, which is important, don't get me wrong. Uh, but sometimes we over steer there. We only serve, uh, sales. And really what we need to do is serve the market, serve customers. And to do that, we have to lock arms and share data, interconnect our tech with the operations teams, the finance teams, the product teams. And to me, That's where marketing ops can play such a pivotal role. Uh, of course we have to deliver against our, our revenue numbers and our quota and all of that. But Marketing Ops has a, I think is a, is in a perfect position, especially after a decade plus of, uh, putting in, uh, a lot of the systems and building up the data and analytics and intelligence capabilities and redefining the lead to revenue process. We've gone.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. I think we, we, we've talked with several guests about like the, the unique position that marketing ops teams tend to be in because they understand how the, like, how that not only do they have access to the data, but they understand the sort of the mechanics of how it gets there, what it, how to interpret it, and the best time to start showing that is right now. Right. Not waiting for perfect data. Cuz I think we all, everyone who's listening is like, yeah, but my data's. So what? Right. Everybody's is, so you gotta work around it. I think it's really, um, it's really interesting your point about sales being seen as the internal customer. And I, I, and I think I probably fall that trap too. Like if a salesperson sort of screams, Hey, we're not getting the right leads, or we're not getting enough leads, right. It's easy to sort of shift and move everything over there. So how have you, like, have maybe, um, maybe a little, like how would you guide marketing ops if you had, I'm sure you've had marketing ops teams that have gone through that same kind of scenario. Like how have you guided them or supported them on addressing that kind of sort of panic attack from a sales team?

Scott Vaughan:

Yeah, so I, I'll take that a couple ways. The first thing, let's, let's take the holistic view of how do you get the credibility to earn a seat at the C M O table, so to speak, or to have that. and then we'll tackle. How do you avoid the, uh, everybody to the right e every day, right. Everybody to the left the next day. Yeah. Where you just, you, you can't do that. And I know that's reality of the job, by the way. I'm not naive about that. But the first thing is how do you build your credibility? Um, marketing Ops does have unique access to. The data, the intelligence, the systems, the processes, but sometimes we stay in our own lane. And it's almost like you're the whisperer for the cmo, right? Um, uh, and I'm using CMOs ahead of marketing. They could be, you know, whatever. But the CMO office, let's call that, um, you're the one who is, uh, able to understand starting from the, uh, OKRs or the objectives or the kpi. and keeping laser focused on that, and then building or adapting the systems, the data, the processes around those. But to do that, to be that whisperer in the ear that's so valuable. Um, my friend Deb Wolf, who, um, has uh, been a colleague and a customer, been a confidant, whatever she used to say, you. My head of marketing ops is my BFF. We go nowhere. We go everywhere together. We're never apart because that ability to go in a marketing ops person can also do the homework, excuse me, across the organization to look at what's the data warehouse, what's the data lake? What's the BI systems that are operating across the company? How do we. Work with those and those teams, what are their KPIs? So, um, you're feeding that information and the C M O now is going proactively so they get a full picture. Um, what's happening in product today with product led growth, right? So much of that is inside the product. So I need that data, I need that systems, and I need to understand. Well, marketing ops can go beyond running those systems and be that confident to the office of the C F O, either literally because they, they are a more senior person or a person on the team who has that expertise, right? And I know it's hard because, you know, the building's on fire sales are screaming, right? And, oh my God, I can't get this report and I've got 10 minutes to my, I, I get all that. That's reality. But every job has that. Absolutely. At some point, you, you have to get proactive and, and that is where that education happens. And, um, when you work with sales, the key is to treat sales as a partner, not a. And that is, uh, I know I've seen a lot of the stuff that comes out from your group about, uh, when to say no, how to say no. Right? Um, right. How to delicately do that, but it's not about the being the office of, no, you don't wanna get that reputation, but rather reset the relationship and partnering with your C You can do that. You can go in locked arms together and sit down with sales and say, let's review those priorities again. Let's. Let me make sure I understand where the gap is or what your need is, et cetera, but treat them like a partner, not like a customer, because at the end of the day, you guys, one of the things I've learned the most is start in market. Start, and I'm not just with customers, but holistically. What is happening in your market? What is happening with your audience, not just your customer. and what are the things that, um, that you can do to better engage those audiences, et cetera, if you get that going in the right direction, it seems like the priorities get closer and aligned. because at the end of the day, that's for example, what sales needs is to Right. Get that engagement.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. I, uh, what I've, I think the way I approach it, one, I feel like sometimes we're the ones connecting dots, right? So I may have one marketing team asking for something or wanting to know something and the sales is asking for something else, and. Yeah, maybe, uh, finances as well, right? And being able to sort of understand the connection, connectivity between all those to help then go like, here's where I think we really need to be focusing on, because this is a real issue. And, and by the way, I, like, I'm dealing with this right now, there is a problem with our lead flow, right? That needs to be fixed. So pivoting from that, like knowing when to pivot because there is actually something to do versus somebody just. Being a squeaky wheel is a thing you have to de differentiate on. I think that's something that I, I,

Scott Vaughan:

I've learn it's not an easy one. Yeah. I can feel it. The way your, your tone of voice the way you're doing that. It's not an easy one. It's reality. It happens every day. But reason number, you know. 111 of getting that relationship with your C M O and staying in sync and being able not to just, uh, you know, complain and bitch about it. Right. Although there's times therapy is important, right? But rather being able to sit down and say, Hey, here are things that are, are repeating. Can you, here's a solution, or here's how I think we should tackle it. Um, you know, what do you think? It goes both ways. So that relationship, again, going back to the CMO marketing op. Relationship is so highly valued. Um, and you wanna be careful, uh, in my opinion, that you don't get stuck as the tech person either. Absolutely. Because then you're going around with your toolkit one by one, solving everybody's one-off problem. It had the same problem still does at times, but certainly they had it a decade or two ago where that's, it is the reactive people. you want to be on your front foot when you, as much as you can and proactive. And that's where you really start to drive value in the business, value in your role. You get to see and experience more and you know, if you're interested, your career takes, uh, new opportunity, new right, new doors open.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. That trap of getting stuck. the tools, the, the person that has like the, the tool chest, right? Or like, Hey, can't we just do this? Right? And it's so easy. Uh,

it's

Michael Hartmann:

super easy. And like

Mike Rizzo:

the, the challenge is like a lot of us have a lot of fun

Scott Vaughan:

with that

Michael Hartmann:

right? Like, like, yeah. Yeah. It's very, it's very satisfying, right? You see something

Scott Vaughan:

complete. Yeah. You accomplish things. You fix things. by the way, I'm not saying that never, that's a part of the job. That is. Absolutely. But if that is your whole job, then you may not get to the aspirations and the things that you want to do because you've now been put in this role, this box that's more tech oriented only, by the way, if that's what you dig and love, there is a career for you because there is, that is a big need at companies and there is nothing wrong with. I wanna underline that. However, what, what you ask and what we're talking about is how do you continue to, um, advance, escalate, get to new and new and new interesting things, add more value. Hopefully, you know, increase your incentives and your income so you can do things in life and family. All the things we, we, you know, a lot of people wanna do it. That's important.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah, absolutely. I, I think it's, it, it's really important to understand that the function of, uh, being a deep technical expert in a field and a practitioner in a space doesn't mean that you're limited by financial earning potential and all those things. Like there's a lot of great organizations that will pay very well for your desire to be that expert and that enabler and that partner to the c. But if you have that desire to go more strategic, there's a lot of opportunity for you to uncover that in this function. And I love that this started off right away with, uh, the idea of the chief of staff com commentary again, right? The last episode we just aired was all about chief of staff, and this was not exactly planned you know? Uh, so I think, I think that's super spot on and timely for a lot of the conversation that we're seeing right now. Um, I curious, uh, from your perspective, Scott, There was this wonderful post series of posts that have been going out from Jessica Cow lately, uh, on LinkedIn, but the one that's Yeah, yeah. She's doing a, she's doing a really great job of really elevating some of the conversation in the space. Um, the one that came up this morning was, uh, around the idea of like building a roadmap. Um, how, how have you seen that? um, in your sort of partnership with marketing ops in the past. Um, you know, she, she really calls out the roadmap as, you know, a, a little bit of the objective O K R model, right? Um, so objective is improve, you know, M Q L quality by implementing processes to allow for optimization, right? Um, that's not, you know, updating your lead score Pro, pro program, right? like, yeah. Um, so I, I'd be curious. how has roadmap sort of come into play throughout your career? I know this is a bit of a curve ball, so I apologize if I'm dropping this on you, but I have a feeling

Scott Vaughan:

you haven't. No, not at all. It's a no. Uh, well, at the end of the day, we're delivering, uh, whether it's a product or a service, you need a roadmap, right? It needs to align with the market, it needs to align with the company. it needs to align with your go-to market and then it needs to align with marketing. So there's alignment everywhere. Yeah. And if you don't have a roadmap and you're one not sharing that roadmap, So let's go back just for simplicity's sake to the C M O marketing ops relationship, our main theme today. Yeah. You wanna be side by side feeding into the overall marketing strategy, plan and roadmap for sure. And align what you're doing. You wanna build a roadmap. and to me, just my own bias, it's not just a tech roadmap, although that's a piece of it, of course, but it's a roadmap to how you mature your capabilities and services in ops to support marketing and the business and more and more the customer. So that's the kind of thinking that has to go in. So roadmaps are, are essential, and that's why I said whether you're a product or a service and in marketing ops we're often a service to the organization. that needs a roadmap. And so otherwise you stay stuck in reactive mode. Yeah. And you know, you, you don't make the advances to advance with the business or the market or the customer, uh, depending on what your objectives are overall in the company. And that's really where you get stuck. And, and that can get frustrating because all you're doing is fixing things and reacting to things. So that roadmap is, is important. And the other thing, and you know, Jessica so can scale up and down so quickly. Oh yes, she can

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

It's amazing lady. We go from top strategy down into the weeds,

Scott Vaughan:

like super well. That, that's a, that's, that's so great. And that's what we're talking about though. Absolutely. That's the reality of marketing ops. You have to be able to hang in a conversation, uh, uh, you know, around scoring models in algorithms. And the next minute you're talking about breakthrough go to market and, you know, are we going to apply generative AI now to our email? You know, it, it, it's, it's gonna vary drastic. But I think the main point on, on having a roadmap is you, you, you're able to share it, you're able to build it, you're able to get buy-in from people, of course your C M O and people across your marketing leadership team, because at the end of the day, you're if, if you have different marketing and sales ops or or finance ops, you want that buy-in because the more they get and see and touch and feel, the more they're going to support the effort cuz they see the outcomes if you hide it, right? Oh, this is mine, this is my roadmap. Yeah, don't look at it, I'm being dramatic here. But that's where you get into trouble because then all of a sudden, you know someone, they have to slash some budget somewhere. And if that hasn't been well communicated, With clear value. It, it, you could get the, the, the swatch or you go to do things and everybody's looking around like, what are you doing? I didn't know you were doing this. Right. I want you to do that. And so you haven't been able to do that. Yeah. You haven't been able to accomplish what you wanna do.

Michael Hartmann:

Excuse me. Yeah, so I think, I think it's interesting even, so the only thing I push back on there is that there's this sort of, I want to protect it like it's mine. I don't wanna share it. I think some people might in the role have a solid roadmap but are uncomfortable or don't know how to. fair. Yeah. Right. So I think, I think there's some of that too, which, you know, cuz it's, it's like anybody, I think you have to learn, like when you get that criticism, like you're gonna, you might get criticism of it and how you take that is gonna be really important to like, okay, well yeah, maybe I can learn something. So there's a

Scott Vaughan:

couple things you can do. My, I'm so glad you pointed that out because, um, you know, whatever you call it, imposter syndrome or Right. That all, it's so real. It, it is. Um, and, and I have learned over time that as long as you're authentic and you're there and your, your odds of success are pretty high, but there's things you can do. There's a couple things I've done. So who does great roadmaps? Product marketing people. Okay. Do I have a pal? And product marketing. The product team typically. um, our friend, you know, any, any form of search, AI driven or otherwise, you can really see different roadmaps that were built that you can get inspiration from. Right. That help,

Michael Hartmann:

that's a really help you. That's really, I, I even, I have never thought of going to a product marketer or product management team. Yeah, that's, they're great at it.

Scott Vaughan:

Yeah. That's a great idea. You know, and, and because they can take an eye and say, you need a little more detail here. You're gonna get, you know, or that's not quite clear. You need to visualize this, you know, in a graph so that people see the motion and the timeframe together with your written, you know, or whatever it is. Sure. And, and those kinds of things there, those resources all around you. and that's where there is some confidence and, and um, humbleness to come forth and say, Hey, do you have a few minutes? Can I show you something? Um, very few people will say, well, no, you can't show me any, you know, this is Right. I don't wanna help you Right, exactly. And this is what is so great about working with colleagues and, and learning et cetera, and it, and again, it builds a bond. If you go to product marketing, now you've got product. as an ally, as an example, or you go to product, you, you have product as an ally who's now excited and rooting for you and understands more of what we're trying to do. It,

Mike Rizzo:

it's such a great call out, uh, Scott and the like, when you, as a marketing practitioner of any kind, in any professional function for that matter, when you go to somebody else and you say, can you, can you take a look at what I'm doing? right, because I believe you can give me the feedback I need in order to improve on my work. It actually, if I, if I go to Scott or CMOn here and I say that to them, they go, wow, this individual really respects my opinion. They think highly of me, highly enough to ask for my opinion, and therefore you're, you're earning this, this trust. And then all of a sudden when they see what you're doing, imagine an entire, entirely different functional area of the, the company seeing what you're. They're gonna turn around and, and wanna be a champion for you cuz they're gonna go, wow, what you're doing is really cool. I had no idea that's what you were trying to accomplish.

Scott Vaughan:

Right? Absolutely. And, and by the way, that's a great byproduct of it, but you're, you're. your service will get better over time. Yeah. With those inputs. And you, and you don't want to wait. Stop till I get 37 points of input. You know, as Michael, you always say, and you've said to, let's keep iterating, let's keep moving. The data's never gonna be perfect. Right. But you're gonna keep building off of it. Um. And that's, that's important. And then sometimes it becomes adopted as the, as the standard. If you show a way that part of your roadmap is part of your strategy plan, I'm always amazed how often that gets adopted as maybe a standard or a core piece, Hey, product marketing, you need to do this and, uh, com communications or Markcom, you need to do this, and, you know, et cetera, et cetera. Um, you want to be that unifying force, I think certainly across the marketing function, and then being able to put your tentacles out to those key connection points through finance and through operations, through product where it makes sense to have more of an impact, uh, et cetera. And you'll know that by your organization and by mm-hmm asking questions and, and building relationships over time. Yeah. You know, that will help you.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. So, okay, so I wanna bring this back a little bit. So one of the things, um, I think people in our role also struggle with is really understanding, and this really came, this really became obvious that summer camp this last year and bring up Jessica again. Jessica helped facilitate a thing where we had a CMO in there. We were talking about how to, how to present and communicate the findings from some data didn't really matter what it was, and it was. For, especially even for people who I think probably felt like they were pretty good at that, I'll put mine myself in that camp. Like was very humbling, right? It was like, oh my gosh, yes. How that CMO is interpreting this or really what they're looking for is a very different one. So what, what are the things that would, you know, as a CMO or marketing leader, you know, would you like keep you up at night and where do you think that marketing ops folks could help with? Or is there, maybe, do we need to just have that direct conversation with our marketing leaders and then work from there?

Scott Vaughan:

Well, ev every, uh, you know, marketing leader is a little bit different in their style, how they present. what they share, what they don't share. And I mean, share up, share sideways, share down. So you've gotta read the room a little bit. Like always. You don't want to go in assuming so, yes, absolutely. Reach out. Know, know what's important. Um, ask for feedback, do those three or four questions, even if it's over email, you know, et cetera. But some of the best techniques I've seen, and I've completely stolen them by the way. I worked with somebody, um, who I respect was a C M O and vp and they were, this is a major enterprise, this was five years ago. And they said, I can't go into sales and tell them that I know everything about the buyer's journey and everything about, you know, lead routing and scoring cuz they had just stepped into this role and our data and reporting is good, but it's all over the place. So what they begin to do at their monthly, Uh, business review together sales and marketing is they would lock arms with sales and they would pick two stories, the story of a win. And so they would have. The data, but the data wouldn't be like so perfect and an analytical, let's break down the 27 points cuz that's what we strive for, right? To really be data driven, analytical. But they begin to change their tone of, before we get into the macro data, let's talk about what worked in, you know, a couple of wins. And there they could show, oh, well we know they went to the website, you know, 26 people went to the website over a three month period and they start to tell a story about. there was still data in it, by the way, but it wasn't so analytical that you, you know, you're kind of spinning, well, what's the, what's the freaking point? I don't, so that was something I found valuable to say, well, let's, we picked a win of the week and we wanted to dissect what we learned. people lean in like, okay, what can I learn from that? What? And then you can go, okay, let me give you the macro of, or maybe the micro, maybe you need to drill down. Yeah. If you send your reports in advance, someone has some questions. And I got used to that you guys, by having to go to investor meetings cuz you have to send your package in advance. Oh. And, and then you don't wanna put too much, but you know that question's gonna be asked, so I'll put it in the append. And you kind of know which, which investor's gonna ask probably what questions, then you're always surprised. So that's part of it. You do have to prepare and over prepare, uh, for those discussions. but you want to be able to tell that, tell a story first. And I don't mean wax poetic and that you have to be an elegant speaker in all these things, but just say, Hey, we took a couple of wins of the week. We dissected what they did over the last 60 days, six months a year. Right. The account, the buyer. and some of that is manual for some folks.

Michael Hartmann:

It is. Absolutely. I, I for, so for those on video, probably seeing me smiling at this like, and for our listeners, I am, because this is so much in line with what I think that has been missing with, to me, like if we get into debate about marketing attribution, I think there's a place for it still. But I think that storytelling piece, and that is exactly the word I would use, is I found it to be way more. When, especially going up with sales or to finance, it's having those examples because humans are wired for storytelling, right? Yeah. And it is. Well, and you can still have the

Scott Vaughan:

data. Yeah. Your still can have a section where, let's break down what we know, what we, but what we learned and giving an example is, is helpful. Right. And we don't stop there and go, okay. Yeah, absolutely. Here's my story of the week. I see you guys later. but then you can show, well, we made this kind of progress. What we're seeing now, three things we're observing, right? One of the things we need to improve. So you need to be humble about that. One of the things we, we didn't get done that we promised you, you've gotta be right there because, um, otherwise you lose credibility quickly and you go on the defensive and because you brought it up, I'm saying it and I'll say it, uh, or Mike had to see me. My 2016 17 article that I refer to all the time, attribution is essential, let's just call it. But if you're in the credit game, if you're out to prove something, it will get you every time because that's trying to do, put the end game and then try to prove your case versus let's see what the data tells. does that pass the, the te the sniff test of, does that feel like what's going on? Let's put that against some scenarios that we're seeing in our company, in the market, in our sales process, or in the, in the pipeline, whatever it is. Um, yeah, and I think, let's never be confused. Uh, a huge part of the job of marketing ops is, um, proving value and delivering. You can deliver value, but if you can't prove it or at least have some data and facts to back it, you won't be in this gig for long. Uh, as a CMO forget it. You're done. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Let's stop debating it, even though that's why attribution's fine. I don't arm wrestle it to the ground anymore, but. If it becomes a game of credit and we're running around trying to prove stuff, boy is that unproductive. Yeah. It may not seem like it for a couple of quarters, but over time you're now getting further and further into a trap that you can't get out of and, um, it's deadly. No,

Michael Hartmann:

I'm, I'm, I'm a hundred percent there with you. The credit thing, like. Irks

Mike Rizzo:

me to my core. I know I'm never gonna change anybody's opinion about the, the word credit, but that's

Michael Hartmann:

okay. Well, even if, I think, I think a lot fundamentally,

Mike Rizzo:

I, I think it's the right,

Scott Vaughan:

but that is the right, I got Michael Ri here. That's good. That true stuff. It just, it just

Mike Rizzo:

like, like, it's so sad to me that credit ended up being a four letter word, like in the, in the world of B2B marketing. Like it's just, it's silly, like at the end of every movie. there are credits. Everybody gets credit for making that movie possible. Like, yeah. It's ridiculous to me that the word credit means that it's mine. Uh, and that it's not everybody and it's not shared success. Literally, you take college credits to earn a degree, many credits, uh, in order to get there. And I keep like fighting this fight. I know I'm never gonna change anybody's mind on it, but Well, but you're, the message is right, right. At the end of the day, we're saying

Scott Vaughan:

same thing. That's right. The message is right, because if you can't. if you can't deliver value and put things into analytical terms, it may not be at the micro level. Mm-hmm. but if you can't see how needles are moving to a good portion of your investment or your effort, you go, yeah. I mean you, you're not gonna be in that gig very long today. And I think that's fair. And by the way, different stages of different companies. Are you a disruptor, startup, a legacy? Category, uh, you know, wannabe leader or are you the category queen or whatever it is. There are different dynamics in different markets. So there's no one set way to that level of, of, um, analytics and attribution that's required. But understanding that is, is really important. And that's why I think the marketing ops profession can't just stay within marketing. You have so much more credibility. if you have access to data at the company. BI level. Yeah. Or you know, walking arms with the Office of Finance or the office of the cfo, F depending on their size of company, what you have access to. And, and certainly with sales, I think that's getting better and better. Not perfect, but sales ops is, we're seeing that more and more. Mm-hmm. uh, consistently. Um, you know, again, never. not every company, but boy, if we made progress in that area over the last four or five

Michael Hartmann:

years. Well, and I think, I think you brought up something in the kind of this thread here that I think was really important. I wanna put a kind of highlight a little bit, which is in that development, development of the stories, right? And you talked about anticipating the questions that might come up. So I think, I think that is a really important sort of sub skill or sub, you know, things you can learn. Cause if. running reports and sending'em out. Even if, like, if you're not actually looking at them going, oh, this is an interesting, like, something here yes. Is unusual. Like it stands out, right. It doesn't match the pattern or whatever. Like I'm doing, I have a data guy and I'm like, I'm always like, oh. like I think of it this way, right? And have we thought about that? And it, it does beg additional questions, but then you're just like, then you can start to anticipate this other person who's a commercial leader for our business may ask about this particular thing. And we like if we can have some work started on trying to answer that next question again, another way of sort of building credibility, but it's

Scott Vaughan:

something you have to look for. Yeah. And, and role playing with a couple of people, maybe even. You're, you're marketing a marketing leader or the marketing leader, right? The CMO or a marketing leader in there. Hey, could I run this by, you wanna see what your view is and how do you think the, the finance team will look at this? Or how do you think the sales ops team will view this? What, what do we got? I even, now this is gonna sound cornball, but um, sometimes I would go with, with my wife and I'd ask her if, can you look at this? She's pretty savvy on data that I just, can you take a look at this? What do you. and it's unbiased. She doesn't know necessarily all the levers of the business. So even that can be of help. By the way, this is not advocacy to get your partner involved, work that might blow up. Uh, you, but you get the idea that there's all kinds of sources at your fingertips, but you just have to ask and you have to build a relationship. And by the way, you have to be reciprocal. and the more you're reciprocal, the more you. Wow. I didn't realize that we were doing that over in our digital team and now you see something that you didn't know. That's how organizations learn, uh, because it's really freaking hard to do this on, on Zoom or any other, you know, we don't have the. we're gonna pile in a, in a conference room and, and whiteboard this out as a team. You know, we have to get together and plan and, you know, there's just different things, dynamics that, so this is a natural way to help fuel about it. Mm-hmm.

Michael Hartmann:

I love it. Uh, okay, so we'll kind of, I think I wanna shift back, but you, you, you brought up the chief of staff. model. And it could be a potential like in terms of sort of career paths for people who are marketing ops. Cause I think up until recently, I think a lot of people would've told you like it's sort of dead ends at a director level. Right? Almost. Um, there has, and there's now some VP levels, uh, and there's some people who are doing, you know, moving into revenue operations roles. Although I would, my perception is that most of the people get into those roles come from the sales side as opposed to market. that's a whole separate thing, but, um, I, I'm, I'm really curious to get your thoughts on, you know, where, where do you think, you know, marketing ops folks who do want to go beyond just the technology stuff as we talked about? Like what are some logical next steps, and then what are the things that would make them. that they should be thinking about, not only for those next steps, but say they want, they have aspirations to be like ahead of marketing, right? Um, yeah. What, what do you think they, that our listeners should be thinking about for that, that path?

Scott Vaughan:

So you want to acquire, uh, more skills, more discipline, right? More discipline, experience, uh, of disciplines, I should say. So for example, if you're in MarTech, you may move over to the digital. Because you have credibility of the market, the business, and what probably what campaigns and programs and analytics been run. You can exercise those skills and those muscles and go and take on those, that that role. Um, because the more diversity of experience you have that are tied to the drivers of the business or the outcomes revenue, for example, the much higher experience you. and you can do that a little bit earlier in your career because once you have the, the marketing ops chops, they don't go away. They're built into you. Uh, and that's the great part because you can get up to speed pretty damn quickly, uh, on, on tech and, and process, et cetera, cuz you're, it's always gonna be a part of what you do. And I'll use the example of moving to digital, uh, or the digital team. Um, the other way to do that. To think about it, you can move into finance. So much of finance today, and I'm not saying to be a bean counter in accounting and you know all that necessarily, but they've got power, uh, data and bi and analytics people that look across the business that is a chief of staff kind of thinking where you can see, uh, gain a different view, but you have all the analytical process, the, the technology. um, and the budgeting, all those things you've had experience coming up through that. Move over into finance. I had, uh, uh, one example of a person who, um, I was, I'll call it mentoring, but a very close confident. I knew I'd be working for her any day now. That's how good she was as a young pro. She went and she worked for the board of directors at a public company in the strategy group. Whoa. Because she, she was so impressed. all the analytical thinking and what she put together on roadmaps and planning and strategies. She, they, she was seen as someone and her, uh, c m o unleashed her to not just the c m o to speak, but her to speak and, and, and in front of other audiences. And so that was a, uh, a move. Let's go to the side. But it was moved to up and now she's back in and she actually. She's a VP of marketing over a number of functions. So there are ways to do that. But the key is talk to people. Be part of your group. Uh, step outside your, your comfort zone. Reach out to people on LinkedIn you admire, where you see they've done some of that work. People are so open. You guys, not every single person, but for the most part, it's so great to be able to get other people's perspective. Um, you know, everyone asked me, how do you see so much about the market? I have a lot of conversations. I yes you do. I take my theories, right? Of here's what I'm seeing, what are you seeing? And go research that and, and, and kind of formulate the point of view and what might happen. That becomes a skill, um, that you can get. And that's going towards that chief of staff kind of thinking where you can, you can see a broader picture, right? Your eyes, ears, whisper. you're organized. Um, that kind of thing.

Michael Hartmann:

I, I wanna get back into the chief of staff stuff in a minute, but I, uh, there's you, you've mentioned, I think, both directly and indirectly a little bit a a couple of times the idea of mentorship and I'll add sort of advocacy cuz that scenario you, you painted about that person Right. Had an advocate and that CMO who unleashed her, right? Yes. And, and basically I'm sure was the person who was like advocating for, so how, like, how important do you think that is for people who are getting started? Like is do you think it, because I've, I've done some mentoring as well and I'm, I'm like, I'm always impressed with the people who actually. uh, early in their career. Really seek that out. I think. I'll, I'm curious what your take is on. I had the same question.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. I was like, cause I like, I, you know, just transparently, Scott, and for all the listeners, like, I'm really trying to wrap my head around how we enable more of that connectivity, uh, as a community for mentorship type of programming, right? So we've got folks like CMOn, we've got folks like Hannah, she's doing more coaching than mentorship. Uh, and I think there's, there's a slight variation between what those things really mean, but I am curious. Back to CMOn's question, you know, the importance of that and how you sort of leverage that in your

Scott Vaughan:

career. Well, you need a mentor, they or a coach, and they are slightly different. But let's not get into semantics for this purpose. you need somebody who you can bounce things off of. Maybe they're in your organization, maybe they're not. I think having a couple of people that aren't in your organization that either you have regularly scheduled calls with or that you have on your calendar to reach out, um, et cetera. I'm gonna say this quick and then I'll come back. Then you gotta give back. Now as you get more experience, you've now gotta give back to the next group that's coming through. It's the pay it forward mentality, uh, not just for good karma. It just makes you better. Uh, I do, uh, some work now, people coming just into the workforce. I'm at that point in my life age where friends now have kids coming into the workforce, so I'm very happy to spend time. and Damn do I learn a

Michael Hartmann:

lot. I, I have the same experience.

Scott Vaughan:

Yeah. And, and so this mentoring as, as you guys talked about, is important. Yes, they can become advocates for you, but that will happen naturally. You don't have to go, can you give me a LinkedIn ref reference? Right. Those days are kind of, eh, right? I don't know, but like the people I talked to, I know them. I know what they're about. I seen how they thought through things, how they've navigated, how they've, you know, knocked down obstacles. What they've, what they've done. So you're gonna more naturally become an advocate for that person, right? Even a referral for that person. So mentoring is you, you, no matter where you are in your career, you always need one. I know I benefited from it and I worked, um, at a school as a marketing communications manager at a young company of 20 people that went to 400 and just under four years. So as one of the first explosions of a tech company, lucky as hell. But I had a, um, and I'll say a woman, uh, head of. and she, man, she made me better. Yeah, it's amazing. She would, and she gave me leash to go, maybe hang myself, but she'd like give me leash to go, go and, and run. And then she'd say, okay, what'd you see? What'd you hear? Why didn't the product team really think, why did, she wouldn't tell me what to do necessarily. There are times where you have to do that, but that always set with me like forever. I was motivated and understood and also empowered. and, and, um, I did a stint for, for about 10 years in sales too, between a 10 year marketing career and in the last, uh, 10 or so in, in, um, the C M O role. But it was, it was f phenomenal to have those mentors. Mm-hmm. uh, when you, especially when you're moving into a new role or trying to move into a new. you need people that kind of have either chartered that course or know where, maybe where the landmines

Michael Hartmann:

are. Yeah. No, I, I, I think it's interesting. Um, I'll just one other aside. So I have also over my career had people that were just, I ended up being mentors without any real planning, and then times where I've actively pursued. I've got one person right now that I don't know why I thought about it, but I, I actually thought, well, I wanted somebody who's maybe not as far in a career or maybe younger. And like, so that person is a mentor for me, which I think most people would be surprised about, but it's been one of the most valuable Yes. Mentor relationships because especially as I've gotten younger, newer people coming in, like I've talked through a challenge and I'm like, and I'm like, this is what I think I do. And then they give me another perspective on how that might come across. And it's been super valuable. Ah, yeah. It's,

Scott Vaughan:

it's humbling all the time. And you know, it's just never stopped learning. You know, these aren't cliches. There's a reason for it. Not just to be Well, you wanna be relevant in your career for sure, but I think you get to do more interesting things. You get the opportunities. Let's just take marketing ops. I remember it was not a profession. We, uh, I'll give you back. When I put in this significant investment, seven figure investment in equa, one of the, the first to do it right, had no idea what we were doing. We looked around. who's done anything around crm Right, right. Do you even have the aptitude to be able to handle an app and you know, the iPhone, it was just coming out all that and, okay, we got a SWAT team and you're up. And that became, you know, honestly, the, uh, all three of those people now are in marketing ops and. and, and et cetera. But that's how you pick that sometimes, right? Mm-hmm. as AI comes in, you may be a person that's very comfortable with, with how you build, uh, apps and how you apply those things. That might be a calling card that, you know, someone younger gets plucked and said, you get it. You show it, you prove it, you show that you can learn as fast as anybody else. You get the opportunity cuz it's nuts to. The best was like when, uh, ABM came around, like 2000, you know, came out a while ago, but let's be realistic. 15, 16 people started. Well, I need a, you know, someone who's been doing ABM for four years and all this stuff, and I'd roll my eyes again. you need someone who's interested, curious, who gets the mechanics of sales and marketing and, and you know, data and, and you're gonna give them this role and you know you're gonna send'em to a few conferences you're gonna and support them and let's get going. Now if you're doing something after the, the best practices playbook's been written, then maybe that's not the case. But there's so many opportunities like that, uh, uh, in marketing ops to, to grab that and write it, and then that takes you to another place, to the chief of staff to maybe more expansive, something more interesting. But I always was the person who raised their hand and say, yeah, I'll do that. I'll try it. You need someone to run customer. I think I can do that. Let's go. You can figure it out. So I might uh, the team that, that if they ever watched this, they'll go, well, okay, we'll give'em about a c uh, tough case. But we, we got through the year of that and we got to a better place and, and that's the kind of thing I think that you have to embrace it. For me in your career, no matter what it is. Yeah. But marketing ops, because the foundation is so strong in the fundamentals of running a business and, and, and certainly running marketing, that there's a lot of opportunity. Yeah,

Mike Rizzo:

I think I, I think it's spot on. I, I definitely echo the same sentiments repeatedly to folks that communicate with me about their career trajectory in marketing ops. I think you have a, an incredible line of sight on what happens inside of an organization. Um, yes. And because you know what's going on, that foundation can just, Just skyrocket you to totally new places. I mean, thank for a moment about if you're in a, a tech company or just a services company, like there are business operations problems that you actually could figure out how to solve with technology, not MarTech, just like typical technology solutions that say, Hey, it's really hard for me to take a quote and get it to an invoice and get that thing. Well, you have a technical acumen for understanding how things integrate. I'll bet you, you can figure out how to do that really fast, right? Absolutely. That's like client success,

Scott Vaughan:

like all of it, right? You can go to your network, you can hack, you can, you can research. It's, it's your, it's your brain pattern. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. It's an invaluable skill. There's,

Mike Rizzo:

there's a QuickBooks integration into HubSpot these days, right? And so, How do I marry those two things together? That's not a marketing operations person's problem necessarily, but you have the technical acumen to figure out how that infrastructure works, and now you can partner with finance and,

Scott Vaughan:

and you have the process thinking too. Yeah, I you emphasize that because you can see things now play out. So you can, you, you, you go from, in the beginning of your career, your soap, you know, you have the microscope down cause you're typically working on something hands-on or specific. Typically not everybody. Then you kind of, oh, okay. I start to go into meetings and I got the windshield view. I kind of see what's going on in front of me. I got it. And then over time you've gone through enough patterns. You put your hand on the hot stove enough, you start to look up. Right now you got a telescope. and now I can see out and I can project more. I can see if I do this, this, and this, or we do this, this, and this. You can see the end game. And that's what's so valuable, uh, about being in, in, to me martek as a foundation, um, of thinking. And I say Martek as a. An example of the ops profession. Mm-hmm. because once you, you have that ops mindset, you, as you said, like you can go across different functions, you can go into different roles.

Michael Hartmann:

So better or worse, Yes. Well, I was, I was just say, I, I, I'll maybe we, we wrap it up here after this, but I, I was, uh, had somebody I've worked with at my company, we got to meet in person for first time earlier this week, and he was like, you. You really ask good questions and it really hit me. I was like, but I think that's one of those things like, I think that's why people in this kind of role who are good at it, if they move to another functional area, like we just naturally ask questions like we wanna understand. Yeah.

Scott Vaughan:

Right. It's how your brain's been wired to do. Yeah. Because you can't solve, you know, if you only got a partial piece of the information, you went out to do something, Michael. Oh boy. Mm-hmm. So now you're wired, we, what are the information we need to get going? So you said your brain gets wired like that. It's really powerful. We, uh, we underestimate that. No, I, I've had that be

Mike Rizzo:

a crutch to me before, but, uh, for the most part it's an

Michael Hartmann:

asset. well, asking too many questions I have been told, like, stop,

Mike Rizzo:

you're questioning it too much. Just accept it. like, this is good enough. Stop asking.

Scott Vaughan:

Well, there's that too. All right, that you do have to find the balance therapy sessions next week.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. Oh, that's great. Well, I, you know, I would love to go on, Scott, I always enjoy talking to you. Um, same. And I, and I think, I think, I think our audience is gonna benefit from this quite a bit. Um, but if folks want to connect with you or con kind of follow or learn from you, what's the best way for them to do that? You know, I,

Scott Vaughan:

I'm kind of prolific on LinkedIn as a, as a hub to share points of view and, and put points of view out on different topics. I am an analyst in the AI. Space. It's something called acceleration economy. So I get to write and I kept my column in MarTech, you guys, cause I can't let go of my roots So I still publish once a month. Uh, this one's on content marketing. Um, and it's not an AI story. It's the opposite. Uh, just to give for fun. It's nice AI. Putting content in the spotlight could not be a better thing cuz now you can show what great content is. You can elevate your game. Um, so not to go run out necessarily and, and turn everything into ai, but use it as an opportunity to showcase what you guys do and to level up. And that's the example of the stuff I write on MarTech, but almost always push most of it through LinkedIn. That way for, for, to connect with my networks and people I trust and admire and learn from.

Michael Hartmann:

Fantastic, Scott. Awesome. This has been so much fun. Um, thanks to all of our, our listeners. Thanks Mike for hanging in there with me and, and, and supporting this. We'll get Naomi back here soon, I'm sure, Absolutely. Until next time. Bye everyone.

Scott Vaughan:

All right. Bye everybody. Thanks you guys. Bye-bye.