Ops Cast

Tips to "Do More with Less" in Marketing Ops with Colton Slauson

February 19, 2024 Michael Hartmann, Naomi Liu, Colton Slauson Season 1 Episode 105
Ops Cast
Tips to "Do More with Less" in Marketing Ops with Colton Slauson
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Prepare to delve into the transformative world of marketing efficiency with a minimalist approach—an attainable reality we're excited to explore. In this episode, we are honored to have Colton Slauson from Sendoso as our esteemed guest. Together, we navigate the nuanced art of simplification and optimization within marketing operations. Colton, who began his journey as an intern making memorable missteps with 'Marketo,' has ascended to the role of Senior Marketing Operations Manager, epitomizing the principle of achieving more with less. His trajectory offers invaluable insights into automating routine tasks, streamlining processes, and effectively integrating Sendoso and Alice, all while leading a lean yet impactful marketing operations team.

Many professionals can relate to the challenge of managing competing priorities akin to a performer without a net. This episode offers a behind-the-scenes look at the delicate equilibrium between satisfying customer expectations and fulfilling internal objectives. Through our dialogue with Colton, we illuminate the importance of communication in maintaining alignment with sales teams and making decisive judgments on project priorities. Our discussion also includes a humorous anecdote about a VP's content notification request, illustrating how a simple query can unravel complex issues.

Moreover, this episode goes beyond storytelling to provide actionable insights. Managing a diverse marketing technology stack is often compared to herding cats, yet we break down strategies for mastering this complexity with a streamlined team. Additionally, we redefine the allure of documentation, emphasizing its role not just in procedural accuracy but also in compliance with privacy regulations and enhancing team cohesion. We advocate for a culture of curiosity, underscoring how an inquisitive disposition and engagement with the broader marketing community can propel professional growth.

Join us for an enlightening conversation that promises to elevate your approach to marketing operations. Tune in to this episode to revolutionize your marketing strategies and operations.








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Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to another episode of Opscast brought to you by marketingopscom, powered by the Mo Pros. I am your host, michael Hartman, joined today by co-host Naomi Liu. Hey Naomi, hey Michael. It's been a while since just the two of us.

Speaker 2:

I know. I mean he's coming back from you know sunny morning, yes. How dare he?

Speaker 1:

He's been working too much while he's been on vacation, Like we need to. He's going to hear this and he's going to know that we know. Anyway, well, let's get into it. So excited about this and this is, I think this episode is going to resonate with a lot of people these days so we're going to be talking about how to kind of ideas for doing more with less. So we have our guest today who will be sharing some of his own experience with doing that. So let's get into it. So joining us for the conversation is Colton Slosson, who is currently Senior Marketing Operations Manager at Sendoso. With their big news. We're recording this the day after they announced the acquisition of Alice or Merger I don't know how they're actually describing it. So prior to joining us in DoSo, Colton has worked at marketing operations agencies and consultancies in-house, in both marketing operations and web areas. He has also started and sold a web design agency, so he's had an active career. So, Colton, thanks for joining us today.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, excited to be here, thank you.

Speaker 1:

All right. Well, one of the things that we like to do because there's never been one consistent thread of how people end up in marketing operations is kind of have people share a little bit about their career journey. So while we start there, maybe tell us a little bit about your career journey, how you ended up where you are, and if there are any key moments or pivotal decisions or people you think had outsized influence on the trajectory of your career up to this point, we'd love to hear about that and share it with our audience.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, awesome question, and I think that's very much true. Whenever I've talked to anybody within marketing ops, everybody's career path is so different. I feel like I always say that I fell into marketing operations. It definitely wasn't anywhere on my choices of career path necessarily just because it was unknown to me, especially as I was going to college. I mean, I went and got my degree in digital marketing and then when I was graduating, I was applying for anything and everything that had marketing in the title. And it was a similarish time that we're facing right now where you're not just like handed interviews all the time. So I was kind of just applying for anything with marketing in the title and turns out I got an interview with Instructure as an intern doing marketing operations for them and I remember in the interview I mispronounced Marketto. I think I pronounced it market to like, market to or something like that, which is so funny to back on.

Speaker 1:

But I've heard lots of different pronunciations of Marketto and Eloqua both. So yeah, don't feel bad?

Speaker 3:

No, and I didn't either. I mean it was silly, but at least it didn't sway their decision when it came to hiring me. But I was able to work there, did a lot of the event management as far as it comes to kind of gathering that information into Marketto and out to the sales reps. Then I kind of transitioned into a manager role and that's kind of where I've been since and now I'm a senior manager here at Sendoso, kind of handling Marketto, a bit of Salesforce stuff. Lean Data is like my baby right now. I've been in Lean Data for months now just kind of simplifying processes because it was really over complicated. I feel like that's a common thread that I've seen throughout my career is it's fun to automate things and I love automating things myself. But I think we often over complicate things that we're trying to automate because there's the capability of doing it this way, but in reality it makes things complicated and it makes it harder for people if you were to leave or even just explain it to the people that are there. But I've been here for a little over six months now, I think, and I've been loving it. It's been really fun. It's a really cool product.

Speaker 1:

It's great. I remember I noticed people were there early on. I don't think they're there anymore. So you mentioned that you're a senior manager now, or senior marketing ops manager. So how big is your marketing ops team? Is it just you? Is it just you? You can't see us. He's got one finger up, so team of one. So I'm curious, like in terms of the size of the rest of the marketing team. How big is the rest of your marketing team?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, there's eight of us, so it's a fairly small team. We're adding another person from Alice to our team. I'm kind of I'm part of marketing but I'm also I report to someone over revops. So I have meetings with the marketing team but technically I'm under the revops umbrella, which is just two of us and will be three of us on Monday. So it's the sales force admin and revops manager and then it'll be a sales force analyst on Monday from Alice and then me over marking us. But I've been transitioning a lot of my work over, not transitioning but adding some work to do my play on the sales force side of things, just because I think it's important to you know, being that space as well, and especially when there's so few of us, it's important for us to kind of cross collaborate in class cross work. So I've been helping Juno understand a little bit more about the source, of course, admin a little bit more about the marketo side of things as well.

Speaker 1:

Sounds good, naomi, I'm gonna put you on the spot here and plan on that. But so, if I get the math right, colton, somewhere around seven marketers to one marketing ops support maybe, maybe a little, maybe a little bit. Yeah, I don't know what it will be when you get the second person from, from Alice and their other marketers I assume there's some other marketers, but Is that? I mean, is that about the ratio? I know yours is a different organization, but would you say, like your team is kind of in that same ballpark, seven to one?

Speaker 2:

No only because we support more than marketing right. So it's not just marketing people that we do work for. We also do work for HR, it sales ops, product marketing, our sales reps as well. So there's a lot more. So I would say that ratio is even Larger, or smaller, or larger, whichever way you want to look at it your odds are longer something like that exactly. But what I found, you know and there are times, definitely in this week, is definitely one of them when you do you feel stretch quite thin and there are, you know, lots of changes that come A board, whether it be through technology or processes or whatnot. And something that I found to be really helpful is, in all of the groups and the business partners that we support, is to find that champion right, so that one person that we really were quite closely with that can take the information that we that we think is important and distill it back down to their teams right. Not to say that we don't communicate to the wider group. We absolutely do, whether it be through QB, ours, or through chatter posts or through email updates. But there are just some things that for and I don't know if you feel this way to coolton, but the majority of like especially very granular things Not every single person, not all of your seven people marketers are going to care or like it'll be maybe in one year at data and then they don't think about it again and then Six months later be like what was that that you said? Or just completely forget because it's not and it's nothing it may not be applicable to them, and I'm sure that's happened to me too. Right, all of us that you know it says something don't update this thing on your computer. And then you go and update it. But I find that there's always going to be that one person who is has a bit more technical aptitude, who is just really interested in the ins and outs and how things work, and I find that just aligning yourself and identifying those people across different organic, across different Units within the organization, can help to alleviate some of the questions. I guess, if that makes sense, I totally agree.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. Well now I mean you mentioned your QB, ours. I still like I love the idea that you're doing that. It's one of the few.

Speaker 2:

Do you want one? Actually, we do for one.

Speaker 1:

All right, can I sit in and see how it goes?

Speaker 2:

It's not a black bar out.

Speaker 1:

I want everything. I just want to audit that class. So, yeah, that's good. Well, so I think, just I think in my experience to now, I mean it's, I think it's been similar to yours and where I think the number of the ratios To marketers to to marketing ops team members is also larger than seven. So, but seven's not, I don't think seven's crazy, I mean, I think that's in the ballpark as well. I mean I think it's unusual to get you know more than that, all right, so so I think Naomi sort of touched on something, I think, where we're going to go, colton, which is, you know, when you and I talked before when we're getting ready for this, you talked you said you mentioned something about keeping in mind who the customer for marketing ops is. So what's your take on this? And then we can kind of dig into. Maybe there's more than one. We can talk about those all specifically.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so yeah, and this obviously depends on the organization that you're at, but for me here at Cindy so you know, my customers are the actual customers of prospects coming in, you know, on our website etc. And then obviously the marketing team and then the sales team. I think a couple years ago I was very much focused on on the sales side of things because, you know, being being kind of the in between marketing and sales, I was always like, all right, if, if marketing is doing their job, it's going to send stuff to me, basically, and then I get up to the appropriate sales rep. And so I was very much focused on making the sales people as happy as possible, which I still try to do. But I had a little backwards, I think, in in that I need to prioritize the customers experience over the sales reps. So, for example, a little bit ago I made an update in in prioritizing the sales team because it would make something process or a process for them a little bit easier. But at the end of the day it made it made it harder for our customers to book a meeting with us. It was just a little bit longer of a process, which wasn't ideal. So that next morning I got up and I was like all right, I'm switching that. I'm sending a message to our sales team and saying, hey, for right now this is the way it's going to have to work until we get this new platform in that will set it up the way that we want it to, but right now do the limitations through the platform that we're using. At the time we had to do it this way. Obviously, that's not the ideal situation for your sales team to have a little bit extra work, but I would rather have the customers be able to book a meeting quicker, with less hoops to jump through, versus the sales reps having to click an additional button or whatever it was. So I feel like that's where I'm at right now, where customers are number one, and then making sure that our marketing team is set up to get the sales team that ideal prospect into their queue. Then, if I'm doing that right, the sales team is going to be happy because they have a full list that they can work through that day without too many complaints there.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, it's interesting. Well, I think I probably went onto my rant about internal customers that whole term with you, didn't I? Not sure? No, I don't know. I hate that term. I think customers are customers, but they're internal people that you have to work with and be accountable to. I want to go down that rabbit hole but I'm curious. You talked about in a specific example where you I don't know if you changed the priority or you use a mental model heuristic, whatever you want to call it to prioritize those external customers over the internal stakeholders that you're also working with. Are you doing that on a case by case basis? Do you have something that you have those in some sort of hierarchy, and how do you communicate that with those internal folks?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean it definitely is a case by case basis, just because what we do in marketing ops is a wide range of things, so each thing could impact the sales team a little bit differently than something else. So just to have a blanket statement and say, oh, it's always going to be the customer over the sales person every time is not completely true. But knowing that there are certain instances where one change in a particular process will have a larger impact on a sales team this in this case versus another one is pretty important to keep in mind as you're going through your updates. In terms of just communicating those changes to the internal stakeholders, I work really closely with the sales leader, so I want to make sure that he's aware of the changes that are being put in place. Then either I will ask him if he would like me to distribute that information out to his team Typically there's a document with that or if he would like to just pass it on himself. Just depends on how he would like it, just because I don't want to step on his toes and change the flow of information to his team if there's already a bunch of stuff going out, because I know sales teams can get inundated with a lot of changes and updates and this new product, this new thing, and so I don't want to interrupt that at all.

Speaker 1:

Naomi, you and I both have worked at large organizations. Do you have any kind of structure that you use for this? Maybe? I know I used to have one that I try to use in most places that particularly for larger, like a couple more projects oriented stuff Now day-to-day tasks. It's a little more of a SLA driven probably, but do you have a framework that you use for prioritization?

Speaker 2:

Whoever asked me the most recently?

Speaker 3:

Last in first out. Yes, Exactly.

Speaker 2:

That's kind of no, honestly and this might not be a popular opinion, or maybe it is, but when you've been in marketing ops for a while, you kind of have a gut feeling as to what is going to be the most urgent and what can be pushed out a bit more. Yes, someone can say there's a deadline for this day, but a lot of times those deadlines are arbitrary because they had to put something in to be able to hit submit on a intake form or something like that. I think when you've been doing this role long enough and you either have, on one hand, a project that has a million little tasks that are just super annoying to complete but it will be completed in like five minutes, versus something that just really takes a bit more, okay, what are the downstream effects of this? How do I communicate it out? Who do I need to let know first? Do I need to check with anyone? Even though it's a one-time thing, possibly it can just be a bit of a bigger mental load and sometimes it's just a gut feeling flying my seat in your pants, marketing ops.

Speaker 1:

You know it's funny you say that, because I do think that there's something about having the experience in making sort of informed decisions about it. I think the one thing I would add is that I do tend to prioritize things that affect like lead flow.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that 100%.

Speaker 1:

That is probably the one thing that trumps just about anything else. And then after that it becomes things that actually do have a deadline. Right, an event has a specific date and you need to get things out that kind of stuff. But otherwise I'm with you. A lot of it is sort of judgment based on other things and it's hard to prioritize and optimize everything and at the end of the day, probably leave most days with a list of things that we could have done and it's not complete and it never will be. So if you're an inbox zero person, this is not the job for you.

Speaker 2:

I am, but I'm failing at it terribly right now.

Speaker 1:

I gave up on that a long time ago.

Speaker 3:

I think another important part of this, too, is when you get a bunch of you know how, have your intaking, you know projects and things from outside teams or internal teams whichever is asking follow up questions, I feel like oftentimes we just quickly jump into the task of hand, expecting to know exactly why they're wanting this update made or this change made. But asking a few extra questions oftentimes has helped me understand the prioritization but also even eliminate the project entirely, because sometimes it could be something that you know. For example, I had a V, an old VP of mine at a past company, come to me with an urgent request that she wanted all of our sales reps to To get, basically any time any new piece of content was added to the website, get a notification that that was, that that was being done, which was great. But I mean, at the end of the day, that's a lot of notifications going on. She wanted to run this through market. I was like this is not the, this is not the situation. You, you know how you want to do this. This is not it. And at first I started going through and say, okay, I can do this, whatever, you know, I'll figure out something. But then I stopped for a second. It's like, okay, let me ask a few follow-up questions. And she was just under a lot of stress from the sales side of things, which we were able to just create a newsletter that came out once a month. That was sufficient for them to know what is coming, you know, out in the next month, and these are some of the things that happened last month. So, just like asking additional questions can either eliminate the the task entirely or it can help you understand how long is this thing gonna take. Are there other stakeholders that need to be involved? Because maybe from that initial asana or geo or whatever you're using Task that was sent over to you didn't have all the details needed to understand the full, you know scope of the the project.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know that also brings up and I learned this actually from being on the other side of what I was requesting stuff at this. At this point I was doing web stuff, but I was With an IT team that supported the website, and so I got very frustrated Sometimes because I thought my, my request made total sense and it did to me Right, and they took it as a two things that were wrong with it. One, they made assumptions about what I said or they interpreted it in a different way, which was actually now that I like totally be expected the others, they thought I didn't leave it like that, I absolutely needed everything I was asking for, when in the reality, I wanted them to be more consultative, right, and clarify do we understand you? And if they thought that, like you know, say, at $100 to spend, or 100 hours to spend on something you know, and what I had asked for was going to be a thousand hours, right, I want them to tell me, like, how can we make progress towards it or does it even make sense to do it? And I think that's what you're getting at right is asking those questions about or Offering alternatives, once you understand what it is they're trying to achieve, because sometimes that full solution that someone or full thing that someone's asking for is doable I almost all of it is doable but the amount of time and effort it would take or cost in some cases Is not necessarily worth it. And especially if it's something where you're not sure like, is it actually going to be beneficial, do you want to invest that much incremental effort on it? So I like that approach too.

Speaker 3:

And I would just add on top of that too, once you have nailed down the project and it is in whatever task management Management platform you have, make sure that that list of projects that you're working on is public. Obviously, you can pick and choose which ones are, but the ones that are, you know, to other teams, make sure that that is public and people can access it. So when they do send over a task and they're like one to the, this is like the most urgent thing ever, because everything's urgent to everybody. Right, let them see what you're working on at the time and let them know, like, hey, if you're gonna bring this in, what are you gonna push down? Because oftentimes it's gonna be something that they requested last week and they still want. And now this other new thing that is more urgent now, you know, can shuffle up the the queue, yeah yeah, so do you.

Speaker 1:

I mean you mentioned asana and Jiren as others, so Do you, do you treat so those? I Generally classified them as repeatable kinds of requests, right, things that are usually short term or repeatable. Do you treat those similar? Do you go through the same sort of process, meant either mentally or actually, you know in how you handle it as you do for things that are maybe a little more long term, like mid to large-sized projects? Then you know you mentioned lean data. I don't know if you had like a full sort of a full project in quotes to, to, to build on from that. How do you handle that? I?

Speaker 3:

Mean the, the smaller, like repeatable ones, that are coming into me are typically from, you know, the general marketing team for events or Random. You know Marketo programs, campaigns that need to be spun up, or an email here and there. Those, I mean, really don't require too much follow-up. You've gotten to a pretty good place where where the intake form has the information I need and, if needed, you know, I can always just slack them back and forth here and there, but generally doesn't require too much information. However, yeah, like if it's, if it is a bigger project, and typically those projects are either ones that I create for myself or Are coming from the Salesforce team. You know the rev ops side of things to really improve a process which we meet consistently enough that typically that information can be gathered on those calls, which doesn't require too much extra meetings or Extra back and forth, which is nice.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, just curious because I know I think I know the answer for Naomi, but for Colton, do you? Are you in an organization where some of the marketers actually are able to go into, like Marketo, and do things, or not?

Speaker 3:

They, they can. Yes, they can, some of some of them better than others, but we really don't do too. We have a pretty good. We have quite a bit of traffic on our website, so we don't have a ton of like extra campaigns for events and such that are coming through consistently enough that it's To create even idea that I could just do it myself and get it done in. You know, five minutes versus them Happen to remember three months apart, here and there, how to do things. You know, I do have training videos that I've sent over to them and docs, but even then, sometimes it's just easier for me to spend five minutes and and go through it myself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then, if I remember right years more centralized, like highly centralized structure, right yeah?

Speaker 2:

definitely, but there are. You know, like I mentioned earlier on this podcast, that there are folks who have definitely more technical aptitude. I'm expressed interest to Be able to do some things. We do have, like different permissions in Marketo, that we do give them limited access so they can't, you know, delete or Send out a executed campaign, but they can definitely go in and they don't need to wait for anybody for us to Go in, make some copy, edits or swap out an image or something like that. Right, so they can definitely go in and self-serve that way. But it's interesting because and I don't know, colton, if you, if you notice this too is that I found that a lot of folks will they like the idea of having access, but they actually don't. I can cook my own food, but I sometimes I just want to go to a restaurant and someone cook for me.

Speaker 3:

You know, yeah, especially depending on the platform too I mean, husband is a little bit easier to like understand for the most part still can be complicated. But like any time I've like talked about it with Marketo, people are like, yes, I'd love more access, and then you give it to them and they get in there like actually I have no idea what I'm doing, please sure yeah right rewind that and and remove that place.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I do think it, Matt. I think it does matter which platform, like, I think, mark Heddo, from my experiences the one that's the challenging for a non-technical person to be able to really get around too much.

Speaker 2:

Even over Eloqua? Or are you not even considering them as part of the no, no, no.

Speaker 1:

So I'm thinking the one I don't have experience with is whatever part I just call now. But Eloqua, I think, is actually a really easy interface compared to others for creating content. Now, all the other stuff is different too, but I think one thing that I've seen, because I've worked at different places where they've been sort of a hybrid, or they've been centralized or they've been mostly out in the field with the marketers, and when it was centralized, the one thing that seemed to work really well was the centralized team building, say emails, and then when tests were sent out, rather than that coming back through yet another, you know, like an ongoing recurring request to make updates, and this was a global situation, so with support globally. So it was time, time lags and everything else built into it. It's starting with to give the idea of some marketers the ability to at least go and edit, do minor edits on content within, say, an email so comma was in the wrong place, or punctuation or spelling or things like that and just make a quick fix. And then that was it so.

Speaker 2:

Until six months later, the entire email template gets corrupted and you can't figure out why.

Speaker 1:

Well, okay.

Speaker 2:

You guys are laughing because you know it's true.

Speaker 1:

Fair enough, well, I mean. So I don't know about you, but if you ever like, we used to have a shared spreadsheet for UTM Generate, UTM tracking generators and, like every every week, like some wood, would erase the formulas you know and we'd have to roll back and luckily you could do that. But yeah, that's the kind of stuff that happens.

Speaker 3:

That was me yesterday. Literally, I go into the UTM builder and the dropdowns aren't selecting. I'm like, oh no. So yeah, I had to figure out what was going on and yeah, thankfully it wasn't too long, but yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I think we've all been there. If you haven't been there, you will be there, right, yeah, okay, so you, you hinted at this kind of switching gears. Lou Bacolton, you mentioned this one earlier. You're talking about complicated text stacks. So I think you, and probably all of us, would be advocates for trying to minimize the complications and you know complexity, I guess, would be the better word of the tech stack. How, how do you approach and what kind of recommendations would you have for our audience and how to avoid the trap of the? You know the siren song of complicated. You know creative stuff that you could do in automation or integration or whatever.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, this is a. This is a tough one and also a fun one for me, because I feel like, as marketing, honest people and maybe this is just for me, but who knows? You let me know, I love technology. I love, you know, tinkering with random things for at my house or whatever, and I feel like that kind of translates well into my career, as in marketing options, I really like learning new technologies, but the the con of that is that I can often get trapped into the oh, this is a really cool product, this is a really cool thing and I would love to implement this and somehow I get budget here and there sometimes to do that and then at the end of the day, I'm like hold up, I'm a one person marketing ops person. You know team. I can't manage 20 different platforms in an efficient and, you know, well thought out way. So, at the end of the day, it really comes down to how much time can you really dedicate to to your tech stack and how many people yeah, can you a lot to each, each one of these tech tech? You know tools that you have in your belt when I got hired here at Sendo. So Sendo so has gone through a lot of changes over the last couple of years, you know, and hasn't always been good. So there's been a lot of layoffs here and there and so I was hired there. There wasn't anybody in marketing ops, they they were using an agency at the time, which is they're awesome, but there's a after a certain point you need someone internal to be able to to, you know, understand the whole complexity of the business, right. So I was hired, hired. The start of my third week there was a layoff. Basically everybody on the rev ops team except for the Salesforce admin was let go. He was just started his two week PTO trip in Japan. So I was still getting access to all the things. Didn't have Salesforce admin access, but got that and was able to adjust some things. And so how this kind of plays into managing complex tech stacks is, I mean, being a technology company, a tech stack ourselves. We used to have this, this pattern of swap, deal swapping, so we would get your platform and you would get ours right and it looks nice and in terms of like a deal going through, right, but at the end of the day it really doesn't, you know, get too much in terms of revenue depending on the deal, but we did that for so long in the past that we had, basically, you name it, we had it and do, and we're going to the we're through the point right now where every, every department's really minimizing what they have in their tech stack and that's been a huge part of me and and the rest of rev ops team is really getting down to to what's necessary, what's going to actually help us process our, our, our prospects through our systems and get ourselves people the most actionable data that they can to do their jobs most effectively. So when I got here, there was, you know, my, I mean my my tab is still filled with a bunch of bookmarks of different tools. Thankfully, it's gone down quite quite a bit, which has been nice. But I feel like this question there's two parts. There's the number of tools that you have. You could probably cut out some. You probably can and save your company a lot of money there. But also, in terms of the automation and the processes that you're building out, simplifying those. So I feel like that's where, yes, you can eliminate tools, but where you're going to have the the most freedom to go and and make change, I feel like is going in and and reviewing your, auditing your systems and seeing where you can simplify things down. For me it was really simple because we had a layoff I was needed to go into. I needed was needed to go into lean data and revamp our lead lead routing processes, and so that was just like a no brainer had to go in there and do it. But through doing that, I audited the system and realized that there's a lot of fluff in there. That was when we were a 700 person company and now, when we're a hundred person, there's a lot of change that happens within that difference. Right, and so really simplifying down what is needed, it really simplified our system and really made it a lot more efficient. So we didn't have to do all these territory assignments. It was really just a round robin now, or and really being able to add in additional things, like now we're connected to Slack through Lean Data, which helps us be notified when certain hot leads come through, etc. That we weren't doing before, but we were doing a bunch of other stuff that wasn't really needed. So I think there's just two parts the actual tech stack, but also what you're doing within the tech stack. That probably is over complicated. I can be simplified down.

Speaker 1:

I feel like there's a third item too, which is like there's this hidden cost of like you actually need people to maintain the systems, right. So you know, and that could be you actually need more people, which has real costs. Or you get such a small sliver of people's time dedicated to any one of those, and usually those get squeezed if it's not one of the core ones, and then you know you're probably spending most of your time in two or three of them, and then the others that still have stuff going on that maybe you don't know about, right, it's still going on, Maybe it breaks and you don't know about it till two days later, right. So I think there's the risk there and a potential cost. This also gets into. Then you know, one way I guess that we could avoid some of that pain is by having solid documentation, right? Are you? Like? How are you doing stuff with documentation? Was there any when you walked in right into that sort of chaotic situation?

Speaker 3:

The agency did. They're really good at documenting out things, but I mean they documented the processes that they built out or it worked on. They weren't going in and doing things that they didn't touch, which is understandable. So when I came in, there was I mean we had an issue with demo requests. We were having like someone even like the day my first interview, someone reached, you know, tagged Sendoso and said, hey, I've submitted like a million demo requests. Nobody's reached out to me. What's going on? You know, super high engagement information is being sent over to you, but nothing was happening. So that was like the huge thing that I had to just quickly go in and audit. And then obviously there's been iterations of that. But yeah, documentation is. I mean, I think that's it's the bane of most people's existences within marketing operations. It's either you do it well or you don't. But you know you're always going to be switching a job here and there and if someone before you didn't document, then you're kind of left hanging trying to understand what's going on. But yeah, I got in here. There really wasn't a ton, but I like going through and just auditing systems anyways, and so what I typically do is have just like a Google Doc. That is just like a mind dump of everything that I'm noticing, and then I typically take that document into a wireframe, depending on what the process is, if it can be wireframe. But then I go into, you know, just wireframe it out. This is the starting point, this is where all the entries are and this is what where it's going. So I always do a current state and then I go in and blow it up and make a future state as well, just because there's always a lot of improvements there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, how do you, do you have a way that, like, do you block a certain amount of your time to be able to do some of that, or how do you like, how do you make time for that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean a lot of it is blocking time on my calendar. Fortunately for me, I don't have a ton of meetings. I probably have 10 meetings all week, which is great, you know, a couple each day and then the rest of the day I can go in and really schedule some busy work time for myself. They knock out those tasks that have been, you know, up on my queue. So but I mean, in instances where I have been busier and I've had more meetings, it really comes down to blocking out your calendar and you know there's going to be things that get added to your calendar last minute that are urgent here and there. But I found that people are really understanding about a full calendar and they're not going to like double book you all the time. So just making sure that you're lucky in terms of your I've been fortunate at least. Yes.

Speaker 1:

Naomi, I'm curious if you how important is documentation to you and your team there, and how do you, how do you make time for that?

Speaker 2:

I think it's something that you have to stay on top of because if you don't, it just becomes a huge mess. Obviously, right, and the flow, the workflow that I generally have taken on, is that everybody owns the documentation for the area that they are the subject matter experts in, right. So if they are responsible for X, then they are responsible for documenting X, maintaining that documentation. I tend to do short, quick updates to our business partners in Salesforce chatter, but I also use it as almost like a chapter guide for me of things I need to remind myself to do update documentation. So if I'm announcing something to the wider organization and I'm saying, hey, we just rolled out X, right, I tend to probably about I'd say, once a quarter go back and make sure that all of the documentation that's related to all of the announcements that I've put out on behalf of marketing ops has been properly updated and documented. That's just kind of the workflow that we have fallen into within EFI. Obviously, if there's anything that is like more crucial, like field mapping or data hygiene stuff or anything around privacy laws, right, that gets updated immediately.

Speaker 1:

Sure, yeah, yeah. So it sounds like you've got an embedded discipline within the team. That's an important thing. That's good. Sorry, I know you didn't prep for this, but is that part of how you evaluate your team too, in terms of reviews and whatnot? Is that part of their goal is to keep that up to date.

Speaker 2:

No, it's not a formal part of their goal. It doesn't get done. I just ask them, hey, why isn't it done?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's just like normal expectation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly yeah, and it's one of those things where a lot of the documentation it's a feel good thing to know that it's there and updated, but aside from the marketing ops team, a lot of us don't like nobody. I find that people don't really look at it unless you're doing something in that realm and then you go back and refer to it and it's almost. I find that a lot of the times when I'm referring to documentation, this stuff that I wrote myself just to remind myself what I did. And I'm dealing with something like this actually this very week around cookies and something that was implemented five years ago, and I don't remember the exact nuances of certain things and I had to go back in and refresh my memory and I guarantee you nobody in those five years has read that documentation except me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean the one I think about is I had a role once where part of my scope included an inbound team, business developments SDR, whatever you want to call it and the person. I finally was able to hire somebody. One of the things I had that person do was document the process that she was using, including email templates, because we didn't have it automated or it was all manual from that standpoint, so that there was no backup for her. It was basically me when she was out, so for me I was always referring back to it and then I knew she was always updating it on a regular basis. In this case it was like a wiki. Part of the project management system we had was where that lived, and so it just it was interesting like seeing that and it became very beneficial and that probably needed. I need to be better about doing that with the core marketing app stuff when I'm in those places.

Speaker 3:

So Something interesting that I found helpful for me in keeping up to date with documentation, because I feel like that's even harder than starting the documentation or even just having their like the initial document created, because they should be like a living document. They should be updated and adjusted here and there as you build out your systems. But something that I've recently started doing is, as soon as I do complete or update a document, I'll see I'll have in the start of all my documents it will have to who created it, when that was last updated, who are who it's going to, who are the stakeholders and what's the goal of this document. But on top of that, you know the last updated date. I'll set a calendar notification for myself. You know, depending on the type of document it is, say, like you know, if it is sourcing, maybe I should be looking at that on a monthly basis or maybe it's, you know, a quarterly thing. Right, I'll put it on my calendar. So when I get to that day it's like, oh, check this document and make sure it's updated, which has helped me, just, you know, a lot of times I'll just go in there like, oh, it really hasn't changed much, maybe it has a little bit here and there, and I just add that to the updates at the bottom of the doc, which has been really helpful. And just staying up to date, because that's a lot of times something I forget about and if I don't mark it somewhere, I'm never going to do it again.

Speaker 1:

I think that's a great idea, of sort of setting yourself a tickler reminder to check on those on a reasonable frequency. I think that's a great idea. Well, we've covered a lot of ground, colton. Is there anything we, you know we haven't touched on yet that you think is our audience, would benefit from in terms of, like, how to do more with less?

Speaker 3:

Maybe not with do more with less, but I think, just in general with marketing operations is just be curious. I feel like the more curious of a person you are, the better you are going to be suited to this role, just because there's always something new. And if you just shy away from that thing and say, hey, no, I'm not going to do with that, you know, whatever, you're not going to get very far or you're going to have a lot harder of time. But if you're curious about how things are working I mean whether that's within your defined role or outside a little bit it's always going to benefit you in just learning a little bit more here and there.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, yeah, I thought you were going to do a little Ted Lasso thing. Be curious, not just an adult, right?

Speaker 3:

What's good too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, probably, but I think it probably does apply in this way too. Well, hey, Colton, this has been a great conversation. I think our audience is going to benefit from this. If folks want to, you know, keep up with you or learn more from you, what's the best way that they can do that?

Speaker 3:

Uh, linkedin. I have been off of it for a bit right now, but LinkedIn is probably the best yeah.

Speaker 1:

Got it Okay. Well, great so, colton. Thank you, naomi, as always so great. So thanks for joining and to the rest of our audience, we appreciate you continuing to support us until next time. Bye, everyone, Bye, everyone, yeah, bye.

Doing More With Less in Marketing
Marketing Ops Project Prioritization and Communication
Managing and Simplifying Tech Stacks
Importance of Documentation in Marketing Operations