Ops Cast

Manage Your Hype Cycle or be Managed by it with Frans Riemersma

April 01, 2024 Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo & Frans Riemersma Season 1 Episode 111
Ops Cast
Manage Your Hype Cycle or be Managed by it with Frans Riemersma
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a journey through the intricate maze of marketing technology as Frans Riemersma, the brain behind MarTech Tribe, joins us to unravel the threads of hype cycles and their profound impact on the world of marketing innovation. Discover how these cycles mirror psychological models like the Dunning-Kruger effect and Kubler-Ross's grief curve, offering a fascinating glimpse into the way we, and the organizations we are a part of, come to grips with the relentless tide of new tech. If you're curious about aligning your tech investments with your actual needs, often finding that less is more, this episode is your treasure map to making informed, strategic choices.

Dive into the world where hype cycles intersect with marketing maturity models, and uncover where your company might land in the grand scheme of marketing automation and prowess. Frans guides us through the nuanced understanding of these maturity definitions, drawing from Carnegie Mellon University's framework, and how these cycles ripple through every level—from industry trends to individual experiences. We discuss the art of identifying the right project leaders and making strategic tech adoption decisions that navigate the crests and troughs of innovation. For those who aspire to lead the pack in the marketing technology race, this conversation is a lighthouse in the fog of industry buzz.

In our final chapter, we switch gears to the strategic elements of marketing operations and the undeniable power of data analysis. Learn how to reverse engineer customer journeys that magnify your company's value and why prioritizing client needs trumps the allure of shiny new tech. Frans imparts wisdom on the Blue Ocean Strategy and the art of aiming small to win big—ensuring your investments are not just expenditures but catalysts for success. If you've ever wondered how to make every dollar work for you, join us as we dissect the crucial elements of profitability and strategic questioning that can lead to your business's financial triumph.

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Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to another episode of OpsCast brought to you by MarketingOpscom, powered by the MoPros. I am your host, michael Hartman. This time definitely have a co-host with me, but just one, mike Rizzo, is here. Mike, say good morning because it's morning already.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, good morning, as it were. I'm glad to be back, it's glad to be back. I'm now referring to myself as an 8, so that's I guess what I'm doing? Yeah, there you go Because it's 8 am.

Speaker 1:

That's not too early, mike. I mean you've got young kids, so I know I'm sure you've had worse, I shouldn't complain.

Speaker 1:

Well, and so we've kind of got the other extreme with our guest today. So today we get to talk to one of the leading voices in marketing technology, frantz Reem Urshma, the founder of MarTech Tribe. Franz has been involved with marketing technology, marketing operations and virtually his entire career. He has a passion to research MarTech capabilities, stacks and vendors to make business lives better. Martech Tribe currently has a MarTech data warehouse of some of this will be a surprise, some won't 10,000-plus vendors, 1,000-plus plus real life stacks, which is pretty incredible, and 4,000 plus MarTech wide requirements and counting, which, for anyone who's gone through the process of choosing vendors, that would be a huge, big step to get that starting point. These are used for research and for marketing ops and MarTech professionals to rationalize their tech stack. So, frans, thank you for joining us today in the afternoon for you.

Speaker 3:

Yes, glad to be with you and thank you for joining us today in the afternoon. For you, yes, glad to be with you and thank you for having me. Yeah, looking forward to it.

Speaker 2:

I think we're a bit overdue for this, by the way.

Speaker 1:

Probably Definitely.

Speaker 2:

For those that want more of Franz after today, we've got sessions that he recorded at Mopsapalooza. He'll likely be back this year. Anyway, tuned, it's a good one yeah, awesome.

Speaker 1:

Well, and I think we we were just talking right before we started recording and I think this is actually the second time we've had him on. So but it we've. We've gone long enough now that I cannot remember or recall all of our guests, which is a fantastic problem to have.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but the advance, I guess the comment of it's overdue is that there's just been so much change in the market that I don't know. I'm lucky enough that I get to talk to Franz roughly once a month, I think yes. I think, it's time that our guests get to or, excuse me, our listeners get to hear from you.

Speaker 1:

That's right, all right. So, franz, let's get started first with maybe some definitional stuff, particularly for marketing tech. I think we all know that. I know I've been hearing the term hype cycle quite a bit lately, especially with the last 12 months of cognitive AI, chat, gpt, et cetera, et cetera. So, as kind of as a setup for the rest of this conversation, if you could describe what you think of when you hear the term hype cycle or maybe there's other terms that are, you know you could trade in and out, but what's your take on what that means?

Speaker 3:

I'm using the hype cycle as Gartner published it in, I think, some 20 years ago. Looking at, you know, new technologies entering the market, first going through a hype cycle and then, you know, going through depression and then bumping back up again and saying, ok, now we understand what this does for us and I like that a lot. I always try to, as a consultant, always use it, implement it, until I ran into the Dunning-Kruger curve, which is very, very similar and that's how we learn new stuff. So it's like a learning curve.

Speaker 2:

And it's again.

Speaker 3:

You know, first you're ignorant, so you think it's easy, and then it's not easy, and then you think, oh, this is special, and then nothing works. And then you go through depression and you go oh now.

Speaker 3:

I get it. So it's the same thing, and that was very, yeah, a light bulb moment, because we always look at technology as it will save the world, change the world and solve everything right. Suddenly, I walk into the office, everything is done and it's not like that. There's also a I don't know and we, as marketing ops pros, we have this what is it?

Speaker 3:

stakeholder management type of thing, change management. So this hype cycle combined both for me together with the Dunning-Kruger. And then it wasn't finished. There was a third curve that also could be overlaid on the hype cycle, which is the Kubler-Ross grief curve, and I don't understand 100% the word grief in this context. It's more emotions. So how do we process emotions right?

Speaker 3:

First, you're in denial, and then you get angry, frustrated, and then you get depressed, and then you get bargaining and acceptance. So I was like, okay, now it starts explaining to me how this works in the market. But the next step was then I saw that every single company goes through their own hype cycle Dunning-Kruger curve and Kuber-Ross grief curve and, funny enough, you know, suddenly it clicked when heard I think we are, we all heard the quote of okay, we bought a ferrari, but actually we needed a volkswagen, you know, because we just learned how to walk or to ride a bike, yeah, and suddenly it was like, oh, okay, that's really at the bottom of the hype side, but that's, that's the moment where you go like, okay, we have to take this from a completely different angle.

Speaker 3:

we learned a lot, and and this is the moment also where I saw some clients saying, okay, let's switch off everything and buy a new tool, meaning we didn't learn anything we do. We'll make the same mistake all over again.

Speaker 1:

I was like no, no, no, no, please, if we learn from there well, I think you you touched on something that I I guess it's been in the back of my mind for a while but it just popped up. If you ask most marketing ops professionals or even market tech professionals what's the core technology you need, they'll probably say marketing automation platform. And I think the dirty little secret in the industry is that there's not really all that much automation in marketing automation. It still requires a lot of human effort to set up the automation. If there is automation, and I think there's a risk factor too that goes unspoken in a lot of places, that sometimes you have automations that are over, like undoing each other or overlapping or conflicting and things like that overlapping or conflicting and things like that, which I think creates some of that lack of trust in the technology in that early stage of the hype cycle.

Speaker 3:

And that's the thing. So you touched upon in the introduction the data warehouse, the MarTech data warehouse, that we have and we're starting to see correlations between the value it drives for the outperformers in an industry and, let's say, the low performers.

Speaker 1:

And then you see suddenly that marketing automation like you just said, it's really prevalent and thriving in stuff like Just because I'm an anal person about this kind of stuff. When you say higher performers, poor performers, are you talking about the perception within marketing operations or marketing teams? Are you talking about the perception within, like marketing operations or marketing teams? Are you talking about the actual business performance from a revenue profitability standpoint?

Speaker 3:

Yes, exactly so per industry, we're looking at 30% outperformers based on their revenue per employee ratio. So they can be small, they can be big, but they're very successful because you know, per person they make the most revenue.

Speaker 3:

So we could say yeah, that's a kind of upper league out there that we want to learn from and that's indeed the outperformers. And what we see is, in retail, for instance, marketing automation is more prevalent and not so much CRM, whereas in professional services the other way around. And suddenly it starts to click right. And I think, if you go through this hype cycle, this is very interesting because the hype cycle represents also maturity. You know, initially you were kind of new to this technology. You go I have no clue what this does, and, not hindered by any type of experience or knowledge, you think you will just, you know, shoot for the moon and you know that's where it goes up and then it goes down again. So this is, yeah, a very good way of getting to terms with technology, but also the emotions around it. So I call it, you know, coffee corner consultancy.

Speaker 2:

So just, you know, stand next to the coffee corner and listen what people say.

Speaker 3:

Ah this is a shit tool.

Speaker 1:

Okay, sorry, yeah for choosing that word, but those are the words out here and you're like okay, what does that mean?

Speaker 3:

well, it means that sorry it happens all the time it happens all the time, yeah, so and it like okay, so what should we do? Other people say like we have to get it the first time, right, you know, and we have to have a tool that's future-proof. Yeah, that's typically something with a low maturity, and now we can see that if you increase your maturity, you also, in some cases, in some industries, increase your revenue brand ratio.

Speaker 1:

So it's interesting you bring up maturity models. I don't think you and I talked about that specifically preparing for this, but it made me think that I've had both consulting organizations or professional services or vendors themselves technology vendors do maturity assessments of the organizations. I've been with right In terms of our maturity around marketing automation or marketing just marketing in general, and I had not thought about that there's there's sort of this overlap or maybe it's. Maybe it's like a no one can see what I'm doing with my hands, but like this, maybe there's a delayed timeframe from the hype cycle to the maturity or vice versa. I don't. It feels like there's a. There is some sort of relationship there though, too, within organizations.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I created a slide where you can see the correlation or the overlap with the hype cycle. So if you're really at the very, very first point, you're basically trying to figure it out. So you're number one. Number two is at the top. At the bottom it's three, so that's where your catharsis takes place and you go like, okay, now I get it. And then four and five, so that's normally how it works. And maturity I'm using specifically the maturity definitions of the Carnegie Mellon University. Okay, it's been around for a while and I'm not a big big fan of maturity models. They normally tend to confuse me, but this one made a lot of sense.

Speaker 3:

They made it very simple. They said listen, you cannot automate what you haven't standardized and you cannot standardize what you haven't defined. And that coincides, you know, defining is the first step, from one to three somewhere, and then around three you have consolidated stuff and standardized. You know more or less what is good for your company, and this is coinciding with the valley of despair as they call it, or what is it? It's something like that yeah, depending on which curve you're using.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's what happens when you wing things.

Speaker 3:

Exactly. And then you get into the automation, optimization stuff. So yeah, that's, and it makes it very simple, at least for me, to break it down in meetings that I can see this person is new to the business and the other one is not and you can pick out also a very good project lead. You know to say you can drive it. You have most knowledge, judging by the coffee corner consultancy comments.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, even somebody who might not realize that they would be the best person suited for it. I've seen that too, yeah. So I think you've touched on this a little bit that there's sort of industry or technology hype cycles and these different curves and then their organizations go through similar stuff, but also individual people do, including different rates that they go through those cycles within an organization. So how does that fit into this overall model about how important understanding where things are in the hype cycle and the maturity it feels like maturity is becoming an important part of this conversation?

Speaker 3:

Yes, I think you nailed it with the three levels. You know, the Gartner hype cycle is really touching upon the market, but I saw it happening in a company level or a business unit or a team or even a personal level, and you have to distinguish that because sometimes and this is what I see, a lot is that we are trying to change the software.

Speaker 3:

If you're on top of the hype cycle, this is where your intuition has been wrong and you're starting to realize that the next step is that your analysis is wrong. So what do we do? We're going to say, okay, next step is that your analysis is wrong. So what do we do? We're going to say, okay, we're unique, we have to customize this tool, we're different you know, this is the industry right, so unique yeah, you're a special snowflake.

Speaker 1:

Your mother told you so there you go um wait I am, and that's and that's where you need to go.

Speaker 3:

I'm rolling my eyes just to be clear, and you just said something like the differences, distinctions you have to make. Well, this is where you see some people that are already went through the hype cycle in a different company earlier, and those are your project leads.

Speaker 3:

And you have to make it clear internally like, yes, it's a great comment, we have to get it the first time right, but it's not going to happen because there is such a thing like a learning curve. What you want typically is to have lower peaks and valleys and that's where these people can help, and I think this is marketing ops territory.

Speaker 1:

So do you think you'd want lower peaks and valleys, or do you want what would the? I'm trying to remember my physics stuff right. Shorter wavelength, if you will.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's an interesting one. With a recent report that I co-published with Scott Brinker, he also we discussed that and he said so it's not only that you want to lower the peaks, because that's where you have to. You know, invest and divest and reinvest.

Speaker 1:

So that's and that's not only money.

Speaker 3:

It's also time lead time, effective time, resources, people, energy mood.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's opportunity costs that nobody ever really considers right. What else could? We have done with that time and money and people.

Speaker 3:

But to your point, it's also shrinking. So the timelines or the lead time from beginning to end of a hype cycle is also shortening, I think over the years. Some of the software has been around for ages, like CRM, I don't know 20, 30 years.

Speaker 1:

Now with check, gpt, things are much shorter we're still in the hype cycle, I must say so personally, I don't know. I don't think we have figured it out yet, which is not bad, I mean, but it's very early days and, yeah, I agree with you so since you kicked us off, be it, you know, we're gonna have to do the e rating on our episode here, like why should our audience give a fuck? Right, like, like, who cares about this hype cycle thing? Right, like, such a good question um.

Speaker 3:

The thing is what I can only say what it helped me with in terms of marketing operations. I was pulling the wrong strings. I was thinking it's software and you go into these feature discussions.

Speaker 1:

We're missing this.

Speaker 3:

We're missing that and ultimately you go like it's because some person said something. And then you go like now with the hype saga, I know where this person is. So now it's maybe a knowledge problem or an experience problem rather than a technology problem. And I've been on the other side. I've been on the MarTech vendor side. I was VP R&D for a company in Germany. They later bought Allocadia, hive9 and stuff and that was the real problem. I was head of all features. I could just wave my wand and we had new features and it almost never solved problems. I was like okay what's going on here?

Speaker 3:

So I had to dig deeper and then I went like, okay, but what are we trying to solve? What is the real problem we're trying to solve? And that is the question that you really ask yourself at the slope of enlightenment only at that stage, why not earlier? And that's how I thought okay, we can save a lot of money here and time and frustration.

Speaker 2:

So I love, I, you know I I love this conversation. Um, I love that marketing ops has an opportunity to you know, step in in a in a meaningful manner here. Um, recent experience has you know I'm just going to touch on something that I, I think you know. It is tangential, it's related, it's a little bit feature specific, but it has to do with the educational component that you touched on, and it's just like understanding the art of the possible Marketing operations. Professionals are tasked with understanding the art of the possible possible right. How can these tools facilitate go-to-market or a particular motion in a way that is either faster or more accurate, or what have you right?

Speaker 2:

The challenge that I've recently come up against is working with the client in the last handful of months.

Speaker 2:

Is lead scoring right? And this is just like some basic type of, you know, everybody feels like they do lead scoring, and there are some really simple foundational things that the demand gen team just sort of assumed would happen. Right, the demand gen team just sort of assumed what happened right, and the assumption was oh, if we, this particular tech stack is Salesforce and a HubSpot environment, and so the integration may be for those of us that are in marketing ops. We sort of know that the tie between, maybe, a Marketo and a Salesforce might be a little more unique than the way that a HubSpot and a Salesforce integrate. And the assumption on the Demand Gen team actually having no exposure to either of the maps that we just mentioned just assumed that if we changed the status, the campaign status, of a person, that that would somehow impact a workflow, someone would be alerted somewhere and that their work, their lead score would, you know, go up by 10 points or whatever it was Automated.

Speaker 1:

right it's automation.

Speaker 2:

And it circles back to the points that we made at the top of this, you know recording, which is that people forget that there's a lot of people behind you know making this stuff happen, right, so that's the shortest possible way and I'm sure we've all experienced a version of that story right In our career, internally or with clients to get to this idea of okay, but how do you, like, whose job is it to teach the rest of the people that don't understand the art of the possible? Is it marketing ops? And they're like how do we so is is this hype cycle thing? Like, who's responsible for understanding this? I guess I answered it it's marketing ops. But like, clearly, these folks that are meant to, they just expect that these things are happening. Like, how do we I, how do we get from these peaks and valleys and shorten that curve? Like what, what are you seeing that's happening in the market right now? I don't know. Or how do we do?

Speaker 3:

that what I see working, so that's what I can talk about. What I see working is a kind of reverse engineering, because the end of the hype talk is what you want to start with. I mean, the sooner you get that, the better it is. Like Michael said, how can you shorten that lead time? And what is very often overlooked is that we are a kind of feature wishing well type of team and department, and that's when we never get to our core value. And that is indeed, you know what you just said, mike making sure that we drive the value and drive the right steps. And one of the things that I miss a lot is that marketing ops is looking into technology, not as much in data, and the client is leading, so it's other teams and sales and what have you and?

Speaker 3:

C-level. But there's one on top above everything and that's the client. And if we know what the client really really wants and we have that data I mean marketing ops is on top of that data. If we then take that reverse engineer, then suddenly and this is what I always learned at the end of the hype cycle we've been boiling the ocean with features, software, data and everything, and at the end of the game you know, okay, it's only 30% of the data, 30% of the features are really needed, 30% of the content and that's it. You just have to figure out as soon as you can the 30% and that's the problem. You don't know that at the beginning, but there is already. So we haven't shared that in the introduction, but I teach at business schools and universities and we do this stuff every single time. They have to work with real life company data and then reverse engineer and they always start with technology.

Speaker 3:

Give me a big technology, we'll solve everything. And I go like, okay, what are we solving? That's? That's the million dollar question, and it always comes down to kind of an 80 20 rule. You know 20 of your customer journeys and data and features are are driving 80 of the company value sometimes not even marketing campaigns really company value and just do that.

Speaker 3:

If you wake up tomorrow, start you know new on your job. Do that. Figure out what is the best market. And there's always this counterintuitive feeling like, yeah, but then we leave out 80% of the journeys.

Speaker 3:

Yes, the ones that don't drive value. Focus on these and if you do that, I've seen a return of $1 invested and $16 back. With all these plants across the board, regardless if it's B2C, b2b, regardless of the industry, and I think that is mind-blowing. Just okay, here it is Follow the money. That's all you have to do, and then you get the ears and the eyes of the board. Easily, I've seen with these plants, and that's really intriguing. Really, we're chasing our tails. So 30% of those people created a plan at the business school and university. They came to me and said this is what the board wants, but my data shows that they're dead wrong and it's not going to bring any money.

Speaker 3:

But actually, what I found was something else. Every single time they went to the board, the board said can you implement it? Yesterday, it was never a fight, it was easy, as it can be. So talk money, use your data. Oh, and then look at technology, and that's me speaking as a market.

Speaker 2:

I love it, I there's. There were so many things that that came to mind as you were sharing, uh, sharing that. And one of you know, one of my favorite things to say is uh, aim small, miss small. But I think what we could add on to that is aim small, miss small, win big, right. Um, because there's that opportunity where in these smaller pockets, where you focus your energy, you actually could to your point, the return was what a dollar invested for 16x back. That's huge, right. And then I think, just to tack onto that, sorry, there's a book I feel like you recommended it to me, franz, maybe, but it's a blue oceans, blue ocean strategy.

Speaker 1:

Um, you told me about that, mike. I need to get that.

Speaker 2:

You do need to get this, um, but it's, it is. It's a way to think about, you know. It talks a little bit more broadly about markets in general, right? So there's you. You want to swim in a sea of a blue ocean, where it's sort of open and there's very little competition, and so it's trying to find. Your blue ocean strategy is, if I'm summarizing it, I think that's true, though even inside of an organization, right To your point, where you can hone in on specific components of your target segments or your audience, or the pipeline and how quickly it moves in a particular persona, there's a blue ocean inside of your data, somewhere that can unlock a 1 to 16x right. And so those were the things that were going through my head, where I was like gosh, you know, people should read these books and tune into these things, because it really can tee up your mind to try to look for those opportunities. I think.

Speaker 3:

Sorry, there's no question mind to try to look for those opportunities. I think, sorry, the beauty is no. The beauty is suddenly there's a lot of uh noise, you know falling away and so you suddenly don't need all your data and you know which data you need and you don't need. And here here we go. That makes you super powerful as a marketing ops, person's, person in meetings, regardless if you're not at the top of the food chain, if you know your business. I've had many of these people and these people at the universities. They are seasoned marketers, like 20 years in a job, and they said literally, for the next two, three years I've done my job. I know exactly what drives money for this company and this is something if you look at follow the money. Just look at one persona. You know that drives most of the product you sell most, because what we normally focus on is a new product launch, something that hasn't been proven yet, and then you know the core automation is rambling and upworking for the customer. That's really driving the valley.

Speaker 1:

It sounds like the back and forth we were having on Slack yesterday, mike, or the last couple of days in the marketingappscom Slack about Google Analytics and GA4 versus LGA and how it's they kind of you know it may be better and how it's they kind of you know it may be better. I have yet to find anybody who really jumps up and down going like I'm so glad I had GA4 or whatever it was before, because it just is not built for the general user anymore.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I think they definitely. Whatever decisions they made, you know, around grabbing data for running ads in a different methodology or whatever it is that Google's doing there, uh, definitely left a lot of us savvy marketing technologists in the dust that are feeling like, wow, I don't, I don't actually know how to use this product anymore.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's, it's crazy. So I want to go back. Mike, you asked the question about, uh, essentially like, whose responsibility is it to train or help educate the rest of the team or stakeholders within the organization? So there's an implication there to me that I see, which is kind of going back to this individual hype cycle or maturity cycles whatever you want to call it for the people within an organization cycle or maturity cycles whichever you want to call it for the people within an organization, and it feels like if you're a marketing ops person, you need to know two things that are going to be really important. Well, three things really. Where are we in terms of our technology maturity? You know, that's like where are we really to? Where am I in terms of, like, understanding whatever hype cycle that happens to be coming through right now? And then, where are each of those individual people so that you can tailor what you're doing with them? I mean, francis, does that sound, does that ring true with you? Am I off?

Speaker 3:

I mean, Bullseye, I would say that's exactly it.

Speaker 1:

We're done.

Speaker 3:

We're doing a lot of change management as marketing ops right, more than we maybe like to or realize. Whatever just fill in the blank space and this is a way of untangling what is what? Is it technology? Because I don't know what it is. But we really are confused about technology, if I may say so. Take a hammer, it's a tool. Software is a tool. A hammer never built or designed a house, it's always a human being using it. Now, suddenly, with the tool, we go like, oh, build me a house, build me a customer journey. Seriously, it's not how it works. So what is it you want? And you can only answer that question by again follow the money, look at the customer. You will win any conversation internally, really even from the CEO, if you know the customer. I love the expression of Scott Vaughn, former CMO of Integrate. Yes, he said marketing and marketing ops is the customer journey, well told at the boardroom table. And there you go. I mean, if you look at the data, you have everything laid out for you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah I think you're hitting on something I've been thinking about too lately, which is this importance. So I think it's fair to say that there are a lot of marketing ops, marketing technology professionals, who look down upon the rest of their team a bit because they just don't understand it. They don't understand the role and they complain about it, which is, to some degree, natural, right. I think there's a natural thing to do that. What I keep coming back to is, at the same time, if you're going to do that, you need to prove that you really understand how the business makes money, right.

Speaker 1:

If you don't understand how the business makes money and it's going to do that you need to prove that you really understand how the business makes money Right. If you don't understand how the business makes money and it's going to be really hard for you to advocate for the kinds of changes, or or not changes, within technology and how you're doing stuff. To say this is why I think it's, this is why I believe that we should or shouldn't do this thing. And that goes if you and so I think my my thing from this is be really, if you're a marketing entrepreneur, you're frustrated with the rest of your team like you need to look at yourself a little bit too and see like is there a gap in your knowledge to know, like I need to better understand the way the business works.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I. I think that's that's really really good advice. These conversations are hard, right. I think we're talking about a subject matter that, in truth, I probably wouldn't be prepared to facilitate any type of engagement until about years I don't know four, five, six into my role in marketing operations, right, where I've really had some exposure to. I understand how the tools generally work, I understand how the you know what these things can do, but now I need to figure out how to have a conversation with stakeholders inside of a business. That doesn't sound like I'm trying to put my fingerprints all over their process. Right, I'm not trying to be your. I know how to do this person. I'm trying to be a facilitator to improve upon something.

Speaker 2:

So you tell me what is it that you would like to be better? What? What is painful about your day in, day out experience of working here? What is painful about your day in, day out experience of working here? Or what do you think the best go-to-market strategy is, or the best persona is? And start to just ask those questions so that you can learn from them.

Speaker 2:

It's less about you trying to be the person that has the answer. It's you trying to uncover the challenge, to maybe find a better way right, and I think that that's the struggle that I always had coming up through marketing operations is. You know, even as a consultant. Now I just met with somebody this week who said I really just want somebody from the outside looking in to objectively tell me that we're doing it right or wrong, or that there's a missed opportunity here and that's great. With time you might, or that there's a missed opportunity here and that's great. With time you might be able to do that in your career. But I think it's important for those of us who are on the journey through this vocation. You don't have to have all the answers. What you do have to have is the curiosity, and we always talk about that, right, but you do have to facilitate that discussion and I think that's the hardest part about all of this is how do I get that conversation going?

Speaker 1:

right, go sit down and sit down next to your best salesperson, if you can.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Like seriously, like they are the best salespeople I know, are masters at asking really really good questions. Yeah, I agree.

Speaker 3:

And what's scary part is because in all those questions, there needs to be one I would recommend how do we make money? And it's scary how many people have no clue and from there on, everything goes pear-shaped. Everything is like gut feeling and I've seen something at work there and I mean that is really the best way to waste resources. So I would really ask okay, how do we make money? And the scary part again is 9 out of 10 people don't know, which is horrible, because I think we should know more or less. I recently did a benchmark for a bank and they said we have three stacks, franz, and you need to see how we can optimize them B2B, b2c, b2b2c. I looked at the annual report that is just publicly available and I said 95% is made B2C. So why are we looking at the other two? Bomb, all the noise gone, and that's the thing. And they didn't know. They didn't check your own annual report.

Speaker 1:

That's crazy.

Speaker 2:

We should cut up on our desire right To launch a new feature or to enter a new market or whatever, but to your point figure out what makes money. It's there.

Speaker 1:

That is a major filter that if you don't have for your day-to-day work, it would probably solve I don't know what we're calling it 75% of the challenges you have. It's just understanding that, because part of that is helping you understand what not to do.

Speaker 2:

Right, well, I also. I want to. I want to call something out too, just in case there happens to be listeners of this episode that are leadership or outside of marketing operations in general our leadership or outside of marketing operations in general. In my opinion, the other side of the coin here is the other, or maybe not even the other, side of the coin. The other reason this is a hard discussion to have is that you've probably overburdened your marketing ops and MarTech team with way too much nonsense, right, and so we've been touching on that already. We're saying, hey, get rid of the noise, understand what makes money, focus on the things that matter, etc.

Speaker 2:

But as a leadership team whether you're in marketing or sales or just a CEO, cxo of any kind you need to create the space to be able to have these discussions, right, because somebody who's got a backlog that's a mile long or longer doesn't feel like they have the capacity to go ask that really scary question, which is how do we make money to the question that you shared with us just a moment ago, franz, or what is it that's painful for you? How can I improve your process? Because what's going to happen? Inevitably someone's going to go oh, like this is complete, all these things are broken, right, and you're going to be like, oh great, my backlog just got even longer, so I don't want to ask that question, right? But we need to create that space. So, for anybody that isn't the practitioner here that is really trying to lead these teams and build these programs, you need to be able to create the space for these and make it safe enough to know that you don't have to add all this to the backlog, right? This is, you know, not everything is going to end up being a priority, so I just wanted to call that out because this is hard.

Speaker 1:

I've told my marketing leadership teams before especially those on like content and demand gen sides like they sometimes get caught up on things they say only marketers give a shit about. You need to let that go. Your audience doesn't care if you have a single word at the bottom of a paragraph in an email. They just don't give a shit. They don't no one else cares.

Speaker 2:

So get over it. You're the only person that's paying attention right now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, what I really liked. At Mbs of palooza there was this cmo of clever bridge on stage with his marketing ops person yes, and he said by a show of hands, how many people I think there were like 80 people in the room um, show of hands, how many people know the okrs of their boss, of their cmo? One person raised their hand. I then you should have a backlog. That's through the roof. When I worked in Germany for this market company, I told my team. I said, and this is why we went to a bar, it was a good excuse to go to a bar. I said, if I catch you drunk in a bar, I still want you to be able to phrase how we make money and what are your three top priorities. That's it. I mean that should be. You know, in your autonomous nervous system, that's what brings the money in.

Speaker 1:

That's wild, yeah, that's crazy, that one out of however many 80, call it seven. Whatever the number was right, one is not enough.

Speaker 3:

It was one because they had one bottle of wine that they were giving away and they said well, lucky us, Lucky me.

Speaker 2:

This is for you. I want to circle back to something you mentioned just a little bit ago, franz, and this is related to this idea that there's only a certain percentage of the data, or aspects of your data that really matter, and it goes back to this idea of sort of the warehouse, the CDPs, of what's been happening in the market. I'm really excited about this architectural opportunity that's coming in the next five to 10 years here. What's your take on this warehouse native motion that's sort of happening right now and starting with the data first, versus, you know, the platforms that we're used to today, right, the CRM and the map and the this and the that. Are you seeing a shift in the market? That's? You know, the marketing ops team has this opportunity to focus in on let's centralize the data and then build from there. Is that a marketing ops job or is that really in this IT sector still?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you guessed my thoughts, my mind. The thing is it should be marketing ops, because you need business savvy people with tech savvy skills to combine that and to follow the money. To combine that and to follow the money. It's almost lethal in the hands of IT because what we do is we collect as much data as we can and we don't have to because 30% is telling something. Maybe you need like 80% to figure out the 30%, but then you can leave the rest out and you know it's a data hunger or craving what we have, and we need somebody who says yeah, but this is not relevant.

Speaker 3:

This is something we don't need. It will not ever end up, or in an email or in an analysis, so why are we collecting it?

Speaker 1:

And I know from my own data warehouse.

Speaker 3:

You know data is very time consuming, so focus on the right stuff. Yeah, and that's what marketing ops knows.

Speaker 2:

Sorry, no, no, I appreciate you sharing that that's my sentiment as well is there's a tremendous exciting opportunity coming and here today for some organizations that you know, the business savvy, the understanding you know, even if you don't understand how the business makes money, just understanding how the business works creates an opportunity for you to to create a new sort of emotion in the market. And and and Justin Norris, I think, recently published an episode on his podcast a similar topic. Right, I think he even went on record on social saying something around the lines of I don't know if I would necessarily invest right away in a marketing automation platform first, right, I would maybe think about the data warehouse.

Speaker 1:

I've thought about that too, where, if I was able to go into a place that was brand know that was brand new, didn't already have stuff, would I? Would I go invest in one of the major platforms? I'm not sure I would.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've, I I feel similar and I'm I'm a huge champion for a lot of these products that I that I've done really well for the companies I've worked at Right, but I I'm also looking at this new landscape where, goodness, if I can centralize all the data in in you know, you name it some sort of tool and then operate off of that. It's a different conversation though. Yeah, I think it's a better conversation, but I think what's scary right now for me and probably for other CEOs and executives out there, is that it doesn't feel like anybody. It's sort of like we're going backwards in time where no one knew how any of this shit worked. We were just trying to figure out how MarTech worked in general and marketing automation. We're entering that phase again, but it's at this really interesting inflection point where, as a marketing operations professional, if you're thinking about this data warehouse, native stuff who's ever done it it's kind of like being an entrepreneur If you're going to go build a company and you've never built a company before it's super scary.

Speaker 2:

And now, if you're going to your senior leadership and your executive and your board and you're saying hey, by the way, we're going to not do it the way that everybody else does it, we're going to actually do it this way instead, they're all going to look at you like you're knocking butts.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that actually brings up an interesting point I think this is hinting at. Also, I think part of the challenge goes back to those vendors, right? Yeah so is there anything that you would advise to these tech vendors to help their, their customers right, their core audience, which is oftentimes marketing ops, marketing, tech, marketing leadership? You know what could they do to help that, help those people go through this process and, you know, maybe shorten the timeframe or reduce the amplitude of those waves? Right, what's your advice for them?

Speaker 3:

For the tech vendors. I would really make sure that and this is maybe counterintuitive but make sure that you have, in the shortest time possible, a minimum amount of features implemented, because, with marketers, we're often abusing software vendors. We ask them to educate us how to best use this, how to, but that's not really.

Speaker 3:

That's like asking a pharmaceutical company what pill should I use yeah, of course they will advise all. And that's like asking a pharmaceutical company what pill should I use yeah, of course they will advise all. And that's not fair. And if we do our homework, they will do a better job. They want many software vendors and that's beautiful. If you talk to the CEOs and you ask them, you know why did you start this company? You get the best stories that are out there. They really are so passionate, they know why they did it. They're solving that are out there. They really are so passionate, they know why they did it. They're solving that problem for you. Now, that is, if they could make sure that that story ends up in some kind of onboarding, you know, or a template, that would be great, so that you just switch it on.

Speaker 3:

I'm in this industry. I'm trying to achieve that, and the counterintuitive thing for tech vendors is often this magic thing called utilization and underutilization. Like we're not using everything. I don't know If you play Fur Elise on a piano, it's like four or five keys. Are you underutilizing your piano? I think you wouldn't throw it away because it's a very nice song and that's the song your clients want to hear. So, yeah, I would say, have the guts to say, okay, do less short a time frame and they're your clients forever.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's interesting because the corollary I keep thinking of in my head while we're talking about this is Microsoft Word, which is probably the de facto. Maybe Google Docs now, but over the years they've added on all these different features and capabilities that I think will do the 80-20, right. 20% of their customers use, 80% don't, and I've always thought, if I just want a version that's essentially the basic version that was 25 years ago, could I just get that and get it for cheaper, like I would love that. I would be totally on board with that because I don't need all the other stuff that someone who is a heavy duty publisher is using.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the thing it's always a kind of a Venn diagram, right?

Speaker 3:

So I'm using this piece and you're using that piece and there's an overlap and they have to offer everything. What I'm saying with onboarding is that they tell you okay, michael, you're in this business, you use this piece, franz, you use the other piece. But what they often do is, like you know, it's feature bonanza, the more the merrier, and you should use them all.

Speaker 3:

That's not helping, that's not solving a problem. So I always ask, as a vendor, the question okay, what are you trying to solve? And then we reverse engineer and say, okay, michael, you solve it this way, franz, you solve it that way, and in only two steps. And that's another thing I call it speed to value. How quickly can you create value for the customer, for the company? And you know it shouldn't take nine months to produce or to launch. Yeah, I think it's the same time for making a baby, and that's crazy.

Speaker 2:

That's crazy, right? I asked that same question in our no Bullshit Demo Series.

Speaker 3:

Oh, that was very nice. This friend of mine from Belgium, consultant, he said something like 30, 60, 90. I said, what are you talking about? 30 days you should evaluate, 60 days you should implement, and then 90 days you get your money back, your driving value. And then I said, was? It days, or was it minutes?

Speaker 1:

But I like that and it shouldn't be longer than that.

Speaker 3:

Otherwise, I knew this company was that we have implemented software. Well, we're busy doing it. We're in the third year and I was like how long is your license?

Speaker 1:

It's expiring next year, no, value the third year and I was like how long is your license, it's expiring next year, no value. It feels like we could carry on for another hour here, unfortunately for all of us. I think we're at our time. So, franz, this has been a great conversation. Appreciate it. If you've got resources or something you want to share, please let us know. If our audience wants to keep up with what you're doing at MarTech Tribe or other things, what's the best way for them to do?

Speaker 3:

that, yeah, follow my LinkedIn profile. That's where I publish a lot of research. I love to share it because I learn what works, what people like to hear, like to know, like to learn about. And, of course, I co-publish with Scott Brinker, martechmapcom. So, yeah, that's how we meet.

Speaker 1:

Fantastic, and we'll be doing.

Speaker 2:

we'll do another MarketingOps and Martech Tribe, collaboration on the tech stack analysis piece right, the benchmarking report that you do with us, so tech tribe, um, you know. Collaboration on the tech stack um analysis piece right, the benchmarking report that you do with us, so you know, for our listeners. Watch out for that. We'll do another one before we head into Mopsapalooza, and hopefully Franz will be there to uncover that in real time with some of you.

Speaker 1:

So, um, yes, yeah, fantastic Good stuff, france again. Thank you. Thanks for staying up late. Mike, thanks for jumping on early.

Speaker 2:

And yes, sir, thank you both.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, to thank you to our audience, for continuing to stick with us and support us until next time. Bye, everyone.

Speaker 3:

Bye. Thank you so much.

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