Recently I completed my first quarter as an independent Marketo Consultant; three wonderful clients allowed me the honor and challenge of helping them with their marketing automation and operations projects. After spending 10 years on the "other side" as an in-house employee, going independent has reinvigorated my love for my work and reminded me that I chose a rewarding career path, although sometimes it feels like it fell right into my lap! I've thought about why I enjoy MOPs so much and why I feel like I have something unique to offer, including certain personality traits present in people made for this type of work. Welcome to the first edition of what I'd like to call.......Mustang Musings.
Visual over auditory: I love music, but am not an auditory person. Years of piano lessons and theater, both watching and performing, did little to help me understand pitch and tone. When I hear a catchy new song, I look up the lyrics and practice them relentlessly. I need to see, touch, and feel things to fully absorb them. This has helped me in two ways: easily navigating around the Marketo UI and, more importantly, being organized BEFORE building in Marketo. When a client or teammate requests an Engagement Program, I find it critical to sit down with them to ensure we're on the exact same page; what's the end goal? How many Engagement Programs do they want and what is the Segmentation between them? How many Streams in each? Using a whiteboard, together we brainstorm and sketch out the process before I touch anything in Marketo - it makes the build process much smoother.
Natural organization: Like a true nerd, my digital photos are saved in folders with a strict naming convention of "Date - Location" - with YY first, of course! I enjoy playing Tetris with camping gear and the small trunk of a car, taking great pride in fitting round pegs through square holes. When I see a messy garage or poorly organized spice rack, it represents an opportunity to move forward, dig in, and get my hands dirty. I want to pull it apart, evaluate the pieces, and leave an improved, updated, better version. Little did I know these inclinations would carry over to Marketing Operations, but they have served me very well! I will never name a program "Email Blast - July 22, 2019" and suggest that you don't either! I'll never ignore a folder labeled "1-Local Assets" when I know it's much better off as "01-Local Assets."
MOPs responsibilities have blossomed and expanded to work with other departments. I have found that using visuals, along with strong organizational skills, is universally appreciated and yields faster results. The Creative Team who uses a SaaS project management tool can meet your requested deadlines when you clearly explain your requests and various deadlines. The Engineering Team can engage quicker when you can show them what you need with a diagram instead of trying to speak their language (and expecting them to speak yours).
If you’re in a MOPs role and struggling to jive with your stakeholders, either upstream or down, I suggest you take a moment to gather your thoughts, document what you know/don’t know, and you might be surprised what you can accomplish!