My Marketing Ops Journey with Mike Tatum, Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Athletic Greens (formerly with SurveyMonkey)

We are continuing our series of Marketing Ops career journeys.

In this episode we are joined by Mike Tatum, currently Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Athletic Greens. 

Prior to that, he held several roles in demand gen, general marketing, digital marketing, and lead generation. He has also been on the agency side and was a media planner/buyer. 

Mike has been a speaker at INBOUND, the HubSpot conference. He also does consulting and training on HubSpot and digital marketing. Prior to all of that, he served in the US Army. 


Hi, I’m Michael Hartmann, I’m Naomi Lou, and I’m Mike Rizzo. And this is ops cast, a podcast for marketing ops pros and rev ops pros created by the MO Pros. The number one community for marketing operations. As professionals tune into each episode as we chat with real professionals to help elevate you in your marketing operations career.

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast brought to you by the MO Pros. I’m your host Michael Hartmann. I’m joined today by one of my co-hosts Mike Rizza, my ex and Lou. Excuse me. There’s a different one. That was a new one, right? Yeah. Alright. Sorry for coughing everybody here. We are not going to re record that mic.

So keep going. We’re just going to roll with it. Not until I accidentally cut us off again. You made it through the last one I did. So we’ll see if that luck continues. I am a professional. All right. So we are continuing our series of marketing ops career journeys. Today. We’re joined by Mike Tatum. He’s currently the director of life cycle marketing at athletic greens.

Before that he held several roles in demand, gen general marketing roles, digital marketing, and lead gen. He’s also been on the agency side and was a media planner buyer. Uh, he’s been a speaker at inbound, the HubSpot user conference. He’s also done consulting and training on HubSpot and digital marketing AAC, still doing that.

And before all that he served in the U S army. So Mike, first of all, thank you for your service and thanks for joining us. Yes. Yes. Thank you. I’m actually so excited to be here. Um, definitely one of my top podcasts, since it’s a little bit of a dream for me to be a part of this. So I think it shaped you having me.

Well, that means something special. That’s really cool. Absolutely. Like that’s amazing that somebody is excited to be on. I like that. Awesome. And so for our, we were chatting about this beforehand. Hopefully our guests will be able to distinguish our voices. So we get three mikes or Michaels here. So bear with us.

And what’s interesting is this is not the first time that it’s happened. Right. So I know we’ve had at least one other episode, we had that. So let’s shame word, such a popular name. It is for only, only for about 60 years. Right. All right.

All right. Well, let’s get, uh, let’s get going here. So, uh, Yeah. And, you know, we talked about this, I feel like I’m going to repeat myself over and over in these episodes because every time I think, well, we can’t get yet another new and interesting story, but at this time we are, uh, being proven wrong again.

So, um, Mike Tatum, let’s start. Yeah. Maybe your time serving in the military prior to civilian life, you know, maybe let’s start with. Um, cause you didn’t have talked a little bit about this, the transition you went through from military life to civilian life. And I know like going to college and all that kind of stuff and how that may be shaped your career and your career path.

Can you share something about that with us? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. Um, so I joined the army right out of high school. Um, you know, I was young, like I wanted adventure. Um, and I joined. And so I joined as an infantry man. Um, for those of you that aren’t familiar, probably what comes to mind when you sit, think of someone in the army, kind of like carrying a gun and doing that whole piece.

Like, that was what I did for the, for the record, at least visibly carrying one, right? No, not at the moment. It’s a little bit. No, but yeah, it was. It was incredible. So like I joined and I got, I was fortunate to be stationed out in Hawaii. Uh, most of my time, like I was out there. Three years and some change and Wells there.

I deployed to Iraq back in, uh, was it 2008, 2009, uh, came back and then I did a short stint in, uh, Louisiana out in the, kind of the middle of nowhere, which is it’s interesting. I feel like that’s how the military treats you. Like, you look out, you get to go to Hawaii and then they’re like, oh, we’re going to correct that.

And we’re going to send you to the middle of nowhere, Louisiana. Um, I apologize, minibikes from Louisiana. So.

Yeah, for sure. And then, um, I finished up and I was like, you know, I really wanted to go to college. It’s one of my goals, um, you know, to use my GI bill, which is the education fund that military members get using that to go to. I got out and I wasn’t like a hundred percent sure. Like what I even want to do in college.

My goal was just like, I wanted to get the degree. I wanted to get the piece of paper to prove to myself, like I could do this. And, uh, so I started out, um, what I started with, I started out in it actually, because I started studying it. Cause it was like, when I got out, like that was a hot job. Everybody’s like, oh, get in it.

It’s the hot job. There’s going to be so many job opportunities to get paid so well. And I started out studying it and then like I’m taking classes on. I kind of hate it. It’s like, I get that, like, this is a hot job, which is interesting. Right? Cause now I’m in marketing operations. That’s super different from it, but I started so true and I start out and was like, ah, I don’t, I’m not interested in any of this.

And I was like, why am I doing this? And so I, uh, so then I changed majors. Um, And then a majoring in history. So I changed my major to history because I’m a big history buff. Um, everybody out there, you know, I’m a nerd about everything involving history. So I was like, I’m going to go with what I’m passionate about and I’m going to study this.

And like, I started taking history classes and like, I love it. Like, it’s incredible experience. I’m like having so much fun with it. And then I get to a point where I’m like, okay, what’s going to be like my job with history. Like really the only the end goal is like, you become a teacher, right? Not a whole lot of options.

Like, I guess you could become a historian, like there’s a job or two out there. I’m sure. But really the path is like you become a teacher. So I tried out teaching. Oh, you know, this could be my thing. Like I’m going to be like this inspiring, like, you know, dead poet’s society kind of teacher. I go in, I try it out and it’s like, oh, like the kids are difficult.

Like, I can not imagine myself doing this day in and day out. So I always tell people, nobody has more respect for teachers than me because I get the pain. I get the struggle and yes, yes. And I do like. Yes. Yes, exactly. Everybody needs to walk in other people’s shoes before it gives you such a good perspective.

Um, and I do that and I’m then I’m like, okay, I, I don’t want to do this day in and day out. Like, it’s a notable cause like I just can’t see myself doing it. So then I’m like, okay, now I’m back to the drawing board again. And I’m like, everyone, I go through his face, like, did that make the right choice? Like, should I have just stayed in the military?

But, uh, off of a whim, I took a communications theory class. And so this is where this whole thing starts going into marketing. And it’s about it’s broadly. It’s like the liberal arts approach to communication, like interpersonal communication and a part of that was mass communication. And that’s where I started falling in love with marketing.

And eventually I changed my major it again to advertising. And that’s when I graduated from BCU in advertising. Um, and I’ve just been on this path ever since. And that’s kinda like how the transition went. Like a lot of people it’s kind of messy, kind of figured out my way, but, uh, that’s, uh, kinda my path into, into marketing generally.

I think it’s, I think it’s great though, that you got the, that, um, sort of opportunity to be able to just sort of poke at different things and see what fits. I think a lot of people feel like they’ve got a. Yeah, I’ve got a son who’s about to go off from that venture of trying to figure out where to go and what to study.

And, and I think at that age, right, you think, oh, if I, if what if I make a wrong choice, right. Then it’s all over. So by the way, he’s, he’s a big history buff. He could probably talk, he’d talk with you and hang with you. I could not, I know that I could not be. Yeah, I got a good friend. He’s a real big history buff too.

And he just loves all that stuff and like, that’s great. I just can’t, I, I it’s like, it’s almost as bad as like, not knowing your, your general sort of a geographic region of the continent that you live. Right. Like, I feel like I feel like a full. That I don’t know more about history and I should, right. I feel bad, but you know, Hey, I know a lot about MarTech, so right.

There you go. It takes all time. You make, I know, I know you make trade-offs right. Totally. Okay. So you go through college, uh, you get out of the military, you go through college, um, multiple steps towards different things. You try to figure it out. Finally, land in advertising. So what’s next. Right. Well, how did you end up from, you know, I, it sounded like it was advertising communications and now into more of a classical marketing demand, gen MarTech ops role.

Yeah. So I’ve, uh, you know, my, my adventure trying different things continued on. Post-college and the working world. And interestingly enough, like my first job, I actually worked for this media agency and you might actually find this funny, uh, they created the hand sanitizing, like white dispensers and like liquid dispensers, you’ll see in like supermarkets and stuff like that.

And they sold ad space on the units. And so my company, yeah, yeah, exactly. Wait, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry. I got a second. Alright. So they created a, B to C products or B2B tipsy product in some way. And it like the revenue stream wasn’t necessarily from the product itself, but from the advertising space on the product.

So they advertise, it was the toner. Right.

That’s monetizing every bit of it. Right. Wow. One of those interesting, uh, when was interesting business models out there, but yeah, I’m working there. And so my job really focuses on like, design. So like I’m not a graphic designer, but when I interviewed for this job, I told them like, oh yeah, I take in basics on Photoshop, InDesign, illustrator.

And I was like, very clear, like I’ve taken one class at each of these things, but they were like, oh, we really need someone who can do design. It’s my first job. Like I need to do something like I need to make money. So I was like, okay, I’ll do it. And so I’m started out and I’m actually designing these ads that go into units.

And so, as you can imagine, because they’re in supermarkets and stuff like 95% of them are real estate agents and they all look very similar. So from a technical standpoint, the design doesn’t have to be crazy. It’s like a smiling person in front of a home. Their contact information. So super easy design.

So it ended up working out quick. I wasn’t exposed as a fraud, so that’s awesome. Yeah, no, it was one of those things where like, you know, I’m doing that. It’s like, that’s one of my other passions and that’s where, like, I feel like part of like how I got into marketing ops, like I enjoy like the maker process and I enjoy like creating things and I get to do a lot of that marketing ops.

Now I will definitely tell people. I do not design well, like I’m awful. Luckily like this company didn’t demand very much or I would have been exposed. This is fraud if a designer, but uh, no working out until I got to my next thing. And, uh, yeah. And, and part of the house was actually doing some of that traditional marketing for them as well too.

Cause they obviously advertise. Businesses and real estate agents. So I was running ads for them. Um, and that’s what I was doing more of the traditional marketing stuff outside of design too. And so that’s kind of like, that was my first stop. So from there, um, I took on roles at another agency where I was focused on media planning and buying, and so ran the gamut from digital to TV and everything.

So it was really getting more into like my legit marketing skillset, like stuff that I can do. Um, And then from there, I got my way into tech. So I worked at a couple of tech companies and that’s really where I got into like the CRM marketing space. So I was working in email and I was doing demand gen and now like, it’s come full circle.

And now I’m kind of running lifecycle marketing for athletic greens, a company I’m really excited about. That’s awesome. I, uh, Uh, just getting like sort of the background of traditional marketing and doing like, you know, media planning and media buying and the agency side, I think as, um, well, you, you have such, I’m like looking at your rich history of your LinkedIn profile, like right now real time and you’re stalking him.

I’m just talking totally stock, you know, to be fair, I’ve talked to Mike a few times, uh, but like, I think the type of background where you started dabbled in all of these different areas, sort of speaks to one of the things that we talked about, um, not too long ago, uh, on another episode where we say, you know, we’re, we’re sort of suggesting that when you have a broader spectrum of skills in marketing, Yeah, it sort of makes you one of the standout, um, possible leaders and, and, and folks that I’ll have maybe, maybe an easier time climb, quote, unquote, climbing the corporate ladder.

When you come into this marketing ops function, uh, because you have like a more broad spectrum understanding of all of the components that go into market. Um, I don’t know. What, what are your thoughts on that? Like, do you feel like that’s, that’s been advantageous to you in, in sort of your career trajectory and where you, where you’re at now?

Yeah, yeah, no, it’s actually been really, really huge. I find that like some of those core concepts and some of the channels that people are. Oh, you know, there’s always articles. Like every, like email’s dead, direct mail is dead and you know, all of these different channels, but they’re never really dead.

And there’s all, it’s just a, just a slight innovation on them. And they kind of progress with time. But the things you learn, like everything works like the same things that work with email work and direct mail. Like I take those and I apply them to different places and it’s just a real, like everything informs and helps you grow.

And yeah, that’s why I’ve loved that doing it. And like, I got into marketing ops, like, you know, when I first started doing it, like, it was like several years ago and it’s like, nobody I did it because nobody wanted to do it. Like everybody I was working with, like, they want to do the fun, the creative stuff.

They wanted to do the commercials. They wouldn’t do, like, nobody wanted to do this. They were like, I learned that I’m not a designer, even though I got away. I don’t want it. Exactly, exactly. I know. I know. Yeah. And it’s just, it’s helped me exponentially grow and like everywhere I’ve worked, like I’ve kind of, you know, I think a lot of marketing ops people find himself in the same place where you become like the go-to of knowledge of everything MarTech, whether you’re an expert in it or not like you’re like the go-to.

Um, and sometimes it feels good to be like that internal expert and salsa. Uh, like, you’re just like, just go read the documentation. Like, I don’t have time to teach you this school.

I used to, uh, yes. I feel like everybody just like raise their hands in the air. Like, as they heard that, I heard you say that in the episode, right? Like, yes. Yeah. I used to reserve. That’s a sound that I was a little younger, maybe a little bit more, um, I don’t know what the right word is to describe it, but I had, I had, uh, I had guts to do this, but it was only with people that I had good relationships with, but I would buy, um, a handful of those.

Let me Google that for you stickers. So I supported that guy’s website by buying a handful of his stickers and he liked mailed them to me. And so anytime someone would ask me a silly question, I would answer it. I would answer it, but then I would walk over to their desk back in the, the four times. And I would, I would hand them the sticker and then they would look at me and say, what’s this.

I said, that stands for, let me Google that for you. Next time. We’ll help you find the answer, but you’ll have to Google it first. Right? I don’t think it would have gotten along at that, at that point, Mike, I just don’t. Yeah, I know. I know it was, I just, I got it. It was like I said, it was the people that I had good relationships with and they probably asked me a number of times already.

Right? No, I probably would have been you though, too. Like, so I probably would have appreciated that actually, like I said, I had gotten. So I, this not, not probably not polite. Right? Your, your, your, uh, choosing your words carefully here. I can tell I’m I’m choosing my words very carefully. Yeah. So Mike Tate, um, so I’m, I’m interested, there’s a couple of themes I keep hearing in your thought.

And I think it’s a really, I want to make sure that our audience is up on this too, which is one is, I mean, I love that you’re willing to try stuff even when, like on paper. Yeah. Like you could, you could probably talk yourself out of trying it. Right. Cause it’s just, I think that’s one of the ways we can all, like, it’s a, I think it’s a good lesson to learn, like pushing yourself and, you know, going for something that maybe is a stretch, uh, regardless of what it is, right.

It could be that you want to move up in and, um, be ambitious from a corporate ladder standpoint, quote, unquote, as Mike said, but it also could be like, I want to learn this other technology. I want to understand this process. I think that that’s one and then. Mike Mike was right, right. One of the things, and I’m a big believer in this, um, not necessarily that you’re a generalist, but that you have that broader understanding, that’s becoming a more common theme, right.

Um, yours happened to be, you know, understanding how the whole advertising process worked. Unique scenario, right? Another one might be understanding how the sales process worked. And I think the, the walking in footsteps thing was a really hit me because I did, I actually was a salesperson for a little while and it, it completely changed how I look.

Salespeople, because I realized how hard it is to do that. So as much as we might, you know, as marketers, marketing ops folks, bash salespeople, right. They play an important function and it’s one that not everybody can do. Yeah. So, yeah. So is that, would you say that’s one of your themes, yours, like trying new things, stretching, you know, understand that.

Yeah. No, definitely. That’s been huge. That’d be like, for me, like I try to remember like, my mantra is like, don’t be afraid to be bad at stuff. Like, you know, try things out. Like, like they’re scary at times. Like every time you start something new, like you’re bad at it. And like, it’s okay. Like if you’re, you know, I know people are always sensitive, we all get the imposter syndrome.

If you’re in a good place, you have a good boss. Like, don’t understand, like you’re pushing the, grow yourself. Um, but yeah, just don’t be afraid to be bad at stuff and just learn as you go. That’s what I told Michael when he started hosting the show.

Sorry, there’s this cause, cause we both were like starting this thing and we had no idea what we were doing. Sometimes it feels like we still don’t listen to him and I, yeah, we were all just like, yeah. Figure it out. All right. I bad it, but it’ll be fine. But I love that. Um, I mean I have somewhere, I used to have it on my day planner, you know, that was a quote from Teddy Roosevelt.

That basically sum what you summed up in one sentence was his, like the man in there reading your history guy. You probably know that. Yeah. So, um, yeah, I totally, I totally, I love that because don’t be afraid. To to fail basically. Right. That’s um, all right. We’re going to have to make sure that gets posted when we, when we get this out, Mike, um, I’ll use this new feature.

Mark clip. There we go. I created the quiz for those of you just imagine this fancy virtual studio that we’ve got here, mark clip also. Yeah, we can also see each other. All right. So, uh, Let’s talk a little bit about, I mentioned this a little bit when we introduced to you, Mike, that, um, in addition to that, what you’re doing professionally, you know, your sort of core career, if we want to call it that you’re doing some, uh, if we call them side hustles, but other other things you can do, and that included, I think, training and speaking, and, you know, kind of like, how did you, this sounds like another one of those ones where you just sort of, probably, I’m going to guess you probably put yourself out there and you, how did you do that?

You know, Yeah, what is it you’re focusing on? And how do you think that applies? Are you I’m curious actually, are you learning for yourself? Like, are you learning as your team? Yeah. Yeah, no, I definitely, I’m always learning and that’s where the biggest benefits. Um, and so you have some context when I started like consulting, like I have to give a hundred percent credit to my wife because she was the one who.

Push me to do it because I would come back from work and I’d tell her all these things I’m working on. Like these workflows I’ve built and like, she’s very like a great partner. Like she’ll like, you know, she’ll understand as much as she can. Like, I think we’ve all tried to explain marketing ops to people who are not in it.

And she’s one of my biggest supporters. And like, I’d be talking about all of these wins I have for like these companies. You’d be like, you’re really good at this. Like, why don’t you just do this for yourself? And it’s one of those light bulb moments. Why am, why am I not doing this myself? Right. So she pushed me to get started.

And like, I just kind of started slowly. Like I started taking on like a consulting client here, there, and, you know, helping people and I find. It’s been huge for my growth, just in like what I do full-time as my job and also for other business. Cause like I’m used to working for companies that have a big budget, they have millions, they can spend on ads and whatever tech that you want.

But then I also consult with like, uh, like a seed stage startup. I have like a couple of months of runway, like I need some sort of growth so that I can get my next round of funding. Like, can you help me get there? And so like, it’s a very different style to work with. And I feel like it pushes my skills.

Cause like, as we all learn in marketing, like money doesn’t solve most problems, right. It just, you know, you can invest in cool tech, you can do different things, but really it’s like the strategy that really drives the growth. And that’s what it really pushes me to do. Yeah, that’s awesome. I love, I love that it’s sort of come full circle to like, you, you, you sort of started off in this idea that you want to be a teacher and then you kind of end up in marketing and then you’re like, cool, I’m going to be a consultant, which is like a pseudo teacher, but they’re paying you to like do stuff for them.

Right. And then, yeah. Um, and, and now it sounds like you’re, you know, Do you do speaking engagements and then you really are teaching. So like in a way you, you are, I mean, you don’t have to deal with the nutty crazy kids, I guess, but up right where you started. Yeah, yeah. Crazy. But yeah, no, it’s, uh, it’s great.

And I love like everyone I get to work with, I would get to work with founders. Venture capital firms. It’s it’s, it’s just so fun just to work with people. So I guess the takeaway is like I enjoy teaching adults a lot more than I enjoy teaching children. That’s fair enough. Fair enough. It makes sense. It makes sense.

Especially I could, I can imagine different age levels in children, uh, would be different to. Yeah. Um, all right. So, uh, you mentioned your wife as being sort of someone who really supported you in that part of it. Are there other people, you know, maybe it wasn’t all the way back to your military time or people you still keep up with.

Are there people in your life that have been sort of key to your decision-making your role? And then second, I know you’ve already talked about a number of different things in your kind of journey, but are there other. Uh, other sort of key points in that we make a decision to go right or left or take the red pill or the bill blue pill, right.

That, um, you think were really impactful to where you, where you are. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you know, in terms of people, um, you know, I have like, you know, my time in the military meal set a very high standard for leadership, uh, for me. So like when the people I work for, like, I, nobody has a higher standard of like what a leader should look like than I do.

Um, and I try to bring that into my role. Like, you know, I’m a director now, like I’m going to be a leader and like, I have a very high standard for myself. Um, and just really like, that’s one of the things that’s been hugely influential and it’s helped me choose the right jobs. Cause I go into jobs and I look at my military career and I look at some of the great leaders I had and I’m looking at the hiring manager saying, do they fit that mold?

Like, do they meet that standard? Like if they’re way below. Yeah. I’m like this, isn’t the job for me. I’m going to keep it moving. Um, but if they’re close, I know like this is somebody I can follow this. Somebody who understands leadership to a high level and somebody that I’m going to thrive under. Um, and I use that.

So that’s kind of how I judge, I interrupt you for just a minute. And because I think a lot of people would love to be able to figure out how do I identify that good leader when they’re looking at somebody an opportunity. Do you have any tips on how you, like what you look for, um, that you could share?

Yeah. Yeah. Um, you know, I think some of the things I look for is a leader who is invested in you as a person. I think a lot of. I lot of bleed. It’s like I differentiate between somebody who’s a leader and somebody who’s a manager. I think most of the people out there are managers, like they’re used to managing your work load.

They’re used to making sure you’re delivering on whatever your goals are. I think a leader is about someone who, um, they lead through influence like a leader of somebody you choose to follow. Like even if they weren’t like in this manager position, I would follow this person because they shown like they’re worthy of trust.

Like they’re there, they’re doing the right things. They’re high integrity. Um, you know, things like that are, what I look for is like, if they’re that person that I would follow, even if they didn’t have this management title, then I know that’s a really good leader. Love it. All right. So I interrupted, but I think that I really wanted to, I think you have a unique perspective and I thought it would be valuable.

You sure. All right. So what other, what other people are experiencing with. Would you, would you fit that category? Yeah, I think, you know, everything that I’ve done, um, in marketing has kind of shown me like, which direction that I want to go. And like, I’ve found, like I just tried different things. Like obviously, like I tried designs, like I enjoyed it.

I just wasn’t very good at it. So it’s like, okay, I need to kind of pivot away from that. Right. And then, uh, I do marketing and like I’m running ads, running Facebook ads and like, it’s, it’s fun. It just, you know, for me, it got monotonous after a while. Like you can only do so much optimizing. Um, and then I get into, you know, doing more of like the database stuff.

So I like, I’m doing email, like a very small part of it. And then that introduces me to the CRM and there’s this wealth of data and there’s all this stuff that we can do with it that we’re not doing with it. So really it’s just been about kind of following my passion and where I see the opportunities are because that’s a big thing for me.

Like I look at growth holistically. I start jobs. Um, I’m like, okay. You know, what, what, what makes the most sense for this business? And I kind of just follow that and that’s always kind of led me to the right place. Do you, um, I love that sort of approach. Do you go into interviews, um, asking maybe your potential hiring manager, um, or your team, or what have you about sort of other areas that you know, that they’re sort of open to, to exploring, or like, do you find a way to try to see if they’re open to you kind of poking, poking around a bit to look for business like growth opportunities, uh, Yeah.

That’s like kind of, I dunno, that’s a hard thing to figure out, you know? So, so let me just like, let me rephrase that as best I can. So going into a role, right? You have a job expectation. There’s a job description provided to you to some degree and in marketing ops, that’s the one that’s sort of all over the board, but you know, in demand gen like.

Your tasks typically with generating demand for the business, right. Hey, uh, and, and what you sort of just lead like pointed out was this idea that, Hey, um, there are potentially other gaps that we could be filling with the technology that we’ve already got in place today. Um, and, and have you found that maybe in your current role or like your past roles that people are receptive to that, or do you have to very strategically like figure out ways to approach that conversation with, because it’s like, Hey, that’s not quote unquote your job description.

Right? Like, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Yeah. Yeah, no, you, you hit right on it. Just like, I’m sure if there are any salespeople out there listening, like it really is about the pitch. So like when I see a new opportunity, like I’ll do like a Google doc or I’ll do a couple of slides. Um, and then I’ll say, okay, I’ve looked at this opportunity.

Here’s the business case for it. Like, here’s how I think it’ll work out. Well, here’s the opportunity. And then I just leave it up to people either they green-lighted, or they give a thumbs down and like, then I either run with it or I move on. But yeah, I just find like doing that data. It’s kind of like, you kind of reinforce your case.

So I have something that I really want to do. I’m going to build up the numbers for it. I’m going to make a case for it and say, this is why we should do this thing. Um, and that’s been my case. Like I usually, I try to keep it like low fidelity, cause I don’t want to put in a ton of work and something’s going to get shot down, but I’ll do like a quick Google doc.

Like here’s the opportunity. Here’s where I think we can do. Here’s what it’s going to take to do it. Here’s what I think the results could be. And then, you know, let people that could to make their own decisions. I love, I love that. Uh, the low again, a design reference, um, the low fidelity, um, you know, approach there.

I liked that. I was going to ask you specifically about like, do you intentionally set aside time to look for those opportunities or do you just find that they kind of come about through your, through your work and eventually you kind of work on ideas over. But eventually just like randomly. Yeah. Um, no, they actually come to me just in general.

Like I’m big, I think any marketer, like you should just be taking stock of your environment and seeing how things progress. And like, I joke all the time. Like I’m probably in every SAS company, you can imagine their database because I’ll go download your ebook just so I can see what happens next. Right.

I want to see what kind of experiences that before. I used to do that too all the time. It’s awesome. Yeah, that thought experiment actually led to one of our episodes. With, when we talked about sales selling dem-ops right. So, yeah. Yeah. Um, and I’ll do that and like, I’ll just pay attention to like, you know, I’m big about building good experiences.

And like, I pay attention to like, what was a really great experience for me. And like, I was just saying like one of the one recent ones I went through is like, um, we had a rock pop-up and break the glass on the car. Right. A little small chips. So like our insurance company like said, oh, you can go through safe light.

It’s coming. And Safelite. So this random glass company took me through the most effortless, beautiful experience I’ve ever been through, like working with the company. So it’s like, I go to their site. They’re like, who’s your insurance? It’s USA. Okay. I did pop up a calendar book a time to come in. I book a time.

They send the calendar, invite the whole thing. Then a couple of days before they say, here’s what you need to do, prepare your window before you come. And here’s what you can expect that the crack is like bigger than six inches or less than six inches. I pop in. They’re like, oh, the technician’s working on your car.

They’re giving me updates as they’re working on it. I just sat there. Cause it didn’t take very long. It was a small crack, but they’re sending updates and then like it wraps up. It’s like, I get an email that says. The T the, uh, technician has done before he even walks in. So it’s like he comes in and drops off the key, show me what they did, and then I leave and then they send an email and, you know, recommendations on what you should do.

Like don’t wash your car for 24 hours or whatever it was. This beautiful step-by-step experience. And it comes from like a glass company. It wasn’t like this ultra fancy up that you would think like, oh, they have incredible experience. It’s just a glass company. Right, right, right. That’s incredible. Yeah. I mean, it’s good to it.

I think, I think, you know, takeaway on that for sure is just. Sort of like looking at all of this stuff you experience, uh, through the lens of like, how could that apply to the work that I’m doing now or could be doing in the future or what have you, and, you know, one of, uh, Dan who’s on our team, um, with the MO Pros and helps us with finding really good partners that do educational stuff with us.

Uh, he and I were, were just talking the other day about, um, the Superbowl, which just passed not too long ago in the U S here. And we both, we both agreed that while I do watch the Broncos play occasionally, um, You know, I don’t generally watch the games and then once it’s playoffs, like yeah, I’ll pick up on it.

And the Superbowl I’ll watch, but really I watched the super bowl for the commercials. Well over anything else and it’s terrible. Right? Like that just means that I’m like really sort of obsessed with marketing. Uh, but. I click up was on there and I keep referencing click up as this brand. That’s like everywhere right now.

And I, I got off the super bowl and I called my friends. I was like, did you see click up was on it again? It’s like, they’re everywhere. And so, you know, for what it’s worth, like just echoing what you’re saying, like, yeah. You know, go through daily life and see what your experiences are like or what people are doing.

And then maybe don’t be afraid to offer that up as an opportunity to your company. Right? Low fidelity though. Yes. Yeah. I mean, I like that low fidelity concept, right? Trying a simple step toward what you think something really cool is I think is a really good way of learning fast. And do we think we can see.

Right. Um, I want to go back to, so one of the things that you, you kind of mentioned, and it was kind of almost a throwaway line was that, you know, I tried this and I realized I didn’t like it, or I wasn’t good at it. So I went to this next thing and I tried it and, you know, I think a lot of people, me included probably have said, oh, I’m gonna go do this thing.

Because like, I think I should want to do it. Right. And so we’re not willing to then. Not give that give ups not the right word, but go, okay. Okay. This really isn’t the right fit and be really, truly honest with ourselves about whether or not it makes sense. Do you think you just have some sport? Like, is that something that’s just sort of built into you or do you think that’s something you’ve had to learn over the years?

What, yeah, I know. I know. It’s definitely something that I’ve had to learn over the years and, you know, kind of figure out like, what does that look like? Like it’s one of those things. You don’t want to be afraid to be bad at something. You also have to realize when like there’s something like I do. Am I, if I’m bad at it, am I so far behind, am I not willing to invest enough to get really good at it?

Like, does that make sense for me? Cause like a lot of people out there, I’m sure. Like we’ve seen like, oh, like there’s a, uh, they’re software engineers at Facebook making 500 K a year. Like I need to go to this software coding boot camp. Like I could do it, but like, it didn’t take too much time. Like I’m, I’ve headed them best so much just to get there and like, to be even decent at it.

Like, it doesn’t make sense, even though it’s something like I could like get into, it just doesn’t make sense for you to make that switch at this point in my life. And like, I don’t want to invest all that time. Like I’m not passionate about software engineering, so I would be doing it for all the wrong reasons.

I just wanted to check at the end of the day and that’s not the right reason. Uh, I totally agree with the I, at one point I was like, I had been in, you know, in my career long enough and I was like, I should, I really want to do an MBA. And I, I kind of got to the point where it really didn’t make sense.

And I was like, so I was starting to look at how are other ways I could start to learn the things that I think are important to my role or what I want to do on my own. And, and that was even pre, like before things were out there and available. For free or low cost that you could really get get to. I love that.

Um, so let’s, let’s kinda, you know, since you are doing training, you’re doing some training on marketing ops and MarTech. Yeah. Yeah, I do. Um, you know, I’ve, over my years, like I’ve become built up a little bit of expertise in HubSpot. I won’t say like, I’m the number one expert out there. I think I’m pretty good at it.

So I’m doing some trainings on HubSpot for the awesome companies and founders and stuff like that. So one of the things we, you know, we’ve started talking to people about, um, throughout kind of as a, uh, hopefully a somewhat constant thread throughout these episodes is the idea of. Well addressing the lack of formal certificates or training or education for marketing ops.

So if you were like, if you were designing that marketing ops certificate, right. And maybe there’s more than one, what would you say are like, you got to have this skill or this, this, um, knowledge to at least that it’s gotta be a part of it. It’s like, non-negotiable what would you have in that? Yeah, the skills.

Yeah, I think, you know, I think if it’s like a general marketing ops professional certification, I feel like it needs to be, uh, the majority of it like platform agnostic, because I think a lot of times they get very looped into somebody being a Salesforce person or Marquetto person or a HubSpot person.

But really if you’re going to be a marketing ops professional, you need to be able to jump between platforms. And maybe you may not be the foremost expert on it. Things like lead management, things like email marketing, things that are just, you know, common among all of the platforms, like really having a deep understanding of the strategic side of those.

Cause like you can get up to speed on technology, any specific platform in a short amount of time. Like, I don’t think that makes you a great ops person. I think being a great ops person is understanding the strategy behind. Context and music to my ears. I would agree. I think, I think if it’s tech agnostic, right?

I. I will say, though, I think what makes a really good ops person is that you can jump between platforms, even if you’ve never used the other platform. You, because you understand the fundamentals of, uh, these technologies, you know, object to object, relationships, and all that other kind of stuff. Like it allows you to be able to pick that.

Uh, you know, relatively quickly, even, you know, if you’ve never used Marquetto and you’ve been on HubSpot, like you can pick it up pretty quickly. Right. Um, but yeah, I would agree. Like, I that’s, that’s definitely the angle that I’m trying to, to bring to light inside of all these learnings that we’re pulling together through the community is how do you do this tech agnostic marketing ops thing.

It’s very cool. Yeah. Yeah, totally agree. All right. So Mike, any, we’re gonna, we’re gonna wrap it up here a little bit, but any last thoughts, uh, things like you would want to make sure that our audience heard, uh, like what’s, uh, that we may not have covered. Yeah. Um, no, I feel like we kinda covered it all. Um, yeah, for me, like, I just love, obviously, if you can hurt from the episode, like I love exploring new things and like I’m on LinkedIn.

So if anybody ever wants to chat about marketing ops and I’m sure your coworkers probably don’t, um, I’m happy to chat with you about it dive deep and we can nerd out on it. Absolutely. And I it’s like this, like, don’t be afraid to be bad at something. Did I get it right? Is that. Exactly. I like, that’s what I remember from that.

I love it. I love it. Well, great. So, um, if people want to, you know, connect with you, um, CA can follow you or whatever, what’s the, what’s the best way for them to keep up with what you’re doing. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Um, look me up on LinkedIn. Um, Mike K Tatum, um, and also have a website, Mike K Um, check it out.

Um, feel free to book some time. It’s not always about like getting consulting job or anything like that. Like I do generally just love to talk about marketing tech, so hit me up. That’s awesome. Well, Mike, it’s been truly, it’s been a pleasure. This has been a, it’s been a fun one. Uh, your story. I think hopefully inspiring for our listeners.

I said very much. Thank you for joining us today. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Yeah, this is an awesome, well, everyone. So thank you to all our listeners, Mike. Thanks Mike Rizzo. Thank you for, for, uh, being my co-host here. We, I know we missed them. Yeah. And, uh, we do miss her. She’ll be back soon.

We’ll get her back and a thank you to all our listeners. Thank you for supporting us. Continue to send us your suggestions or, um, ideas on topics or, or guests, or let us know if you want to be a guest and we will work to make that happen until next time. Thanks everybody. By