Learning how to Learn with Scott MacGregor

Michael Hartmann: [00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by marketing ops.com and powered by the MO Pros. I’m your host, Michael Hartmann. Joined today by, uh, it’s a second one in a row with just a single co-host. This time it’s the other one, Mike Rizzo. Mike. Hey. Good to have you back.

Mike Rizzo: I’m here.

Michael Hartmann: Sorry I missed the last one. That’s all right. It was good. No, I, I think I told Naomi I was like, I, she and I haven’t done a couple, many of those where it was just the two of us, and so it was kind of fun to do that. We definitely left your singing in. Yeah. Oh yeah. Well, , I figured you would.

Mike Rizzo: Uh, Amanda, my wife, for the listeners out there was.

Hartmannn sang in this one. Yeah. I was like,

Michael Hartmann: what? Just the two of us. I was like, please

Mike Rizzo: tell me, show me. Let me hear this.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. So definitely left it in . Yeah. So I, I think, I think our guest today will, could enjoy that. I, I feel like he’s probably in the same era as me that recognizes that song too. So let’s get to it.

So joining us today, [00:01:00] Scott McGregor. To talk about learning how to learn. This is like, this is a topic I love just in general. Um, I actually heard there’s a term for this that I’ve learned over the last couple years, Fila Math, which is interesting. I always like words like that. Um, anyway, Scott is the founder of CXM Consulting Canada, a marketing technology and revenue operations consulting firm.

Uh, during his career, Scott has had multiple leadership positions in and around revenue, operations and marketing, and kind of related technologies. He has also been in marketing and internet marketing roles. So Scott, welcome and thanks for joining us. . Thanks

Scott MacGregor: for having me, Michael. Appreciate it. And, uh, I’ll, I will go back and check.

I, I do need to see that, uh, that singing, so I’ll find

Michael Hartmann: that . Yeah, it’s, the good news is if you don’t wanna listen to the whole episode, it’s early on. I could tell you that. . Okay.

Scott MacGregor: We should be singing. Sounds good.

Mike Rizzo: No, no. It’s like way at the end. You, but you have

Michael Hartmann: to listen to the whole thing. No, I’m just kidding.

As a total aside. Right. So this, this is the kind of thing that, uh, my, you [00:02:00] know, 20 something year old self would’ve. Been absolutely agh that had actually made it out into public domain. And I think there’s something about having had kids where you just learn to go like. I’m just going like, I’m gonna do the stuff that is, and just, it’s gonna be what it is, right.

So, mm-hmm. . Yeah.

Mike Rizzo: Totally.

Scott MacGregor: You’ll pray. That’s good. Nice meeting

Mike Rizzo: Mike. And Yeah, nice to meet you, Scott. I’m glad you could join us and I’m looking forward to, um, talking about learning to learn, actually. Mm-hmm. most, most notably because it came up with, uh, another CEO that I’ve been talking to recently. Ah, and.

Like, like literally within the last two weeks. Um, the, their sort of brand ethos is about learning. And not just like the LMS concept, but like every version of learning at the end of the day is, at least in this gentleman’s mind, and we’ll probably unpack it later, is like, look, your business is trying to tell you something and there’s a lot of data there, and so how do you, how do you get there?

Right? And that’s learning at the end of [00:03:00] the day. It’s sort of a punchline, but I’m, yeah. I’m super excited to see what you have to share on learning about learning too.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, so I think it’s gonna be, this is gonna be a fun one, but, um, so. . One of the things that, you know, Scott, we, uh, we like to do is hear about people’s careers.

And I I, I kind of in Yeah. Made a little punch. I tried to, when I said you were in internet marketing, cuz um, the last, like I, you’re the only other person I’ve certainly that we’ve had as a guest, but in a long time that I’ve seen internet marketing on their, their background. Mm-hmm. . Cuz I had that at one point and I like to think of that as like, that was like a, an early version of what marketing operat.

Now is in some ways mm-hmm. . Um, but why don’t we start there? Like, why don’t you just give us some Yeah. Highlights of your career. Um, I’m always curious to see if there were like moments in your career that were pivotal, right. You know, took, could have gone right. Could have gone right. Or if there were people that were sort of had an influence or maybe still have an influence.

Scott MacGregor: Yeah, I’m, I mean, it’s interesting that you, [00:04:00] you, when, when I hear that I’m, I’m, I’m not offended, um, , it does. I’ve been in it a while. Um, and it’s okay. Um, it, you know, to, to go back to the sort of very beginnings for me in, in this, in this space, really it’s to go back into I gga the SEO and, and web development world.

And that’s where I. I think I first became interested in, I would call it maybe the technical side of the house on the, in terms of marketing, um, and found myself gravitating into that, into that area. It was a, it was natural for me. It was an area that I learned well. Um, and, uh, it was later as I, as it built through my career.

So I started off. In the agency world working sort of the SEO piece. It was later working more, uh, client side and and hand, you know, being handed over the, the full go-to market stack and running Salesforce and Marketo and all the associated tools that, that I, that I think the next pivot, you know, and the career move to, um, you know, sort of work.

Coming, stepping outside of the, you know, sort of serving the [00:05:00] marketing team to working across a whole org, right? And, and starting to really work with sales, CS, all the different team members. And there was lots of, uh, good people like leaders that, that put me in those positions over the years. Uh, Lori, uh, ISER is one of them, number of them that just, you know, saw the potential and, and gave me an opportunity to work into those, into those roles and report, um, you know, report up into the C level on that sort of area as.

Run the, run the, uh, technology. So I mean, that’s a, that’s a summary of like 20 years of, of, of it. But that’s probably as deep as, you know, as, as sort of that is relevant to the, to here, but yeah.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, I think the, the idea of like, uh, it sounds like what you described l is Laurie, right? Is what you said was like a sponsor.

Yeah. Right? Yes. Is I was just, uh, while I was driving kids around today, I listened. Are you, if you’re familiar with Adam Grant? At, uh, uh, he is at the University of Pennsylvania Business School. Anyway, he’s a well-known author, [00:06:00] psychologist, like an, uh, behavioral psychologist, I think. Anyway, he, his podcast was interesting and the episode.

that I was listening to today had to do, had somebody on who was talking about the, the value of mentors and sponsors. And I’d never really, right, like mentorship is actually something I think I’m fairly familiar with. I’ve heard of sponsorship, but I never, I don’t think of them together. So it was really interesting.

And so, um, probably part of. Why it was top of mind. I wanted to get your, your take on that. So

Scott MacGregor: yeah, I’ve been fortunate there. You know, it’s been a number of, you know, uh, leaders throughout it, you know, throughout my career that have, that have, uh, been able to kind of sponsor me through, or, you know, and, and yeah, and give me roles of increasing, you know,

Michael Hartmann: importance I guess.

Yeah. It’s fantastic. Um, well, let’s, you know, let’s get into this. So one of the things you and I talked about when we. I’m thinking about what to talk about on this episode was different ideas on how marketing ops or revenue ops teams can collaborate with, you know, whether it’s with each other [00:07:00] across parts of that team or across marketing or others.

And I’m, you know, I’m interested in yours, but you brought up one, um, the Google Sprint methodology, which I hadn’t heard about. I actually had to go research this last night and, um, uh, yeah, yeah, it was, I I was really fascinated. Like it’s, it looks like. sort of a, a, a variant of a couple of different approaches anyway.

Mm-hmm. , like, tell me like what your thoughts are on, you know, how could that apply to what the folks who are our listeners or our audience are mm-hmm. , you know, might be doing and how that might help them in their day-to-day. .

Scott MacGregor: Yeah. Well, you know, I think the first thing that started is, my experience with it was I was introduced, uh, really to the methodology through, uh, role at an agency.

So it was a little bit outside of, uh, you know, some of the core pieces. It was more on the software development and, and business ideation side of things. Um, but what, what immediately struck me from the process was just, It, it showed [00:08:00] that, you know, as we often talk about meetings are like fundamentally broken.

Um, and that, you know, the talking stick version of meetings where, you know, the loudest room in the, or the loudest voice in the room or, you know, this, this piece where there’s just not a lot of really, um, Good process happening. And I think that whether it’s, you know, this methodology, I, I mean, I really like parts of it.

I mean, it’s a bit modified for the, for the role. And I can talk to that a little bit, but I think it’s just the idea that, you know, you think about how you do and what, and rather than just doing it, you know, and as, as a operations professionals, you know, I think we’re, we tend to be more technical. Maybe we’re a little more focused on kind of the.

Um, and not as much on the how. And I think this was a real opportunity for me, kind of an eye-opening opportunity to see how different people can come into this process and, um, feel, heard, have their ideas be incorporated, and, and then ultimately be more successful in whatever you’re sort of building at the end of it.[00:09:00]

Uh, in terms of, uh, making sure that all those stakeholders, as we know in our roles, require everybody to kind of do their part and, and not once they feel that they’re involved and engaged, then you know, these, the, the likelihood is not much higher. So I was just really impressed with the process. How I used it in a, in a one particular sort of exercise was in a revenue operations kind of role.

Where we looked across transition. So you can look at every transition from the cust across the customer cycle as having a process related to it. And rather than just kind of going out and sending emails and finding out, you know, what people need, um, you know, really sending the time apart to use some of the tools that you get from a design sprint, uh, time boxing, heat mapping, all these kind of cool, you know, sort of different versions.

You, you, you can adapt it. I did, um, for whatever need. and, uh, to, to, so to map out and really uncover insights and get, get everything you need to get, to get those transitions as tight as possible so you can really, [00:10:00] you know, whether it’s, you know, sort of the marketing to sales handoff or you know, even to accounting from, uh, close one, all those kind of different ones.

They all have different stakeholders, different people who have ideas who want to be heard. And, and can bring, you know, some, something to the process. And, and I found it was really, uh, uh, really interesting process for doing. But I think however you do it, um, just thinking about how you do it, you know, whatever you’re doing, sorry, how you do it.

And, and that’s what I liked about the process.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, I’ve, I’ve found it really interesting so far. Our listeners, if you haven’t heard of it, I’d encourage you to go look it up. I, I’m, my mind was already spinning cuz we’ve got, Sort of projects that I’m going on with my current role. And I thought what was interesting to me is it felt like it’s very much geared towards, um, product development in, in a particular tech.

Mm-hmm. . Right. Uh, at the same time, I think we’ve ha, I think we’ve even talked about this within. some of one of our, at least one of our episodes here on the podcast about how to think about, um, [00:11:00] marketing op, sort of treating the evolution of particularly the tech stack, right. As, as a product and having mm-hmm.

and I, so I think there might be a place for that. And it makes, it, makes, makes a lot of sense. And then, Just your point about like, meetings are broken. I hadn’t heard about the talk stick in forever. What a stupid idea that was . Um,

Scott MacGregor: it’s sorry to anybody who’s using Talking Sticks, but, uh, I’m,

Michael Hartmann: I’m not sorry.

It’s still a stupid idea.

Scott MacGregor: Okay, good.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, we can remove that from our vernacular. Yeah. Okay.

Scott MacGregor: That’s very good. It feels like, I’ll

Michael Hartmann: let you get the comments on that one. It feels like elementary school. Um, yeah. So, yeah. Right. Uh, no, but I think it’s, it’s fascinating this, like, what, what you could do with this just to improve meetings is picking pieces of it.

Yeah. Yeah.

Scott MacGregor: I, I, meaning you can modify it too.

Mike Rizzo: I was just gonna say, I think, um, You know, we talked, I was just on with, uh, mark Serkin, uh, who’s over at Third Door Media. Uh, we were just catching up. It’s been a while, and [00:12:00] one of the things we talked about is just, you know, How a lot of marketing teams over the years will make a go at things like Agile or Scrum or whatever.

And so this, this certainly rings of like all of that sort of methodology, right? Um, and, and how you choose to adapt that. And, you know, I, I don’t want to like totally speak for Mark on this one, but he and I both aligned very much on. Just how difficult agile really is for a marketing team, like mm-hmm.

and, and, and where I came from. So now removing his opinion, but giving it more mine. Where I came from on this idea is like in truth, marketers are constantly adapting to change and Agile was meant to help with that quick realignment and, and at least my understanding of it. So forgive me for all those that are agile experts and are gonna come, like, have.

you know, behind

Michael Hartmann: for this one. But yeah, here come the agile police ,

Mike Rizzo: here come the Agile police. But my understanding of it is that you are meant to be able to [00:13:00] quickly adjust to some changing priority for, for more or less. Right. And um, the reality is, is that you’re doing that constantly in marketing and it’s like, Adding in a layer of, oh, I have to go now, readjust the board and change the assignments and the scores and the cards and the swim lanes and the conbon and all that stuff.

Adding in an extra layer of, of managing that chaos is actually harder than just just setting up a plan and saying like, look, at the end of the day, , if we know that we need to send 50 emails this month or whatever your goal is, right this quarter, right? Mm-hmm. as a marketing team, and we wanna host three webinars and we want to get 150 social posts out all around this topic.

go. We, we fundamentally, we realize , like it’s gonna, there’s gonna be a lot of

Michael Hartmann: stuff in between marketers, marketers tend to, marketers tend to like what I call the Nike methodology. Just do it. Just do it. ,

Mike Rizzo: right? Mm-hmm. . Um, but like that, but you’re going to have to readjust your [00:14:00] priorities every single day.

And, and so I’m interested in to like, unpack more of like how this methodology has helped you in meeting. keep fo, keep focused. Um, you know, and, and just keep going on this cuz like, I think we all struggle with it every single day. Our community’s, uh, Amara mm-hmm. , and our community’s gonna run a workshop around this in the next couple weeks.

I know this episode will air and, you know, that may have already happened, but, but it, it’s just illustrating the point that it’s happening. And Ian Shields, just yesterday on my post on LinkedIn, said his takeaway from some of the state of the Mopro research was that at the end of the day, uh, marketing ops people are running a.

Right. And so it screams exactly like what Hartmann was saying, right? Yeah. Like the data is showing us that we’re sort of running a product. It’s just lots of

Michael Hartmann: products. , right? Yeah. But without, without, I think the typical discipline that a, a, a well run product team has, like, that’s, that’s the part that’s missing.

Yeah. Yep. So [00:15:00] I agree.

Mike Rizzo: I think that is missing and it’s, it’s, uh, you know, I don’t want to, it’s process. , it’s understanding that this role has evolved, right? We aren’t the marketeers in this function, right? The ones that are out there, like creating, creating the content or coming up with the campaign ideas.

But you can advise it. Yeah. Um, and I think product managers do a really nice job of talking to their stakeholders, understanding what the pains are, what the needs are in the market, and then suggesting. Improvements need to be made to the product, the features that need to be enhanced or added or created.

And if you start trying to think about marketing ops in that way, uh, well you have to go build programming around that. And maybe it’s this one . Yeah. So anyway. Yeah. I love

Michael Hartmann: it. So there’s, there’s our first thing that we’ve learned, right? Go ahead Scott. You were, were you gonna say something?

Scott MacGregor: Um, I was just gonna say that, you know, the methodology really, I mean, was highly, I, you know, adapted for specific pieces.

So I think sometimes, you know, sprint, we think of it as that two week prototype, you know, which is very product oriented. But, um, We would just take, we were taking a lot of the components out of it, you know, just the, just taking that and using those, um, for the same purposes. So I think it’s just, I’m, I’m probably not, uh, you know, following the methodology the way the agile, you know, kind of experts would, would say, would be the best.

But I just, I just take from it what. Works and what I saw from it and what I saw worked and, and adapted it for the purposes of getting to the end

Michael Hartmann: point. I, you know, I, and I think that’s my experience having worked with a number of different me methodologies, even in early in my career with a, a sort of a small consulting company after having worked at a, with, was then a big [00:17:00] six firm, you know, creating a methodology for this smaller firm is,

Um, I think a lot of people, when they get a methodology, at least I saw this, was they, they, they use it a little bit as a crutch. Mm-hmm. , right. As opposed to one of the tools in their toolbox and how to, how to That’s right. Solve things within that context. So it, it’s, it’s a little bit to me like, like use what you think makes sense and works for you.

Yeah. Uh, and your organization. Um, I think that also is a part of why Agile. I think I’ve seen very mixed results with Agile. Really any methodology is because, . Uh, if you’ve got somebody who’s leading that, who is really savvy and able to adapt to the organization and where they are and not be so rigid about, we have to do this very specific, uh, deliverable with this very specific things filled in, right, as opposed to going like, what do we really need to get out of this?

And adjusting from. . [00:18:00]

Scott MacGregor: Exactly. So it’s learning, right? Keep learning how we do business. Yeah. And, and this is one of the things is just keep, you know, keep pushing those and that, you know, methodologies are trying new ways and learning what works and adapting to it.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. So, so let’s talk about this and I think you and I maybe kind of came up Okay.

Again, cuz I think we both had internet marketing and our background and I had like, I actually started. Step into marketing and database marketing, which is like now would be sort of somewhat related to, you know, data science kind of stuff in some ways. But, um, yeah, yeah, I think about what it was like to try to keep up with technology.

Not only like the stuff I was actively working on, but what else was out there. It was, you know, was like, how do you, like, how did you go about doing that? Like what are some of the tactics you used earlier in your career? That you think we’re successful in helping you can kind of continue to learn over time, right?

Scott MacGregor: Yeah. It’s funny, I saw, uh, I was [00:19:00] thinking about this and I saw like a, a, I think it was like a job posting or something. It was, and it, and it said like, the third thing on it was like, you are a Master P at Google searching. And I thought, , we’ve got to this point where that’s become a, a job description criteria.


Michael Hartmann: thought, well, it’s, it’s about to be, uh, how. Prompt can you do for chat g p t Right,

Scott MacGregor: right, right. Exactly. The next, the next evolution of that. And I, and I think it, it was, it was that kind of, it’s kind of a combinational kind of critical thinking, you know, an ability to, to, to search but also to know what you’re looking for and how to find it and sift through it.

Um, you know, and it’s, uh, over the years evolved cuz of course we’ve got so much more. You know, communities and so many more sort of resources that we can tap into, um, that it’s, uh, I mean it’s, it’s like it’s joyful to, you know, to do it now. You know, when I think back, uh, originally trying to figure it out, you were really on your own in many cases.

You had to kind of just sort of see what you [00:20:00] could, you could learn. Um, you know, there’s always that part of just sort of having the fundamental. You know, which is really having the, the core understanding so you can build on that and know what you need to learn, you know, and that’s, that’s that other piece I guess as well is sort of learning what you, uh, learning the basics and then growing and building on that.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, there’s a couple. So what I remember doing earlier in my career was like, and it had to do. , I would, um, I, I would go out and search for mostly, I’ll call it like magazines or periodicals. Right. That I would like, subscribe to, and they would, you know, they would come in the mail, right? It was mm-hmm.

like, and I would, I would like, if I tried a new one, like I tried a lot of different ones. If I tried one and I’d like, oh, this is generally pretty good. Yeah, I would keep going and if I didn’t, I would just drop it. Right. Um, and eventually I think that turned to, you know, like email subscriptions, but for me that was a lot.

It was like continually [00:21:00] reading, but also I think there’s a part, and this is, you know, gonna come across and probably intentionally so a criticism of. Education systems. Right. I think it, like it requires having some critical thinking ability to go. Mm-hmm. like just because this per like, so much of that is that kinda stuff is opinions and ideas in a lot of these things, especially if it’s sort of pushing new boundaries that like knowing how to like take that, it kind of goes back to the same thing we did with.

With methodologies, right? How do you, how do you assess what part of that you actually think is valuable or not, and that you can apply? So I think that’s a, a skill. I feel like I learned early on that, that nowadays, to your point, right, access to people and information is even easier, right? But you still need to be able to go, what do I like?

How can I validate it? What’s right, what can I use? Right? Right. Mm-hmm. .

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, it’s, there’s a, there’s. , [00:22:00] there’s a big gap in the, in the sort of educational infrastructure that’s in place to help, particularly in this arena. I think I, I, mm-hmm. , I, it’s the only one I really know, so I can’t really speak for the other one.

Uh, other criteria and education programs that you go through and the careers that you take on, but it definitely feels like, um, you know, the con I, I, I distinctly remember, you know, a decade ago or more, Sitting at my job and just signing up for literally every newsletter I could possibly find because I was like, I just, I wanted to, like, I wish I could have like , uh, you know, a kid who fell in love with the Matrix movies, right?

Like, I wish I could just like plug it into my brain and like consume all of it as quickly as possible, . Um, but to that, to that end, right, uh, I don’t know that I was ever in a position to say, Hey, is this. [00:23:00] is the, like, does this apply to our business? You know, and, and early on in your, in your career, uh, the, the sooner you can get to a stage where you’re validating the, uh, the validity of the thing that you’re gonna go do or that you’re suggesting, or the the motion that you wanna put into the organization, the sooner you are open to, Hey, this is how someone else did it.

Do you think that would work? And you start asking the, you know, your internal stakeholders or, community that you’re a part of, um, I think the faster you’ll learn, right? Mm-hmm. , because it’s like, I can’t, I don’t know, I don’t know about you, Scott, but like I certainly went and tried to implement some things earlier on and you know, I think lead scoring is like when you tie it back to marketing automation and lead scoring, right?

Mm-hmm. , everybody was talking about it. Everybody was saying like, oh, we gotta do this. And I was super early in my career and I was like, Stop it. Like why? [00:24:00] Mm-hmm. , we don’t know anything. I was the person saying like, we don’t know anything about what our people are doing. It’s gonna be like throwing spaghetti at the wall just to see what sticks.

Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. and, and like now you hear a lot more of that, but because there’s some Michael’s least favorite term, there’s some best practices . Mm-hmm. out there. Um, you can implement it earlier on as long as you make the promise to yourself, to your team, and to your executive. That you’re going to go back and look at whether or not that’s actually working.

Yeah. Right,

Michael Hartmann: right. And so, I don’t know, falls in the categories. Yeah. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should , right? Yeah, exactly.

Scott MacGregor: Well, and and I think a lot of these, you want to be mindful in that critical thinking piece. Mike is, and you, you, you raised this really important point, which is like the why and, and not to be driven, you know, I think we’ve gotten a lot of it driven.

Vendor and, you know, sort of, they’ve, they’ve sort of set the motion and so as professionals we can find ourselves just kind of [00:25:00] reactively learn, you know, doing what the, a lot of the, the, the platforms and vendors are bringing and, and providing. And I think that, you know, especially with the proliferation of the MarTech, you know, Space and TA stack.

Like we have to be able to kind of say, stop the insanity and kind of back up and go, let’s actually solve business problems with this stuff and not just do, you know, kind of the next thing that’s on the roadmap for, you know, whatever, whatever, um, vendor, whatever platform it is. So, um, it’s, it’s been, it’s an interesting time.

Dealing with a proliferation. I think if you don’t really get smart about that, you’re just gonna be, it’s very hard to learn to, to Michael, to your point, like, how do you learn all of this? Because there’s no, um, you know, there’s not time in the day to learn everything. Right. Um, so you have to make some decisions and be, you know, and then what do, and those are the critical thinking part, like you said, and, and being able to do that.

And I’m sure, uh, you know, Michael, Teenagers. Um, you know, one thing I’ve learned from mine [00:26:00] is that they want to learn everything very fast. Um, and so, you know, there’s, everything operates at a, at a, at a frequency that re that isn’t really necessarily conducive to actually having a deep understanding of something.

Um, but it’s more like, can I make it. work. And can you do it like right now?

Michael Hartmann: No, it’s, it’s, um, it’s really fascinating cuz I, so like you have teenagers and, and, and Mike knows one of mine, my oldest and, uh, we’re starting to move towards publishing some of this stuff on YouTube. And his immediate thing was like, kids my age want shorts.

You need to have, you need to have clips because that’s the way you’re gonna grow. Right. And I’m like, like there’s a part of me that gets that. But it also is, Like those clips may or may not be enough to really, like, if that’s all they get, will that be enough? And so like, and, and on the other end, like I am the kind of person who I actually really enjoy really long format stuff, and I’m thinking like [00:27:00] podcasts that have kind of like ours, right?

40, 45 minutes or even up to mm-hmm. a couple of hours. Um, and, and so. I don’t listen to ’em straight through usually. Right. Or, or, or, or watch them. But, um, yeah, I think, I think this is like, this is an interesting time, but I think that mm-hmm. , the, the you point bring, have the point about these, um, the proliferation of technology.

I think this is another piece that from my perspective, like early on in my career, I did a lot of work with an, as a consultant doing accounting systems. So we would help clients with ch. I wouldn’t say sometimes there’s an rfp, but like evaluating and guiding them through the choice of a platform and then helping ’em with implementation.

And I like distinctly remember very often having to tell clients because the, the vendors wanted to, to showcase their real big differentiators. And typically would be things like, you know, really great reporting or insights you could get outta these platforms is if you were an accounting or finance team.

And we always had to kind of bring ’em back to like, , [00:28:00] that’s all great. If it can do the core functions that your accounting team needs to do every day. GL a p R, right? Mm-hmm. . If it doesn’t do that, then the reporting doesn’t really matter. So yeah, I think that’s another piece is like really be able to.

Like, uh, oh, yeah, I see the potential here, but also bring it back to like, what is, what is the real fundamental thing that we need to achieve? Um, yeah. And so, yeah, I think, I think that’s it. I mean, I, I will say like it’s, it’s, I think it has actually gotten harder because there is so much, and a lot of it, it probably was the case when I was, you know, describing the times when I was reading.

Magazines. Right. A lot of it is opinion. Um, it’s just there’s a lot more opinions now. Yeah. .

Mike Rizzo: Mm-hmm. . So there are a lot more, you know, always, you know, what strikes me about this idea of like, um, you know, I think Scott, you just said like, let’s go [00:29:00] solve a business problem, right? Um mm-hmm. with, with the technology and.

It was, it was a long time ago I wrote a post and I was trying to articulate this idea that I just, I think it was a terrible job of it, but it’s on LinkedIn still . It’s on one of my little articles. I did a terrible job, but the whole point was like, Hey, it’s not a magic button, right? There’s no flip of a switch.

and you turn on Marketo or HubSpot or Pardot and then just lead start flowing. Like it takes real work to implement the tool and make it do the things that you need it to do for your specific business and. . And what’s fascinating is like I’m, I’m well into a decade plus past that like time where we were getting sold this software and the vendors were sort of leading this messaging, right?

And we’re all like, oh, everybody needs this. Uh, and we’re still faced with the same problem. I was engaged with a client just the other day who I’m advising. , uh, just in a very small, uh, [00:30:00] temporary sort of project. And it’s specifically on, uh, using a piece of technology for their business. And, um, both the c e o and the lead, sort of the, the, the co-owner said effectively, like, tell us what to do, right?

Just, just tell us what to do. It’s like, well, what’s your go to market? Oh, well we have all, like, we’re getting referrals. All these kinds of things. They’re sort of in the service industry, services business. And I was like, okay, so referrals are working really well. And, and, and it was amazing how quickly I went.

We went from an engagement of like, Hey, you’re this, you’re this type of technology expert that can help us maximize the use of the technology. And it went from, I’m gonna make that happen, or I’m gonna at least bring somebody else in to make it happen for you, um, to. , well, tell us what to do with our business.

What should our go-to-market process be? Right? Based on your observation of our business model and what we’re selling today. [00:31:00] And so for everybody listening to this, right? We said just a second ago, let’s go solve a business problem. You are, because you know how these things work. It, it’s within moments of a, like, it was like probably our fifth conversation.

we’ve sort of solved the easy problems that the technology needed to be cleaned up with. And by the time we’re in our, like fifth engagement, it’s like, now just tell us how to grow our business with these tools. And it, it completely changed, right? And I called it out. I said, Hey, you, you, mm-hmm , you asked us to just be here to advise you on how this tool can work.

So I need, we need to learn how your business wants to grow so we can. To that situation, right? And like, yes, we can propose ideas , but like all these listeners, all these marketing ops pros that are out there right now, like that’s your opportunity. You get to like learn how this stuff works, right?

Learning about learning , learn how this stuff works, and then go learn how somebody else’s business [00:32:00] works and then go apply that technology to go solve a business problem. But it’s amazing we’re, we’re. However many years into this, and it just, it’s still the same thing. It’s a chicken or the egg, a car.

The horse, we don’t like, you know, someone’s acquiring a tool and they’re like, just tell us what to do.

Michael Hartmann: I, I’m, I’m trying really not to go on my rant about having the word automation and marketing automation really screwed up, like people’s perception of what it was. So, um, So, okay. So we talked about like, you can search, you know, if you’re good at searching Yeah.

You can find stuff now. Right. You couldn’t, couldn’t easily have found before. What, so this is part of like, this is a part, this whole podcast is kind of tied in with marketing ops.com, the community. Like how do you think, you know, what’s your take on like how much communities have affected our ability to learn and adapt and, and over.

Scott MacGregor: I mean, tons. I mean, today, [00:33:00] uh, you know, there’s probably, you know, there’s, besides marketing office and, and Mo Hops Pro, I mean, others that I use that are, you know, very like almost part of the day-to-day. Um, work. Um, so it’s become, you know, it, but it requires, you know, it’s that two-way piece, right? You’ve gotta contribute and you’ve gotta put back and, and, you know, you’ve gotta do that within the context of doing your job and getting clients and getting billing out.

So, you know, it’s, it’s tricky, um, because, you know, we don’t. You know, I’m not a paid full-time, you know, contributor, right? So on, uh, you know, into, into, uh, the areas. But, um, I think that you’ve got a, if you’re a leader or you’re person, you know, who’s, who’s hiring, um, you know, rev ops or marketing ops, give them the space, you know, if you can, like we talked about having that sponsor.

Um, and we’re, and within this whole theme of learning, you know, putting. Um, for the, your team, the people that work with you to get better and contribute and be part to, you know, like that’s, that’s something that I think has to, has to become more [00:34:00] of our. Go-to practice in, in our business, we can’t be the sort of independent, you know, sole contributors.

We have to be really relying on the learning across, across different orgs. That’s what I really drew from even agency or consulting work. Probably more even like, more so than being, uh, sort of, you know, uh, in-house. Um, but if you’re in-house, you really need that because you’re not maybe as exposed to seeing different business problems.

You’re just sort of focusing on your particular business, your product, and, and, you know, the agency consultant piece allows you to, to sort of step outside that, figure out how you ask those questions. That you probably already know once you’ve been at some organization for five years, you don’t go into the CS team and say, what’s your, you know, what’s your biggest problem?

Cuz you like, you sit next to them or you, you know, right. We used to, um, you know, and, and you know, but now you’ve gotta go work with these organizations and try and figure that out and, uh, and ask those business questions like Mike said.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, I think that’s, it’s interesting. So let, [00:35:00] I mean, let’s talk about, you mentioned like if you’re a leader, right?

Um, providing space and time for your teams to, to learn. Um, so, you know, maybe if you could talk a little bit about like how you as a leader have tried to, like, what does that look like for you? What does that look, look like for you that you think has worked well? And maybe stuff if, if you have anything like what didn’t work well and share that with our audience.

Yeah. I

Scott MacGregor: mean, you know, I think that, you know, looking at your, and really, really obviously just being, you know, having good ears, listening well to your, to the people that are working for you and, and, and figuring out what they need. Um, in terms of, because there’s all this sort of, you know, sort of scaffolding, I guess you would call it, you can put around that you’ve got, you know, you give them lots of opportunities to learn.

Um, you’re open to the fact that they will make mistakes. Um, and that in the process of learning. , they, they get better. And I think that probably if the, if there was anything that I was learning [00:36:00] that I would say is a big takeaway for me, um, is I had to get myself out of the head of just thinking like a soul.

Kind of like, this is how I did it. And I just, you know, was kind of in my own head space around that. And starting to, you know, really in the last, you know, I’d say the last 10 years of my career, working more as a leader, mentor, and working with groups of people and getting out of that space. Cuz I think that, you know, like you were saying, Michael, we came from.

World far enough ago that it was like very. Singular, um, in that sense, or at least you tended to be sort of working on your own. Um, and now it’s, it’s entirely changed and, and it’s very much about teams and, and, and that learning and facilitating that learning just means giving them lots of, lots of encouragement to learn.

Michael Hartmann: So I think it, the idea of having scaffolding and like providing those opportunities, the, the one part that I think I have struggled with is not so much doing that. Cause I feel like I am pretty good about that and I’m pretty good about trying. M you know, my, my teams or people I mentor to [00:37:00] kind of think about what do I like, what’s the next step and what do you, what should I be thinking about learning, but then actually getting them to do it.

Cuz I, I’m a really torn right, for, there’s a big part of me that thinks like part of my job is to help them learn or learn how to learn in this case, right? Mm-hmm. . But, uh, also I think part of it is they need to take that on from an o, like their own development needs to be their. Right. And they need to take ownership of it.

Right. Have you, like, have you struggled with that as like I have, and if so, have you found anything that You know, I mean, it’s always easy when you get the one person magically solves it. who goes out and does it because they’re motivated. But then there’s the one who’s not that you see potential in, and I think that’s the hard part.

Yeah. You see, you have someone who you see potential in. who is, for whatever reason, right? They’re feeling that like the, the reward mechanism that works for them is the, the, the recognition of getting all the day-to-day work done as opposed to learning and growing. Right? So it’s really hard to get, like, how do you motivate those people to do that, [00:38:00] right?

Scott MacGregor: Yeah. I think you, you’ve gotta under or you know, sort of respect that, you know, everybody is, You know, free agency. I guess in that sense. I mean, that they’re developing their skills to be more employable, to be better at what they do, and potentially to, not necessarily, I mean, if you can grow them in your team, but, you know, we all know, um, you know, this is an organiz or this is a, a, a, I’m not gonna say a, uh, You know, a field that there’s a lot of mobility, there’s a lot of, you know, a lot of times it’s that next chance or that next learning opportunity, you know, for a person is the next role and, and doing the next thing.

Um, when you can provide it and you can put it in your org, it’s great. But also just being open to that, I think, you know, that’s, that takes a little bit, that’s a little harder in, uh, in the traditional business sense cuz we generally want, you know, from kind of HR retention perspective, we want everybody.

You know, stay. But in some cases I, I know working with one individual who I still keep in close contact with and is amazing and has taken her career to [00:39:00] amazing places. You know, I had her for six months and it was great and she did great stuff during that time, and I’m happy for her and she’s still, her and I are still very close as a, you know, I don’t, wouldn’t call it necessarily mentor, but in that kind of, you know, sort of piece.

And, and I know that that’s how I would want to be in, in all situations. That would just be like, I, you know, want you to, to be the best that you can be and, and however that works out. So I don’t know if that answers, I mean, it’s, it’s a difficult question cuz it really depends. But yeah, I

Mike Rizzo: love the, um, mentality that you have there and I think the sooner organizations move past the idea that, um, you know, I, I think it’s happening already.

but we’ll see. , we’ll see how much is adopted. But you know, you like, you have to accept that people aren’t really going to be in a role for the rest of their life. Right. Like that, that changed quite a [00:40:00] while ago. Uh mm-hmm. and I, I know that was a struggle for a lot of the startups. Um, I think when you look at some of the data on, um, the US sort of labor statistics, I think it’s like average 10.

Like 3.6 years or 4.6 or something like that. Um, which frankly I think is, is pretty interesting that it’s even that long.

Michael Hartmann: Um, yeah, I was gonna say that, that’s, I was surprised when you said that, cuz that sounded high.

Mike Rizzo: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Um, I thought it was, it was pretty, pretty high. But, uh, this is, this is one of the like passion areas that I have right now and, and I have had for a number of years and I’m interested to see if.

Sort of line of thinking gets adopted more, where the sooner you can align with your employees career goals and aspirations, or be a coach on their path through their career, I think you have a higher likelihood of increasing that tenure for a period of time because they [00:41:00] feel that they’re understood.

They feel that they’re in alignment. life circumstances change all the time. Yeah. Right. Like you, maybe you find a spouse, maybe you decide to bring children into the world, you whatever you want to do, and you go, you know what? This organization really understands me and I appreciate the culture. I like the problems that they’re solving, and so I’m gonna go ahead and hang around for a while because they know, they know what I’m trying to achieve and they’re trying to help me.

You know, and yeah, I may not be the VP of marketing that I want to be or whatever it is that you aspire to be inside of this organization, but they know that maybe that’s what I want. And, and that’s great. Right? . And so, yeah.

Michael Hartmann: You know, I, I don’t know. I just, I, I feel like, I feel like we almost need, we almost need a whole episode just on the, like, um, like I would argue, like that’s not unusual.

Like to me this is a, a, a, that’s a symptom of. Um, most companies not doing a very good job of identifying [00:42:00] and preparing and supporting people who are moving from individual contributor to manager roles. Right. And that’s, I think, I think it’s that it’s a huge mm-hmm. huge challenge. Um, and especially if you’re a high performing individual contributor to Scott’s Point, right?

Mm-hmm. , like, there’s a way I did it, and I like, it’s really hard, hard to fight that urge. to just fix or solve something for somebody who worked for, as opposed to helping them learn how to do it, and maybe they have a better idea. You and you, you squash it, right? Mm-hmm. , so it’s a real challenge. Yeah. Like that transition is one of the hardest, I think, in many people’s careers.

It was a really hard one for me. Probably didn’t do it very well the first time. I feel like I’ve gotten better at it, but it’s, mm-hmm. , it is a different skillset that has nothing to do with probably what you did well as an individual con. , yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah.

Mike Rizzo: And that skillset will help you greatly, either in an embedded role, whether you wanna become a people manager or not, or if you choose to try to do [00:43:00] something else entrepreneurial in your life.

Yeah. Right? Yeah. Being able to like, let go of the things that just because you know how to do it faster, uh, doesn’t mean that you can’t offload it to someone and teach somebody, and That’s right. Enable

Michael Hartmann: them. That’s right. Yeah. It may not be the best use of your time to do that. Right, right.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. And

Michael Hartmann: so Totally.

Um, . Okay. So I like, I, I, I think we could take that one and go for another hour, probably just by itself, um, and have one of those multi-hour shows. But let’s, let’s go back to the skills and and learning thing. So one of the things we’ve talked about on the podcast is I know a couple of times, and you and I, when we talked, Scott, We talked about like what are, what do we see as some of the major like skill gaps within marketing ops and revenue ops that we feel like there’s, there’s more, more need for the expertise and knowledge and experience with this, these skills versus what’s we think like, at least from a perception standpoint, people have, what, what do you see as the major gaps in.

Scott MacGregor: Yeah, [00:44:00] I mean it’s interesting, you know, going back to my back cuz you know, I came out of kind of like the traditional marketing and then completed a degree which was more technical in nature. So, you know, it was natural that I kind of. Skewed that way, if you will, and then worked, you know, agency side. But I, I think what I see a lot of is just in terms of skills gaps, is, you know, there’s a tendency for a lot of the practitioners in the marketing teams, all the demand gens, all the, you know, all those, all those team members to, to be very, um, Very strong with, with, with sort of software and using software and all those kind of tools.

Um, reporting to some degree is, it can be challenging some of the pieces that require, uh, I guess a, um, a. A definitive view, uh, or an understanding of kind of math literacy, statistical literacy, even to some degree. You know, I think probably even the, I, I wanna call it data literacy, which is really about understanding how databases work and, you know, [00:45:00] that really foundational stuff is often where I hit kind of, you know, I wanna say roadblocks and working with teams where they’ll get to a place and they, they just wanna be able to sort of, you.

Change the settings and filters or, you know, do something. But it’s like, well, the, you know, the, what we have to understand is how it all, you know, how it all connects and relates. And then again, you know, also you, you talked about this as well, like the, the statistical or the understanding how that part of it works in terms of, you know, that kind of, I want to call it, you know, pretty much your sort of core.

you know, foundational training. I think that would have to be, if we’re going to take, you know, the, the, the revenue ops and the marketing ops to the next level, I think the educational background on that is gonna, is going to have to, um, deliver that like baseline Yeah. In a way that it

Michael Hartmann: probably didn’t.

And that one in particular is hard for me because, um, having gone grown up in. Been kind of math nerd engineered by training. Right. It was sort of [00:46:00] natural for me. Same. Yeah. And it was easy. And like it made sense to me that in high school I was taking, you know, geometry and calculus and things like that.

Um, but now I have teenagers who are going through the same, basically the same courses I had when I, and when I really think about like, if they’re not gonna go into engineering, as of right now, right? That’s not their intended path. Like they’re not gonna need calculus. Like I don’t have a problem with them knowing it, but I think what would be better, and I think going back, I’m kind of criticizing the education system.

Like I think we need to be thinking about what are the skills people really are gonna need on a regular basis. And I think data literacy and in statistical analysis and understanding that is a much, would be much more valuable for. , most children in, in say college, high school, college aged children to be learning mm-hmm.

and I think we, and with you that within our profession, uh, there’s definitely a gap in terms of that because, You know, nobody really [00:47:00] learned that. And the de the, the reality is like nobody else is as well positioned as ops folks to really have access to the data. Right. But if they don’t know how to actually do that and do it well and get really understand what it means and what the story is that it’s telling, then we’re missing an opportunity there to be strategic, which is again, something we, yeah.

We all aspire to, I think to be seen that way. Right. . So, um, totally. Any, like any others or anything else that you wanna share with our audience that, cause I think we’re gonna have to wrap it up. . Uh,

Scott MacGregor: no. I mean, thank you for, for having me. It’s been a great conversation. This is stuff I’m passionate about too as well.

So I, um, I, you know, love having the opportunity to talk about it and talk about, you know, that sort of how we do the work and not just then of the nuts and bolts of it. Um, so, you know, no, it was great. Thank you. And. I can’t think of anything more. There’s always more, but that’s a whole other conversation.

we’re just gonna

Mike Rizzo: go back and do that other, [00:48:00] uh, one hour chat about investing in your employees in a new way, .

Michael Hartmann: Right? I would that, maybe that’s something we should do at mops. Piza. Have a little round table discussion. Mike, there’s a topic for you. Mm-hmm. .

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, we could totally do that. That’d be, that’d be a ton of fun.

Michael Hartmann: So

Mike Rizzo: that’s a lot of the work that I’m trying to work on right now too. So investing in these, in these professionals to help them achieve their goals.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, right. I would, I would definitely. I’d be interested in that as, as an audience member. Or if, if you, you felt like I could contribute, I’d, I’d be a part of that as a you definitely can.

So, um, well, Scott, it’s been a pleasure at really, I, I really Same. Thank you. We have to cut it. Cut it here because it feels like we could go on with some really good stuff. Uh, I think our audience is really gonna benefit from this conversation, so thank you. Um, if folks want to keep up with you or connect with you or learn more, what’s the best way for them to do?

Scott MacGregor: um, hit me up on Scott at CXM Consulting or follow me, [00:49:00] um, on LinkedIn. I mean, a lot of our team members are on there or on one of the communities, um, uh, as we we just discussed. Um, all of those places I’m living in.

Michael Hartmann: Awesome. That’s terrific. Yeah. Well, thank you Scott. Thanks Mike. Uh, and, uh, thanks to all of our listeners and our audience.

Uh, we appreciate all your support. If you have any ideas for guests or topics that you wanna. Bring to our attention or you are interested in being a guest, definitely reach out to us through, um, the community or the marketing ops.com website. There’s a place where you can suggest topics. Until next time, thanks everyone.

Bye-bye. Bye everybody. Bye.