Ops Cast | Lessons Learned from Product Management with John Charlesworth

Michael Hartmann: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast brought to you by the MO Pros. I am your host Michael Hartmann joined today by cohost Naomi Liu and Mike Rizzo. And you know what I’m gonna say next, right? It’s you’re the MO Pro

Mike Rizzo: right. What I,

Michael Hartmann: I like that sort of half laugh, Naomi should I laugh?

Should I so

Naomi Liu: dismissive say something, I don’t know,

Michael Hartmann: whatever, you know what, so Mike wasn’t on before we started recording and he didn’t get the luxury of seeing your dog. I think your, like your reaction was kinda like your dogs was like totally disinterested.

Naomi Liu: that’s what it was. So he’s in the living room right now, just staring at me like whatever

Michael Hartmann: That’s what Mike’s doing to you now too, ever with bullets in his eyes. All right, so let’s move on. Okay. Our guest today is John Charlesworth, who is currently director of marketing operations at Narva. John is a marketing and ops leader, primarily with high growth startup companies in his career.

He’s got extensive experience in marketing [00:01:00] operations, digital marketing demand generation, project management, team, building strategy. He’s done it all. He is an advocate for creating scalable processes for lead management, life cycle tracking, campaign execution, automation, data governance, and attribution, all the things we all like in marketing go operations.

So let me welcome, John. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you

John Charlesworth: for having me great to be here with you guys.

Michael Hartmann: Oh, we’re excited for it. It’s our pleasure. John let’s start with this. One of the things we’re, I’m always fascinated with, I’m going to assume Mike and Naomi are, is just the different ways in which people have found marketing operations into in, in terms of their career.

So maybe just let’s start with you walking us through your career journey, how you ended up in marketing operations and

John Charlesworth: Go from there. Yeah, let’s do it. So I graduated from college in 2010. I had a marketing and an economics degree and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I actually found my first job at my career fair, which was as a [00:02:00] recruiter specifically for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

I was working at a recruiting agency, which is very much like. Inside sales. And after about a year I got into,

Michael Hartmann: I, I always think of that as like boiler room kind of stuff. Right?

John Charlesworth: Yeah. Cold calling and yeah, all the above. But about a year after the recruiting role I got into an outside sales position where I was selling recruiting services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

I had a couple recruiters on my team and I was very much like. Going door to door bringing in donuts in the morning, just trying to win business. And I did that for about six months. So I was at this recruiting agency for about a year and a half in total. And I like sales. I like, I.

My work ethic, I feel like was on point and I had some success, but at the end of the day, it just, wasn’t something that I was really passionate about. And I wanted to be a part of building something for myself. And I went the entrepreneurship route and I started a company [00:03:00] with two of my buddies.

It was a business directory, an online business directory for school systems. And we did that for about a year and a. It ended up getting acquired very much like an under the radar type of acquisition. And we started a, another company after that called steals, which was a loyalty program for small businesses.

And the product was made up of a mobile application, which was on Android and iOS and a web application for the business owners that we worked with. And I did that for about six years. My main role was running product development. So I was managing our development team. And it at its core was a digital marketing product.

So I got a lot of experience that is very relatable to MarTech and just mops in general. That company, we raised a a series round series seed round, and then we raised a series, a. And we scaled up to about 25 or so people [00:04:00] and it ultimately didn’t work out about six years later, I decided that, I, it was time to step away.

I just, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And for about nine months, I was really at a career crisis to be honest. And I was doing some consulting work, primarily product management, as well as user interface design and some front end development. That was a skill that I had picked up.

And through that journey, one of the companies that I was consulting for developed a relationship with their CEO who ended up taking a position as the CMO at a software company in Austin, Texas called clear data and thought I would be a great fit for marketing operations, given my background in product, but really like MarTech focused products and.

Yeah. I have a feeling John,

Mike Rizzo: that a bunch of MarTech marketing ops people out there are like rejoicing when the if, and when they listen to this, cause there’s, I like I’ve seen this happen a lot [00:05:00] and even more recently on communities that are about product management in general where you can, there’s like this swapping happening, where that really those skills that you develop in some of those other, like your background lend lended itself really nicely to potentially stepping into a marketing ops role.

And I feel like there’s a few folks out there that are trying to make that transition the other direction,

John Charlesworth: Who are probably like, yeah.

Mike Rizzo: I need to talk to John now. So I’m glad that like you came on to tell your story about that, cause that’s I keep seeing this

John Charlesworth: happening. Yeah. For sure.

At the time where I was just in that transition period I really didn’t think product management was something that I wanted to continue doing. I have a PA, like I was always envious of the software developers on our team, cause they actually got to be the ones that were building the products that our customers were using every day.

And that. Was something I wanted to do, but that was something that, there was just a skillset that I didn’t have. And I definitely enjoyed product management, but one of the [00:06:00] things that I really love about marketing operations is I do get to build things. And I do get to be behind the scenes and be hands on when I want to be in.

That’s definitely something that I enjoy.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, I think we’ll get we’ll I think we’ll get into the sort of translation of product management principles into marketing ops here a little bit. But before we do that, I, one of the things I’m passionate about is helping others. And I mentor a couple people who are in different stages in their career and marketing ops.

And I get a lot out of that, but I’m curious, it sounds like you went through a couple of transitions along the time in your career and sort of key decision points probably. Curious, were there people along the way that were either in a formal way or an informal way were kind.

Sounding boards or mentors or whatever for you that you think maybe things would’ve been different without them, or kinda what’s that background as well. Yeah.

John Charlesworth: So as far as ones that would relate to my [00:07:00] journey with marketing operations specifically, I think it’s the CEO that I referenced a few minutes ago.

So the CEO that I was working for at one of the companies that I. Doing product management consulting for between my transition from steels to clear data. And I developed a good rapport with him and a great working relationship. And I, at the time, like I, I knew marketing operations was a thing.

I just, I didn’t really connect the dots with it being a viable career path for me. And he was really the one. Brought that to light for me, just recognized, skills that I had and thought that they would transition well. He came from a marketing background before he was a CEO, so he’s seen it all.

And I think just hearing his validation around that made it something that I started to look into and ultimately found in my career path.

Michael Hartmann: So I, I think so I wanna drill down on this a little bit. I think the majority of [00:08:00] people listening to this are gonna go, I wish I had a CEO CMO, CRO, whatever, in my organization who truly quote got marketing ops and what it takes and what it is like, what was it about that CEO? Do you think?

Was it because of his experience as a marketer? Was he like, was he heavily involved with the ops piece of marketing when he was in more of a marketing role? Just curious what do you think was the difference there for him being such a good sounding board advisor

John Charlesworth: for you? Yeah, like as far as being a sounding board and an advisor, like he was somebody that like I was saying, I had a good rapport with and a good working relationship, which makes it easier to have like transparent conversations.

But aside from that, as far as like recognizing and bringing up to me the role of marketing operations and thinking that I would be a good fit, I think it was a lot of. Kind of product management principles and muscle that I had built over the years that he thought would [00:09:00] transition well, that we can definitely get into and talk about.

But just, that combined with soft skills and work ethic and things that are important for everybody. I think that a combination of all those things is just what brought us together at the end of the.

Michael Hartmann: I love that. Did, I’m just curious the conversation about marketing apps and I’ll, we’ll move on after this, but I’m just really am curious. Now, did it start with you bringing something up with him or or was it him bringing up something with you in one of those transparent

John Charlesworth: conversations?

Yeah, it was him bringing something up with me and it, it honestly happened when he. Brought up to me that he was leaving the company that I was consulting for. And he was taking a position as the CMO at clear data. And he said, Hey, I don’t know if this is something that you’d be interested in, but I think you would be a great fit.

Here’s what the role would look like. I think these types of things that you do now would transition really well. Yeah, he ended up just I don’t know if I’d say creating a position for me I’m sure he [00:10:00] would’ve filled a MOps role regardless, but it definitely helped me get my foot in the door and and yeah, some of those skills that I was mentioning from a product standpoint transitioned really well and more of the work that I had to do was really.

Understanding the automation tool that we were using, which is Marketo in and out. And I think I was able to pick a lot of that up naturally. It was a lot of hours spent don’t get me wrong, but coming in with a knowledge of things like a relational database would like really help understand how like the integration works between Marketo and Salesforce and definitely sped up my learning curve as far as Marketo is a tool itself.

But yeah.

Michael Hartmann: All right. Let’s so let’s get into this thing that we’ve been dancing around, which is your background in product management and how you saw that translating into marketing ops role. And maybe just talk about it in general terms for now, and then maybe we can talk about maybe some specific things that [00:11:00] you still carry forward after

John Charlesworth: that, for sure.

Yeah. I think, product management generally is a very like visible role within organizations, both internally and externally. A good product manager is going to speak with customers that are using the product, gaining feedback through things like user groups or. Just intaking feature requests, maybe within the product, but that’s definitely a big component with it, right?

Is being visible to your customers and understanding what they want, what their needs are and translating those into business requirements, but that’s number one. And then internally you are doing things like communicating feature releases out to the business. You were prioritizing the work that.

The developers are doing day in and day out, sprint planning that sort of thing. You are, what else? Like understanding the competitive landscape how that would transition to marketing operations would probably be more like understanding the MarTech landscape and where that’s going, what products [00:12:00] are out there.

And yeah, I think a combination of all of those things is Yeah, I guess where I would start generally speaking, but I think it’s just a really visible role and that’s what marketing operations is striving to be. These days is coming out from the behind the scenes and communicating the value that we bring to the business day in and day out.

So C

Michael Hartmann: question for you. So I think a lot of people, and probably I’ve been guilty of this too, is we conflate or. Combined product management and product marketing. . Yeah. So what just curious what’s your, is there a distinction in your mind or should the product management role be also focusing on product marketing a little bit or working with them?

So I think of product marketing as collateral and sales enablement, and. Co, yeah. Things like that as a, but curious what your thought is

John Charlesworth: on that. Yeah. I think for the organizations that are, lucky enough to have like product marketing related roles yeah, I think the division of responsibilities is really around [00:13:00] some of the things you just said, like collateral building.

I think definitely some of the like understanding the competitive landscape pieces and really just being the liaison with the rest of the marketing team and, enablement with the sales team. I think product marketing kind of all fits in there, whereas product management is gonna be more like prioritizing the backlog and features and getting feedback from the customers and working directly with the development team.

Michael Hartmann: That’s really helpful. The thing that when I think of product management, the thing that I think of that probably translates most to marketing ops or should maybe it’s a struggle for a lot of people. And I know I’ve been through, this is the. The component of dealing with the backlog of there’s no shortage of ideas, usually in what we could do from a marketing or product, marketing operation standpoint.

In my experience, the challenge is figuring out what to do when and how to roadmap that out is cause that what you’re [00:14:00] talking about

John Charlesworth: that piece. Oh my gosh, yes. Yeah. A hundred percent. And that’s definitely a skill that translates. It’s big part of marketing operations. Couldn’t agree.

Michael Hartmann: So talk to me talk share with our listeners, like how have you taken the principles from a product management standpoint and applied them to marketing ops and road mapping and prioritize, prioritizing and I assume also communicating the changes throughout the

John Charlesworth: organization.

Yeah. So table stakes there, and I think one of the most important tools to invest in right off the bat is a solid project management tool. cause that’s where everything is really gonna start. And that’s where things like a roadmap are gonna be visualized to the rest of your team and the rest of the business.

So a solid project management tool that’s fundamental. And then as far as a roadmap goes, I often think of a roadmap is more of a, like a high level plan, not something that’s like super detailed and where. The roadmap. And what’s on the roadmap is really derived from, comes from customer [00:15:00] feedback, which with marketing operations, that’s gonna be your internal stakeholders, whether that’s needs of the sales team needs of your marketing team.

But that’s, a big piece of a big piece of the roadmap. It’s also gonna come from things like just the things that everyday marketing operations need needs to be more efficient, whether that’s like increasing the speed to lead and needing to rearchitect your life cycle processing or data enrichment or.

Setting up a subscription center or how you handle suspending people from receiving email, GDPR, things like that. So I think it’s a balance of kind of the customer feedback, as well as the things that are gonna make your internal team more efficient. And then translating those into kind of some key, higher level initiatives that you can share with the rest of the team.

And then as it would come to like how the internal team internal marketing operations team is what I mean actually works day to day would be boiling down those key initiatives [00:16:00] into. Individual tasks and then prioritizing them in your project management tool. So that’s one piece of it.

I’ll I know there’s a prioritization into that too. But I can touch on that in a second. I don’t know if you have any follow ups or questions.

Michael Hartmann: So I, so this idea of a project management system is one that Mike is smiling here in the background. I’m like, I think it, it comes. At least once a month in the community, that people are like, what are you using? Oh yeah, without a doubt. So I think but I and I’m one of the struggles I’ve had is that I’ve not yet found a tool that handles both. I think I would think of I say both, it’s probably three categories of things, right? One is maybe the day to day operational camp, campaign operations, piece of it, things that you’re doing to support the go to market activities that are independent of the evolution of your, your process or tech. And then you’ve got almost like a ticketing system need, and then you’ve got bigger [00:17:00] projects. Which require a little different thing. I’m so what I’m gonna, I’m curious.

And Naomi, I’m gonna put you on the spot a little bit too. I’m curious. What, like what tools do you use? Cause I know Naomi you’ve got probably a robust process as well. We’re an

Naomi Liu: Lian shop. So J for our ticketing and project management and whatnot, and we’ve customized it. Pretty extensively, like every functional group within EFI has their own project queue.

And we are constantly cross referencing each other’s queues and creating like sub tickets for each other. And then we also use Microsoft forms to do like campaign intake. So for anything around inputting information that we potentially need to know templates build specs, images, things like that.

So it’s like JIRA is our. Our intake tool, whereas like we use like a separate form as well to supply the details and then they link back to each other. So that’s, it’s it’s what works for us. We just find that, because all of the other teams that are within EFI that we have to work with are also [00:18:00] heavy JIRA users.

It just. Makes things a lot simpler for us, especially when it comes to like localization projects and things like that. We can just tag the entire localization team and then we just cross reference each other’s tickets. So

John Charlesworth: yeah, I love that we use Rike in a very similar way. So an intake form and a project that’s specific to marketing operations.

And one of the things Michael, that I was gonna bring up too from the standpoint of like, where does. Roadmap fit in with campaign operations. I think you can marry those two things together. And they’re prioritized a little bit differently. I think with campaign operations, like stack ranking is a pretty common way to just prioritize based off of the due date.

I see you giving me the thumbs down, but stack ranking isn’t something I would use for prioritizing the bigger projects that would be like on our roadmap. Those kind of like bigger, higher level initiatives yeah. By any means.

Michael Hartmann: Fair, fair. Fair enough. I like [00:19:00] my, like I have such an aversion to the idea of stack ranking, cause it completely takes out a whole lot of other things that impact whether or not you’re gonna be able to be successful in delivering something.

But I think for what you’re talking about, some of those really small ticket

John Charlesworth: items. Yeah. I think the campaign operations items that you might have an SLA around with your team that have a specific due date and is, need to get done by a specific time. Those are a little bit easier to stack rank as it would come to like the higher, bigger ticket kind of projects are on your roadmap.

Yeah. I don’t know if there’s a silver bullet, like Moscow method is something that I used back in my product days. That’s. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Moscow method must have, should have, could have, will not have there’s.

Michael Hartmann: Oh, okay. I was gonna, no, I was gonna ask you cause I’m not, we talked about that at last

Mike Rizzo: year, summer

John Charlesworth: camp.

It was great.

Michael Hartmann: It’s so funny, Mike. I was gonna say like summer camp this year needs to like, this is such a. A recurring topic. And I don’t know, it feels like nobody’s really solved it. It [00:20:00] sounds like John’s got a

John Charlesworth: pretty good handle on

Mike Rizzo: it. Yeah. LA and John, for those listening and who can make it to summer camp John’s gonna help lead a presentation and discussion for everybody in the room.

But we talked about Moscow as a methodology for running like a demand central as you go and you. Build out a more mature sort of organization around marketing operations. I, that conversation was led by MH lines from stack boxy. And I’m sure it’ll come up again, but I’d love to hear can you break it down for us again on what that is for your team?

For everybody else who’s listening

John Charlesworth: right now. Yeah. So must have initiatives there’s certain, questions to ask yourself that. We’ll help you understand if a task needs to be, prioritized first or further down on the list. So questions like is there a simpler way we can accomplish this?

Will our product work without it, or will, marketing operations, what we do day in and day out, continue to function without it. What will happen if this is not included in our next release? What’s going [00:21:00] to suffer, is it, is it time? Is it. Whatever it may be. Questions like that will help you understand if something is, must have or not.

If you’re walking into a new company as a mops leader and. You don’t have a good handle on your database health and how your GDPR workflows are set up and things like that are obviously like super important. Those would be like the bigger must have initiatives.

When I walked into the company that I’m at now, There wasn’t a lead life cycle that was set up. And so managing things like conversion rates and even like what happens, to an MQL when it becomes an MQL, how does it get routed for follow up? And how do you track the SLAs for the SDR team?

Things like those were must have initiatives. When I started in my current role. So there’s that, and then, should have, could have will not have, those are all somewhat subjective, but the most important thing is that you’re not prioritizing your roadmap in a vacuum, you need to get input from other people in the business to understand[00:22:00] when something should be more important than something else.


Michael Hartmann: So are you one of the things that I’ve tr I’ve done in the past is looked at my, a somewhat complicated cost benefit analysis. So think of it I guess the financial term would be portfolio management where you’re looking at a combination of, what would it, what will it take to.

Invest in this opportunity. What’s the potential upside, what’s the risk associated with it. What’s the complexity of it. And using that to come up with a little more of a structured way of saying taking the emotion out of it, cause a lot of places where I’ve been is like, whoever’s got the biggest title in the room.

They move to the top of the list. It’s like without, so have you ever included anything like that? Like the. The level of complexity or amount of change or the level of risk that you might assume in terms

John Charlesworth: of being [00:23:00] successful? Yeah, I think like scoring is another popular prioritization method and yeah, totally scoring things like the risk, the level of effort, the value to the business.

Yeah, that’s completely viable too. I think. Yeah. There’s a lot of frameworks that end up working. , but at the end of the day, I think the key is just making sure that you’re not doing it in a vacuum and that you’re getting opinion from others. But but yeah, another thing is like understanding how dependencies work like I’m sure there are some like tasks that you could tackle that might be a little lower on the priority list with something that’s a little bit higher, but they’re somewhat related.

But yeah, I, at the end of the day, I think scoring different attributes. Like the ones you mentioned is completely viable as well.

Michael Hartmann: I, and I think you just alluded to something that’s also important, right? I and I guess this is one, it comes more from like personal task management. Concepts, which is the idea you heard the one about the big rocks, right?

So if you have, you’ve [00:24:00] got a if you think of your time or capacity as a jar, and you’ve got big rocks, like the big, important things, like you would start with those first, you fill those up, but then there’s still capacity because there’s space in between the rocks and all that.

And you, now you go with the smaller rocks and then eventually you get the sand and then. Like the really small things that you could just fit in it. I think that’s one of the things you’re talking about. There’s this mix of big projects, smaller proj like medium size projects, smaller projects, and then just the things that you just turn and burn

John Charlesworth: totally.

Yeah, a hundred percent. And so I think Yeah. Like when it comes to prioritizing everything under the sun, it’s going back to the project management tool, that’s important. But then also drawing on some product management principles. I think it is boiling down those bigger ticket items into like user stories or individual tasks.

And then if you have an intake form that you’re using to manage campaign operations and everything is funneling into the. In our case Reich project then you can maybe [00:25:00] incorporate like a sprint planning that you do every two weeks or so. And I think, planning your work is really important or else you will start to turn into more of an order taker, open up your computer in the morning.

What slack messages do I have? What emails do I have? Let’s knock everything out and getting into. Kind of vicious cycle. If you’ve got an intake form feeding into a project management tool, if you’ve got, bigger ticket items on a roadmap that you can boil down into those user stories and tasks, or what have you than every two weeks or so, or every week or every month, like whatever cadence works for your MOS team.

You can start to prioritize everything that you need to get due E everything that you need to get done in that given period of time. And, when you fill up everything that needs to get done from a campaign op standpoint fill in the gaps with some of those bigger projects on your roadmap.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, it’s great. Naomi, I’m gonna put you on the spot again here. Just curious, like, how do you like, so you’ve got, you mentioned JIRA and Microsoft forms and those things. How, [00:26:00] like, how are you using that? How are you doing prioritization? Are you doing it based on first in, first out, are you doing some sort of.

Assessment, like I described or is there something else that you’re doing?

Naomi Liu: Yeah. So we Def, we have SLAs that we try to, I think people try to keep to, and we try our best to keep to that as well. But definitely time sensitive things. So if there’s things like webinars or events, we do Hundreds of events every year.

Pre COVID and we’re starting to get back to that to that level but definitely time sensitive things. And then anything that is in support of our dealers, because we have a large dealer network and then lead generating things. And then anything else is secondary. So a lot of our tickets and the projects that we work on are not always customer facing.

Campaigns, right? Lead gen campaigns or customer facing or partner campaigns. A lot of it is around data hygiene, project projects data cleanup projects, list polls miscellaneous things that we do with sales ops. It’s about, I would say maybe like an 80, 20 split. [00:27:00] So it’s.

Yeah. So in, in a sense it is everything that’s time sensitive and regenerating first. It’s kinda, we round Robin in it, on the team and just depending on people’s workloads, we can usually get it.

Michael Hartmann: So how do you, how are you balancing? I suspect there’s a lot of our listeners are going, yeah, I’m trying to handle all those time sensitive things, but they tend to dominate everything that we’re doing.

And so we never get to the bigger project items. Like how are you? How are you making sure that there’s time for those or you’re are you being really clear with people? Like the more these things that we get the less time we have for these bigger picture things? So they’re all gonna take longer time or we need more resources.

Naomi Liu: I think we’ve, and I don’t wanna use the word train, but I’m gonna use the word train, cause I can’t think of a better word at the moment. But I think we’ve gotten to a level where. Our business partners, they have full access into our queue. They can see exactly what our bandwidth is.

And sometimes it’s a conversation where Hey, in order to meet your deadlines, like we need to drop something. Can you help us? Here are three of the things that you’re, we’re working on right now. Can you tell us which one takes priority and which one can we [00:28:00] move or drop out?

And I think when it comes to that, like most folks are pretty like understanding, and say, okay, we can move this one to the week after, or I’ll talk to the presenter. Maybe we move this webinar. Or this open house to the next month, and then we can, but these two things or three things need to happen this month.

It’s just a conversation, right? A little bit of a negotiation,

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. So I’m wondering if this plays a little bit of a role. So one of the things John, you and I talked about. Kinda getting ready for this is that you’ve also, I can’t remember exactly if it was, you’ve built from the ground up a team or if you’ve advocated for growing a team, but either way, you’ve got like growing a team. Has any of this project, product management prioritization, that kinda stuff. Has that fed into how you’ve built the case for that? Or have you used different approaches?

John Charlesworth: Yeah, totally. I think Being able to visualize all of the, cool things that you could be doing that bring value to the business, but can’t quite get to maybe cause your campaign operations queue is like too [00:29:00] deep and that’s a great way to advocate for more headcount.

But it starts with being organized about, having a roadmap and having an intake process and being able to visualize All the tasks that you do, day in and day out. Yeah, I think it’s I feel,

Michael Hartmann: I feel like you’re calling me out here, John. So how because I, so there’s a lot of times where I feel like I don’t have

John Charlesworth: that under control.

Yeah. There’s honestly it’s something that I’m trying to improve every day. It’s not something that I feel like I totally have my grip on either. But it’s definitely something that’s helped and has helped me in the past is just being able to everybody’s visual and just being able to like to show, Hey, these are all of the things that I feel like I’ve identified as things that could be value to valuable to the business, through talking to stakeholders through, through all of that.

And Just can’t quite get to it because we’re also doing X, Y, Z from a campaign op standpoint. And our marketing team has grown by five people in the last three months [00:30:00] and, just my, my workload is at the ceiling and and yeah, so I just think being organized at the end of the day is definitely something that.

Has transitioned well and has helped me advocate for for growing teams.

Michael Hartmann: So you mentioned visualizing what, so when you say visualizing,

John Charlesworth: just like a simple start, pretty much run out of your project management tool.

Michael Hartmann: Okay. Break that down for me a little bit more, cause I like, I think Gantt chart in, I think most, especially like people who aren’t familiar with project management, their eyes gloss over and roll up their eye in their head. So how do you take that and translate that into the capacity.

Element do you actually show like, okay. Given our capacity? Yeah. All the here’s, all the things we’ve got and we can only do so many at the same time. So that means all these other things are gonna be pushed out. Is [00:31:00] that, or is it, is there

John Charlesworth: something else? Yeah, no I think you hit the nail on the head, so yeah, with the Gantt chart, it’s Hey, look at that project.

That’s six months out on the timeline. What if we could move that up four months or three months? And. Here’s why it’s even on the roadmap, here’s the feedback that I’ve gotten on it and the value that I think it could bring and definitely like leading with results when you’re having conversations about like why something is on the roadmap at all.

But then definitely when you’re talking to senior leaders, having the conversation about potentially like moving things up, getting to things quicker is like where I think, just the Gantt chart would really help out with that conversation.

Michael Hartmann: So I think here’s a related thing that I think has come up a little bit. In some of the conversations we’ve had with other guests and everything else, but have you approached that conversation as one of, Hey, I think we can accelerate certain things by bringing in people temporarily.

So consultants, [00:32:00] contractors, whatever, versus bringing on full-time headcount, which actually requires a lot of time and commitment and everything else to bring that in. Have you like, have you thought thought about the mix of full time versus. Augmented staff in

John Charlesworth: terms of that.

Totally. Yeah. And I’ve done both. I think, I think campaign operations is something that might be a little bit easier to offload to to a third party. I think when you get more into the like, strategic conversations and more about just advocating for your role in mops internally across the business, it’s it’s probably more better to have head count on your team.

Five days a week, 40 hours a day, pretty much.

Michael Hartmann: Only five days a week. yeah. Good,

John Charlesworth: Good point 24 7 365.

Michael Hartmann: I’m a big fan of the four day work week now. , I’m gonna push back on that a little bit. I’m just kidding. oh, so it’s interesting. I tend to agree with you on the campaign. Op stuff is [00:33:00] actually relatively easy to scale up with short-term resources.

I think actually the, that you can get a lot of bang for your buck also on like really big projects, where they can take them on and run them with not alone. I still think there’s a lot of people who bring in third parties to do projects and then just take are not hands on with keeping ’em on track, but I think it’s that middle stuff, right?

Sort of small to medium size stuff. That’s really hard to offload. Cause it requires a little bit of institutional knowledge requires a little bit of knowledge about the processes and the tech stack. whereas you don’t need it on the really small stuff and you don’t really need it on the big stuff.

Do you find the same thing? I

John Charlesworth: think so. Yeah. I would agree with that. I think with some of the bigger ticket items, it’s, if you do bring on a third party agency, which is completely fine, it’s just very important to stay entrenched with them and understand exactly what it is that they’re building and exactly what it is that they’re doing.

So that it’s something you can maintain yourself and that it’s [00:34:00] something that you understand and that you know how to communicate with others. I think I’ve seen situations where agencies will come in and build a really cool A really cool kind of system to, I don’t, maybe it’s like a really sophisticated like nurture engine and it’s hard for the internal employees to maintain or understand how it works and it’s that,

Michael Hartmann: that would hits a little too close to home.

John Charlesworth: I was gonna say it’s

Mike Rizzo: were you looking inside of Michael’s

John Charlesworth: tech stack earlier? No, I’m just kidding. .

Michael Hartmann: I’m not gonna say when or where that happened, but

John Charlesworth: anyway, but yeah, you get the point. It’s not like it’s a wrong thing to do by any means. It’s just really important to make sure that you’re really involved if that’s the case.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. I think what you’re getting at, and this is my thing is that it’s really hard to come into an organization from, as an outside agency and really understand the nuances of. How. How the business works right to [00:35:00] know, and the personalities and things like that. It’s kinda like the, one of the reasons why I say there’s this fallacy of best practices, is that yeah, what I did at this one company should just totally translate over to this other one because, but because it’s just, it’s so good, but.

Like so many things have to be aligned for a particular go to market strategy or go to market approach to work. Are there things that are from a principal standpoint that work probably like when it comes down to the tactics that so much is reliant on human people. Sort of making good decisions along the way.

You know what I mean?

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. And I’ve seen that happen like firsthand in different organizations where, someone came maybe from a really advanced. Tech stack and has really advanced understanding and use case and knowledge of implementing like a Marketo or a HubSpot or something.

And so the sort of architecture that was put in place in this new organization is like [00:36:00] maybe a little too robust for,

John Charlesworth: for where it’s at currently.

Mike Rizzo: Like it, it slows things down at this stage. Now, if you were at. Fast forward, it’s like not a startup anymore. And you’re starting that mid-market enterprise crawl and you’ve got this thing in place.

You’re moving probably a lot faster than what the startup needed. But like the startups that I’ve been a part of where sometimes this agency stepped in or consultant or somebody implemented this, some. Something that was a little too robust. Like you have to, fallacy of best practice, right?

Like you can’t just take what worked somewhere else. and assume that it’s gonna like work well for the new organization. It there’s so many dependencies. And so you just have to adjust. Documentation is key though. That’s what I heard. Oh, that’s what I heard loud and clear from you. John was like, be entrenched with the agency and document he shouldn’t is key.

Otherwise y’all gonna get lost.

John Charlesworth: Totally.

Michael Hartmann: All right. So John, we’ve covered a lot of ground with you. Is there the main focus here, we wanted to talk about the [00:37:00] translation of product management, sort of principles and best prac best practices right there. I go using it a term. To marketing op like, is there anything that that we haven’t covered that you wanna make sure, like our listeners hear oh, this is a really important key thing to

John Charlesworth: know about, I think we’ve covered a lot, but I think there are definitely so many positives to running a MOS team, similar to a product team.

And so if, I would just really encourage self education. Learning a little bit more about it. If that’s something that you’re interested in or really aren’t doing today. Cause like I was saying a little bit earlier, I think just naturally product management is a really visible role and you’re definitely balancing stakeholders both internally and externally and that’s, I think often where kind of mops team is want to be.

And and yeah, I just I just think there are a lot of a lot of positives and translation points.

Michael Hartmann: All right. So I think the message is if [00:38:00] you really wanna learn from John, you need to find your way to Seattle in July. This is 2022 for those listening for summer camp. All so John, last question for you, and this is one that we’ve been mostly asking all of our guests, but not all of them, but so one of the things we’re as a community, really trying to focus on is, really elevating the marketing ops profession.

And one of the things we recognize, right? There’s not a consistent. Definition or clear what do you really need to know about it? If you were designing a marketing ops sort of professional certification, what’s the one or two things like, you’ve gotta make sure you cover this. What would you cover?

What would you make sure that’s in that certification? Yeah.

John Charlesworth: I think it’s important to call out the differences in the scale of the company, cause marketing operations definitely means different things for. A five person team versus a hundred, 500, 5,000. And [00:39:00] there’s definitely different skills that you need to develop and just Def different kind of different maturity levels that you need to account for. So I think that’s definitely something that I would love to see in a certification is I don’t know if there needs to be like different certifications that apply to different sizes of companies, but I think it definitely needs to be a component.

And yeah, at the end of the day, I would be super excited for there to be just a certification at all. cause there are so many certifications for like automation tools themselves, but there’s not really a certification for that. Operations professions specifically and I would love to see it.

I would love to see it. I’m excited about it. If that’s something that you guys do. You’re gonna

Mike Rizzo: be helping to shape that through some of the stuff that you go cover at summer camp anyway. So amazing. I would love to every one of the conversations helps to influence the roadmap of how we bring this thing to market as a community.


Michael Hartmann: you didn’t realize what you signed did. He’s like I

Mike Rizzo: never [00:40:00] signed anything. What are you talking about now?

Michael Hartmann: it’s in the fine print. So John, this has been really fun. I I love the idea that there’s a connection between product management and and marketing ops. I think this is there’s some, it’s actually one of those things that I think is true.

And so for our listeners I thank you. So given that so we know you’re gonna be a summer. So what’s the dates, Mike July,

Mike Rizzo: it’s July 11 through 13 of 22.

Michael Hartmann: All right. There we go. July. Yeah. So go to the MO Pros.com and you’ll find out all about it. Where else can people keep up with what you’re doing and learn from you, John?

John Charlesworth: So LinkedIn would be probably one of the main places, as well as slack groups. The MO Pros and mops professionals. I’m in all of those as well.

Michael Hartmann: Awesome. All right. That’s great, John. Thank you so much for joining us. It’s been a pleasure.

John Charlesworth: Yeah. [00:41:00] Thank you so much. That was a lot of fun and I’d love to do it again sometime.

Michael Hartmann: All right. We may take you up on that. Naomi Mike, as always. It’s a pleasure.

Mike Rizzo: Yes. Thanks everybody. Appreciate it. Thank

Michael Hartmann: you. All right. And those of you listening and supporting us, thank you to you as well, and continue to do that. Send us your feedback. We love it. Good or bad.

We’re in between and rate and support us. If you’ve got suggestions for topics or guests, let us know. You can reach out to Naomi, Mike or me. Thanks everyone. Bye now.