Ops Cast | Marketing Ops Strategy with Lindsay Rothlisberger of Zapier

Michael Hartmann: [00:00:00] Hello. And welcome to another episode of OpsCast brought to you by the MO Pros. I’m your host Michael Hartmann joined today by my co-host Mike Rizzo. And this is the year of it’s the

Mike Rizzo: year of the MO Pro. Thank you for teeing me up really nicely this time.

Michael Hartmann: I stole your line last time. I know you did.

Mike Rizzo: And I was like, actually happy about it.

Michael Hartmann: And I think last our last one, which we’re recording this the day, our last recording went live, where we referenced the company where our guest is from, who celebrated marketing ops pros. So today we’re gonna be talking about marketing op strategy with Lindsay.

Rothlisberger, head of marketing operations and email is Zapier. Hopefully I got it right. You did. She’s gonna have to, she’s gonna have to settle that debate as it Zapier is AER. But it sounds like Zapier is the right one. Lindsay is currently leads marketing operations at Zapier, where she connects people, systems, processes to make market easy, effective.

She has worked in B2B marketing and in the technology industry for over 10 years. At a variety of companies, startups to large enterprises. And she’s got a unique perspective [00:01:00] from that helps her find the right balance of process, simplicity and speed in how she approaches marketing execution. And she chose the career cause she loves both the art and science of delivering helpful content to people at the right time.

Lindsay, thanks for joining us today. Thank

Lindsay Rothlisberger: you for having me. I’m really excited to be here and yes it is. Zapier rhymes with happier. To make

Michael Hartmann: on. I can later remember it Zapier rhymes with happier. I like that. We had a I’ll say cheers to that. I’m having an adult , Michael’s feeling

Mike Rizzo: happier by the second.

I, we had an agency or somebody reach out to us about how Zapier could potentially get involved which was totally separate of how you ended up getting connected to. and that person said, yeah, no they have zaps. And so they are Zapier. And I was like, oh yeah. All right, fine. but still to this day, like I’m gonna go back and forth probably, by accident.

But now I know [00:02:00] that’s

Michael Hartmann: okay. Fully admit I have misspoken that name many times but I’ve always been happy with what we’ve done okay. Is many of our listeners. So one of the things we’ve been doing recently are on the podcast has been talking about talking to people about their sort of their journey into marketing operations.

And it really is still blows my mind that there’s not a common thread of how people got into marketing ops. So why don’t we start there? cause you talked about how you chose the yeah. Chose the profession, if you will. Why don’t you just give us a thumbnail sketch of your career journey and how you ended up where you are now at Zapier?

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Yeah, sure. So I started off in marketing, mainly demand generation and event marketing early in my career. And it was right when marketing automation platforms were starting to become really powerful. And I worked at an organization where actually marketing operations or campaign execution was highly decentralized.

So I was lucky enough to benefit [00:03:00] from that in that I was the go to campaign operations person on my marketing team. So I was in the tool every day, building campaigns, and I would work closely with marketing ops folks, and I would envy them because I thought it would was really fun and interesting to.

Always be focused on those elements. Then I moved on to an organization where I was a digital marketing manager and a really large Oracle Oracle is the organization, really our large organization where they had a really sophisticated marketing ops program. So got to see how like a center of excellence works at an organization and Was always just interested in marketing apps.

So my next role, I actually headed up marketing apps at a startup where I built the entire marketing operations infrastructure from nothing there. And that was a that’s fun. Very, yeah, it was a very sales driven organization. It was [00:04:00] a really great learning experience and I. All of those experiences set me up really well to lead marketing operations at Zapier because we’re growing really quickly.

We’re using a lot of new, different types of tools and technologies that We bring on and we’re trying to find the right balance of moving fast and then setting up to scale. So I think both of those perspectives at the startup and then at the large organization have really helped me be successful as Z year.

Michael Hartmann: So I have a question for you or I didn’t, I don’t think I realized that you were at Oracle. So were you there before or after the Eloqua acquisition?

Lindsay Rothlisberger: I was there shortly after the Eloqua acquisition. But I wasn’t hands on in Eloqua while I worked there. Because there was more of a center of excellence model.

Michael Hartmann: I love that. So there’s a, yeah, go ahead. Go ahead, Mike.

Mike Rizzo: I, I would love that you share the center of excellence just commentary, like I, [00:05:00] if you can maybe, share a little bit about that experience and like really, what does the center of excellence mean to you? One of the. Most well, and the reason I’m asking this question is that one of the most well received, you think I must be vicariously absorbing Michael’s adult beverage, right?

struggling to get my words out today. One of the most well received sessions at summer camp last year was all about a center of excellence and it was led by gosh, it was led by MH lines. Who’s the CEO of stack Moxie. She used to work for Microsoft. So very similar experience in the sense that it was a large enterprise.

So center of excellence was probably really important. And so I’d love to just hear like through your eyes, like what did you observe, absorb, and then take with you around the theme of the center of excellence. cause that seems to be a very well received topic within the space.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Yeah. Great question.

I think it can be done really well. If you [00:06:00] find the right balance. Centralization versus C decentralization, which we’ll talk about a little bit later, but I think it works really well when you wanna really focus on a consistent brand experience for your customers. And that is a really high priority for your business.

Some of the challenges though, were was speed and agility and experimentation. That was a little bit trickier. Because I had a lot less control over the design of my programs. They’re very templatized. So I think it really depends on the business model and what your goals are and what the risks are of decentralizing to help you find that, sweet spot.

Mike Rizzo: That makes sense. I, and before we started recording everybody, we were talking about some of the differences between platforms like HubSpot or Eloqua or Marketo, and that comment that you just shared around, Hey, like the agility and the inability [00:07:00] potentially to be flexible and test new things.

That’ll happen in maybe this centralized kind of model. And when you have tools, not that you can’t be flexible and agile in enterprise level products, but when you have tools that make it really easy to rinse and repeat a program like a Marketo, for example, suddenly that, that line of thinking that creative line of Hey, I wanna test something new, maybe falls to the wayside a little bit.

So I’m interested to go further along in the discussion and talk about centralizing and decentralizing with you. But I appreciate you sharing that with us.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. So I think it’s interesting. So I know I have seen different versions of what I would call central, center of excellence or centralizing for decentralizing.

I’m curious though, Lindsay, when you think of that, what does that mean for you? Is cause I, some of the people talk about the four pillars of marketing ops, right? Is it which portions of that do you think could be centralized versus decentralized? I know personally there are certain things that I really have [00:08:00] really uncomfortable letting people outside of our core team control, things like segmentations and form builds and the processing that goes behind it.

I think there’s a lot of other opportunities to, to allow others into the, into these systems and whatnot. But take your, let’s have your take on it. Sure.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: I’ll share first my definition of how I define these two things and y’all let me know if you’re aligned here. But I view a centralized model.

As a scenario where you have a marketing ops team that kind of owns the majority of campaign execution, marketing technology lead management and then works with stakeholders who are mostly marketers via a request based or ticket based execution system. So those requests coming into marketing ops and then marketing ops goes ahead and builds them and execute.

In a decentralized model. The way I view that as is that there’s sort of systems or templates or [00:09:00] frameworks that can then be handed off to teams throughout the business to self serve and utilize marketing tools and maybe a little bit more flexible of a way. I think that the. I guess that kind of sum sums up the definition there.

I’m curious to get your feedback.

Mike Rizzo: I, so that’s really interesting. I guess that makes sense. Being able to create I didn’t ever really think of it that way. Like when I started creating I happen to come from more of, I, my platform of choice would be HubSpot, that’s just what we use at MO Pros.

Like it’s just what I’ve always experienced. And I never really realized that by creating the templates that someone else could just go edit and add their own content tool, but was like still within the brand guidelines, so to speak because the visual elements were all there and all that stuff.

I didn’t realize that was decentralizing. The operation I thought of that as like having control more than anything [00:10:00] else, there’s still like a QA process that has to happen. And I feel like the QA always fell back on a part of the ops team, or not just like the technical side, but also the brand team.

Like they have to go in and make sure the tone of voice isn’t totally off base or anything like that. But generally speaking I, yeah. Now that you position it that way. Yeah. I agree. I think that, that definition makes sense to me.

Michael Hartmann: So I have a couple of different thoughts about it. One, I think part of it depends on the scope of a marketing ops organization is I think we all know, the scope of the team can vary. So for example, in my team, I have probably what you think of as the core stuff. A marketing automation platform, some amount of lead management. Yeah. That kinda stuff. But I also have responsibility for websites, so I’ve got infrastructure there. And so I think there’s probably a different model depending on the, am I talking about doing campaign execution using the marketing automation platform?

Or am I [00:11:00] talking about managing the websites? So I think there’s some, I think it’s, there’s some nuance there depending on what we’re talking. The other, and I’d be curious to see if anyone’s I didn’t get to the point where I got to implement this, but one of the things I thought I was working towards at one point in a previous organization was coming up with an idea of a internal certification level.

So having a core team that was set. And then people in say the marketing teams or the event teams who are gonna be yeah. They could earn their right to have access to more and more stuff and have a little more flexibility. So they could use, start out using templates for emails or landing pages, but they couldn’t go beyond those.

But then if they got to another sort of level of certification, they could then do like custom builded emails. It’s like there. But I go again, like I never really expected anyone to ever get to doing segmentation and doing sort of compliance stuff. Has anyone have Lindsay I’m curious, have you ever seen that something like that, where you have [00:12:00] that sort of tiered level of distributed capabilities?

Lindsay Rothlisberger: I love that idea. I think that you’re totally right. There are different types of things that. Lower risk to decentralize. I don’t think I would consider decentralize my like lead management process or marketing technology administration or anything like that. But when it comes to campaign operations, if it’s low risk, and if you’ve created a really strong process and you have really good guardrails and then handing off some of that execution to other teams, Can really free up marketing ops to focus on those bigger initiatives versus being ticket takers or execution, arms of the org.

Then I definitely think it’s a great idea. I love the tiered idea.

Mike Rizzo: I, I really like that idea. I think I’ve heard you bring that up once before as well, Michael

Michael Hartmann: It’s

Mike Rizzo: so curious when you were thinking about that [00:13:00] maybe for anyone who wants to explore it, were you thinking of creating your own sort of like criteria for becoming certified?

Cause I don’t think you expect people to go take the Marketo certification to just to be able to use the tool. But like you teach ’em some fundamentals or something like that, and then they like learn it.

Michael Hartmann: So it, we did give it a fair amount of thought to the point where we were actually setting up and we were using Marketo.

So that’s the good example. So we were using, we were actually starting to set up user roles or profiles that matched what we thought those sort of different levels would be. We hadn’t gotten to the point of defining what those criteria were that they would have to. Get to, to get there. But I do think it’s at the Mo the more significant level.

I actually think that the idea of having a certification from that platform, if it’s a platform based thing, would’ve made a lot of sense. Sure. At least the entry level, right? Yeah. It’s not the admin kind of level, but it’s the, you, if you’re [00:14:00] designing emails and landing pages that have to be responsive or you’re talking about personalization, like things like that, that end up being.

Not super complicated, but still require a little bit of you need to think through how does this data flow in? How’s it gonna merge together? What’s the user experience gonna be? Like, all those elements need to be a part of understanding how you then build things out that I think is not a natural thing for someone who’s just going, oh, I just wanna get, I hate to say it like slap together an email and get it out the door.

I also wasn’t like as much as I was uncomfortable with the idea of letting people have additional capabilities, like building their own segmentations and things like that. If we were doing email, I wasn’t gonna, I was never good to the point where I was gonna say, absolutely not. Never because if somebody got to that level, if they had proven that they had the chops to do that, and they were good at what the other, I just didn’t think it was a core thing that other people would need to do. I think that still falls typically in more of. A really heavy duty marketing ops [00:15:00] function. So that’s the way I was thinking about it.

Like I said we didn’t, pandemic hit everything and it threw everything off the rails, but that’s where we were headed. It was to move towards something like that. And I think it would make sense. I’m in a, another scenario now where it’s interesting where the idea it’s really interesting in that I, it happened to be at a company that is a really large enterprise company, but it’s really a bunch of individualized businesses.

So there is a concept of a center of excellence from a best practices standpoint. That is at the at the, for lack, we the corporate level, but within the different businesses, they’re all different. So we all tend to have a similar tech stack, we all, in our case, we have Eloqua and on website maybe am.

And so what, but how we all use it varies a little bit. , but there’s an effort at the corporate level to have knowledge sharing that’s going across. In fact, I have somebody on my team, part of what we were doing to help him grow and extend his capabilities was he actually is doing a [00:16:00] presentation soon to that group.

To talk about an sort of a special capability of Eloqua that we’re using that not much of, not many of the other parts of the organization. See, and I think that’s super things

Mike Rizzo: like that. Yeah. And that’s super important when you’re like, once you get into, I guess if you’re trying to go more decentralized, you need to do a lot of education in that regard, but I think fundamentally it’s like a role for marketing operations professionals in general, to explain what or.

Not explain, just let people have a lunch and learn opportunity about how the technology works. We don’t need to explain it. It’s if you wanna learn it, there should be opportunities. And I think marketing operations professionals should take it on themselves. As you become more comfortable with your tool and your tech stack to, to educate your team.

Around sort of the art of the possible. Do you do any of that Lindsay within sort of Zapier and your org today? Not just for your team members, but maybe a little bit outside your team. [00:17:00]

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Yeah, we do. I’d love to do more of it. I think that one of the things that we’ve tried is also training up what we refer to as champions across marketing on certain features or tools.

We like things. We get a lot of questions about UTM naming conventions. So we’ve determined. Okay. Who threw out through that

Michael Hartmann: right now? UTMs is the hottest thing. I swear as nerdy and

Mike Rizzo: fun as they are for us, they are always at

Michael Hartmann: that topic. The fight, I guess the irony is do do you know what the U and UTM actually goes back to.

It’s like a pre it’s urchin, which was the predecessor to Google analytics. Wow. Urchin tracking. Sorry. Totally derailed. We just

Mike Rizzo: maybe talked somebody, something, yeah.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: No, I think I think that’s a great example though. It’s something that some folks can struggle to wrap their minds around, but it’s a concept that marketing ops can really help to empower [00:18:00] other team members to utilize some of the different tools and set up campaigns in a way that’s gonna help us track and measure everything that we need.

And. One of the skills that marketing ops can just really bring to the table and help empower the rest of the marketing team.

Mike Rizzo: The what I totally agree. And what I, I don’t want to riff too long on UTMs necessarily, but I think what this touches on it, I don’t know that there’s anything quite like it in, in, I don’t know what comparatively in the world, you could even draw to align to this concept of UTMs, but.

When leadership is saying, why do you need to know like structurally, like what our go to market effort looks like? It’s because it literally passes through, down to the UTM, right? Like the up depending on how U choose to use UTM campaign versus UTM medium and source and sort of the term and all of those things, the way your go to market [00:19:00] effort is meant to be organized at the.

Is how it needs to translate all the way through to the bottom. And I don’t know anything else in technology or any other role in marketing that starts to ask a question it’s wait a minute. I thought you were just building the email with a trackable link, and then you start unpacking all these like really complicated questions around.

Tell me about your go- market effort and how you ultimately wanna see all of this data pass through to the executive. And I think that’s a hard thing for leadership to understand. And they’re always like, why do you care? It’s cause you care, you care about the report. You’re asking how revenue ties back to these efforts.

And we’re trying to figure that out with you. There’s nothing like it. And so I think, as you’re educating your teams around UTMs, I think that’s an incredible cause the, the questions come up there and I think that’s an incredible effort. Anyway. Yeah, fun

Lindsay Rothlisberger: fact. We have a we use a zap that alerts our marketing operations team when a UTM [00:20:00] is missing from a campaign which us gonna prevent some of the technical debt that could be racked up.


Mike Rizzo: you, so you’ve got, it’s effectively monitoring for you? Yes, that’s.

Michael Hartmann: It’s identifying like it. So I have one, I think one scenario that maybe mirrors it a little bit, and that is if you’ve ever been at a company who’s tried to truly build a customer 360 view so trying to combine, like when it’s the, I think you even sent a LinkedIn thing to me today, Mike, where it’s how do you identify who your customers? I it’s not wasn’t the customers, but it’s always we wanna send an email to our customers, which ones how do you, like, how do we do, like, how do you do that? Yeah. And if you don’t, if you’ve got a finance system and accounting system and you’ve got marketing ops and you’ve got CRM and you’ve got all these different support.

And there’s nothing that brings it together. That’s the only other place where I’ve seen this. Some sort [00:21:00] of core ID, if you will. And UTM parameters end up being that in the marketing kinda world is that’s the glue and to I love the idea, Lindsay, that you’ve got a zap that actually enforces what I always talk about is to really get to tr like attribution or really even like the next level, where you could say marketing sourced, it’s revenue, marketing, sourced leads or pipeline. You have to be so disciplined about that. And if you can’t be disciplined about that upfront, it’s almost not worth the effort to try to do the reporting on the back end. Do you, I’m curious, Lizzie is that is mean, is that kind of what you’re like part of why you have that built in through the process?


Lindsay Rothlisberger: definitely. I think just so core to everything is making sure that data sources are connected to each other, making sure that. You’re tracking the right things. And we use a lot of different alerts to keep us abreast of nuances or fields missing [00:22:00] from contact records and things so that we can check how big of a maybe issue some of our our missing Sorry.

I lost my train of thought there that’s okay.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, you’re missing data points while there’s like great. You’re missing

Lindsay Rothlisberger: data points. Need to be connected together in my head too.

Michael Hartmann: you and us? Both. It’s all good. all right. That’s this is a thing like that, that people who aren’t in marketing, everyone in marketing apps is listening, gets it right.

That this complicated stuff. And there’s a lot of, yeah. A lot of places where things can break down and people like, I wish. It would be great if we had a, an audience in over time, Raymond Hopi, our audience will become a broader set where they will get to start to understand what is like, why is my marketing apps person asking me this S that’s it doesn’t make any sense.

Yeah. Why do they care about what this parameter value is like? And it tagged your up. So this is interesting. So I think we’ve we could continue talking about centralization decentralization, but I think this is all coming back to[00:23:00] when you bring up this like point about where you’ve got all these things that are notifying you of maybe their are exceptions or anomalies, whatever you wanna call ’em and the the core function of your tech stack.

It’s getting to I assume it’s getting to how you identify where you’ve got breaking issues and then maybe potentially where you have opportunities to eliminate tech, kinda like tech technical debt. Is that, are you, is that what you’re trying to address is that, talk us through how you’re using that and maybe even your own solutions.

I’m really curious actually about that, because now I’m like, oh, how could we use this for yeah. Our own use.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Yeah. So on the topic of technical debt, which I think just goes so hand in hand with the level of centralization versus decentralization, because I think if you decentralize too quickly or not at the right time, you could really start to acquire a lot of technical debt.

And so the way that I define technical debt is that essentially it describes what happens when you take [00:24:00] actions to like expedite new functionality or features in your marketing automation tool. Or you you execute a new project or campaign that then you have to go back and refactor because maybe you opted to move really quickly and experiment first and you racked up a bit of a mess along the way, which totally is totally fine sometimes.

So I think it’s all about finding the right balance. But I think in marketing ops too, technical debt can start to creep up when you don’t have the right level of process. So it’s our job to create that process and those guardrails to help make all of our campaigns trackable help, make sure that our customers are receiving the right information at the right time and not conflicting messages.

So there are a lot of issues that can arise if you don’t strike the right balance.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah I have to agree with that. And when I was in the earlier part of my I’d say [00:25:00] I’m still early in my career in the length of a lifetime of a career, but in the very early stages of my marketing ops career.

It definitely reached a point where I, every time I bring up the word process, like people would kinda like cringe. It was almost like a bad word. And the thing is I think this community fully appreciates that because the guardrails of processes of what protects your business, it also protects the customer.

And I love that you keep talking about you’ve actually said it a couple times to just in this recording alone, that your lens is the customer experience. going to be one that, that is appreciated and valued. And and you’re looking at it through a little bit through how would they receive that?

And E Michael, you also talked about it, right? Like a responsive webs design and all that stuff. I’ve heard both ends of the argument that like a marketing ops person. Optimizes for, execution and to get something done and to be really efficient. And then I’ve heard very passionate, [00:26:00] marketing ops professionals talk about yes, we’re doing that.

But always with the attempt to think about at the end of the day, is the customer getting what they need in the right time, in the right way. And those two trains of thoughts can be very conflicting, right? So like optimizing for done. Doesn’t always mean you’re optimizing for the customer experience.

And so I would argue that the real experts in the field the leaders, the people who are gonna stand out over time in this function are gonna be the ones that are thinking about the protection of the business and the production of the customer experience as you go to build these technologies.

And so I appreciate that you guys are constantly thinking about it. And I have to say as a user of Zapier, I feel like whatever, all of the effort at the brand level seems to be focused on that experience as well. So I agree

Michael Hartmann: that listen to Gary

yeah. So I agree with you, Mike. It I think it always, it [00:27:00] comes back to me and I cannot remember where I heard this. And it, but it comes, I’m reminded like every time I talk to one of my teenage boys, any of them. Good. That, the work like decision making is hard, not because there’s a right or wrong answer and you it’s it’s hard to figure out the right answer.

It’s because there’s not necessarily a right answer. And there’s a lot of gray in the world and there’s trade offs. And I think that’s kinda what we’re getting at with technical debt is like, what’s the trade off of. Adding a new piece of technology, removing a piece of technology from a standpoint of both the internal sort of operational standpoint, as well as the customer impact.

And I know in general, like I would trade putting complexity on the internal team to make it easier for customers just about every time, but that may not be the case. I, so I’m curious, Lindsay when you think about technical debt, is it. How long have you been at, Zapier just curious that two years we’ve talked about that.

So two [00:28:00] years, so you came in there had to have been something in place. Like a lot of us have inherited a text tech. Yeah. How did you go about assessing current stay? Ooh, I love this question. Deciding and deciding, like, how do you, did you identify, you had detectable debt that at that point, like without calling anybody out but.

I think we all I feel like I’ve inherited that in just about every place I’ve been like, but how did you go about rationalizing that again with the context of there’s not necessarily a right answer, there is a trade off decision that has to be made and you have to be able to support that.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Yeah. I think the first thing I do is look for signs of technical debt. I think when you join somewhere, there are some, somewhere new. There are some sure signs, like some of the ones that stand out to me. Team members are frequently worried that making changes will totally break things is there’s a lack of documentation, so true.

Yeah. A lack of okay. Accountability. So no clear admins or owners of [00:29:00] specific tools. And then I think the biggest sign is that the marketing campaigns that you’re trying to execute are. Taking a really long time to do so it’s slow and inefficient. So maybe you’re missing the tools that you need, or maybe the, there are too many data silos and you don’t have the information you need in one place.

Those are the key signs.

Michael Hartmann: I, I would say I what, yeah, let me on that last one. My only totally I’m like, I’m going check, check, check. The last one about things taking a long time. Agree. My experience has been that part of that can be technology issue. If things taking a long time, part of it can be internal processes when it comes to not having clarity around who’s got.

What role in terms of approval at signup. Oh, totally

Lindsay Rothlisberger: to. Yeah, no I definitely agree with that. There’s organizational element and then there’s also [00:30:00] like a technical execution element to that piece.

Michael Hartmann: So you got there a couple years ago. How did you, like, how did you go? Did you. I guess first question, did you go through a conscious effort of evaluating?

Do we have technical debt and then making a plan to address it? How what did you go through

Lindsay Rothlisberger: there? I definitely did. And started with a roadmap. I think technical debt is something that’s not really fun to add to a roadmap sometimes. Because

Michael Hartmann: It’s not sexy at all. No. It’s like data quality, right?


Lindsay Rothlisberger: And I think like you have to really consider, so you add it to the roadmap. You have to really consider, okay. What is the importance of solving this and what is the risk if we don’t and so on all of the roadmap items that we have that we plan to address at one point or another, we always ask those two questions.

[00:31:00] Including technical debt because some technical debt is okay. As long as you’re aware that it’s there. I think the scary thing is when you don’t know that you have it, and then you start to see performance decline or customers getting angry. So I think definitely just assessing it, being aware of it, digging, researching, getting it on a roadmap in a priority order.

Michael Hartmann: Can I ask you, you said customers getting angry. Just I wanna make sure. Sure. When you say customers there, are you talking about, oh yeah. The people who pay your comp spend money with your company, or are you talking about internal customers? For those that not seeing us, like I’m doing quote .

Lindsay Rothlisberger: I was referring to external customers.

So customers who use product.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Those are really the only customers in my humble affair. yeah, that night.

Mike Rizzo: Yep.

Michael Hartmann: Cur, okay, so this is I I have another sort of related question, which is and this is something I’m passionate about and actually is [00:32:00] hitting me real time.

Is that roadmap idea? I think everyone wants to do a roadmap that said, I think it’s really hard because things like technical debt are hard to justify. Compared to things that are clearly like where you can really make an obvious connection to, we’re gonna do this work and we’re gonna increase revenue, or we’re gonna increase efficiency, or we’re gonna reduce cost.

Whereas technical debt may be part have some of the elements of that, but it’s not as intuitively obvious for the people, especially if you’re going to like a CFO, I wanna spend X amount of dollars to fix this technical debt issue because, and it like. It’s just gonna be better. Trust me. So how do you approach prioritizing your roadmap items?

I think that’s really the get where I’m getting it. I’ve got an idea of how I do it, or I like to do it. Doesn’t always work out that way, but curious to what, how that’s worked for you. I

Lindsay Rothlisberger: think that you’re right. It can be really [00:33:00] difficult and challenging. I think that what I try and do is. Take a top down approach, meaning that I look at what are our goals as an organization?

What are our goals as a marketing team? What do we need to be able to execute this year? Sometimes not all organizations have really clear marketing strategies, which then makes. Road mapping really difficult and it can make you feel like you’re chasing around all of these different projects.

Amen. So I just I’ve found that, just partnering with marketing leadership to really understand what does the future look like? What do we want what kind of experience do we want our customers to have? What types of metrics are we linked or what types of campaigns are we going to be running in the next few months?

It’s so crucial to understand that because otherwise prioritizing is just guessing and so it can be challenging without it.

Michael Hartmann: [00:34:00] So have you ever been pushed to do almost stack ranking of ideas? Have you ever seen that successful? cause I haven’t.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Yeah. So we use a matrix approach. So we have like high importance, high urgency in one cor one corner and.

High importance, low urgency, and then low importance, low urgency, low importance, high urgency. Those are like the fire drills that maybe aren’t that important to tackle right away. And I think using that to classify projects that come into us has been really helpful.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. I’ve done something similar in it.

I. I haven’t used the importance, but I’ve done what’s the expected benefit. And it’s got a range of, but you end up with sort of quadrants, right? Yeah. And if you ever get to that that that the quadrant that is low value high cost, then you’re way ahead of the game.

I’ve never got . Yeah.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: And then [00:35:00] low. Low importance, low urgency. We just automate all of that. that’s the other technique.

Michael Hartmann: That’s an interesting one, but I think that’s an interesting one of bringing in sort of importance or urgency to it, cause I’ve never thought of it that way. Like I’ve always thought of it as more of a.

And Mike will appreciate this. I think of it from a financial standpoint or an ROI standpoint, as opposed to a importance for urgent like I think you’re like you’re coming at it from what I would call like the Steven Covey model. Important versus urgent. Or was it the Eisenhower model?

Is that the, like the task management yeah. Approach, right? Yeah. I

Mike Rizzo: can’t remember which one of those it is, but yeah I used to do the ice scoring basically like impact confidence, ease Because I would use that on campaign execution as a growth marketer. And then I was like like you can use that same sort of, methodology for prioritizing work on, chem sorry, MarTech stacks and all that stuff.


Michael Hartmann: I like that model. All right. We needed to have, we need to have a [00:36:00] whole episode just about different ways to prioritize projects within market apps. That’d be great. And then maybe the follow up is then what do you use to manage it? Yeah. then everybody’s gonna get into a

Mike Rizzo: debate about like spreadsheets versus Asana versus click up versus

Michael Hartmann: whatever, As long as no, one’s sorry, everyone at base camp, but as long as no one says base camp.

Mike Rizzo: Oh yeah, no, that’s not a thing. That’s not a real thing. Let’s be real, sorry.

Michael Hartmann: Sorry for this. So let’s pouch. All right. So totally off, off track here. And we’re throwing people under the bus, but okay. So Lindsay, any, so any other sort of final thoughts about either technical debt or. The centralization decentralization that we haven’t hit that were like the those were like the two main things we were talking with you

Lindsay Rothlisberger: about.

Ah, no, I think it was a great conversation. I think finding the right balance of how much risk you’re comfortable with, how quickly you need to move making sure that data sources are [00:37:00] connected, where they should be, and that you are aware of technical. Debt that exists at your organization and you have a plan to address the debt.

That’s really high priority. I think that just about covers it.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. I, you bring up a really good point. Like I think risk tolerance is a really important one that gets doesn’t get incorporated at a lot of people’s sort of models and for how they build roadmaps and how they decide what they’re gonna do next.

This is really interesting. Okay. So where I’m gonna I’m. Throw you a little bit of a curve ball here, but this is a common question that we’ve been asking our folks a part of the reason for the community, the Mar the morose community is to help provide a place for people to learn everything else.

But one of the things, and I know Mike has been working towards helping to build out like training and certification and idea of that. If there was such a thing as a marketing op certification, and you were in charge, Lindsay, What would be like the [00:38:00] one or two sort of non-negotiable you’ve gotta cover this topic.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Oh, that’s awesome. I love that. You’re doing that, Mike. I think, yeah, it’s hard. There’s a lot to cover. I think for me, one of the lessons, the difficult lessons that I’ve had to learn in my marketing ops career is how to zoom out. I think I’m very. Often focused on getting everything, building everything with the right amount of process, creating all the documentation, solving all the issues, but then the ability to zoom out and realize that you don’t have to fix everything all at once. What are the things that are going to make the biggest impact on the business and on the customer and aligning your marketing op strategy to those bigger picture business objectives, it’s a difficult skill to learn.

And I’m learning every day how to do that. But I think it’s really important.[00:39:00]

Mike Rizzo: Do you think that could maybe like just to poke at that just for a second do you think that could maybe be influenced by just guiding somebody on principles of types of questions to ask themselves or to ask their team?

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Yeah. I love that idea. Yeah. It’s hard to break down to a tactical lesson around something like that. cause a lot of it comes with experience, but sure. Yeah. I, yeah, I think figuring out how to align. Marketing operations projects to business value and communicating that to executives is really beneficial.

But asking the right questions is definitely the first. Most crucial step in that process.

Mike Rizzo: Oh, I love that. I I’m excited a teaser for those listening to this in prior to July of 2022 we at summer camp, we’re going to have a workshop that will end with a game that is we’re. We’re referring to right now as like how to train translate, [00:40:00] Mo’s geek, speak to executive, like C-suite speak.

And so through that workshop, by the end of it we’re gonna try to have some sort of output and learning lessons at summer camp for people to go back and actually, that’s awesome. Have meaningful business conversations with their leaders, so we’ll see so valuable.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Thank you.

I love that, but I think that. I think that ability to ask good questions and then to close your mouth, that word it’s hard. Use the two ears, not to point out is a really underrated skill. I always think about back when I started my career in consulting and one of the places I worked, we were very deliberate when we would do consulting projects.

A lot of part, a lot of the consulting work was interviewing people, and we were very deliberate about. We would go into those interviews. We’d typically we’d have at least two people and we would always have one person asking question. The other one would taking notes and we’d alternate. But the biggest lesson I learned was that like shutting your [00:41:00] mouth is so important, which is also a sales skill, by the way.

Actually it’s funny, cause most people think of salespeople. The best sales people is they don’t stop talking. But the very best sales people actually are really good at asking good questions and then shutting up. Yeah. I agree. And I think we could all benefit from that lesson a little bit in terms of understanding what is important, cause nobody likes dead space.


Lindsay Rothlisberger: awkward.

Mike Rizzo: we should all just be quiet for 30 seconds before this episode ends. I’m just kidding. no, don’t you that.

Michael Hartmann: Lindsay. This has been great. Thank you. That would be, yeah. Thank you

Lindsay Rothlisberger: for having this has been, this is so

Michael Hartmann: fun. Yeah. We’re glad. Yeah. It’s been great. So Lindsay, if if folks want to keep up with you or with what’s going on at zapper, and what’s the best way that they can do that.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: zapper.com find up for a free account. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. My name is Lindsay dash ruthless Berg. Yeah, [00:42:00] there we go. Look forward to connecting with everyone.

Michael Hartmann: Awesome. Thank you. Lindsay. Thank you, Mike. Thank you to all of our listeners out there for continuing to support us.

If you, again, as always, we always ask for feedback suggestions for guests, for suggestions, for topics. If you have any of those, feel free to reach out to Mike Naomi or me or join the MO Pros community and let us know that way. Lindsay, thank you again so much. This has been a fantastic conversation.

I really enjoyed it. Me too. Bye everybody. Bye everyone.

Lindsay Rothlisberger: Thanks, bye.