The Rising Importance of Marketing Ops and the Future Implications with Tim Parkin

Michael Hartmann: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by the Mo Pros now powered by I’m your host, Michael Hartmann. Joined today by cohost Naomi Liu and Mike Rizzo, and this the year of,

Mike Rizzo: It’s the year of the Mopro

Michael Hartmann: I love that Naomi Naomi’s like, I can’t even see you. Are you just like rolling your eyes at us now at this?

Naomi Liu: I’m always rolling my eyes at you

Mike Rizzo: Every day. I am thinking though, that at the intro we should be like, Hey, um, like is actually powered by the MO pros

Michael Hartmann: there you go. Do we need to switch it up? All

Mike Rizzo: gotta flip it, we gotta invert it. cause at the end of the day, this is all about what the community needs. So

Michael Hartmann: It is. Maybe we could get somebody to help us with the marketing of this.

Mike Rizzo: maybe we could Yeah,

Michael Hartmann: So, all right, let’s get into it. So, joining us today to talk about the rising importance of marketing ops, uh, is Tim Parkin. And so Tim is the president of Parkin Consulting is consulting company. [00:01:00] He is a consultant, advisor and coach to marketing executives globally. He specializes in helping marketing teams optimize performance, accelerate growth, and maximize the results.

He’s also a speaker, author, and thought leader who has been featured frequently in industry publication. So Tim, thank you for joining us today and for, for our audience, like it’s a late night for him. So thank you, Tim.

Tim Parkin: Thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. I think marketing operations is so important and just excited to dive in to the discuss.

Michael Hartmann: Awesome. Well, we’re glad to have you here and, you know, if you’ve got a, you know, cues for us for, uh, for how to market, how does, do we use powered by Mo Pros or we’ll get into that later? Maybe af maybe after we’re done recording.

Tim Parkin: Hey, it’s a great domain name to begin with, so congrats you guys for.

Mike Rizzo: Ah, I appreciate it.

Michael Hartmann: All right. So when we talked, uh, it’s been now a while, Tim, when we talked before kind of prepping for this, you said that you, you thought that marketing ops should be a senior level VP level role. I, I, [00:02:00] I didn’t, I don’t remember. Maybe you even said C level role. , like, let’s start there and why you think that marketing op should be at that level in the, in kind of, in the hierarchy of, of an organization.

Tim Parkin: Yeah, let me start by telling you. So my background is in technology and, and software development, and I think it gives me a unique advantage about marketing and the work that I do with helping marketing teams improve performance and results. You know, marketing, uh, a lot of people don’t realize until you get into marketing that there’s a lot of moving pieces.

There’s a lot of integrations and data and technology, and that’s why marketing Ops is so, important. And the, the reality is that most traditionally trained marketers or most people who think about marketing don’t realize the nitty gritty details. And oftentimes what happens is a marketing team will say, You know, things are not working here.

Uh, things keep running into each other. We don’t have the connections that we need. We don’t have all the pieces working together. Let’s add a marketing ops person. Let’s get marketing ops support. And I think that’s the backwards way to think about it. You know, [00:03:00] marketing requires that you have marketing ops from the beginning to support the marketing that you’re doing.

And without it, you’re gonna really struggle.

Michael Hartmann: Okay, so curious, uh, I think you’re not gonna get a lot of disagreement from this crowd for sure, but just, uh, do you think, what I heard from you is describing I think a scenario like maybe an early stage company, right? Where. You know, typically I think hiring sales people first and maybe some marketing one person and, but you know, do you think that same tenant applies to both startup as well as sort of growth companies or even larger companies if they haven’t really thought about it already?

I can’t imagine there’s a whole lot of those, but there’s probably some out there.

Tim Parkin: Yeah, I think, I think you’re right. You know, the problem with marketing ops is that oftentimes, unfortunately, we’re faced with trying to fix a mess. And the reason that we walk into a mess that we have to fix is because it was never thought through strategically from the beginning. And so I do think even if you’re a startup, you need to have some consideration for having marketing op.[00:04:00]

From the beginning, top down. And that’s why I firmly believe that marketing ops should be an executive level role, a VP role, uh, at least, because you can’t build it from the bottom up. I mean, you can, and most people try to, but really, if we’re honest with ourselves, you have to think about this from the top looking down and having this aerial view, if you will, of your marketing and how all the pieces need to.

I mean, there’s so many issues. I know you guys are familiar with those in the listeners as well. You walk into a company, there’s so many operational issues that have undone, uh, re solved, fixed corrected, and it’s because it wasn’t thought through the beginning. And so whether you’re a startup, whether you’re an enterprise company, it doesn’t matter.

Um, if you don’t have an ops person, you need one today, one yesterday, and you need to think through these things and build a. Every little piece you add complicates things and creates more mess, and that’s why has to be number one. It has to be from the top down.

Naomi Liu: Do you think the expectation though, [00:05:00] from, especially on a smaller, a smaller company, is that the marketing, the first marketing ops higher is going to be someone that’s going to be fixing those messes? Like how do you change that script or flip that script? Like I’ve actually, it would be interesting, like I, I agree with you that, you know, marketing ops should of course be, you know, a senior.

Role that has, you know, a lot of influence within the organization, whether when it comes to like budget and spend and like the technology that the company uses. I think that a lot of times people are reactive to things, right? They’re like, Our lead flow is broken. Sales is not getting leads, qualified leads fast enough or properly.

Let’s hire somebody to do the fixing and the tinkering as opposed to like, let’s hire somebody who has that strategic mind and view of like that digital transformation piece. I think that like how, How would you say that, you know, an organization should. Flip that because I’ve just, [00:06:00] I’ve never, I agree with you.

I just never seen that though. Right. To like change that mindset.

Tim Parkin: You’re absolutely right, Naomi. It’s a big challenge and it’s the status quo. I think that we need to flip and it’s gonna take experienced people and having the right advisors and guidance and, and experience people who are starting a new company to say, You know what? This is the right way to do it.

Let’s build it from the beginning. This way. You wouldn’t dare build a house without the foundation, without the structure. And yet that’s how we approach marketing is let’s just throw some stuff together. And like you said, now this thing’s broken. Let’s go fix that. Oh, that’s the thing. Let’s go and fix that.

Then we approach things in such a haphazard way, and that’s the reality of most startups that don’t have the experience, the tenure or the guidance, is that they don’t know. Right? And it’s not their fault. They just don’t have the experience. They don’t know any better. But even at large companies, you know, this is the problem with CMOs.

Companies don’t treat marketing like what they should be doing, and they say, You know what? We have this company. Let’s add marketing to it. Let’s get a c. And it doesn’t work out, and they say, You know what? It’s been 12 months. Let’s get a new CMO [00:07:00] that’ll fix it. I mean, look what PE time’s doing right now.

I mean, it’s, it’s a massive problem. And instead of saying, We are a marketing company, marketing is what we do, let’s build everything around that. I mean, obviously I’m biased here a little bit, but if you look at some of the most successful companies in the world, They’re marketers first. They’re a marketing organization.

Apple doesn’t make products. Apple’s a marketing company. They market whatever the hell they make and they make some really great products. They just happen to, but they’re a marketing company first. Disney’s the same thing. Disney could make anything and sell it because they’re a marketing company. And you go back to Walt’s original flywheel diagram.

I mean, it’s amazing. This guy

Mike Rizzo: I’m so glad you just brought that up.

Tim Parkin: It’s, it’s

incredible. If you

Mike Rizzo: where my head just went.

Tim Parkin: Go Google, Walt Disney flywheel. I mean, this thing will blow you away. It was hand drawn years and years ago, and it outlined everything they’re doing to this day and more, and it’s absolutely amazing. But this show is the heart of the company is marketing.

I think, Naomi, to your point, most companies are not marketing organizations and they try to tack on marketing, and that’s the problem with most companies that don’t grow and why they’re not [00:08:00] successful. That’s why marketing ops is so important to companies. If you’re gonna be a marketing organization, if you’re gonna do marketing at.

You have to have ops, and it’s to your point, we have to change the stigma that we can just fix these things afterwards or it’s not important. There’s so many attribution issues, I mean, that I deal with today because no one thought about, you know what, how could we report on this and track this, and it’s a massive, massive issue.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, it. I’m so glad you brought up the, the flywheel thing. I think though, there’s, there is this underlying product market fit sort of thing that happens. You know, as you start to think about even introducing, uh, in an enterprise organization that’s been around a really long time, right? As they go to introduce new products, um, there’s still experimenting with what’s, what’s the right message, what’s the right strategy, how do we bring it to market?

All of those kinds of things. And so, you know, I would argue organizations like, uh, an Apple or, or a Disney, um, they [00:09:00] had a point of view, right? And their point of view, uh, at least if I was trying to recall correctly for Apple is, look, a, a closed ecosystem will provide a better experie. And, and by creating an environment for a holy, connected, uh, closed ecosystem that provides this wonderful experiments experience, we will build products to service that need.

And, and then what came of that were all of the things that that happen next. And when you look at the flywheel of Disney, their point of view was, We’re, we’re developing carers, car characters, , uh, that speak to a particular role or audience or demographic, and there’s a purpose to those. And, and our goal is to deliver that experience through different channels.

And yeah, fundamentally that makes them a marketing company with a purpose to deliver this experience through, through their ecosystem. [00:10:00] Um, And those are, those are that, that was their vision, right? These organizations, like they had this like purpose behind their sort of existence. Um, And not every company comes into that.

They come in trying to solve a very core problem, right? They see a problem in the market and they’re trying to address it either with service or product, or a mix of both. Uh, but they don’t, they don’t, They’re not necessarily coming at it with this like, Hey, we know sort of why we exist. And eventually that mission and vision is born by who, whatever CMO you hire, I guess.

Um, so it’s really hard.

Tim Parkin: though? It’s a problem I think if you don’t know why you exist, and I think, I think your perspective is true that a lot of companies try to solve a problem, and I don’t think that’s wrong, but I think at the end of the day, they have to think bigger about. Why are we here? And if we weren’t here, would people care?

And that’s why marketing really is the fundamental of business. You know, Peter Drucker famously said, You [00:11:00] know, the goal of marketing is to make selling superfluous. And I think it’s true that, you know, we can sell stuff, we can create products, we can solve problems. That’s all finding good. But look what?

Look at liquid death. I mean, they sell water. 700 million valuation selling water in a can. I mean, it’s remarkable. That’s marketing. And if companies today want to have any level of success, it’s about marketing. It’s not about sales, it’s not about anything else. And I think that’s a great example of the power of branding and marketing liquid that is, and just the remarkable story and adventure they’re on.

So again, I think I have such a, a rooted perspective here, but I believe it’s all comes back to marketing. And if you don’t understand why you exist, if you. Perceive, perceived with marking first. Uh, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, look, I agree with you and I think that, um, I think if you can establish that. That existence. The, the why behind the, the sort of what you’re doing next. Right? Um, it’s okay to slow down to speed up. Right. [00:12:00] And, and marketing apps, people push on that all the time.

Tim Parkin: Yes.

Mike Rizzo: But they always get,

Michael Hartmann: only on days at N and Y.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. But they always get reprimanded for it. It’s like, why are you asking all these questions? Well, it’s cause we’re trying to us understand

Michael Hartmann: we are seeing, we see ahead, right? We see around the corner what’s, what the downside is. So I, I’m curious, So Tim, is I, not that it was the same thing, but I was having a conversation earlier today or earlier this week about how I think. Um, different context, right? The, the like hiring processes kind of broke in, and I think it’s particularly true in marketing ops and in like the, the, the true market value of people in marketing ops is not what your HR team thinks it is because,

Everything’s sort of inflated. And I think that, and I think that is true across all marketing in general, right? Titles and roles are very, like, there’s all kinds of variants there. And I think that’s part of the, like that’s a [00:13:00] symptom of, I think the same, It’s part of the same. Another symptom of the same underlying thing about this lack of understanding of the value of marketing across organizations.

So going back to, again, to our conversation, one of the things that you said, I wanna see if this is what you were kind of getting at. You talked about. A notion that marketing is more of a process function than a creative one, which I think will rub any marketer who’s listening to this a little bit the wrong way.

But I think there’s some truth to this. But is, is that what you were getting at, with kind of what we just were talking about? Or is there something else that you were getting at?

Tim Parkin: No, I a hundred percent correct. I, I don’t think marketing is creative as people think, and I do think that’ll rub some people the. Especially the more creative people. Uh, keep in mind I say that I’m an engineer at heart, and so of course it can be more process oriented. But I believe what we’re seeing today is the transformation of marketing, uh, becoming more and more of a process.

So I mean, on two levels, one, operationally, internally, how you function, how you execute, how you deliver. Marketing is a process. [00:14:00] If you don’t have a process to do great marketing, then you will fail. And Edward Deming had a famous quote where he said, If you can’t describe what you do as a process, then you don’t know what you’re.

And I work with a lot of companies, a lot of marketing teams, and they don’t know what they’re doing, let me tell you that. But I think the second part is the process of marketing. And what I mean by it not being so much creative and more process is if you look at like Facebook ads for example, or any kind of, um, social advertising like that, LinkedIn, et cetera.

What you see is it’s now a volume game where the algorithms can help us determine the right people and what they respond to. And we don’t really have so much control over the creativity, Or rather we don’t want it because we just put a bunch of stuff in front of the algorithm and it helps us get the right creative in front of the right people.

But it’s not so much us

Michael Hartmann: so just, I, I would argue that going even beyond creative, it gets into. To add, like add copy, right? One of the really interesting things I’ve seen both personally and through other people is that ad copy that [00:15:00] is sometimes includes poor grammar misspellings. It’s offbrand actually performs better than what you think your on brand.

Right. Really well written grammar from a grammar standpoint. Copy work like, Like that’s one of the things that’s like, it’s really hard for people who are, if they’re, and I have some friends who are content people who would, like, we could go into, you know, get in a fight over, you know, do you use the Oxford comma or not?

Mike Rizzo: I was gonna say, is this going to the Oxford

Michael Hartmann: You knew where

Mike Rizzo: feel like it’s headed to the Oxford comma

Michael Hartmann: It’s always back to Oxford Coma. No, but. And like, I think that’s a part of it, right? I think so. I think your point is we, and this maybe is again, a part of the symptom of how marketing is perceived is that I, I say sometimes to people I work with, and I’ve said it in multiple places, like they’re pushing back about things that I say that it’s something that only marketers care about, right?

The rest of the world does not give a shit. If you have a comment in the right [00:16:00] place on an app.

Mike Rizzo: That’s so

Tim Parkin: I don’t know the difference between its, and its, you know, my wife’s a journalism background. She always gives me, uh, flack about that because I always write it.

Michael Hartmann: I’ll send you, I’ll send you a link.

Tim Parkin: Thank you. I’d love to learn. Yes. Well, I think it’s interesting to your point because, you know, the pandemic disrupted the whole world in many ways, but one of those is the zation.

You know, we’re, we’re now on Zoom, uh, in meetings. We’re, we’re more remote companies are now fully remote. You know, I’ve been remote for 15 years, but companies are now thinking this is the normal thing to do. We’re much more casual. It’s okay to have your pets and your. In the background, one of my clients is, you know, one of the largest, um, pet manufacturers.

All of their, when you’re in a meeting with all of them, they all have pets on, on Zoom. Okay. It’s crazy. But also now we have TikTok. And TikTok has been also the next level of casual. I mean, there’s people in their pajamas laying on their bed with their hair a mess, doing tos and getting millions of views doing it.

And so my point here is that to your point about, you know, the grammar and misspellings and, um, more simple imagery and creative, [00:17:00] We’re becoming more accustomed to that. We’re becoming more real and more human. And what that means is it’s taking away the need for polished, creative. There’s still creative endeavors in marketing.

I’m not saying there’s no creativity, but it means that the professionalism of it, I think, has been eroded. Combine that with the algorithms that now can not only spread the right creative for the right people, but then you look at what AI is doing, which I have a background in technology and end, specifically AI and game develop.

I thought AI will never change marketing. Look at what Dolly is doing, d a l l e. It’s absolutely phenomenal and it’s terrifying to

Michael Hartmann: It is really scary actually. I mean, it’s amazing, but also scary.

Tim Parkin: Yes, it’s crazy. You think about the deep fakes, and I’ve always been against these copywriting tools that can write copy for you, but they’re improving. So I think we’re approaching a point where, you know, less and less of this is about creative and more and more marketing is about process. It all comes back to process that you need to have a process of how you approach your marketing, how you connect all the [00:18:00] pieces that need to be connected, how you manage that, and how you can ex execute on that.

You know, speed used to be an advantage. But now speed is a necessity. And so operationally that means that you have to be a fine tuned machine in order to operate your marketing and do so.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, I, I said, and, and one of the things that is gonna, just kind of going back to the point we were making earlier, right? Is, um, one thing that can improve on your process and your speed to, to, to sort of deliver in delivering on, on your campaign or, or what have you, is, uh, having a consistent point of view, right?

Like, just allowing your team to know operationally, like what direction you’re, you’re supposed. Be pointed in and, and you know, my favorite thing to say is aim small, Ms. Small. Right. And so like, just consist, just be, And I definitely did not come up with that. Right. I stole that from a movie for sure. Um, but

Michael Hartmann: love stealing movie quotes for and applying him in real life.

Mike Rizzo: every once in a while people will read my [00:19:00] LinkedIn profile and they’ll be like, Oh, I love the reference to Tombstone.

And I’m like, Yes, I appreciate that. Um, but, but my, again, so. By having a point of view. That you’re, you’re consistently sticking to and a and a strategy, even if it’s for a quarter at a time, , you know, that is, that is a win to improve on your process. And so when your ops team is asking you, you know, what is the core cta?

What is the core message? What is the thing that we need to be delivering on here? And like, how are you gonna measure or define success? It’s ultimately coming back. what is the point of view that you want to make sure is delivered in this effort?

Michael Hartmann: Mike, would you, could, would another term for that be having core principles?

Mike Rizzo: Um, I, I mean, potentially I think, I think that, you know, uh, I’m involved in, in lots of different organizations, right? As an advisor and all kinds of [00:20:00] things, and I think that you can have core tenants and principles and a brand persona. But, um, sometimes your desire to make that persona exactly what it is that you, that you’d like it to be, actually gets in the way of speed, right?

So even though you’ve defined it, it can actually get in the way of humanizing the brand enough to be able to just have anyone go write a post and, and be able to just, you. Make a market change and, and adjust accordingly. Right. It, it doesn’t need to go through three or four or five rounds of revision.

Tim Parkin: It’s a huge issue,

Michael Hartmann: O only three or four or five. I’ve.

Tim Parkin: Yeah.

Michael Hartmann: I’ve

Tim Parkin: Sounds like a dream.

Mike Rizzo: right?

Michael Hartmann: that I, I’ve seen places, and I stop paying attention when it gets to 20, and I’ve seen that so.

Mike Rizzo: yeah,

Tim Parkin: true though. Yeah.

Mike Rizzo: agree.

Tim Parkin: I, I think you’re absolutely right Mike. And I just wanna underscore that, that, you know, um, [00:21:00] The larger the company is, the more of an issue it becomes and the brand team and the approval process and just the clarity, understanding, like you said. What is the strategy? What are we trying to do here?

And the analogy I like to use is it’s like bumper cars. Unfortunately, you know, most marketing teams are driving bumper cars and each person’s in their own little bumper car and they’re just ramming into each other randomly and. It’s chaotic and it’s crazy and it’s a mess. And by having, as you described, not only a clear strategy, but a clear roadmap and plan of, here’s what we’ll do in being prescriptive about it.

You know, here’s what the call to actions will be. Here’s what success is. Here’s our metrics. You know, so many teams are missing those fundamental pieces. Which leads us back to why marketing ops is so important and why together and needs to be, have a seat at the table from the beginning and at the upper echelon to oversee all this and make sense of it because the team is drowning by themselves because they don’t know what they should be doing or what the strategies or how to get this copy approved or how can we move forward.

And it’s a, it’s a big.[00:22:00]

Michael Hartmann: So Naomi, it looked like you had, you were gonna say something there.

Naomi Liu: No, I’m just kind of taking this all in. I’m, I’m, This topic is something that on the branding side is, and, and, uh, you know, tone of voice and. That, you know, you speak to your customers is not like my, um, my role at EFI and my team, we are quite technical and execution heavy integrations and whatnot. We don’t necessarily deal so much with the branding side and just, you know, so it’s just, it’s, it’s a learning experience for me too to kind of hear you guys chat about this.


Mike Rizzo: Yeah, I, it, I wanna go back to something we were talking about earlier, and I’m sure Mike, Michael, you have more direction to take us in, in this conversation too. Just, just given the, the show notes here. But I, um, I wanted to go back to a comment that we were discussing a little bit earlier around. , this idea that the, the leadership function, um, could potentially be someone in a VP level role or what have you.

Uh, that’s in marketing ops [00:23:00] and, and frankly, like I totally agree. Um, I can’t remember who I was speaking to a handful of months ago that, um, I said, Look, fundamentally, like they’re, there are very, very few professionals in the workspace today that have an understanding. The entire, like almost really the entire technology landscape and, and the art of the possible that can then say, Okay, now that I understand all of this stuff, tell me about what your business is trying to do and how can I enable you?

How can I enable the organization to go create change or, you know, reach that market or what have you. Um, it’s not a cto, it’s not a cio and it’s not a ceo. , Right. Um, there are rule, there are roles for each one of those for very, like specific reasons that you need those functions. But this enablement, [00:24:00] this, this right hand person to this executive function as, uh, Dr.

Debbie, uh, Gish would say in her back room to boardroom book, right? Um, they. They need that person. Cause like who else can take the input of the business goals and objective and like, Hey, we want to enter a new market. How the heck do we do that? Oh, well don’t forget about compliance. Oh, don’t forget about cookie consents.

Oh, and you’re gonna need this tool. In this tool, and you’re gonna probably have to partition off an entirely new instance of Marketo because of ABC reason. Right? Like no one else can do that. And

Naomi Liu: Do you think,

Mike Rizzo: Go ahead. Yeah.

Naomi Liu: you think that. It is imperative for, in order to have a senior VP level marketing ops role within an organization that’s kind of like one of the, you know, you’re building from the, the top down. Do you think it’s imperative that the hiring manager has either come from an [00:25:00] ops background or has worked with marketing opposite adjacent, like very extensively in their, you know, past career?

Um, because I don’t see necessarily like, An HR person or you know, like just any type of, um, like I, I just don’t see that happening unless that value has already been set or understood by someone who’s gonna be championing and advocating for that role. Right. Maybe the CMO is hiring that VP role and the CMO used to be a marketing ops director, some.

You know, like I, I don’t know, maybe they decided they wanted to go the CMO path as opposed to continuing in ops.

Mike Rizzo: Right

Tim Parkin: Yeah, I’ll interject here, Naomi. Cause I think it’s a great point. And again, you know, the reality you’re bringing here to the table is so true. Um, my mentor always said that, uh, and I’ve had great experiences with hr. Let me prefix it by

Naomi Liu: Mm-hmm.

Tim Parkin: that. But my mentor always said, HR stands for hardly relevant.

And I think that there is some truth to that that that they often [00:26:00] don’t know what they need and they’re more of a gatekeeper than anything else in some cases, unfortunately. But I think to your point, HR has obviously a role to play in the organization. I don’t diminish that. However, I think they need support themselves to, to become aware of the need for this type of person.

So Michael let you respond, but I just wanted to add that, but I think. HR doesn’t know what they don’t know, unfortunately, and it’s not their job to know that necessarily, but I do think them, you’re right, that it’s an issue that needs to be addressed so that we can get the support that we need within the organiz.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, I, I would echo that. I would say I, I wouldn’t ever expect in, in this life or probably the next, the HR would suddenly be the expert on. Uh, which roles and functions are needed to go build an organization? I don’t think that that’s what they’re there for. Uh, but maybe one day if they, if, if that’s, if that’s what the aspiration of that, of that function is meant, meant to do, then Sure.

Um, I think we’re gonna laugh in about a decade’s time. We’re gonna let, if we [00:27:00] ever come back and listen to this episode or any of the other, That we’re gonna be like, Yeah. Remember when we kept fighting for this idea that somebody needs to be at the executive level in marketing ops? Like, um, I think we’ve just reached a tipping point in, in the way that, um, you know, the, Naomi, you put it out, or you said it earlier, it was, um, digital transformation.

Right? That was a really hot topic like not that long ago. . Um, and still there’s organizations that need to go through this, but a lot of them are starting digital first. And so we’re at a tipping point. We understand that there are these professionals that have seen sort of been through the fire, the trials and tribulations, and here we are on this podcast, in this community advocating for the fact that these rules need to be there.

There’s books written about it and, and soon it, it won’t be a question of should it be there? It’ll just be like, Well, if you don’t have that, whether you’re an established public, you know, holding company with a board, [00:28:00] Or a private organization with a board and investors. My my expectation would be that if we’re, if what we’re saying is true, all of those executives, all of those investors and all of those board members are gonna say, Where’s your marketing ops leader?

Because you’re not gonna get anywhere. It’s clear. It is clear as day that you’re not gonna get anywhere without that function. And so to your, to sort of go back to what you’re asking, Naomi and Tim, what you were bringing up to earlier too, what I was gonna say is, um, the, the typical startup on, on the startup side of things, right.

Um, this episode should serve as an opportunity for someone to set aside ego, right? Um, When you’re a startup founder, , there’s so many times where you think that you know all of exactly how you want to go to market or what your product does or who it’s for and all that other stuff. [00:29:00] And eventually you keep letting down additional barriers, uh, through that journey.

And you go, Look, I don’t know how to do sales. Nope, I don’t know how to do customer success. Oh crap. I actually don’t know what our customers want. That’s why I hired someone to lead product to go figure out what the heck our customers. , but you started off with something and if you’re a really good leader and a ceo, you’re gonna be able to fill the room with a bunch of really smart people and then you’re gonna win, hopefully

Uh, and, but ultimately it’s set aside the ego and bring in, you know, the people that can help you. And hopefully 10 years down the line, we’ve actually got the investors and the board members telling the CEO to do exactly that.

Michael Hartmann: And maybe, maybe, I mean, maybe that’s the path to Yeah, we, we, our, our guest in Naomi’s friend Vivian Chan, you know, gosh, was that a year ago that we had her on where she said, Right feature CMOs are gonna come up through marketing ops.

Mike Rizzo: Mm-hmm.

Michael Hartmann: You know, I think

Tim Parkin: True, I believe.

Michael Hartmann: I

Tim Parkin: And to Mike’s point, this is what I’m doing now with my [00:30:00] clients, you know, uh, is bringing on a VP level marketing ops person. And I think that you’re right, Mike, that it’s, it’s gonna, we’re at a tipping point. We need it. It’s gonna happen more and more. You know, not all of my clients, you know, I’m fortunate.

I have the pleasure of, most of my clients are massive companies. Um, but even still, many of them don’t accept this. They need a VP of marketing ops or, or a role like that. Some of them, even some of the smaller ones, you know, Company, 500 million. Are accepting that and realize already the need for that type of role.

So it’s really encouraging to see, and I think to your point, you know, hopefully it can trickle down to where Steve startups are thinking about this in the beginning. Marketing unfortunately only gets more and more complicated. There’s more platforms, there’s more data, there’s more connections. More and more, more that’s gonna be harder.

And that’s why the need for marketing apps is becoming more and more necessary, uh, from the beginning to have it all connected. So I think you’re right. In 10 years, even in five years, it’s gonna. Interesting to see that this is the norm rather than the, except.[00:31:00]

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, I certainly hope so.

Michael Hartmann: so one of the, one of the things we talked about, again, Tim, going back to our, our earlier call was thinking of marketing apps as a role versus a function or vice versa. And, uh, I feel, it feels like we’ve touched a little bit on that, but could you kind of break that down? What do you, what do you mean by it should be, I think, I think what you said was it should be treated like a function, not a.

If I get it right, so correct me if I’m, Yeah. Okay.

Tim Parkin: I think the problem is, you know, I work with a lot of marketing teams, uh, and what you realize really quickly is that some people have subject matter expertise, you know, within their industry or. But those groups of people, uh, often don’t have the ops experience or background, and they don’t really understand, you know, uh, how the, how the bread is made, uh, or the behind the scenes. And so they can do some [00:32:00] stuff. They know what to request, they know how to write copy, but they don’t know how the pieces fit together or how to make them fit together.

And I think that there’s more education we need to do if we understand and agree that marketing ops is so important about, you know, uh, data and integr and reporting, uh, analysis and platforms and technology. I think all of this stuff is really important. And to be a marketer, you know, there’s this.

T-shaped marketing thing. You can Google and people talk about that, and I think we need something that supports marketing ops in there. To be a marketer, you have to know something about marketing, in my opinion. And if you don’t, you’re, you’re cutting yourself short and missing out a lot of opportunity.

So this is why I believe within organization. It’s wrong to just hire a marketing ops person and think that you’re done and to think that that can sustain you because it can’t and it won’t. And it might for today. That’s not thinking about long term and tomorrow. And so marketing ops is definitely much more than a role.

I think it’s, it’s good to start with a role. But you need to build this out as a function. And that I go back to having, you know, the VP level marketing ops person, [00:33:00] having this as a function, having a C at the table. Uh, and also beyond the function the team needs to understand what is marketing ops and what is all this stuff we’re doing and how does it fit together, and how do we actually operate it and make it happen?

So I think there’s a lot more education. I think there’s a lot more to do. And I think, you know, Mike was talking about, you know, uh, digital transformation, what used to be a thing, and now it’s, you know, more commonplace, demand generation, the same. I think marketing ops has come due. Its time that we accept that this is, this is marketing, really, uh, and they’re inseparable.

Michael Hartmann: do, do you, um, maybe this is a bad analogy, but what popped in my head is the difference between accounting and finance, right? And that there’s sort of two distinct functions. And people who don’t mean, people who don’t know them may not, may, may not realize that they’re different. But I think people who are familiar with it, like finance is very different function than, than accounting is.

Can is that what you’re thinking? Like, MO marketing versus marketing ops are too different and distinct, but related, but functions.

Tim Parkin: Absolutely. I’ll take you one step further and say bookkeeping. I think most marketing [00:34:00] teams treat marketing ops like bookkeeping. Now you go over there and go fix the books, you know, and make sure everything’s in, in line in. And that’s not how it should work at all, and we can’t relegate it to that level.

It needs to be a much higher level. It needs to be much deeper, much more wider across the whole marketing.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. And um, I think the other opportunity, just sort of tying back to this idea of like, we talked about creativity earlier in this discussion. Um, I think, I think something that’s also, you know, almost a word of caution for, for all of us, um, in this function now, Is that like, it’s both, it’s both a word of caution and, and, and sort of an opportunity at the same time.

Is that getting into this idea of creativity like you, in a marketing ops role, you can share with your leaders, whether they’re executives or other marketers, The art of the possible, right? And and like, [00:35:00] like you can be the crazy person in the room, , that says like, Hey, check out this really cool thing that I can do with this technology.

Like, Hey, just so you know, now that we’ve acquired this thing and this thing and this thing, we could potentially do this. So come to your, I come to your, you know, team. Whoever it is and, and say, come with them with a crazy idea, , and be like, Hey, there’s this, like, not just like, like, Oh, I can enrich the data because this new feature happened in HubSpot, or whatever.

Michael Hartmann: I, I love it when, I love it when the stake. Come into like crazy idea, like, could we do this? And I love, I love, to me that’s the part of the role that includes creativity for marketing ops is trying to think like, how can we make that really cool idea come to life?

Mike Rizzo: Right. But, but, so, but that’s the, that’s the stakeholder, as you started to say, Right. Coming to you and saying, Hey, could, could we do this? And I would argue that there’s two things happening here. One of them is [00:36:00] we, in marketing ops should be educating the art of the possible within our tech stack. And trying to hold, you know, whatever, a qbr, some sort of something to educate our teams on, you know, here’s where we are and here’s here’s some other possibilities that we could unlock within our stack.

Uh, but the other thing that I’m a little worried about and I, it’s only coming to me now through this conversation, is that like, I really hope. . I, I don’t think, I just, I don’t feel it in my bones, that people in this function in marketing ops would do this, but I, I certainly think it’s possible where they like, um, they wanna like protect their like secret sauce , and so like, they’re the

Tim Parkin: Top security.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. So it’s like this idea of job security, like, well, if I tell ’em everything that’s possible, then. You know, I won’t have a job, . It’s like, I don’t think that’s the thing. Right. Uh, and so I hope that, [00:37:00] I hope that there’s enough sharing happening that like, we’re not like keeping this like, uh, black box, like secret hidden, you know, veil over.

Like what’s, what’s potentially possible. Uh, I hope it goes the other direction.

Naomi Liu: I think

Tim Parkin: also just from a, Okay,

Naomi Liu: No, go ahead.

Tim Parkin: now you.

Naomi Liu: I was just saying like, I think that art of the possible piece is super important and it’s, you know, the, the topic of QBR that you brought up, uh, Mike is, you know, something that obviously I’m a huge advocate and champion for, and it’s something that we dedicate the majority of, um, our QBR to with our business partners.

I call it, um, the need to know session, right. And it’s always the part that, um, everybody, Just like really goes away and takes away all this like information and it’s, it’s very rewarding to see them utilize the things that we’ve tried to educate them on in terms of technology adoption and seeing them find [00:38:00] success in and get excited, right, about things like in terms of things that they didn’t know were possible before.

And just, you know, sharing and paying that knowledge forward. I do work for, um, a much larger company than. Um, you know, I think some of our listeners and. It becomes difficult. How do you, you know, make sure that there’s nobody left behind when it comes to digital transformation, right? You have people within your organization that you support where some will just have a deeper technical aptitude and more interest than others, and it becomes a challenge where you.

I’m like, Well, okay, if you go, if you subscribe to the logic that you are only as strong as your weakest link, then how do we make sure that everybody we support just kind of comes on that journey with us? And I’ve found that it’s really important to, you know, like, Identify those strong technology leaders within the [00:39:00] organization and to, I, I’ve found that it’s been successful to pair off with them and give them, kind of like, identify them as ambassadors right.

For their team and give them that specialized one to one knowledge. You know, don’t hoard it, don’t, um, lock it away in your brain and share all of it, and. Give them the responsibility to, you know, let me take that back to my team and, and make sure that everybody else is, um, aligned and, and on board and understands everything right as much as possible.

And then coming together back as a group during the QPRs to just reinforce that. What do they say It takes like seven times repeating something or learning something before you really retain it. So,

Michael Hartmann: You, you don’t have teenage kids. Yeah.

Tim Parkin: That’s right.

Naomi Liu: maybe 70 times

Mike Rizzo: I was gonna say, Naomi, could you repeat that,

Naomi Liu: Oh my gosh. I’ll send it to an anema.

Mike Rizzo: Thanks.

Tim Parkin: now only what I heard you say is, you know, some organizations have dinosaurs, you know, and unfortunately a lot of executives are dinosaurs [00:40:00] and that they don’t know what’s possible. They haven’t stayed up with the technology and the trends and the changes, and so we have to be reeducating the whole team, the whole organization

Naomi Liu: did not say the word dinosaur. I just wanna

Tim Parkin: You didn’t,

Michael Hartmann: See, I think,

Tim Parkin: but I did.

Michael Hartmann: see Tim Tim’s looking right at me, is what I think it is.

Tim Parkin: I wanna say I did. Yeah. No, I, I know I talked with these people. There’s some that my clients, you know, and, and it’s crazy to see that they don’t understand, you know, something as simple as a heat map and what it can do. Uh, you know, just to give an example. And so we need to educate the whole team about, as Mike was saying, what’s possible and the art of the possible, which I love that saying.

And I think from a budget perspective now, especially as a lot of companies are cutting, We invest in some really expensive tools and platforms and to not utilize them to full effect, uh, is a waste of money. It’s a waste of resources and also a waste of opportunity. And so I think that more of an impetus for us to be really understanding what can these tools do, how even the most out of it.

And zero point, I mean, we need champions for that. We need ambassadors. And a different concept I [00:41:00] talk about with my clients is test driven marketing, which we can explore if you’d like, but essentially, you know, you have to be testing things. And I think that’s what Mike was alluding. And one of the best things I heard that you can take away about testing things in your organization, whether you’re small, whether you’re big, is to have people come up with ideas, prioritize them, and try them obviously, but give out an award.

An award for the best idea that didn’t work, and that I’ll repeat that. The best idea that didn’t work. That will give you lots of innovation, lots of things to try and it rewards people on coming up with great ideas, not necessarily on the results and execution of those, and the outcome of it because you wanna foster creativity and innovation, not necessarily, you know, the the, whether it worked or not.

Cause you don’t know that you have to try a lot of things.

Michael Hartmann: so I don’t, I think there’s an adage it. I didn’t, you know, I either won or I learned, right? I think that’s like, if, if the goal is to learn, right? If the, the ultimate goal is to be like, uh, have some sort of outcome that benefits the business, great. But if you can’t get [00:42:00] that, if you can learn from it, that’s the next best thing.

Tim Parkin: I actually think it’s back. I think it’s the opposite of that too,

Michael Hartmann: You think it’s the opposite,

Tim Parkin: testing is only about learning. And if you get, if you get a positive result, that’s great. Um, but you should set out to learn something, um, because if you get a result and don’t learn anything. You know, how do you repeat that?

Uh, and so I would say learn first, and if you get ’em resolved, great. But if you learn enough, eventually you get results.

Michael Hartmann: Love it. Yeah. All right, so we’ve covered a lot of ground and I, I wish we could keep going on and on, but I, Let’s put it this way, So I think. Given everything we talked about and your experience with your clients and everything else. Um, and I know you’ve done some writing about like attribution stuff too, which we probably won’t get to get to, but what do you think are the implications for people who are both currently in marketing ops roles as well as people who are, you know, gonna be entering into the, the profession maybe over the course of the next few years?

Tim Parkin: I think it’s easy. Two words, buckle up. [00:43:00] I mean, it’s only getting harder. It’s only gonna change more. You know, the one thing marketing does is change every day. It feels. There’s new platforms, new technologies, new challenges, new issues. So, you know, buckle up, it’s a bump, bumpy ride, but I think it’s one of the most exciting and invigorating and wonderful things they talk about flow state being the intersection of something that really pushes your limits and, and also you’re really passion interested about.

So I think for the right people, whether you’re, you know, a veteran, uh, in marketing op or whether you’re brand new, um, there’s a lot to keep you interested and excited, however, It will continue to change. And that’s what I love about it is that every day is new and different and uh, things keep changing.

And as Mike said, it would be interesting to look back on this podcast in a couple years, I think today, to look back a couple years and say, My God, we had so easy. You know, and now there’s all this, uh, GDPR and cookies and attribution and all sorts of crazy issues and what will come tomorrow. And a whole new set of challenges.

Michael Hartmann: And AI and

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, I was gonna say there’s deep fakes. Like I remember [00:44:00] when cookie tracking was creepy when I first learned about ad tech, and now I’m like, Well, I don’t care about if they track me on ads. I can my, my entire voice on script, if somebody got access to my recording could just go, make me say some nonsensical things.

That’s terrifying.

Tim Parkin: here on the podcast. This is just my voice

Mike Rizzo: This is just my voice, All of my opinions have been downloaded and now it’s just an artificial intelligence.

Michael Hartmann: Well, it’s

Tim Parkin: But you can go and Google. Go ahead.

Michael Hartmann: No, go ahead Tim.

Tim Parkin: Oh, you can Google. There’s the podcast recording someone made of Joe Rogan talking to Steve Jobs and, uh, obviously it never happened. Um, it’s all through AI and it sounds just like it. Um, crazy to see what’s.

Michael Hartmann: That’s amazing

Mike Rizzo: my, my job just dropped like . I don’t, I have no words right now. , like that’s insane.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Well, I, what I was gonna talk about is like, when I first sort of went from, you know, it management consulting, doing financial services work and stuff like that, [00:45:00] to, to marketing. I was blown away. This is 20, 25 years ago, and the amount of data that was already out there about people, now we use telemarketers and direct mail and all that.

Now it’s just, it’s exponential, right? So it’s crazy.

Tim Parkin: Crazy times. To get crazier.

Michael Hartmann: Um, now I’m gonna have to go find that, that podcast episode you talked about, you says Rogan and Jobs.

Tim Parkin: Yeah. Rogan versus jobs. Yeah. It’s, I listen to part of it and, uh, man, it sounds like Steve, it’s, it’s crazy.

Michael Hartmann: That’s so weird. That is so that like, that is like, I’m sort of speechless actually at this point.

Tim Parkin: Yeah, it’s, it’s gonna be hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. You know, I know that, uh, Google has just come out recently with their spen saying, you know, we’re, we’re gonna deran basically devalue AI written articles. And my question is, how will they know, You know, there’s this huge debate line of it.

Is it just, uh, um, smoke that [00:46:00] they’re blowing out there? How do they know? Unsplash came out and said, you know, image, image sharing site said, uh, we won’t accept AI generated images. How will they know? You know, it’s getting to the point where it’s so good you can’t tell. So it’s fascinating times. Really

Naomi Liu: They own the software I’m.

Mike Rizzo: They’re just gonna buy all the tools. That’s the answer.

Michael Hartmann: Oh man. All right. Well this has been fascinating, Tim. This has been a great conversation. If, if folks wanna connect with you or keep up with what you’re doing, uh, either publishing stuff or with your consulting company, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Tim Parkin: Absolutely LinkedIn. You can find me. I post daily there, Tim Parkin on LinkedIn. That’s P in Paul or parking without the G basically. And then my website as well, Tim Parkin dot.

Michael Hartmann: Easy. Like I wish I could do that.

Tim Parkin: I have T Park also.

Mike Rizzo: No,

Tim Parkin: to get that. It’s not set up yet, but yeah, short

Mike Rizzo: go gobbling ’em all up. [00:47:00] Hey, you know, I know some people that can help you set up a domain forwarder for that if you’d.

Tim Parkin: Hey, that’s awesome,

Mike Rizzo: Just kidding.

Michael Hartmann: Tim, thank you so much. This has been, this has been a great conversation and I, It feels like we just scratched the surface honestly, so. Yeah. So, um, maybe at some point we bring you back. But Naomi, Mike, as always, thank you. It always, it’s always fun when we’re all together here and thanks to you, all of our listeners for, for joining us and giving us, uh, letting us invade your space, if you will.

Um, so continue to provide your feedback and support and, um, if you have suggestions for people to join us, uh, we are doing a little bit of a shift for 23, but we’ll talk about that as we get closer. 2023. Until next time. Thank you everybody. Bye-bye.

Mike Rizzo: Thanks everybody.

Naomi Liu: Thank you.

Tim Parkin: Thank you.