A Marketing Ops Maturity Model and more with Simon Daniels

Michael Hartmann: [00:00:00] Hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by MarketingOps.com, powered by the MO Pros. Join today with my co-host, Mike Rizzo. Early for him. Yeah,

Mike Rizzo: early-ish. Early-ish. I mean, it’s, it’s 9:00 AM I’m awake. My kids got me up at five fifty.

Michael Hartmann: There you go. I think. All right. Well, and then on the other end of the spectrum, our guest today who’s gonna help us talk about.

Uh, the idea of a maturity model for marketing ops and the skills for mo pros to have to kinda bring that to life is Simon Daniels joining us from the uk. He is currently a principal analyst for Marketing Operations Strategies at , where he does research and delivers guidance and advice to clients.

Prior to joining Forestry, he held several marketing operations, leadership roles, both in-house and as a consultant. He also has co-hosted another podcast about marketing ops called What’s Mops Got to Do with It. [00:01:00] Simon, thanks for joining us and welcome, and thanks for staying. Thank you so much. Thanks for staying on late on a Friday.

Simon Daniels: No problem at all. Thanks so much for having me. I’ve, I’ve got a cup of tea going here, so it’s, uh, it’s all good. Uh, great to talk to you, Michael, and uh, again, Mike. Uh, and, uh, sad. No. Naomi, I’ll, uh, I’ll have to, uh, I know look forward to, um, just getting a chance to, uh, to talk to her one of these days in the future.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Well, we, we are missing her. Um, she’s got some stuff going on, so I, you know, she’s, it’s tough for her to, to fit this in. Sure. Yeah. Yep. Um, Well, good. So Simon, uh, thanks. I’m gonna, I feel like I’m gonna be saying this on all of our upcoming episodes because I’ve been so swamped. I have not done a good job of getting these scheduled, but thank you for your patience in getting this scheduled.

It’s all, I know we’ve talked about it for a while. Yeah. But, um, I do wanna get into the majority model conversation. Um, and so we can maybe like figure out how we wanna do this, but you know, when you think [00:02:00] about. That, I’m assuming there’s some, some skills that you’re assuming are needed for people to be in, uh, marketing ops and things like that.

What do you like, what are some of those things that you see that are needed for, you know, a really top-notch marketing ops team or department or, uh, professional?

Simon Daniels: Right. Well, yeah, and the, the maturity model, um, in, in, in some ways all that concepts, you know, speaks to, to, to some of the aspects of the, of the skills and so on, that, that go into a mopro.

What we see though, as being needed for a, a marketing operations function, uh, And, uh, and, and the individuals are really, first of all, executives level support. Um, without that, you, you can have a function or a team or, or a role and, and people doing those jobs, but if they don’t have the, the real air cover and backing, then it’s, it’s really tough.

To progress up that maturity scale to really be an effective marketing operations function. So that, that’s certainly, uh, [00:03:00] crucial. And then with that is a strategic remit. Again, this, this speaks to the, to the maturity concept that which we can come onto, but it, it needs to be more than just, um, you know, executing and building and, and configuring.

Um, it needs to be very much at the table involved in the thinking. The direction, where are things going? Um, and, and that’s what really makes for a, for a successful marketing operations function. Um, with that, uh, a concept that the roles within a marketing operations function are careers and not just jobs.

Um, you know, they’ve got a, they’ve got a path. And, you know, we might even come back to that in terms of what the ultimate um, Endpoint for a, for a marketing operations professional is. Um, and then, oh, I come back to that. I’m super excited about that one. Yes, sure. Absolutely. Keep going. Keep me too. I like, I like that one as well.

Um, and then, I mean, it’s, it’s [00:04:00] almost a truism, but just development opportunities. Um, so. You know, obvious things like training, um, continual, um, opportunities for enhancing the skills a across, um, the, the spectrum of marketing operations activities. Um, But things like also memberships. So, you know, signing up for marketing ops, uh, dot com.

Um, so that there’s a sense of, of the, of support and that, that, again, it’s a profession and, um, you know, not, not that, not that it isn’t, but you know, there should be a sense that the marketing ops Slack channel is, you know, work safe and rather than, Somebody looking over, uh, another person’s shoulder and saying, well, what are you doing in, in that Slack channel?

What are you, you know, why aren’t you building the campaign that’s going out tomorrow? It would be literally, oh, great, I see you are educating yourself or checking in with other people in the community, getting, getting other input and so on. And it’s that kind of support that is, [00:05:00] you know, makes a difference between, um, Is it, is it something that you are just having to do by yourself or is it really supported and, and understood by, you know, the wider organization?

Um, the time to experiment and try things out again? You know, they should, they should be time to, uh, just try, try all the new stuff out, you know, whether it’s AI or, um, looking at aspects of the metaverse or any of the other, you know, Keywords and topics and trends and so on. Uh, it could be a complete waste of time, but it’s important to be on top of that stuff and have an understanding for it, and that that needs to be understood.

Um, and then, you know, the, the chance to do this kind of thing, maybe if you are a, if you’re a marketing operations professional, um, doing a podcast, writing a blog for somebody, um, should be. Part and parcel of the, of the role and, and that that should be, that should be seen and recognized. Um, and then I think collaboration, you know, outside of marketing operations and, and marketing, um, is, is again crucial.

Um, and, and [00:06:00] that speaks to some of the other things that, that perhaps will come onto. Um, so, you know, in, in, in summary, a marketing operations professional needs to be insight driven, a design thinker and, and tech savvy, and put all that together and, and, uh, I think you’ve got a, a good combination.

Michael Hartmann: I think it’s, um, the first thing you talked about was executive support.

I wanna come back to that in a second. But the, the, I wanna touch on the, the point about having time to experiment and learn, try new things that maybe are not core, I think is one of the things that’s really hard to fit, fit into. At the same time, I know that I, and like you’ve probably had this too, like I get asked all the time about those things from other people in marketing and others.

Yeah. Because they’re also hearing about it. Yeah. So I think it’s, it’s valuable not only to learn, but also just to be able to have a perspective. Yeah. Or, or you know, an opinion, if you will. Yeah. On whether or not something like that makes sense for where your organization is. Yeah. I’m just one, one follow up on the question, follow up question on the executive support.

[00:07:00] When you say executive support, Uh, I, I think my mind immediately goes to, you know, whatever your title the top marketer is at the organization is, is that, but what about beyond that, right. Sales or. Operat like coo, c e o level. Yeah.

Simon Daniels: Well, yeah, absolutely. I think, I mean, yeah, you’re absolutely right. I, I kind of meant the c m o or, or the most senior marketing decision maker or, or leader.

But yeah, the, the entire C-suite, it’s important to, to have, to have that support. And, you know, that comes back to the collaboration piece because, um, Marketing operations should, should be, you know, collaborating with sales operations. And, you know, certainly when I’ve been a, a practitioner, almost the first thing I, I do in, in a, in a role is to look for the head of sales ops and, and make that connection And, um, that, that’s great.

And, and to be encouraged. At the same time, it shouldn’t be just down to those individuals to connect. Uh, the CMO should be [00:08:00] saying to the head of marketing operations, you know, hit, I am going to introduce you to the head of sales ops and, and the CSO or head of sales should, should be, you know, doing the same in, in reverse and, and uh, creating that collaboration.

So, yeah, absolutely that needs to span across. And, you know, thinking in terms of the wider. Uh, uh, collaboration and the wider set of stakeholders that, that marketing operations have across finance and IT, and, and so on. Then those leaders should be looking to make those, those connections and, um, relate, build those relationships in, in just the same way that the, that the mops, uh, the MOPS pro is

Michael Hartmann: as well.

Yeah. No, I, I agree. I I, there’s a thread there that I think we’ll end up coming back to later, so I don’t want to go there yet. But, um, so let’s, let’s, you kind of laid some foundation here. Uh, let’s get into this maturity model. Cause I think there’s, one of the things I know I’ve, in fact, I had a, a, a call with a mentee [00:09:00] yesterday about kind of thinking about how do you think about how to, how to structure or think about a marking ops.

When you’re talking to your executives or your oth, you know, other teams or, or if you’re managing a team trying to build out here, here’s the gaps that we have. So I’m assuming you’re gonna get into some of that. So what is your maturity model thought process on, on that? Yeah, so

Simon Daniels: we, we have what we call, um, the, the, the Forester, um, revenue operations or marketing operations.

If, if you like, range of responsibilities, model. And essentially that spans. A core set of elements of marketing operations, uh, we call them priorities. So planning, process, tech, data measurement. So the, the things that you would think of. Yeah, that’s marketing operations, and then, So that’s the sort of the span of it.

And then what you have is, uh, a [00:10:00] dimension within each of those, essentially from tactical to strategic, and that that’s what describes the maturity in each of those, um, uh, e each of those elements. Um, so like, like I, I kind of alluded to. The, at the tactical level, it’s just essentially doing, um, and then you rise up to end at strategic where it’s much more driving.

And I suppose, I don’t wanna say directing, but working with the rest of a marketing leadership team and, and, you know, the C M O or, or marketing leader to, to be figuring out, um, you know, how is everything fitting together? Not waiting to be told, but, but, you know, putting forward suggestions for perhaps a new piece of technology to address.

A problem that has been, uh, identified or obviously proactively, uh, governing data to make sure that it’s, it’s fit for purpose. Looking, you know, building out measurement and looking for [00:11:00] ways to, to do that better so that marketing and the business knows, um, the, the benefit that marketing is delivering and, and the return on investment ultimately, that, that’s, um, that’s coming to that.

So that, that, that’s essentially what, what describes the, uh, the overall maturity, if you like. That’s super,

Mike Rizzo: super interesting and, and very helpful to hear from, from your perspective. For sure. Uh, one of the things we’re working on, uh, with a group of board members effectively, uh, so community members that we’ve pulled in, uh, across sort of a, a range of, uh, backgrounds.

Um, is what does it really mean to be a certified marketing operations professional? And along so, you know, some of this is exactly, no, no surprise, right? Once you’ve been around a while, uh, certainly the things that we’re talking about as well, um, trying to figure out are there levels of, of certification or is there some sort of like overarching theme that you can sort of [00:12:00] pull in?

And one of the things that came out of that conversation at, at our last meeting a couple weeks ago, Um, that I sort of defined as what I, what I would call like a universal truth, uh, when it comes to marketing operations, is that all in my mind? All things in marketing operations have a strategy component.

So like there’s very rarely a, a time where you’re gonna just do something without first thinking about the implications of what’s about to happen.

Simon Daniels: I would hope so. Yeah. I, I just,

Mike Rizzo: I just don’t know. So when we talk about like, some of these core principles of what might be, you know, what might go into a certification program or just even a maturity model, right?

You’re talking about tactical to strategic, um, the execution work. I mean, you can be told what to do. Yes. Like, here’s the list. Hit send, right? Yeah. Like that, that, that requires nothing, [00:13:00] uh, other than you’re now doing whatever someone told you to do. Yeah. But if you’re being told to send an email to the database, uh, there is some level of strategy that should go through your mind, even if it’s like, how do I pull the list?

Right. Yeah. Make sure they’re opted in and all

Simon Daniels: these other things. And so do, do

Michael Hartmann: you, do you think it’s a, do you think it’s strategy? Because I, I, to me, that there’s sort of an intermediate level, which I would call just understanding the context. Yeah. Right. So it’s hard, like, I don’t know what a better word is for it.

No, I know. I, I don’t, I don’t, I’m not like arguing like, I think strategy is an important piece, but I, the, one of the things I know I’ve done with, I try to do with all my teams is if, if you’re asked to do something, whether it’s for me or somebody else on the marketing team, and you don’t know the why behind it, you should be asking why.

Yeah. Because maybe what they’re asking you to do is not really the best way to do it. And I think that, I think that’s what you’re getting at. Yeah. So you could, we could choose a different word, but I strategy’s fine. I just, [00:14:00] I’ve, to me it feels like it. Reduces what strategy means. Cuz I think that’s a little

Simon Daniels: more proactive.

That’s, well, 1, 1, 1 person’s strategy is another person’s tactic to, uh, to, to paraphrase the old, the old expression. So I, I guess you, you, you could look at it however you want to. I think though you, you’re absolutely right in the sense that a, any, any action should be considered and understood and the context, um, properly scoped out.

And yeah, even if it is a question of. I mean, yeah, I can’t, I barely can imagine this happening, but here’s a list. Send an email. It, you know, you could at least be saying, well what is this list? You know, is it, is it compliant? Is it actually the right audience for the email that we’re looking at? Could, could we do a different segmentation?

Um, and you know, building out from that, obviously asking those questions just in more detail, how are we segmenting this? Are we doing any personalization? Are we. Creating different versions for, for different, uh, for different audiences. [00:15:00] Um, where are we sourcing the prospects? Uh, what is the, the approach of that?

And obviously that that’s what takes you up the maturity. Um, Curve or, or whatever, however you want to express that. And, you know, ultimately gets you to a point where, way ahead of e of ever thinking of, of sending an email or, um, setting a paid digital campaign running or what have you. Um, you’ve, you’ve got all of that thinking.

Um, and it’s all interlocking. Um, certainly, you know, we, we, we guide clients on. Campaign strategy and planning and interlocks and, and frameworks and all those kinds of things, so that by the time you actually get down to the tactic, which is the, the, the lowest or end point of execution, um, it, it’s, you know, by no means a random act of marketing.

Um, it’s a very specific thing that, that’s taking place backed by, you know, considerable thinking that that goes behind that. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I think, uh, you know, no one [00:16:00] wants to diminish the, the use of strategy or the opportunity to be seen as more strategic by any stretch.

But, um, you know, there’s entering new markets strategy. There’s compliance and GDPR strategy. Like, there’s all kinds of things around, uh, you know, again, you, you said the old adage, you know, one person’s strategy is another’s tactic, et cetera, so Right. But yeah, that, no, that clarity I think is super, super helpful.


Michael Hartmann: yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting. And I, I, I like, I mean, without having seen the details of that, um, the maturity model, if I understand it right, you’ve got sort of five dimensions of what’s needed for, uh, marketing ops, and then within each of those five, some sort of scale of maturity. So assume then you, you know, one could be.

Well into, towards strategic and one of those dimensions, but maybe more tactical than another and so on. Uh, I assume there’s some, a [00:17:00] little, some, at least some correlation, right? If you’re strategic in one or more than one, you’re gonna be further along. And the others, one of the questions I always run into, and I think it’s interesting, um, This is where I, I would love to have Naomi on as well, because I think Mike and I both have most of our experiences at very different size and stage of companies, and Naomi’s sort of in between or a little different as well.

Do you, how well do you think that model applies across different size and stage of companies or industries, or B2B versus b2c?

Simon Daniels: Sure. Well, you know, for, for at , we, we certainly, uh, tend to skew towards the enterprise level. That’s, that’s just where our client base sits. And, and, uh, and, and you know, we’re at that, that kind of, um, enterprise end of the scale, if you like.

That said, I don’t see there’s any reason that it doesn’t apply across the board clearly as you come down the scale, um, to, to mid-market and, and through to maybe scale up and [00:18:00] start up and so on, the complexity diminishes. And so some of the concepts maybe aren’t so applicable, but really, um, you know, if you’ve got two people working on something together, you need collaboration and, and so, um, and coordination and, and so that, that creates its complexity and.

I’ve, I’ve, you know, when, when, when I was doing the podcast, uh, that I was co-hosting, you know, we spoke to plenty of marketing operations leaders of, of mid-market businesses, um, that were not huge by, by any, um, you know, any, any count. But the complexity is, is not inconsiderable. There’s just so many moving parts.

Everybody’s trying to do so many different things. And so I think the applicability in, in terms of. You know, thinking strategically, uh, looking for how to do that, making that contribution, um, as a, as a marketing operations professional or, or team, um, you know, applies just, just as much. And it’s just a matter of maybe not overreaching, um, but certainly trying to make [00:19:00] sure that you’re off that base level, um, to, uh, to, to be on a journey towards, uh, towards that higher levels of maturity.

Michael Hartmann: It’s, yeah, I think so. That makes sense. Knowing what I know about Forster and, and the types of clients you typically have. Um, okay. So let’s kind of turn this a little bit into today. You’ve got this model and, um, yeah, I assume you’ve done some work with some clients and things like that to assess or.

Help them to apply to their business. Mm-hmm. What, what are you seeing in the kind of current state? Like where are people along the different, uh, dimensions of maturity and are there, are you seeing any trends related to that coming out of it?

Simon Daniels: Well, yeah, I mean, we, yeah, we see, we certainly see all sorts of different levels and, um, you know, e even with, you know, the clients that we work with and, and like I say, at the larger end of the scale, there’s, there’s, there’s all [00:20:00] sorts of different, um, levels and, um, you know, as you say, in different areas, different, different, um, achievements.

Across those, those different aspects. And you know, the, the reason that you would become a Forester client is because you, you, you need, um, support across those things. And, and that’s, that’s what we’re there to do. And, and that’s, that’s what creates the kind of variety. Um, you know, I think what we, what we do see in terms of.

The, the businesses that we work with and, and what’s out there are, are the two things that, um, I think, um, you know, you, you guys talk about all the time on the podcast. Um, so the first is, you know, think thinking in terms of that strategic element. Yeah. We certainly see marketing operations becoming increasingly strategic.

Um, you know, it’s, it, it’s becoming, you know, Much more embedded. Um, and, and going back to what I was saying, executive [00:21:00] support and those kinds of things, you know, we, we definitely see that, um, in fact, in a, in a survey from, uh, 2021, we, we saw, uh, 72% of the businesses that we surveyed have. A chief of staff to the cmo, which as I say is a, is a topic that, that you’ve discussed.

Did you, did I always

Michael Hartmann: make sure I What? Didn’t mishear that 72%. Yeah.

Simon Daniels: Yeah. Now, wow. Don’t get me wrong, that sounds high. And so that reflects our client base. But, but nonetheless, at that end of the scale, um, you know, that, that is, that is, you know, what we are seeing interesting in terms. The, the prevalence of that role.

And of those 85% of those chiefs of staff are the head of marketing operations. So that, you know, embracing of, of, of strategy and, um, if, if you like, elevation of that position is, is, you know, real and, and happening. Um, and so that’s definitely, uh, a, a direction of travel. Um, and then [00:22:00] the other piece of, of course is, is, um, revenue operations and the, the growth of that.

Term and function and, um, Certainly at , we, uh, are are heading in that direction as well. Uh, we’ll be announcing some changes, uh, to our services that that will much more reflect, um, that direction of travel towards revenue operations. And the key thing there is not that, that’s it for marketing operations.

Uh, we see plenty of, of, you know, marketing operations, uh, functions and uh, and positions. In fact, again, across our. Client base. Um, we see something like 5% of of our clients have got a, a revenue type job title. So there’s, there’s, you know, plenty of other sales and marketing ops people, um, still out there, but it’s the direction of travel.

Um, and it speaks to that, uh, you know, cross-functional, uh, collaboration and creating a. [00:23:00] Revenue ecosystem across the business, whether you’ve got a single function or whether it’s multiple functions, it’s the totality that’s, that’s important, um, rather than, rather than the organizational layout if you like.

So yeah, tho those are certainly two, two ar you know, two, uh, key areas that where we see the, the, the profession going. That’s

Mike Rizzo: incredible. I, um, I felt like, Like strangely validated, like through at least two or three of those right comments that you were making this now, like I felt like we as a community, Michael, Naomi, everybody, you know we’re here, we are, we’re talking like it feels like chief of staff.

It feels like C M O ops. It feels like we’re coming up with all these things and here you are saying, you know, of the folks that we’re talking to. A huge percentage of them are actually in a chief of staff role, and the majority of those are from a, from a marketing house background. I was like, wow, that is, that is incredibly, incredibly validating.

Uh, on top of that. [00:24:00] You know, here we are folks. Simon said he, he, that we talk about things regularly on our show, which means Simon’s listening. So I feel, I feel pretty validated

Michael Hartmann: by that too. Indeed. Which, which


Mike Rizzo: pretty cool. So anyway, I’m all like gushing over here. Like, this is cool. Um, so what, you know, I’m excited about this rev ops stuff that’s happening.

I, I’ve been, I think I have mixed emotions about it in general. Um, part of it is that, you know, so many of us have just been seeing that it’s just predominantly just a sales operations sort of discussion. Um, And I, I’m hoping that that starts to, to change a little bit. But then, you know, so I, so sort of two parts, like one, do you feel that that’s why is going to try to potentially take a different stance on this and try to help maybe correct, at least from your perspective, a little bit of what they’re seeing in the market?

Mm-hmm. Um, or just maybe if it’s not ‘s opinion and it’s just [00:25:00] yours, whichever, uh, and then the other one is, Go to market ops, like what’s the deal there? Right, right. What’s your thought

Simon Daniels: on that? Yeah, yeah. Well, I, I should make clear my, my opinion and foresters are indistinguishable. Just, just for the record.

Okay. Alright. Well, just to be fair, um, yeah, we, we, yeah, I should, I should say that n nothing that we, we put out is, is anything other than, you know, kind of very deeply thought through some, sometimes, almost, almost comically. And, you know, we spent a lot of time thinking about. Should, should we, should we go with this, should we call it revenue operations?

You know, people are out there calling it, you know, or calling themselves revenue operations, but it’s really just sales operations. But ul ultimately, we’ve come down on. No, it, it should be called revenue operations. That’s what it is. Um, it, it is the operations pertaining to the revenue ecosystem within the business.

So we we’re gonna, you know, put our arms around that [00:26:00] and not, not that to the, not that even we’re so, um, you know, uh, so. Highly thinking of our own, our own opinion to, to suggest that, um, everyone’s gonna say, oh, well now have said it. That’s, that’s, we better get on board with that. Nonetheless, if, if we can steer things in a certain direction whereby we agree that yeah, revenue operations is the totality of the revenue ecosystem and, um, it, it encompasses all of that and it, it’s more than just one, one aspect of that then, um, that, that.

You know, that sums that up. And so I think that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do with that. Um, and, and, and just, you know, talk about it in, in those wider terms. Go ahead. Pardon? I,

Michael Hartmann: oh, so sorry. Go ahead.

Simon Daniels: If you, well, I was just, I was just gonna speak to the, the, to the go-to market piece, but I dunno whether you

Michael Hartmann: wanna just No, no, go ahead.

No, no. I, I have a separate question, so, right,

Simon Daniels: go [00:27:00] for it. So ju yeah, just coming back on the go to market operations, I, I, I saw, I need to be super careful here cuz I have a client who literally is, is just adopted that term and it makes perfect sense in actual fact because. What they’re doing is saying, okay, we’ve got sales operations, uh, and they’re continuing to do the classic sales operations stuff, but meanwhile we, our marketing operations, it feels like it’s actually a bit more than just marketing.

Cuz I think what they’re doing is, you know, incorporating a little bit of the, of the, uh, sort of customer success aspect. Um, maybe some, some elements of, um, The market sizing and, um, total addressable market, those, those bits. So it’s, it’s a little bit more than just marketing operations. So that’s where the go-to-market aspect comes in, I think.

Um, so, you know, it, it’s, again, it’s a part of that wider rev op ecosystem. Um, and as long as there’s alignment across the totality of it within, within every organization, [00:28:00] um, you know, that’s, that’s fine.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Okay. So that’s interesting distinction. I like that. I, um, the question I was gonna get to, and this is getting back to revenue operations, feels like it tends to be driven more out of sales and in fact, no data to back this up.

Maybe you do Simon, but it feels like what I keep hearing about is. Revenue operations includes sales ops, marketing ops, maybe customer success ops as well. Yeah. Tends to roll up from a reporting structure to someone who is either by background or title or role, more of a sales leadership one as opposed to marketing.

Hmm. Or even a co whatever. Do. Do you all, do you have a perspective on. What you think that, what makes the most sense for that? I know, like I personally don’t think it should roll up to MO sales or marketing leadership. But Right. I, well, I don’t think most places do that.

Simon Daniels: Yeah. Yeah. [00:29:00] I mean, in, in terms of, of actual stats, I must admit I don’t think we do.

And, and so that’s interesting. We, we should, uh, we should try and make sure that we’ve got some figures around that. So I, I did an anecdotal study probably a couple of years ago now where I just literally looked at some job ads, some, some heads of rev ops, job ads, like, you know, VP, director, whatever. And I think I found that, Six or seven out of 10.

It was really sales ops. Um, so you know that, that was my super anecdotal, um, market survey at the time. I’m not sure that’s changed dramatically. The key thing from our perspective at though, is simply we’re not saying it should be a single function. That’s not what we’re saying. So in a sense, we, we have less of a position on Yeah.

Should it roll up to, to marketing or sales or, or whoever. I mean, may maybe, um, refuting what I said a minute ago. Personally, I do like the idea of rev ops rolling up to a, a coo. [00:30:00] But it has to be a, a very singular set of circumstances in terms of the individuals and the organization and and so on. And that’s really the wider point, is it, it comes down to the nature of the organization.

So if you are. A startup or a scale up, you’re probably in a position where you can build a true integrated rev op function from day one. Um, have that roll up, you know, wherever makes sense for, for that business, and that’s gonna work fine. If you are a more established business and you’ve got sales op and you’ve got marketing ops and so on, trying to put those together and then figure out who’s it going to report to.

Is, is possibly going to work less well. And you know, in the future it might even be interesting to see Will, will, we see rev ops functions get split back out as, as an organization gets bigger and, and it’s like, you know, it, it no longer makes sense. I, I suppose I would like to think that wouldn’t happen, but, um, maybe we, we, [00:31:00] we,

Michael Hartmann: we’ve had a guest on who described that kind of scenario going forward, right?

Separate functions coming together as rev ops across them, and then getting bigger and then having to break it out again because of the nature of the business, the large inter, in this case, very large international. Companies. Yeah. Yeah,

Simon Daniels: yeah. Well, that, that would, I mean, that does seem a little bit like a de-evolution, but at the same time, that’s where the, the business possibly needed to go and, and the, you know, were that to happen.

Or even if you were to contemplate creating a unified rev op function, uh, and then decide not to the, the critical point is just to make sure you recognize the ecosystem, the alignment that needs to go into that. Um, because, you know, if we think about some of the problems that that arise, it’s sales determining their target account list.

Meanwhile, marketing have come up with a total addressable market and they don’t match. [00:32:00] Um, and, and obviously that’s ridiculous. Um, and, and so that’s the kind of thing that just needs to not happen so that everyone agrees who are we trying to sell our stuff to?

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. Mike, did you have any additional questions on the Rev ops go to market Op?

Cuz I, I, I, I wanna kind of go back to the chief of staff stuff for a second and the data that Simon talked about, but if you have more we can. I can hold it. No, no,

Mike Rizzo: I think, I think I, no, I think your, what I hear from you is A super helpful and then B um, There’s the answer is, uh, it depends. It’s just like our favorite, it’s our favorite thing to say in marketing operations.

Like, yeah, can can I send that email? Well, it depends. Uh, you know, can I build a rev op function? It depends. What’s your organization structure look like? And, um, and I, I think, I think that’s okay. I, you know, it’s frustrating that organizations and leadership, you know, we all, as humans, we all [00:33:00] want the like, S you know, the, uh, whatever the silver.

You know, solution, right? Uh, to like, how do we, how do we just, just tell me how to do it? Um, and the reality is, is nope,

Simon Daniels: it depends. So I, I, I actually, I, I always try and avoid saying it depends because it’s almost a cliche. And in actual fact, I, I have this idea that no good question has any answer other than.

It depends, because if the answer isn’t, it depends. It’s either a really obvious question or just a really boring question maybe. So you need to avoid saying, it depends. Cause it’s like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It depends. What does it depend on? And then that’s where it starts getting interesting. Yeah. I appreciate that perspective.

Michael Hartmann: Thank you. Yeah, no, I, I, it’s interesting you say that, and I always think what it is, it’s, it’s. There’s not always a right. An there’s not a, in those really interesting questions, there’s usually not a right answer. Mm-hmm. You know, they’re points of view and opinions. Yeah. [00:34:00] And they’re based on tradeoffs.

Right. And that’s, and to me, all these really big questions, it’s about trade offs and what do you, which means that every organization. We’ll have different levels of, say, risk tolerance. So, you know, I’ve been at organizations before where, so, you know, had the CEO come and say, you know, we want to share our customer list with this firm.

That’s, you know, done us a solid and I was, I had to push back and ultimately it, it, it was a more of a risk reward or risk decision. Not, I mean, it was a compliance thing, which means that if we got in trouble right then, That would be something we, that’s the risk we take on. Are we willing to take on that risk and the potential downside?

We end up not doing it just for the record, but uh, just,

Simon Daniels: just in case the Yeah. The data protection authorities are listening Well, and, but,

Michael Hartmann: but my point is a lot of, a lot of things come down to not absolutes and that’s, that’s the thing [00:35:00] that makes it hard. I actually, I actually have a, I dunno that I’ve.

Codified it in some sort of theory, but I think that’s part of why revenue operations tends to lean more towards sales ops is, is kind of the, the leader in that versus marketing ops, because I, I, the sense I have is sales is much more binary, right? There is, you know, either won a deal, you didn’t win a deal, you met your quota, you didn’t meet your quota.

Whereas marketing is a little harder to put in that kind of, Look, you look if you want to, wasn’t a campaign effective? Well, mm-hmm. The answer is not a straightforward yes or no. It’s you’re probably, if you’re doing it right, you should be looking at sort of a basket of metrics and evaluating it in a to in total, across that it’s not, it’s not as straightforward.

Yeah, and I think that, It’s part of why marketers have a mar internal messaging problem in a lot of places. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah,

Simon Daniels: yeah, yeah. Well, that’s, yeah, for sure. Um, you, you could, you could [00:36:00] generate a certain level of demand that, you know, it might not have been everything you wanted, but it, if it got close, then it’s, it’s not a, it’s not a failure.

Um, whereas if you came second in the pitch, but you didn’t get it, it’s like, yeah. That, that, that wasn’t winning. Right. Um, which, which as you say, creates a much more, um, binary mindset, which, which Yeah. Makes perfect sense. Yeah.

Michael Hartmann: It is easier for most people to wrap their heads around. Mm-hmm.

Simon Daniels: Yeah.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. All right.

So I want, if we can, I wanna go back to the, the, the research. You said 72% of your, you know, Obviously like lean leans towards enterprise, I guess. Mm-hmm. Uh, research 72% have, uh, or thinking about a chief of staff for the head of marketing. Is that Yeah. Is that number right? Yeah. Um, and then actually I was surprised that only 80% or 80% of those were the ha included marketing ops under that function.

So that was a little bit 85, 85. Still, I would’ve [00:37:00] expected that to be almost all. So that Sure. I’m cur, I’d be, I’d be, I’d be curious to know. Where is that? Like, is it just, is it separately, directly reporting to the head of marketing? Well,

Simon Daniels: yeah, I mean, what, what that’s saying is that you’ve got a chief of staff and a head of marketing operations and we, yeah, we’re, we’re working on some research in this area to, to try and, um, Outline what these roles and functions look like.

And one of the questions we’ve asked ourselves is, wait, if you’ve got a chief of staff, what are they doing? Or maybe what are they not doing that ahead of marketing operations is doing? If, if there is a separate ahead of marketing operations? And you know, typically what that comes down to in broad terms is our chief of staff will be doing the planning, the coordination, um, you know, a aspects of strategizing.

And, and bringing everything together. Budgets perhaps, whereas, you know, ahead of marketing operations will remain focused on the tech [00:38:00] data governance, um, execution in, in some regards and, and some, you know, um, measurement and analytics at the actual, you know, a, a kind of a, a slightly lowered. Doing it kind of level.

Um, whereas the chief of staff will be going across marketing and the wider organization to, to, to get the inputs and the stakeholder support and, and that kind of thing. Um, so that’s kind of how that breaks out. If, if in, in, you know, I’ve, I mean I’m working with at least one client that I can think of where, you know, there is a chiefs of staff, um, and in fact, I think.

Um, one or more of, of the, the heads of, of directors of marketing operations reports into that chief of staff. Um, so, you know, that’s, you know, it’s a very large international business and, and that’s the kind of complexity that, that they have.

Michael Hartmann: Okay. So now I’m, that’s helpful. What, I think you’ve touched on this a little bit.

Let’s see if we can get it. A little more [00:39:00] specifically for those chief of staff type roles. So, and I’m thinking about this for people who are in our audience who maybe have an aspiration to do, cuz one of the struggles I think we all deal with in marketing op is there’s not a necessarily a clear path after the director maybe even, and there’s not many VP level roles, right.

Or marketing ops. So chief of staff seems to me to be a fairly natural one. Yeah. But I think includes, The need to have some amount of skills and experience that are typically outside of what Marketing Ops does. What, what do you see those being, and if you have any suggestions on how people could start to accumulate some of that experience?

Simon Daniels: Um, experience to, to, to move into a, uh, to a chief of staff

Michael Hartmann: Mo into a, from, from a, say, say, from a head of mops to, I didn’t touch that staff,

Simon Daniels: sir, sir, does that. Thank you, Siri. The, um, yeah, so I mean, yeah. The point I should have made is that, Um, where you’ve got [00:40:00] that chief of staff and, and head of marketing operations in, in one, in one person.

What, what that means is that the, the head of marketing operations is performing that coordination role across the marketing function, so across the marketing leadership team. Um, and the critical thing is, Particularly around planning and coordination and often budgets and maybe even aspects of, of, um, you know, personnel and staffing and so on.

But crucially not doing those things. So, so the head of marketing operations or the chief of staff will not come up with the marketing plan or the campaign plan, but what they will do is go to the head of Demand, gen, digital, whoever else, and say, you know, What are your plans? Uh, well, here is the strategy, here are the objectives.

Um, you know, please create a plan that rolls up to that and then put it all together. Um, so from, from the point, point of view of a, of a marketing operation, you know, head of marketing operations, uh, who [00:41:00] is looking to, uh, Whe whether they ever go into a Chief of Staff role with that job title or, uh, become, you know, the chief of staff slash head of marketing operations, or whether they just become, you know, a VP of marketing operations.

It, it’s that mindset. Um, and, uh, again, this needs to come down somewhat from the CMO as, as well as, um, working up into it, but, Thinking in, in those terms, you know, coordination, like I say, um, alignment, bringing everything together. Um, that, that’s the sort of the mindset that, that you, that you need to have, um, to, to be at the absolute top of the game.

Michael Hartmann: So if I said to some re that you, you need to have, uh, experience or ability to show strategic planning and Yeah. Uh, how to. Strategic thinking almost. Right. And how do you and how to, how to coordinate with other senior leaders in

Simon Daniels: [00:42:00] influencer. Yeah. And that’s crucial, you know, it, it goes outside of marketing for sure.

So again, this is where, you know, those relationships with sales ops, if that exists is, is crucial. And, you know, other it. Executive leadership, um, because you need to be probably coordinating, you know, budgets and making sure that that’s aligned with, with finance. Um, from a tech perspective, making sure that that, uh, the, the revenue technology is, is aligned and, and fitting in with, with the wider enterprise, um, environment.

Um, so ha having all of those relationships, uh, and thinking in those terms. Um, and, you know, the, the trues chief of staff will be. Filtering for the C M O or, or for their boss. And, uh, bringing, bringing to the table those things that, that, that they need to be looking at. Um, and, you know, most likely coordinating around, um, executive leadership meetings, board meetings, contributing board papers, that, that kind [00:43:00] of thing, compiling those, so, You know, making sure that, that you are involved in, in that kind of process.

So, um, you know, most likely, and, and I would certainly expect this to be the case, um, if, um, if the C M O is going to, um, you know, a, an executive leadership meeting or a board meeting with a, with a pack of, of, of. Marketing results, then quite likely marketing operations is contributing to that. Um, and so it’s just a matter of making sure that you are, and, and trying to make sure that you are really involved in the final product and not just some input that then gets manipulated into something else.

You know, try and really be, um, creating the final slide or whatever, whatever that, that’s going into that. Um, in, into that set for, for, for the, for that audience.


Mike Rizzo: no. All of this is, is really interesting. I know we’re coming up, we’re coming up on time here, so, um, I, I just [00:44:00] wanted to try to squeeze this in a little bit. So, um, do you, like, there’s this thing that I talk about with folks all the time. Um, it’s, it’s this. Strange role that you have in, in marketing operations where, um, maybe strange isn’t the right word for it, opportunistic role that you have in marketing ops where, um, you just have a purview of the landscape of technology and the data flowing through all of it.

Um, yeah, it’s, it’s highly unique, you know, it just doesn’t. Really no one else has that lens. Um, and you’re only a couple pieces of information away from knowing really how the entire business works. Like mm-hmm. You show me, you, you show me the payroll system and then a couple other things. And now I, I really have this perspective of, of our organization that’s equivalent to that of, you know, your, your executives.

Right. Your ceo Yeah. For that matter. Yeah. Um, And so the conversation in the talk track is like, is like [00:45:00] what is the responsibility of the, the future like executive and, and the, the CMO for that matter? Like is it going to come from like we just talked about, chief of staff? Yes. Mm-hmm. That’s great. Uh, and I think.

I think maybe that is the ch the, the C-suite that we, that we reach in this function because it’s the most optimal for our particular skills and, and, and aligning all these people processing technology. Um, but today, like, I don’t know who has the responsibility of saying, Hey, I need to enter a new market and here’s my business model.

Uh, what are the things that I need to have in place in order to do that? It, it’s not a CTO’s job. It’s not a CIO’s job. It’s. Barely a CMOs job, and the CEO certainly doesn’t have that function. Um, and so like the closest that I can think of is like, it’s the CEO’s responsibility to figure out who, who should just now go figure out the rest.

Mm-hmm. And so the question is like, what’s, what’s to become of this like [00:46:00] startup scale up? You’re moving into growth markets who. You know, who’s gonna tell people what to, well, maybe it’s ‘s gonna tell ’em what to do. So at TGF, it’s

Simon Daniels: . Yeah, absolutely. There you go. Nice, nice.

Easy answer. Uh, um, yeah, I, I, I certainly agree with you that, that marketing operations is, is very well if, if not uniquely positioned with a perspective across obviously marketing. Um, in, in terms of what’s going on and what’s happening and, um, the, the, all the different moving parts and, and, you know, beyond that as well, um, in, in terms of, as I say, all those other interconnects, uh, and, and interlocks and, and, and how that’s working.

So, you know, when a new initiative comes along, Ideally, marketing operations is certainly a first port of call and a, and a and a chief of staff. Um, e even more so perhaps. All that said, I wouldn’t wanna overstate it. I wouldn’t want, you know, marketing operations to overreach. Um, [00:47:00] anything is a team effort and.

It, it’s just that if, uh, an organization is smart and they’ve got a good marketing operations or rev ops function or, or, or a chief of staff in that position, then you know that person should be in that conversation, um, because they’re going to have that perspective across audiences and. The ability to execute and, uh, the, the other elements that, that are, that are going to go into something.

Um, and, and so that, that’s where, again, that strategic involvement comes in. Um, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t wanna suggest that only ahead of marketing operations could do that, but it’s a, it’s definitely a, a, a, a huge contribution to, to be made for sure. Yeah.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. No, definitely appreciate

Michael Hartmann: your perspective, for sure.

Yeah. Well, as Mike alluded to, We are probably run, we’re we’re kind of running out of time. I wish we could continue. Yeah, I, I think I, I think we could carry on. I feel like end every show, [00:48:00] every episode is like, I think we could carry on for another definitely 30 minutes or so. Um, but we do to be respectful.

Yeah. He, he’s gonna, Simon mean, I think you’re gonna switch from tee to a pint maybe next to I don’t you. You’re

Simon Daniels: not, you’re not very far off the truth.

Michael Hartmann: Well, thank you for staying late. Um, this has been a, a fun conversation. If folks wanna come up with you, or likewise, what’s gonna happen at ? You know, what, uh, what, what’s the way for them to do that?


Simon Daniels: Well, uh, you can, you can find me on Twitter. I, I, I put out the odd thing if I find something interesting. So, uh, I’m, uh, marketing ops guy. Um, but other than that, uh, certainly very happy to connect with anybody on LinkedIn. You should. And what, what I also do on LinkedIn and, and this, this is gonna.

Sound like a, a, a blatant, uh, forester plug. I’m trying to position it as a public service announcement. I do this little monthly, I call it Simon’s unofficial Forester Marketing [00:49:00] Operations Roundup. Basically, I pull together, uh, all of our research that’s been published that month. Uh, that’s available to clients, but also all of our blog posts, any webinars that we’ve done, uh, we have a podcast, uh, that, that, um, frequently has episodes relevant, um, to, uh, to marketing operations and, uh, and B2B marketing.

Um, so, uh, look, look out for that. And, um, if, you know, if you’re working in this space, that that could well be, uh, Useful because I’ve gotta say, we don’t always make it as easy as I think we should to find some of our stuff. And there’s, there’s some good stuff out there. So, um, take a, take a look at that, if that’s of interest.


Mike Rizzo: I’ve, I’ve personally found those, uh, quite helpful the last time I was doing some digging and some things. So we appreciate

Michael Hartmann: it. Good. We’ll take, we’ll take it as a PSA for sure. Thank you, Simon. Thank you Simon. Thank you so much. Enjoyed it. Uh, Mike, thank you as always and yeah, thanks to all our listeners and our audience and, uh, appreciate you sticking with us and look forward to our next episode.

Bye everyone.

Simon Daniels: Thanks [00:50:00] very much. Goodbye.