In this episode we talk in detail with Steve Petersen about the importance of having an ownership mindset with Martech as a Marketing Ops professional. Steve talks through what that looks like from a practical standpoint. He also shares some tips for how to move toward this mindset…and some of the things to watch out for.
Recorded live on July 14, 2021.
Hi, I’m Michael Hartman, I’m Naomi Lou, and I’m Mike Rizzo. And this is ops cast, a podcast for marketing ops pros and rev ops pros created by the MO Pros. The number one community for marketing operations tune into each episode. As we chat with real professionals to help elevate you in your marketing operations career.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to ops cast episode 17, brought to you by the MO Pros. I’m Michael Hartman. Uh, normally I’m joined by one, at least one of my co-hosts, but today I’m solo, which is great because Mike Rizzo, who is our fearless leader for the MO Pros community is actually in the Atlanta area getting ready for summer camp this week.
So if you’re out there or going to be there soon, Uh, July of 2021 for those listening later. So he’s, he’s deep in preparation for that. So, uh, for those of you there, I’ve got total FOMO, uh, there, for those of you who couldn’t make it to the Atlanta area are still interested in joining summer camp with the MO Pros.
There’s another session in early August, August 4th or six up in the Seattle area. If you go to www dot the MO Pros dot com, you will find all the details about getting set up for that. If you want to go. So. No, that that all is all out of the way let’s get started with today’s guest today. Uh, excited to have Steve Peterson who is currently the marketing technology manager manager at Western governors university.
He’s been with WGU since early 2013 has held several roles in and around marketing and web technology kind of related. He’s really passionate about marketing technology, marketing operations. He’s both written and spoken about these topics. And in fact, one of his, a couple of his articles were things that were sort of triggers for us wanting to get him on the, on the show.
In 2019, he wrote those two articles for martech.org about buying and managing marketing technology. Steve, thanks for joining us. Thanks, Michael, it’s good to be here. Um, and talking about something you and I have a passion about and, um, you know, it’s one of those things I marketing technology can either help a company Excel.
It can help them propel them, but it can also make them be, it can be an anchor that holds them back. So it’s, you know, I think what we want to do is to make sure that the technology helps us and doesn’t hinder. Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more with that. All right. So let’s, you know, let’s go ahead and just dive in since, uh, we want our audience to get the most out of this.
So, you know, one of your articles, or maybe the combination of the two articles from a couple of years ago, you talked about you, you, you talked about. Product ownership mindset for marketing technology. And that resonated with me because I believed, especially on the website, when I’ve managed those before I’ve thought about websites as sort of a product, uh, regardless of whether or not they were revenue dreading generating directly.
So w w w when you use that term or when you’ve used that term, what does that mean to you? Kind of peel back the onion, if you will, on what that means for the audience. Well, I have, um, some training and background and agile specifically scrum. And so that’s kind of where I get the concept of product owner, because in scrum, there is a specified role if the product owner and a lot of what the product owner’s job is, is to be an initial.
Mediary between stakeholders, the users or customers and the development team. Um, when I took, uh, one of my. First formal training courses and agile, as on, uh, being a product owner and the trainer really, really emphasized value and that you got to deliver value. So the product owner is the one that is figuring out what value is and then, you know, make sure the stakeholders believe it, that buy into that and then tries to translate.
That value into stories, puts into the backlog, refines those stories, and then, you know, prioritizes and put sprints together where they can have that. And the nice thing about the agile philosophy is that, um, what value is changing? Over time. And so like you used to have the waterfall or the very, you know, three-year long projects where you were aiming for what was true at the beginning of the project, but, you know, by the time you deliver that changes.
And so, um, that’s what ownership is, is keeping an eye on. What value is, make sure you are delivering to that. Keeping stakeholders involved, um, keeping the dev team informed and help them understand what, why is, um, you know, defined, done, and making sure that things go and you deliver value. So that’s what I think.
And whether you are doing, you know, that’s definitely applicable to MarTech with a website, marketing automation, platform changes or integrations. Um, you know, you name it. So, um, you, you mentioned agile and I, for one of him familiar with a number of methodologies and I’ve got just a little bit of familiarity with agile.
So, um, do you think, do you think this needs to be tied to having an agile methodology or is it more of a mindset and if you don’t know agile, can you still kind of have that mindset and apply it in a different way? I think, um, Yes. And no, um, it definitely, if your organization uses agile, particularly scrum, um, yeah.
Uh, you know, you already have that baked in because you have a product owner, a designated product owner, but I think in general, even if your company doesn’t use it, um, it’s, um, you know, it’s the mindset that I think. Most important. And what really drove that in to me is at WGU. Um, we have a change management practice and I did some training in that a couple of years ago.
Um, and we use, uh, pro PSI. Um, that’s the methodology that we use for change management and, um, on a, you know, for them, they talk mainly about sponsorship, which is very related to. Um, beginning an owner. And I think we can go ahead and dive into those distinctions a little bit, but we’re at pro ProSite. I mean, they have this very, you know, very detailed methodology of things that you do, how to do things, that sort of thing.
But the number one thing they emphasize is that for a change or what we can do is, you know, for, uh, Uh, project is to have a sponsorship or ownership. You need to have someone that owns it, someone that will dif you know, make sure that the rest of the organization knows this is important. So when you have.
Uh, different development needs. You have, um, different funding or budgetary things, um, issues that come up, you know, the owner of the sponsor can go, this is important. So either we don’t cut the budget or it’s more important than these nine other things that it has an, their backlog this needs to happen, or, you know, you have, you know, you need another department to help you.
If they integration, they can go and. To that department say this is important. Um, and so I think it’s owning, owning it, but also making sure that people are aware of it and what its value and how to get the value out of something. Um, things don’t flourish by themselves. Um, and, uh, you know, MarTech is not as set it or forget it, um, kind of thing.
And you need people to, um, Constantly assess and make sure that the product or whatever. Is performing, but at the same time, the other people within the organization are giving the priority that it’s the priority, the resources, um, the money, whatever it needs to succeed. Uh, that’s kind of what sponsors and owners do.
So that’s an owner, that’s a mindset kind of thing. So if you don’t, if you’re not doing agile, you’re not doing scrum. I think if you can at least go, I own this, or I, I make sure someone owns this. And that way they will be held accountable for making sure something succeeds. I think, I think it’s really interesting that you bring this up.
Cause I, I, um, I’ve been in scenarios where let’s say it’s a website, right. That it’s really unclear who quote owns it. Right. And so what happens is nobody owns it or everybody thinks that they get to make all the decisions. And so, and with anything like that, right. There’s lots of. Pinions that are baked into it in terms of priorities and what we should do, what should do.
And, um, it can be competing with each other almost, and it ends up being never a good situation. Like in worst case I’ve seen is where different teams were actually sort of overriding each other’s work and undoing them. So I think that’s, I think that you’re hitting on something that’s really important as a part of this, regardless of the methodology.
Right. Ownership. Yeah. And going back to go back, go back to my, my, my point. Yeah. Thinking of this like product management, right. I’ve always thought I was like, if you’re, if you’re a product manager at you own that product or service or whatever it is and how it’s going to be evolve over time, which means there’s that ownership, um, you know, can you go maybe go a little further into why you think ownership is such an important part for folks who are in marketing ops or marketing technology as well?
Yeah. Um, I think what happens is that, um, things evolve over time, whether, you know, going back to what I said, value what your customers and users, what they value, what they want, that changes over time. But at the same time, you know, you’re pro you’re likely dealing with something that is integrated or connected to other systems, those systems change, or, um, You know, another thing is, is, um, it’s very common.
Like say you use a software as a service product. That’s going to change to, you know, the company that provides that is going to constantly update things. Um, and so that can either bring new functionality that can cause issues with, um, you know, maybe you’re an edge case. Maybe you really love to functionality that was.
Either changed significantly in a way that wasn’t helpful to you or removed because you were, you know, the minority of the users, um, or, you know, maybe. You know, the vendor makes a change. And then all of a sudden that breaks your integration with your CRM or with your dam, that kind of thing. And so things are constantly changing.
Um, and you know, the other thing is. Underlying code libraries are the servers that things, you know, there’s other things. So you need someone that is there to account for the change, change in the value, changing the organizational strategic vision and direction, uh, changes in integrations, changes and other systems.
Um, that requires a lot of attention. So you really need to have someone as a designated owner. Um, and I think it’s important to go to understand. You know, who is an appropriate owner. If you have a hundred dollars a month SEO tool, you know, a junior, uh, individual contributor will probably be more than sufficient for that.
But if you’re dealing with a several hundred thousand dollars a year, Uh, CMS a dam, a CRM, you probably need a VP level person, um, at least involved. And I think this goes back to when I was talking about owners and sponsors. Um, so for me, you know, in agile and scrum owners, Take, um, what value they take the direction they take feedback from the stakeholders and the users, and then they translate that into actionable tasks and items.
Um, the sponsor is going to be someone who is going to be the one that’s going to internally be able to defend stuff going, yes, I know we’re spending all this money on this, but this is why it’s important. This is why we’re going to get our money’s worth out of it. Um, yes, I know. Finance has five projects that super important to them that need to be done ASAP.
This is why this needs to be done before those. Or, you know, they’re the ones going, our team needs training. Um, you know, maybe things have changed. We have competent people. Uh, they’re smart people, but things have changed in a way that we really need some training to harness this. So who, how we’re going to pay for that?
The sponsor can do that. So. The sponsor doesn’t necessarily like a VP doesn’t necessarily need to be aware of like a hundred dollar a month SEO tool that might be a manager or director. Um, that would probably be a specific, uh, a sufficient sponsor for that. But having the individual contributor be the owner, whereas for the bigger tool, the bigger value, the bigger, more complex, uh, Item, you know, your sponsor would probably be a VP or higher.
Um, you know, that’s defending its priority and the money. And then you have an owner that is probably a director or senior manager who is the one that’s going to be responsible for taking the direction, taking, you know, that they get from stakeholders, they’re getting from the users and customers, and then translating those into actual tasks, getting them refined.
And then getting them into sprints to deliver that value. Um, so sponsors defend. They’re the ones that are the internal champions and then the, um, owners are the ones that actually get the tack. They take the strategic and turn that into tactical, um, items. And you also mentioned project management. Do you want to, uh, discuss that a little bit?
Sure. So first off, thanks for that clarity. Owner versus sponsor. So it sounds like if I’m, if I understand it right, sometimes that can be the same person, but sometimes it can be different people as well. Okay. Okay. So that’s, that’s really helpful. And, uh, it seems to me like the district, one of the big distinctions between sponsor and owner of the sponsor.
Tends to have a responsibility for ensuring the appropriate resources, whether that’s people, budget, uh, experience, you know, training, whatever is available to the team that the owner is. Kind of leading or directing, is that correct? Correct. The sponsor is the person that the owner can, you know, the owner can go and use, Hey, I’m representing the CMO and it, or procurement or you name the other department, you know, this needs to happen.
And I I’m coming. I have I’m coming under their authority. Um, And so they’re the ones, you know, of course you don’t always win sometimes another C-suite person or another VP in another department, but it’s one of those things where, um, you know, when an owner or a development team really needs, um, you know, something done or they need a lot of money, they need.
You know, something to be reprioritized that involves multiple departments. The sponsor is the one that’s going to, um, provide the authority to have that properly, um, viewed and looked at. Got it. Okay. That helps. All right. So you wanted to talk about product management, is it because I’m not very clear about what I mean by that?
Is that, do you want me to clarify, or did you want to dig into that just in general, I dig into it and then you can see how, you know, what we do. So, um, I think it’s interesting right now, I think this is an interesting discussion to have because, um, there’s apparently some discussion right now in the product management, um, community about.
Product managers and product owners. So there’s Marty Cagan, he’s at the Silicon valley product group. So he’s a big influential thinker in the product management world. Um, within the last few weeks, he, um, published a big diatribe where he argues that a lot of organizations and a lot of people think that that agile product owner.
It’s also, the agile is not agile, but an agile product owner doubles as the product product manager. And that’s really not the case. And there’s a lot of failure in that. So I think we’ve discussed what the owners do. Product owners are the when’s that. You know, they get the feedback from the users, customers, the stakeholders, the regulatory environment, that sort of thing.
And they take strategic, big things and put things into actionable tasks and prioritize, and that sort of thing. Product managers are a lot more, um, they’re looking a much bigger picture. They’re looking at the marketplace. Um, they’re looking at maybe a portfolio. Uh, products. Um, they’re looking a lot longer term than, you know, you know, an agile, you have a pro project and then your script, you know, your scrum team they’ll work on delivering that and completing that project.
Whereas a product manager is they’re not looking at projects. They’re looking at the product. So there is a longer-term vision there. Um, and so I, you know, I think that you could have someone who was both a product owner and the product manager, um, and from what I’m reading, I don’t think people are contesting that it’s just that product owners need product management training, and they’re not really getting that.
Um, but at the same time, there might be some value. Cause I know, um, Uh, in some cases, you’ll have a product owner that is, you know, on a product for a project and that they will work closely with a product manager that has, you know, represents all the products used by a department or by a function. So the product managers are more of a portfolio and I’m sure there are places that, you know, there might be some companies that might have a product.
You know, and their product manager, and they’re both focused on the same product, but of course, having different, you know, the owners responsible for interpreting and getting stuff, you know, strategic and the tactical and getting stuff going and their product managers looking at the product, not the project level, but also looking at the market.
Yeah, I think, is this a, I’m glad you, you kind of went into that as well, because I think I tend to think product management, I think like a, um, I use that term a lot because I think of it like a, an, a product that you would end up putting out to the marketplace and selling like, like a, more of an external facing thing.
But I think, um, that does break down a little bit. Yeah. Challenge myself a little bit, because I think what we’re talking about is typically not. Piece of technology, right? Inter and it’s internal focused. And so you use the term portfolio and I do think of it that way as well. Rick is typically the solve for a given challenge or need or whatever you have internally, um, that you need to.
Uh, you need to have a portfolio of management approach. You know what I mean? So that’s, that’s kind of, I think maybe we’re mixing words, so I’m glad we’re kind of getting a little more specific about it. And I think a lot of, I think a lot of people do. Yeah. I think, you know, as I said, product sponsors.
Product owners, product managers. I think a lot of they have, they’re very, very close related. There are some distinctions between them as we’ve discussed, but I think a lot of people kind of use them interchangeably. Um, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, but I think, you know, at the level we’re talking about, like on this podcast, it’s important to realize that sponsorship is a change management.
Ownership internal champion ownership is a project management level concept. And then product management I think is, and its own discipline product management, but that’s where all of the disciplines come together. And you have those three roles, you know, might be one or two people might be three people.
You might have someone doing each individual thing. Uh, I guess it just the. But, um, there are distinctions that people need to be aware of. And if you’re going to have someone that’s going to do one, you know, two or three of those, they need to have the proper training and each discipline. Yeah. And I think terminology matters and all this.
So we, I think I would like to see more people. Actively clarifying comments like that, both it kind of personal life and professional life. This, I think that, that, um, too often, uh, the, when I say, as people are in violent agreement, Yeah, actively arguing about something and it’s just because they are interpreting the words in different ways.
And if they had actually taken the time to try to understand a little more and clarify, they ended up being a lot closer together than this. Oh yeah. American politics. I think, I think we agree far, far more than we realize. Yeah. I think that is beautiful. And there’s just, the semantics is what we really do or what we focus on, what we do.
And I think that happened. You know, and the professional realm and MarTech as well. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So you, you and I talked about this a little bit when we’re kind of talking about bringing you on and, and you mentioned a word, uh, earlier about accountability, um, and how it relates to ownership.
You know, one of the things that I see, uh, That I think is, uh, is a challenge for the marketing operations community in general is maybe, um, a sense that we don’t get respected. And at the same time that we sort of, some people sort of push off accountability responsibility for things. And so, um, like to me, those are so that they need to get the respect.
You need to take, be accountable for the things that work and the things don’t work. And, um, be honest about it. But from, from your perspective, accountability, As it relates to ownership. And as we’ve just been talking about it, like, how does that, like, what does that, how does that translate from a day-to-day standpoint for you?
Like, what does that mean to you then? So this, once again goes back to my scrum training and I’m sure a lot of other people will have different things, but, um, my understanding is the textbook version of accountability within the scrum team. So you have the scrim team, you know, that’s the. Uh, product owner, scrum master the development team.
Um, so the point is, is the stakeholders, the users are, are, um, are to come and say, this is what we need. This is what we want. This is the functionality we value, or this is something that, you know, this is a change we will value. And so, um, ideally. You know, when you have the users or the business people, um, they should, you know, you know, this is where a scrum master product owner can come in and definitely translate what the business people the users are saying.
And making sure that you understand about the, why, what they’re really asking for, but then it’s really up to the scrim team to determine how to accomplish that and the best way at business person shouldn’t be coming and dictating. Programming language or what module or whatever. And sometimes that happens and you know, nothing is textbook, um, and were real world.
But the point is, is, you know, you know, when it’s the sprint team understands what’s needed the Y. You know, they are the ones that should be going, how are we going to do this? How are we going to accomplish that? And if the stakeholders and users allow the scrim team to make those decisions, then they can be held accountable for that.
That they’re the ones, you know, and that’s where it is. And so I think, as you’re saying with, uh, marketing ops people, um, Amy discipline, whether it’s accountants or firefighters or, um, yeah. Or, you know, comma for writers, you know, artists, you know, if, you know, if I am just allowed to do what I, you know, my passion, what, you know, the expertise that I’m bringing to the table, then I can be held accountable for this.
It’s kind of like when. I think we’ve all worked with, uh, design, um, projects where you have a graphic designer will talk to the client, whether it’s a redesign or a new website and okay, what do you want? What’s your branding? You know, what are your branding guidelines, that sort of thing. So. Go and they produce a comp and then of course the client always, you know, I have yet to see a client that doesn’t micromanage everything well, why that font or why that size or why that color, you know, and you know, they’re making this up and that’s exactly.
And so what happens in those cases is of course the graphic designer is always going to be held, you know, is going to get the blame. If, when things go wrong. You know, in a way their ability to take accountability is taken away because you know, the client comes and does that. And so, and that’s really tough.
And there are times I put request into people in other disciplines and I go, well, I heard this is the way to do it or that kind of thing. I’m guilty of this too. You know, if whatever discipline we are, if you know, if we are allowed to do what we’re trained to do, what our expertise, what we’re paid to do, then we can be held accountable for that because we will own, you know, you know, we, you know, we, we’re not responsible for coming up with the vision and the endpoint, but we’re responsible of how you get there.
And you know, if we’re not micromanaged, And, you know, and of course there needs to be some feedback, that sort of thing, but then we can, you know, w if it fails, we, uh, we, we can own that. We’re accountable for that. And so, so I appreciate that. I think there’s one thing in there that I maybe take issue with, and this is this, you know, um, This is a, you gave me your needs and we’ll, we’ll fulfill them.
And what we think is the best way. So I think the danger there and I’ve experienced this directly myself, is that it kind of goes back to this, like, things are lost in translation that you think we understand what someone’s asking for, but we don’t really understand it. And then when we come back, they’re, uh, they’re disappointed, upset.
Um, Kind of dumbfounded on why you didn’t do it, you were asked to do so. I do think there’s a need to, um, have, you know, if you’re the one who’s going to be. Be accountable for building out a solution or coming up with something as the owner or the development team that you need to be, make sure that you are being consultative.
And so very often what I find is that people don’t actually know what they want if they don’t know how things get, get done. And so what you need to do is help guide them towards solutions. And very often what I find is they come to you. They say, because they know they’re not going to get everything they ask.
Some hundred percent thing when in reality, the 70 or 80% thing that it will take a lot less time, a lot less effort, we’ll actually be sufficient. Yeah. And I think that’s, that’s a lesson from scram, whether you use scrum or agile or not, you know, so you know, that stereotypical sprint is two weeks long.
Um, and then one of the rituals you have as a sprint demo, Ideally where you have the stakeholders come in and go, here’s what we’ve done. And at that point they can go. Uh, where did you get that impression? Or what were your thinking or, oh, that’s great. That’s exactly what you want. So there is that, you know, free current inner interaction now of course stakeholders are busy, so they don’t always attend and that sort of thing.
So it’s not that easy, but I totally agree with you that, uh, things can get lost in translation. And that’s why it’s important to either iterate or to make sure that at, you know, At frequent times you go, here’s how things going? Here’s how things are looking. Is this what you envisioned? Um, I, yeah, I totally agree that you just, you know, can’t go off for three years and then come back and go.
The da and have them go. What w what did you do? Yeah, I mean, I think, I think that’s, to me that’s been a challenge is making sure you’re at least close to speak the same language. And so the expectations are appropriate on both sides. So, ’cause then I think accountability makes sense, but, um, it’s, it’s, the accountability should go both ways, right?
You should be accountable if you’re the one coming in with a business need to be as clear as possible. And to be, um, I always ask people that I work with on the business side to, to, um, Provide feedback. I want that that’s part of it, but also I want them to be open to the idea that we may be able to come up with a solution that will get them kind of what they need in the timeframe that they, you know, their need is for.
Cause sometimes there’s a, you know, a limited time. Um, it’s typically not around bigger projects though. That’s usually tied to some, you know, very tactical, maybe not tactical. Totally. But you know, Say some particular go to market activity, you know, a campaign or something like that super quick on that.
Yes. The accountability needs to go both ways sometimes. You know, you might have a shiny thing that fails. And there are times where it’s not the shiny things fault. Um, there’s a gazillion reasons. Reasons can have that, but like say it’s an AI driven thing. If your data and your data collection is not in a good, good shape, it’s going to be a garbage in garbage out kind of thing.
If your data wasn’t in good shape, then maybe what the AI does. Is it going to be great? Um, and so it’s, you know, of course, you know, if you’re a vendor, you don’t want to always throw the client under the bus or that kind of thing, but I totally agree with you that the accountability goes both ways. So this, this kind of brings a, another component to this, you know?
So, um, let’s say that we, as marketing ops marketing tech folks feel like we. Um, we have the right knowledge, the right training. Yeah. How important is organizational readiness or the maturity of an organization overall to being successful with this kind of approach? Uh, very important. You know, once again, one of the examples I gave is your data in a good place.
You know, if you’re gonna use an AI thing, you know, the other thing could be like, you know, looking at short, mid long-term goals, you know, you might want to go, oh, well, I want to, you know, with this habit, AI chat bot, that’s going to be sexy. It’s going to be really cool. We’re not going to have it need as much head count.
Get me started on that one. But, but, but my question is, is do you have a knowledge base in place cause that that chat bot is going to have to have something to work from? Or do you have people that you can. You know, if you have a chat team and they’re super busy, do you, are they able to maintain their, um, you know, their accountability for chatting with customers and also train the chat bot?
Um, you know, do you have, um, Uh, like an example in my background, I’ve uh, before WGU, I worked at a, a D DC shop called, um, the brick factory and we use Drupal a lot. Um, and you know, Drupal as a developer CMS, uh, can do a lot of things. I’m a big fan of Drupal. Um, but what happens is, is people don’t understand that.
You know, it’s very robust, but you need to have specific things to invest in it. So, one thing that I’ve seen for instance is. From an organizational readiness perspective, you know, do you have someone that can take over and be, uh, you know, kind of a full stack developer for, um, Drupal and, you know, Drupal’s build off of PHP or at least it was when I worked on it and you know, you go, oh, well we have PHP developers and that’s one thing.
But, you know, and that’s very helpful, but there’s a Drupal way of doing things just like there is a WordPress way of doing things and the am way of doing things. And so do you have the expertise in there? You know, in-house to handle that, but you know, and if you don’t, uh, that’s not the end of the world.
Yes. You might have some in-house PHP developers, but if you have a Drupal consultant that can a team. And train your in-house developers, the Drupal way of doing things that’s helpful. Um, I think that another thing of organizational readiness is, you know, of course, do you, do you have someone that is able and willing to sponsor?
Do you have someone that is able and willing to own, and do you have someone that is able and willing to manage, um, you know, going to those three product roles? Um, and the other thing is, is. Uh, you know, you hear, this is very often, you hear, you know, companies that have this shiny object syndrome of, you know, you, you have one sign, shiny object, and it’s gonna take six months to implement it and to do it.
You know the correct way, but if you have people that going, oh, here’s another shiny thing this needs to happen. If you’re not ready to devote the time that you need to set something up and then you bring in the next shiny thing, you’re going to have a stack full of things that are failing and maybe.
Aren’t failing because it’s more of the organization’s fault than that. So you have to be willing to come. Yeah. Well, I think, I think, I think a failing that a lot of organizations have as they w whether it’s the shiny object syndrome or just bringing in technology is that they think that the technology is just going to run itself.
W I think those of us who are in the middle of it, right. We know that, you know, it requires people to make sure these things are running. It may be a person who can manage a couple of things, but at a point, um, you you’re going to. The additional help. So, um, this is, so this has been really interesting. So we’ve talked about ownership and accountability, organizational readiness.
So what, what are some like just practical tips for our listeners that, you know, Today or tomorrow in there wherever they are that could help them, you know, towards the goal of having more of a product ownership and ownership mindset, and maybe sort of impacting the organization in a positive way through that.
Uh, so from a change management change management perspective expect resistance. Even if it’s going to be a good thing, humans are hardwired to resist change, whether it is a good negative or neutral change, or whether it’s perceived as, you know, whether it’s actually, you know, both actual and perceived.
Um, and so, you know, just be aware that when you change things or you introduce things, people are gonna resist and that’s just a natural thing. Um, and so. You know, make sure you’re aware of that. And you can plan for that. Um, one thing you can do is, um, you know, you don’t need to get ProSite training, but I think one of the great things about ProSite is the concept of a coalition analysis.
You know, what you do is you look at the org chart and you look okay, who are the stakeholders for this? And if you can simply go, okay, who here are the people that are going to be involved in the setup and the maintenance of it. And you can ask some questions. Like how competent are they are in related to this change?
You know, they might be a very, very skilled and renowned creative director, but they may not know squat about, you know, uh, you know, content management systems. We’re not talking overall confidence. We’re just talking competence, stores that, and then you can get. Highly competent or are they not competent in that change?
And then ask, are they for this change against this change? Or are they neutral? You know, if there’s a highly competent opponent, you want to know who they are so you can work on them. But if you, if there are people that are highly. For opponents, you want to engage them and help them, you know, evangelize and, you know, convert the world to whatever you’re trying to do.
Another thing I do is I’m your co-host Mike Rizzo, a couple episodes ago, mentioned the ice model. So that’s impact, um, confidence. And effort, um, in relation to kind of thinking strategically, okay, we have this project here. Um, what kind of impact will it have? How confident that, that we’re going to have that and how much we’re going to have to put it into that, uh, you know, use a model like that to be strategic because marketing ops, marketing tech people are very, do a lot of tactical stuff, but that’s how you can show some strategic chops.
Um, don’t be afraid of doing quick and dirty. Uh, test and proof of concepts. You might want to test something and see if people will respond or actually use a feature you’re thinking about, but you don’t want to invest a lot of money or time into doing the polished product, do something that is dirty might not look that great from a UI UX perspective might be a lot of manual stuff.
I love this one because I think it’s. Um, it can be, it can help you work out the kinks of a new idea concept without going out and buying technology. Yeah. You don’t want to spend $300,000 and nine months on something and then find out no one’s going to use it. Um, that’s another thing. You know, process and progress, you know, they each have their points.
You know, if you have too much progress, nothing’s going to be doctor document and you’re going to people ripping your hair out. You won’t be able to be able to go on vacation because people will need you process can be. I’ve seen people do process just to do process. Um, so, you know, they both have places and just, you need to make sure you find the correct thing where you have the right balance.
And then th th th it’s the Zen state that we will. Yeah, exactly. And the last thing I’ll say on the practical tips, and this is just more general in life, and this is something I’m, I’m still working on, but I’m a lot better at is just, don’t take things personally. You know, if you do a sprint demo and you show something and the stakeholder goes, that’s garbage, don’t take that personally.
They’re not saying you’re a garbage, they’re not saying you don’t have worth, they’re not saying that, you know, you know, just if you can. You yourself out personally out of that, it just makes things so much better. Um, I had a very big aha moment here’s ago. Um, that was very much like that I, this is when I tell, like, if I mentor people.
This was one of the things I make sure I tell them is, you know, don’t, don’t take this as someone, you know, poking at you. It’s, you know, unless it is spoken at you right now, which is not okay, but if it’s about the work, then you should take that as good feedback.
Great. That’s just, so this is great. Okay. So we are, um, kind of towards the end of our time here. So let me ask you one last question and then we’ll, we’ll, we’ll wrap up, but this is something we, you know, as you mentioned, Mike Rizzo, one of the reasons he started the MO Pros was to, uh, obviously. Build a community, but another part was this to start to provide a way for people to who are interested in marketing ops or in marketing ops to have a place where they could go to get training or resources.
So one of the things we’re really trying to understand from the community is if there was such a thing as a certified marketing operations professional, And then some sort of credential or certificate or whatever, like what would that mean to you and what would you think would need to be like, what are some things that you think would, should absolutely be a part of that?
Uh, some obvious things are definitely kind of the marketing acumen, the marketing strategy, um, and also kind of the technical aspects of like, how do you configure things? How do you adjust. Um, you know, integrations, you know, how do you talk with developers? That kind of thing. Those are a given, but I think one thing that may not be, it doesn’t need to be a significant, but I, you know, a big part of it, big percentage of the time, but I do think some, there needs to be some attention paid to the organizational behavior aspect.
The things, um, it is very important to understand what makes people in teams tick or organizations in general tick, because a MarTech marketing, operation practitioners, we change things. We, um, we’re movers and shakers. And if we don’t understand. You know, from an organizational politics perspective, from a psychology perspective of how people would react to that, that’s only going to cause us, um, heartache, um, and, um, you know, headaches.
So just having an understanding of the organizational behavior would be very helpful just to understand we’re going to break stuff, we’re going to change stuff. How can we do it in a way that we, you know, maintain friendships? And not create an enemies. Yeah, no, I think, yeah. Ability. It’s funny you say that because I, it takes me back to one of our earlier episodes where Brandy Sanders said something like everybody in marketing ops should play chess, not just learn chess, but play chess and learn.
I want to say it was behavioral psychology, but I think it was something a little more, a little darker than that, actually. But. Yeah. And I was like, wait a minute. She is totally right, right. It’s chess. You gotta be strategic and tactical. And, and then under, like you said, right. Understanding how to work with a diverse set of people, because we’re in the middle of everybody with marketing and sales and customer success and finance and legal.
And like it is, it is a unique role where you’ve got all these different kinds of things that all have their sort of typical, uh, Yeah. Kinds of personalities that, that we have. And obviously there there’s some that are different, but I think that’s a, I actually think that that is a great one because I don’t, I don’t think it gets enough attention.
So I’m glad you brought it up. Any, any last words Steve, before we wrap up? Um, no, I think we’ve had a really interesting, uh, discussion, you know, just make sure. And, you know, you, uh, you know, it’s, and this is something I need to look more into, just understand that distinction is between product managers, owners, and sponsors.
Um, and then, you know, just make sure you focus on how to work with people and how people react, um, that will make things a lot easier for everyone in. Totally agree, Steve, this has been great conversation. I’m with you. This has been super, um, if folks want to follow you or keep up with you or, uh, connect with you, what’s the best place they can do that.
Now the best place is LinkedIn. Um, that’s where you can just kind of track me that kind of thing, as well as martech.org. Um, I have a monthly column there, so that’s another place to, um, follow. Awesome. Well, thank you, Steve. Thanks everyone for listening and joining us as we always do. We ask you to subscribe, rate and review us on whichever platform you’re on.
You can always keep up with what’s going on with, uh, not only the podcast, but also other happenings in the community at the MO Pros dot com until next time. Thank you everyone.