Marketing Ops professionals, I need to give you some tough love… You are not victims. Yes, you are being asked to carry heavy loads within your teams without the support you need. You often lack the staff, the time and the understanding necessary to be successful at your roles And yes, you are being asked to create, track and achieve KPIs that might not make sense. And yes, many departments look at you more like a service provider than a strategic partner.
I see you. I feel you. I have felt many of those things myself when working in house and I see it all.the.time as a consultant.
However, now that we have established that where we are isn’t where we want to be, it’s time to take more control of our destiny. And we have the best chance at improving the overall MOps landscape if we can collectively improve things.
It starts by saying no.
Say no to urgent things by:
- Saying yes in a different way - [“Yes, we can build that urgent campaign and we will start at the end of the next week while we finish up the work in our queue.”] “We review all requests and prioritize based on [team lead’s] guidance. Please submit this request to the queue and we will provide a realistic timeline.”
- Saying yes to the right things - [“We already have our team working on a Q2 initiative that has an opportunity to increase revenue so we cannot take on this additional project.]
- Asking more questions - [“How many people will this campaign impact?” “What is the expected revenue for this particular request?” “How long have you known about this?” “Are there other options that can get this message out that don’t go through MOps?” “Is the expectation to have the MOPs team keep up with this?”]
Say no to unnecessarily complex requests by:
- Asking the requestor to state their end business objective - [“Can you clarify that your request is to be able to reach out to contacts during this part of the sales process to help them move onto the next stage?”]
- Asking if alternative methods have been considered - [“I know you requested that prospects be sent emails every 5 days, but would you consider every 7 days so that we can use a weekly engagement cast?” Or “Is this something that would be better sent directly from a sales rep instead of a marketing automation tool?”]
- Asking more questions about the end user experience - [“Before we worry about how we will build this, tell me about how how the prospect will experience this campaign.’]
- Asking more questions about the risk and failure points - [“This campaign has a lot of complexity which means there is a possibility the wrong information will be sent out to your prospects; how will that impact their impression of our company?” Or “If this automation breaks, who in our company has the skill to diagnose and repair it? What if that person is on vacation when it breaks”
Be respectful, professional, and empathetic when you say no, but have confidence in your position. If you have red flags, it is your job to say no. You are the marketing operations expert with the experience to see further down the road than others. Have the confidence to stand up for yourself AND YOUR TEAM to say no to the requests that will derail your long term goals, add needless stress to your team and that don’t have strategic value.
Now is the time, MOps professionals. You have more leverage than you think. Use it to make wise business decisions and elevate the role for yourself and your colleagues.