A healthy partnership between marketing ops and executive leadership is a must-have to get a seat at the table, increase your visibility, and work on high-impact projects. Managing up is an essential part of any marketing ops job, but it is easier said than done.
How do marketing ops leaders work with the c-suite when CXOs often don’t fully understand what marketing ops does? How do you join strategic conversations rather than being seen as an order-taker?
Here’s how we’ve seen successful marketing ops leaders increase their visibility.
Evaluate the role of marketing ops early on: Before even joining a new company, use the interview process to vet how marketing ops is viewed as a part of the greater organization. Are they seen as order takers? Sara McNamara, Marketing Operations at Slack, advises MOPs professionals to note how executives view the role when evaluating companies.
Know the data deeply and translate data to insights: Darrell Alfonso, Global Marketing Operations at AWS, believes in mastering reporting and data to have an informed perspective in important conversations. Without an understanding of the data, you’re coming to the table with opinions only. Build reports for leadership that tell a story and campaign reporting that informs decision making. You can influence strategy by changing the way executives make decisions.
Tell a story: While the data and numbers are important, people remember stories. Katie Peters, Director of Marketing Ops at InVision, shared that she makes sure to paint a picture rather than just sharing a dashboard when communicating with her CMO. For example, instead of just highlighting pipeline numbers, she’ll call out exciting, new logos the team has just closed.
Explain what you can do with your current resources and how you can help the team scale: Darrell Alfonso shared great advice on managing expectations with executive stakeholders. Communicate what you can do today with the current resources and how that would change with additional headcount. Quantify the campaign results in dollars or generated pipeline to demonstrate the tangible impact. Sara McNamara, Marketing Operations at Slack, encourages MOPs leaders to be vocal about capacity and resources to avoid drowning in requests.
Be visible and don’t wait to be called on: Don’t hide! Marketing ops roles are often overlooked. And, while it should be solely on marketing ops to shift the tide, visibility likely won’t change without over-communicating. Make sure to surface learnings and findings often and in a way that will resonate with your intended audience.
Invite MOPs early and often: This should go without saying. Marketing operations professionals are critical to the operation and day-to-day functioning of marketing programs. Make sure they are invited to all meetings before something breaks.
Suggestions on measurement: We talked with Jeff Ignacio, Sales Operations Lead, West at AWS, and he shared his advice on how CMOs should measure their MOPs teams. He advises CMOs to measure MOPs on the ability to deliver on projects, execute projects on time and under budget and put SLAs in place around campaign launches.
When hiring, look for adaptability: Tools and technology change so quickly. Hiring marketing ops professionals who can be adaptable and learn HubSpot even if they are familiar with Marketo will help the team as it scales and grows.
Communicating with leadership can be a challenge both for MOPs professionals and for executives alike. Hopefully, this chapter gave you some new ideas on how to drive powerful and successful collaborations.