With Toby Murdock, CEO & Co-Founder of Highway Education
Toby Murdock speaks about why he created Highway Education, a digital marketing training program. He shares why it's important to learn marketing fundamentals before tech, the demand versus the current supply of qualified MOPs professionals, and whether Ops should own no-code tools.
Toby Murdock is the CEO & Co-Founder of Highway Education, the digital marketing career launchpad. He is a multi-time Founder and CEO all with successful exits. His last business, Kapost, was the leading content marketing platform for B2B businesses. He raised $19M for the business and sold it for $52M.
Why is it important to learn about the foundations of marketing before learning about Marketing Ops tools?
You want to be job ready when you enter the world of Marketing Ops. You should be able to do rudimentary work in a MOPs team, such that more senior people who are overworked and too stretched can delegate that work to you, someone they can trust to get it done.
In order to be that go-to person, you need to be able to go into a meeting or be in that business conversation and understand the objectives of the campaign or whatever strategy they're pursuing. Learning the foundation of marketing makes you fluent in that conversation so you can understand the needs and then translate those needs and requirements. Then you can use MOPs tools to address those needs and requirements to do a rudimentary execution of a campaign, and build an email, landing page, or automation.and get it all done. To do that effectively, don’t limit learning to just Marketing Ops the tools, but the whole business context and strategy around their use.
What is causing the supply shortage of talented MOPs professionals?
The Marketing Operations industry is changing so fast. Colleges are not set up to adapt their curriculum that fast. In fact, they’re not even close to being up to date. That’s generated a crisis in our industry because the demand for skills and teams in Marketing Ops is bananas.
College students graduating without up-to-date training puts all this pressure on the need for more and more talented people. But where are those talented people and qualified people and trained people supposed to come from?
What a healthy labor market needs is a systematic source of new talent that just pumps it out. It has an equilibrium with the demand of the market and the needs for new people but we don’t have that in Marketing Operations.
As a result, Marketing Ops professionals in general are really overworked because there's not enough of them. On the one hand, the compensation of senior experienced people has gone way up. On the other hand, those senior people are being horribly overworked, struggling with burnout and unable to delegate the rudimentary tasks that they need to be delegated. They don’t have the time they need to focus on the more strategic stuff that's aligned with where they are in their careers and the big priorities they need to be tackling.
Highway Education exists to serve those aspiring professionals and create opportunity, but also to serve marketing operations employers who are contending with this talent crisis and really need a reliable source where they can quickly find people who are qualified job-ready, don't need training, can get to work and start adding value to that organization while relieving the strain on that organization.
What are your thoughts on the no-code movement in Marketing Ops?
Marketing Ops was full of the original no-code people who didn’t work with code. They worked with data. You just have to understand how to deal with data and apply logic and automation and if/then statements.
No-code is taking that beyond Marketing Ops to all segments of business. This ability in marketing ops to have this unique perspective of you're not a coder but you have strong understanding of systems and technical ability, and you have understanding of business? That same profile is what's going to power the massive transformation in the strategic differentiator that no code is unleashing across all aspects of business.