With Andy Caron VP of Consulting at Revenue
Andy Caron, VP of Consulting at Revenue, speaks about the various learning opportunities for newer MOPs professionals. She shares how to create a MOPs internship or become a mentor, and offers advice for transitioning from in-house to consulting.
Andy Caron is the VP of Consulting at Revenue Pulse. She’s been deeply ingrained in the Marketo community since 2012 and is passionate about marketing operations, attribution and system integrations.
Watching the evolution of MarTech and getting to learn new tools has been one of her favorite parts of her career.
Andy is also passionate about training and coaching her teams, and mentoring the next generation of marketers and operations professionals. As marketing becomes more inextricably entwined with the tools we use, she believes it is imperative to pass that knowledge on and expand the community of technical marketers.
What sort of tools and experience help newer MOPs professionals learn more about their role?
You need the curiosity and determination to see a problem and want to solve it. Learning about tools for me involved a lot of independent study and asking questions.
I spent hours on YouTube looking up tutorials on Salesforce, spent time in their community to review resources there, and did a lot of Googling.
I let my organization know that I wanted to be involved with Marketo. Fortunately, they were very supportive. The CEO was really engaged in making sure that this part of the business was successful. That included what we now call core concepts and going through all of that coursework. I spent a lot of time in the community, both online and also going to the Marketo user group asking all my questions, bugging everybody. I'm sure they were like, “Oh, she's here again. How many questions is going to have this time?
I availed myself of any and all resources. I had someone at Marketo support that knew me when I would call. She'd be like, “Hey Andy, it's you again?” She would help me logic through stuff together on the line.
To this day I still, to this day, continue to learn and discover new areas in the tool and new ways to do things. Anyone who says they know everything about Marketo with the exception of possibly one person I could think probably is not being truthful with themselves or you or themselves.
I find it’s good to go into something without really knowing much at all. Then you have the opportunity to learn without preconceived notions. You can look at the tools at hand, find something you didn't know was there and apply it in a way that helps you solve the problem that you're going after.
Having the will or desire to experiment and try things in different ways goes a long way to learning more about MOPs in an innovative way.
Why is it important to create and nurture MOPs internships?
As COVID hit in 2020 and we got into the implications of not being in person, I saw a lot of organizations just canceling their internships. Even though it was a little bit later into the spring than most organizations would start an internship program, I went to my CEO and said, can we do an internship program this year? So many people have lost their opportunities for internships. He just had two giant thumbs up and said to go for it
The internship was really designed to be a fully educational program. In our organization we do not have people who are not certified inside of customer platforms, so it's not like the interns were going to be doing consultative or billable work, but there is so much opportunity for them to get hands-on experience in Marketoand learn from certified Marketo experts in a way that's not available elsewhere.
You typically can't really learn Marketo unless you have Marketo. It was a way for us to give back, to do some education and potentially just spark an interest or a passion in this area of the industry.
For someone that maybe like me didn't even know this was a thing that existed or never had exposure to that and suddenly found something that was maybe what they wanted to be when they grew up, or definitely not, but at least now they know and it's a cool experience to have.
What’s the best way to pass on what you've learned during your education and career?
There are a lot of avenues to give back to the community. With Marketo, you can look for things like the Marketo user group. Reach out and say, “Hey, I have this area that I'm really interested in or want to talk about. Are you looking for presenters?”
You can produce your own content and put it on YouTube. There are so many great pieces of content that exist on YouTube from individual contributors who just have something to say and want to put that out there.
There are opportunities through your community to let people know you’re open for questions or feedback, whether it's through LinkedIn or other areas that you're looking to mentor.
I have had wonderful opportunities to mentor through the Champion program and through the Fearless 50 program. I've been exposed to some really amazing people and I've been able to be a part of the journey. for them as they moved forward into new and better roles, left toxic organizations and got into more positive culture scenarios.
Giving back is one of my favorite parts of my day-to-day.
What advice do you have for someone who's maybe in-house and thinking about getting into consulting, be it freelance or joining a consulting organization?
As a consultant, you're always the expert that they're bringing in. Consulting MOPs is a different area of MOPs that is MOPs, but isn’t MOPs. You’re on the same platform but you don’t own the process. You also have a short amount of time to truly make an impact.
In a lot of my previous roles I would come in and for the first thirty, sixty, or ninety days I was the expert that everyone looked to as the walking Bible on MOPs. Whatever she says, that's what we do.
The afterglow kind of started to fade off after a while. And pretty soon it was, “Oh, Andy says to do this,” but it wasn't necessarily taken with that level of industry best practice expertise.
The lack of ownership as a consultant is a little bit like being a mechanic. People come to you and tell you their car is making a funny noise. So you run a bunch of tests. You do diagnoses and you come back and say, “Hey, you know, this needs to be rebuilt. These things need to be changed in order to optimize this and get it running perfectly. These are the things we need to do.” Then they're either going to choose to go ahead and have those things done or not.
That can be both very freeing and also very frustrating, depending on the type of individual you are. If you're someone who really needs that ownership, that might be a challenge for you, but maybe it’s a good challenge for you.