With Brandon Benjamin, ABM Consultant at Spear Marketing Group
Navigating a career in Marketing Ops begins with understanding the strategy behind the tools you use. You can fill in the gaps in your education with certification tests that help reveal the best way to use it in your role. You’ll also hear why Brandon Benjamin champions the idea that the data and strategy from Operations needs to be leveraged in the initial growth of a company rather than bringing in Operations once the company tries to scale.
Brandon Benjamin is an Account Based Marketing Consultant at Spear Marketing Group. At the time of recording, he was the Manager, Marketing & ABM Technology at PagerDuty. He is an experienced B2B demand generation professional with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing, including Revenue Operations, Account Based Marketing Strategy and Email Marketing Operations.
Brandon has 3 years of expertise in managing marketing operation programs to align sales & marketing needs. He also has 3 years of experience in SEO/SEM management, via the following tools: SEMrush, Moz, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Bing Ads, as well as managing Capterra, Software Advice, GetApp software listings.
Why does Operations need to be rethought and how do you do that?
When an organization is starting off they think about who's going to build our product? How are we going to eventually sell it? How do we market it?
When you get to a meaningful level of a product market fit and you have tons of people that want your product, you wind up going through the same motions you did in the beginning. The questions you ask change to: how do we hire people? How do we run our company financially?
Revenue Operations, specifically marketing and sales ops and customer services, processes, and technology aren’t usually thought about in the beginning. Before you scale in the beginning means that a lot of choices of your tech stack of your processes are done in a very shotgun approach.
Because things aren’t well thought out in the beginning when you get to the point of having the first director of ops, they’re expected to come in like a savior and magically fix everything. That's where the “water boy, WD 40 type” of an analogy comes in where we're seen as the ‘order takers.’
Looking at Ops as a magical bandaid isn’t the way to approach it. Ops folks today are so close to the data at your companies at a company. Yet they're usually not brought in during the strategy or the process of forming how you're going to go to market until decisions are already made.
Operations needs to be brought in way before that so that we can give advice from past experiences and current on what's the best approach to actually target your customer.
How do you encourage tech stack growth and protect their tech stack in house as a consultant?
Steve Jobs defined that being a consultant is like a two dimensional view of your work. You never get a lot of depth in your recommendations. That’s because you make the recommendations but you really don't live or die by them.
Your reputation as a consultant can set you apart. You want to know the context of why the technology is in place. Who made those decisions? What were you trying to do when you were trying to accomplish these decisions?
Having the context of working in those roles in the past helps to make that impact on the consulting side and ask those pointed questions.
Why do you take the time to get certified in so many things?
I used specific tests to advance my understanding of the strategy behind the tool itself. For example, when I first started in my career Marketo used to do these specializations where you could pay to take a test to prove that you know how a certain function works, like email, deliverability emails, deliverability, or attribution or whatever the case is. I literally paid to be able to look at these questions.
I wanted to see what they're asking even if I had no idea what I'm answering. I learned through the test questions because the docs can only take you so far. There are a few exams out there that really apply that whole lens of strategy and process to their questions. Those are the certifications I looked for.
Just because someone’s certified doesn’t mean they know the process behind the certification. You should certainly get certified in the platforms you’re an admin for, but I do think there are people who are very powerful users of platforms that are not certified.
Let’s say you interview someone in administration who’s certified. If they can't really communicate how to turn a process into how to turn a technical process into solving a business problem, that's less meaningful than someone who is not certified but knows the platform.