With Courtney McAra "The Need for Additional MOPs Support"
Courtney McAra, Marketing Operations Consultant at Mustang MarTech, speaks about the different approaches to hiring MOPs, how to manage clients and projects, and where operations support is most requested.
Courtney McAra is a Marketing Operations Consultant with Mustang MarTech. She helps businesses understand their email marketing databases better. Courtney describes herself as a data nerd who loves clean reports, naming conventions, and accuracy. She strives to keep things simple and scalable. She firmly believes that the cleaner the process, the more likely your teams are to adapt the process.
Why did VPs and CMOs need to find additional support for MOPs?
There's a question of whether there is a talent shortage or talent non appreciation. The role of MOPs is really starting to drip into all the other departments of the organization. Product led growth is a thing, which means MOPs touches engineering and sales.
We're starting to just get a little bit more clout and credit around the business. We're not just setting subject lines on emails. We are involved in a lot more technology. That's where the request for more support was coming from. And then I will say my, my one-year anniversary of being solo was when COVID really hit, it was April of 2020.
Everyone was panicking and people were getting laid off. Business for me took off. I got a lot more inquiries from companies because headcount was down, and they could hire me for one or two days a week, or just for a little project that would be a six month nurture project. They didn't have to worry about the constant overhead of a full-time employee.
How do you approach hiring MOPs in-house versus an agency or independent consultant?
There are so many variables. You need to consider your budget for headcount and also budget for your campaigns. What type of money are people spending on paid ads and things like that? How big is your sales team? How long is your sales cycle?
You don't want to just think about getting leads to sales, but how long sales takes to talk through all of those? Do they have the resources and support they need once the opportunity is open? Think about the thirty, sixty, ninety days of what needs to be fixed for the business to make that next number to keep the lights on.
If it's a really small scrappy startup. Sometimes if you do just have 90 days, bringing in a consultant and maybe dumping a little bit of money into it gets it done and fixed and you have a good foundation. If you are going to be running longer campaigns, and it's a lot more about awareness, branding, and getting yourself into the category of this space, that might be more of an internal headcount role. That would mean someone really involved with the creative, the content, and getting the product fit. Straddling that line of even a Product Marketing Manager with Demand Gen is probably more appropriate to be internal.
What kind of support is requested from MOPs the most often?
One, people request a lot of support with attribution. While there’s value in attribution, we can spend too much time on it. It can be messed with. It can be tweaked. It can be manipulated to get what you want, depending on where you are in the organization. If you want it to be first touch, you can adjust your model to make it be first touch.
You’ll have these expensive meetings with five or six people sitting there and you can talk about attribution in circles for so long. Instead, we need to pick something and set it. Let it run for a quarter. Then go back and look at the open opportunities, close opportunities, sources, and campaigns. Then if you want to change it, change it for the next quarter. Changing it every week can get you sucked into the minutia of it.
Two, MOPs gets a lot of support requests around multi product lifecycle work. It can be confusing when there are acquisitions and things happening in the market. Having two products or two sales teams in one organization and how different things combine.
You have to figure out how to make something scalable with two products or three products when your ideal customer might qualify for two of them, but they're an outbound target for the other one.
Three, MOPs sees a lot of support requests from PLG with Demand Gen. How do you know who to reach out to with what message? How do you think through the different funnels of the different product lines? That affects anybody who has gone through or is going through an acquisition or merger of companies or multiple companies, too. It's tough, especially when you're trying to help sales know what they should be pitching. You don't want to lose an opportunity with a prospect because you're talking about contracts management when they really only care about billing.
I worked at Survey Monkey in the past and didn’t even realize it was a PLG company at the time. Survey Monkey had a free version and an enterprise version. We described it as “self-serve,” which meant you can pay with your credit card online, or “sales assisted.” We didn’t use PLG but rather the acronyms SS and SA.
Once you logged in to your Survey Monkey account, there were things inside the tool that might include ads inside certain features that you had to pay to unlock. These were advanced features like the kind you find in Zoom and DocuSign.
I started asking who owned these features. If it's inside the product, that's product and engineering. What if you want to track the attribution of people who upgraded to a platinum account or a premium account? Where did they come from? Why did they upgrade? How long are they going to stay on this enterprise level?
I didn't even realize those questions meant Survey Monkey was a PLG company until after I left. I started hearing the acronym and started following some people on LinkedIn that are talking about it and how to measure it.
I love when companies start thinking about their product in the way of PLG. MOPs can help measure things like how many log-ins happen every day or every week, how many programs were built ,or how many emails were sent. Those cues or clues can be used to understand whether a customer is more likely to renew.