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Why Operations Should Be The First Marketing Hire

With Jenna Molby, Marketing Operations Manager at Dooly

Jenna Molby, guest speaker "Why Operations Should Be The First Marketing Hire"


Jenna Molby, Marketing Operations Manager at Dooly, discusses critical interview questions to ask the hiring manager, why Marketing Ops should be one of the first roles hired, and the challenges of being a team of one.

Meet Jenna

Jenna Molbly is the Head of Revenue Operations at Dooly. At the time of recording she was the Marketing Operations Manager at Dooly. She began her career in internet marketing at VKI Studios before moving to SplitMango Media Inc. as a web developer. She served stints as campaign developer and campaign services manager at Revenue Automation, Inc before gaining experience as a Salesforce Developer and Manager of Demand Generation at Traction on Demand. Just prior to joining Dooly, Jenna worked in Marketing Operations at Galvanize.

Top Takeaways

Questions To Ask a Hiring Manager

What are some critical questions to ask a hiring manager?

You usually have to do some sort of exercise these days in an interview. That could be some sort of test or presentation. A lot of times it involves creating a fake company that you then have to present the business challenges for. You might take some fake data, manipulate it, and provide some insights and present on that.

It was really interesting at Dooly because we did what they call a reverse interview. The idea is that I interview the hiring manager of what my first 30 days at Dooly would look like and what I would implement. I'd ask them questions over a period of an hour and come up with a plan of what I would start doing.

I'd then present that plan to the director of rev ops, our VP of revenue and our VP of marketing. It was really interesting being able to learn more about how Dooley works through that process.

I can walk you through some of the questions that I asked. I broke them out into two big groups: one was technology and the other one was process and data.

​​The first question I asked was about walking me through your technology stack. What does that look like? What products do you use? The next thing was looking at any gaps in their technology stack from their perspective. What are the gaps? What tools should we bring on?

A big thing that we talked about during the interview process was bringing on a marketing automation platform. If they are starting from nothing and don't use anything right now, what would that timeline look like? Do they have any platforms they prefer? Is the budget secured for that platform?

Why Marketing Ops Should Be One of the First Hires

Why should a marketing ops person be one of the first hires for a company?

Most companies reach a couple of hundred employees and then think about Marketing Ops. Before that it's usually Demand Gen kind of running ops in the background on the side of their desks. Marketing Ops is hired afterwards and then has to clean up everything and has to do a bunch of change management in order to fix their old ways.

Marketing Ops should be one of the first three hires to ensure the correct process is in place.

Challenges of Being a Team of One

What are some of the biggest challenges being a team of one?

It’s two hard parts for me. The first one is having nobody to bounce your ideas off of. You’re kind of on your own. The best solution for that is to go join communities. There are a ton of slack communities for Marketing Operations professionals. Depending on what tools you use, there are even more communities to go ask questions and get answers.

The second hard part is you have to be an expert at checking your own work. There's no other senior ops person that I can ask to look at this process that I built because maybe they don't know Pardot or they don't know Marketo or they don't know Salesforce flow. Learning to be an expert at checking my own work has taken me a while to learn how to do. I don't want to make a process change and then somebody else finds out that there was an error somewhere.

I used to write things out a lot to figure out how to fix a process I implemented that didn’t work. For example, if I’m manipulating data, do I have an export of that data somewhere? Do I have field history tracking set up on the field? I could look at the activity logs and figure out what the old value is versus the new value.

I'd actually write out what my process would look like. Now that I've now become a little bit more experienced I always have a backup plan if something goes wrong. I have reports set up that I can look at things I activate and make sure that things are working correctly. As soon as I implement a new process, I become obsessed with checking it to make sure that it's okay. I don't want the VP of marketing or the VP of ops to find out the error before me.