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Managing Marketing Ops Stakeholders

Marketing technology touches many different parts of a business so it’s understandable that a marketing operations manager has just as many different stakeholders, all with different ideas, personalities, and goals. Think demand generation teams, customer marketing team, sales teams, IT, the exec committee, external vendors, etc.

So how do you wrangle all these folks and achieve your own goals at the same time? Here are some ideas!

Learn about your stakeholders

As you interact with your stakeholders, it can often be helpful to build a mental rolodex of their key characteristics that will most impact your ability to do your job. This includes things like:

  • What their priorities and business objectives are
  • How they prefer to receive information
  • What modes of communications they actually respond to
  • How technically savvy they are
  • How good they are at planning in advance vs. having lots of emergencies
  • How easy going vs. rigid someone is

Meet them where they are

Once you have pieced together your stakeholders’ work personas and preferences, it’s time to leverage that knowledge to get what you need out of them. Here are some examples:

  • If you’re rolling out a new process that impacts the SDR team, emphasize how the new process will allow them to meet their metrics (vs. how the new process will impact you and your team)
  • If you have an exec that never seems to fully read any communication, distill your points down to bullets and include a sentence inviting them to ask for more information should they want it
  • If you’re trying to wrangle a demand generation manager that isn’t responsive to email but has no problem hopping on a quick Zoom, throw 15 minutes on their calendar
  • If you’re working with a technically savvy SFDC admin, send them the relevant product docs in advance of a call so both of you can jump straight into the meat of the discussion
  • If you have a VP that gets bogged down in random, often irrelevant details, make sure all your communications to that individual only contain the relevant information necessary and nothing superfluous.

Be a safe space for your stakeholders

Lastly, creating a warm, welcoming space for your stakeholders to vent and complain can help build a friendly bond that can be strategically leveraged later on. When you need to institute a new process or deploy a new technology, your stakeholders will now see you as ally instead of as an obstacle to doing their jobs

But for everyone’s sanity, don’t let the misery fest go on for too long during a conversation. Try to always have a few pivots in your back pocket to help steer the discussion back into constructive territory.

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