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MOPs: Your profession and mine. Must Contain Ep. 9 with Kristin Crowe

Special guest host Rusty Hall (yes, the same Rusty of the theme song) is joining KAC to flip the script and interview OGK. In this, maybe a bit obvious or perhaps a bit ridiculous break down of MOPs, you will learn; what it really means, what skills you need to be in MOPs, how MOPs contributes to the org., and much more.

Need more time for self-care that doesn’t involve buzzwords?  Jump to 22:35 to get the three things you need to know.

A reminder that we have an open call for guests. Submit your buzzword using this form or type the link into your browser –  We can’t wait to hear what topics you want to break down with us in Season 2. 


Hosted by Rusty Hall, and Kristin Anne Carideo (KAC)

Kristin Crowe (OGK): (00:00)

Hey, containers. It’s Kristin Crowe, and that is the most ridiculous name for our listeners. I’m sorry about that. I’ll be sure to work on that and come up with something better before season two starts. And speaking of season two, I wanted to remind you all again of our form out there to submit your idea for a buzz word that we should talk about on Must Contain. If you have a buzz word, you want us to break down for you or you’re an expert at something and you want to come talk about it on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Visit us at and fill out our pitch form and let us know what you want to hear about. We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully having you on a future episode of Must Contain. And now here’s the show.


Theme Song: (00:44)

Intro Theme Music


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (01:21)

Hi, I’m Kristin Crowe.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (01:23)

And I’m Kristin Carideo.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (01:25)

And this is Must Contain the podcast from Etumos where we help explain the how of marketing, although we can’t always explain the why.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (01:32)

Join us every two weeks as we break down marketing and corporate topics and discuss what they really mean.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (01:38)

And if you enjoyed this podcast, please remember to like, follow and subscribe on all your favorite podcast platforms.


Rusty Hall: (01:46)

And we’re back with episode nine of Must Contain the marketing podcast, where we break down all the hippest buzzwords in the industry.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (01:55)

Hey, you’re not Kristin Crowe.


Rusty Hall: (01:56)

No, I’m not Kristin Crowe. Thanks for noticing I’m actually, Rusty Hall.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (02:00)

You are the guy from our theme song.


Rusty Hall: (02:03)

I am the guy from the theme song. So, in addition to writing theme songs for hit podcasts, I’m also a MarTech consultant for the last twelve years, so I was excited when I got invited on here because we have a special guest today, so I got to take over some of the hosting responsibilities.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (02:19)

We do have a special guest with just two episodes left in the season of Must Contain. We decided that the hosts the two Kristin’s. We have opinions of our own, so we’re going to open up the floor to us.


Rusty Hall: (02:35)

So, with that being said, I’d like to introduce our guests for today. On the guest side of the mic, we have Kristin Crowe. Most of our listeners know Kristin from previous podcasts. Kristin If you’d like to give yourself an introduction for the new folks that are just joining Must Contain.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (02:50)

Absolutely! I hope there’s no new folks. I hope everyone’s been around for all awesome, amazing eight episodes. But if you are new, I’m Kristin Crowe. I’m the second Kristin of the Kristin’s, and I am excited to be here on the other side of the mic. It’s a little intimidating, I’ll tell you what. But in addition to my podcast hosting duties, I am also the Director of Operations Consulting Services at Etumos, and I’ve been here three years. I’m really excited to talk about today’s topic because I’ve been thinking about it probably most of my career.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (03:22)

You’re really selling yourself short with the “second Kristin.” Like, we’re equal people, equal Kristin’s. (laughter) Well, what are you here to talk to us about today?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (03:34)

Yeah, surprise, we’re here to talk about MOPs, marketing operations.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (03:39)

That’s just MOPs.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (03:40)

Why, yes, just MOPs just the end all be all of buzzwords MOPs.


Rusty Hall: (03:47)

So yes, MOPs. Huge topic, huge buzzword, right?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (03:51)

Yeah! Right.


Rusty Hall: (03:52)

Why don’t you kind of help us by defining what MOPs means, and then we’ll talk about some of other people’s definitions of MOPs as well?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (04:00)

Absolutely. So first, don’t google it. It’s not a cleaning tool. I did Google it just to see what would happen because I’ve never actually googled MOPs for this. I was like, “what happens when you Google MOPs?” Turns out in addition to the cleaning tool. There is a group called Mothers of Preschoolers that’s been around since 1973 and they call themselves MOPS. So, I think we probably need a new name. I think like mops is clearly already taken, and you know, that’s why I’m here, because it’s not Mothers of Preschoolers. It’s not a cleaning tool. It is something that you can define a lot of different ways, and people have. Gartner has a definition. Our own fearless leader Edward Unthank has a definition. I’m sure several other fearless leaders of other companies have their own definitions. The OGK definition is an overarching term to describe the people, processes and tech that power the marketing strategy and create efficiencies.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (04:58)

Why did you want to come talk to us about MOPs? Why do you have opinions about what MOPs is?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (05:04)

Right? It seems maybe obvious, or perhaps a little bit ridiculous, but having been a MOPs person and having been a part of several MOPs communities such as our wonderful community like MOPsPROs people are fired up about marketing operations. Their jobs, what they do, how they do it, where they do it, how they get paid, who cares about them, who loves them, who thinks they’re useless, what tools they should know how to do, what skills they should have, and where they should sit in an organization, all that stuff. And it just kind of feels like it’s really muddled, and people are always asking for answers, -various kinds- looking for their peers to help them define things; where they sit, what they should be called, what certifications they should have. So, I thought maybe it would be worth it to go back to basics.


Rusty Hall: (05:58)

Yeah, and I think, you know, that’s a lot of stuff, it’s people and its tools and, you know, I think that the lines get blurred from, you know, even company to company, certainly practitioner to practitioner. You know, it may have a different definition, but you know, you run into things like is demand gen – let’s as an example say – is that a part of MOPs like, you know, what about that? What are the organizational structures there in MOPs and how do we think about those?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (06:22)

Demand Gen is not a part of MOPs nor is MOPs a part of demand gen, which is probably what most of you have seen. MOPs sits under demand gen and answers to them, which is actually not what we would want as MOPs people. It is a unit in and of itself, and we want the MOPs team to not be seen as demand gen or IT or biz ops. We want them to be Marketing Operations.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (06:56)

So, from an org structure standpoint, where should MOPs sit within an organization?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (07:03)

I’m so glad you asked. 100% MOPs should sit right under the CMO as its very own unit with its very own fearless leader at the VP level. That’s not always possible. You know, companies are smaller, and it can be difficult to have VPs at all different kinds of levels. But it’s super important that however large your MOPs team is that they are their own unit. They report directly to the CMO. They have their own responsibilities, they have their own measurements, they have their own KPIs. They’re not beholden to demand gen or field marketers or event marketers or anybody else. So, we want to make sure again that however big you are, you are your own entity in and of yourself as a marketing operations department.


Rusty Hall: (07:56)

Yes, so you mentioned, I mean, like, we’ve got kind of the MOPs soup going on right with the people, the technology, the roles and responsibilities within MOPs itself. So, you know, obviously we know like your map is a part of MOPs functions. But what other kind of like tools in tech would you see in kind of like the MOPs mixture of things that we have a responsibility for?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (08:19)

Yeah, absolutely. So obviously, tech is a part of MOPs. It’s the people, the processes and the tech, and many of you listening, I’m sure, got into MOPs related to the MAP. So, you started at a job. They bought Eloqua or Pardot or HubSpot, and you learned how to use the tool. And all of a sudden, you’re responsible for all these other things, all these other processes, all these other tools and tech. And some of those tools are likely things that marketers need and use to communicate with their audience. So conversational tools, chat bots. If you remember our interview with Alex Long on the chat bot episode, she talked a lot about that data enrichment tools, event platform tools, webinar platform tools, even things like reporting tools and routing tools. There are so many different types of tech that touch the marketing operations side that a lot of times if you aren’t directly responsible for them as a marketing ops person, you are certainly participating in how they are managed and governed.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (09:27)

There’s also some blurry lines there, right, like I can think of things like sales ops tools, like lead routing pieces, and even like ad tech, that performance marketing or demand gen marketing teams are using. That’s marketing technology that I think we would traditionally not think of as MOPs. So how do you think about those sort of adjacent technologies within kind of the realm of MOPs?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (09:54)

Yeah, it absolutely is blurred lines, as with a lot of different things and organizations, a lot of different people touch tools, they touch processes, they – you know – are responsible for a variety of different components of what’s going on. And I think it’s important that if you don’t own a tool as the marketing operations team, but it touches your tools or it has something to do with your KPIs and your objectives that you need to understand how they’re being used, what the goals for those tools are, what systems they’re connected to, not just within your marketing ops realm, but within the entire realm of the organization, because you will be responsible at some point for some part of how that tool is used. So, when we talk about things like sales ops tech, which a big part of is the CRM or a lead routing tool, if you are marketing operations, you are responsible for the data that is then entering those tools for sales to use – the salespeople to use. So, you have to make sure you’re working with the owners of those tools to come up with shared vocabulary, shared definitions, shared processes so that data can pass between them smoothly so that when a salesperson gets a lead routed to them through lean data, they can read it. They understand where it came from. They understand what to do with it. Same thing with ad tech that if you’re, you know, paid media team is going out and buying ads, that the data coming back into your marketing automation platform from those ads, people who are engaging with those ads has the information you need. If you need a country field that you’re collecting, country that you’re getting a valid email address that you can utilize to, then, you know, continue to market to those people using your automation platform and then route it to the salespeople and they have the right information. So, all of these things are interconnected just because it’s a tool you don’t own or somebody else is in charge doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care. And it also doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t care what you think. They should absolutely ask you about it and what your requirements are and how you know it fits with what you’re already doing and how the business is running.


Rusty Hall: (12:13)

So, I’m thinking about like how MOPs responsibility and, you know, we rely on MOPs for more and more over the last couple of years. But how did MOPs get like a seat at the proverbial revenue table? How did that happen, do you think?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (12:28)

Yeah. My opinion? On accident. I’ll be perfectly honest that, you know, we are probably still a fairly long way off from MOPs being its own entity in most organizations, probably only the truly sophisticated ones or those that happen to have a leader that came up through MOPs are viewing MOPs as its own entity that has an important piece of the overarching puzzle to drive revenue inside of an organization. So, I think a lot of times it came from individual people who had marketing operation like responsibilities again, typically managing the marketing automation platform to show up and to say; “Hey, I’m running these emails or I’m, you know, managing these webinars, or I’m, you know, following up with all the folks that fill out our form. Like, I need to be a part of the conversations to determine how we’re going to collect data, how we’re going to track it, how we’re going to pass things off to sales, how sales is going to follow up with them, how we’re going to measure that, what marketing is doing is working.” And having those individuals want to add value to their company and want to be an important part of what’s happening within their company, and they just, you know, bulldoze their way on in. And now hopefully they are VPs of marketing ops at those companies, and there’s no bulldozing required. Everyone just follows along nicely and looks at MOPs as super important.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (14:06)

The dream.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (14:07)

(laughter) Yes, yes, it is.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (14:11)

So, let’s talk a little bit about what you think MOPs’ function really is within an organization. Like if we have a MOPs family crest, like what’s our what’s our motto?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (14:22)

Well, first it would obviously have a bulldozer on it if we had a crest. So yeah, that part’s clear. But I think it goes back to the motto goes back to the definition. So it’s, you know, again, the people process and tech. That create efficiencies within the organization to then drive and measure the ROI on marketing and getting things out into the market and running your communications, so you know, these are the folks who are powering things behind the scenes. You know, when you put an ad out there or you host a webinar and you know, Rusty puts it out on his LinkedIn, and Rusty wants to know how many people signed up from the webinar from his LinkedIn post, he uses a UTM parameter that marketing ops gave him that marketing ops make sure is a field on the form that gets completed properly. When someone fills out that form – that gets tied back to that person that you can track – and that you can then push to the CRM or to a different reporting tool, API tool, or something like visible, where you can then identify where that person came from, what activities they engaged in, what was successful, making sure that everything you need to have to prove what you’re doing as a marketing organization is actually driving revenue is available to you and that all of those tools are functioning efficiently and seamlessly communicating properly. Again, it goes back to that shared vocabulary, shared definitions and kind of keeping the systems running. You know, they’re the guy-man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, you know, turning the wheel, making sure all the things are running smoothly, although not so scary. More friendly.


Rusty Hall: (16:07)

Not as scary as the Wizard of Oz.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (16:08)

Yes, absolutely. More friendly or good witch style.


Rusty Hall: (16:12)

So, another kind of growing, you know, business unit that we see out there is revenue operations. So, rev ops. So, what are your thoughts on, you know, rev ops versus MOPs and how do those two kinds of interplay with each other?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (16:30)

Yeah. So first, I want to know if you’re trying to start a fight between the two Kristin’s because…


Rusty Hall: (16:35)

Oh, absolutely, absolutely.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (16:36)

Yeah, KOC is revenue.


Rusty Hall: (16:39)

– and betting will be open shortly,


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (16:41)

OK, oh! Great.


Rusty Hall: (16:42)

You can place your bets on one of the Kristin’s.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (16:44)

I don’t – I don’t even want to know if people would bet on me, I’m too embarrassed… (laughter) but to not start a fight solely my opinion on this one. I’ll let Kristin disagree if she wants to, but my opinion. Rev Ops is simply someone who said marketing and sales need to have a baby and they need to get along, and this all needs to work smoothly. And so they said; “Hey, your ops people for marketing, and hey you’re ops people for sales, now you’re together and you report into revenue.” And I honestly think it just gets people working toward the same goal, which is driving revenue for the organization. That’s what the marketing ops team is there to do. You know, they’re there to create the efficiencies to help power the marketing strategy, which is again ultimately driving revenue. That’s what sales does. They drive revenue. The sales ops team supports the tools and the processes for sales to drive revenue. So, putting them all under one umbrella that’s called CRO instead of CMO. You know, I think it’s probably semantics at that point. To be honest.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (17:51)

I mean, I’m not going to disagree, there’s no fighting here, (laughter) I think – I think seeing rev ops in more places is actually like a good thing for what’s traditionally been considered marketing operations because it means that we’re all solely focused on that return on investment, return on marketing investment metrics.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (18:08)

So, I think it’s a good thing. I also agree that you start to talk about semantics at that point. But, so, going back to kind of a MOPs framework, what skill sets do you find in that paradigm of people process and technology? That fun buzzword or buzz-phrase. What do you find are the skill sets needed with the people part of that within a marketing ops org?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (18:37)

Yeah. So, we’ve touched a little bit on this when we talk about the tools people need to manage. I think a lot of the skills related to marketing ops that people think about or that are top of mind when they think about the skills are marketing automation platform admins or, you know, certified automation users. That’s the bulk of what MOPs jobs are right now. I think that is certainly changing, but when you see a lot of job postings for marketing operations manager, they actually mean marketing automation administrator. They want someone who’s Marketo Certified, Eloqua Certified, HubSpot certified, all those types of things, and they just expect you to run the MAP. Or it’s the exact opposite, and they expect you to be a jack of all weird trades, of which you can be a master of none. That being said. You need a variety of people with a variety of skill sets to run the tools in your tech stack. So that includes the tactical execution, that includes the system administration, that includes the process development, that includes reporting on the success of what you’re doing, that includes being able to develop various components. So things like HTML or JavaScript, things like that. And again, those skill sets are not going to be in the same person. Someone who is an expert at developing process for a marketing automation platform is not also going to be an expert in front end web development type stuff for JavaScript. Like it’s just too it’s too much, too hard, and you don’t really want one person to do that in order to have a variety or sorry in order to have a successful marketing operation. Teams, you need a variety of people with a variety of skill sets. If you see one of those jobs that they expect you to do a little bit of everything just run away. You don’t want to work there.


Rusty Hall: (20:35)

The Liam Neeson approach to having a very special set of skills for MOPs. (laughter)


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (20:41)

I love it. Good luck!


Rusty Hall: (20:43)

Perfect. So in this kind of new MOPs world, we talked about this a little bit, but you know, we now have people who are growing up in MOPs in their career. So, you know, now we’re having VP’s that came up through the MOPs organization, Directors, CMOs ,who cut their chops and came up through MOPs itself. How do you see that kind of impacting the future of where MOPs goes and the kind of roles and responsibilities we’ll see taken on by MOPs?


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (21:10)

So I see only positive things honestly. Like, I think it’s great that the folks who got in early that bulldoze their way to get a seat at the table are now getting leadership, responsibility, executive responsibility and are leading marketing organizations and seeing marketing operations as a key component of that and making the value of marketing operations known to everyone at the table. All the executives at the table. So you know, a strong marketing operations team creates that dream setup we talked about earlier where you’ve got a group of people with a variety of skill sets sitting in their marketing operations organization, reporting to the CMO or CRO with a VP in charge who’s putting marketing operations again at the forefront, bringing them to the table to make those strategic decisions, to make the evaluations of the tech and the tools that you’re going to buy to think through the processes as you work through developing your marketing strategy. I think it’s, you know, if you can find a company that has someone at the exec level that has come up through marketing operations, that’s the dream job you want. They understand your value, they understand your importance. And I think it’s only going to be great things for organizations who value those skill sets and who value the people who came up that way. They’re just going to create more efficiencies and probably drive more revenue.


Kristin Carideo (KAC): (22:35)

I think that is a lovely spot, with that beautiful future in mind, to wrap this episode. So here are the three things you really need to know about my profession and yours MOPs marketing operations;

One. Marketing ops needs to have a seat at the marketing table in your organization if they don’t already. In a large enough org, It should report directly into the CMO or CEO with its own VP and not be a part of performance marketing, or demand gen, or be underneath a marketing specific organization.

Two. Marketing ops, creates efficiencies within the marketing organization, and they make marketing happen. Getting the right message to the right person at the right time and ensuring that the performance of those marketing campaigns is trackable. For better or for worse.

Three. Marketing operations isn’t just marketing automation administration. There are specialized skill sets that your marketing ops team needs. Allowing your marketing operations managers to specialize or hiring in for their special skills is vital to making your marketing engine the most efficient it can be.


Rusty Hall: (23:45)

Those are your takeaways. That’s a wrap for episode nine of Must Contain where we broke down MOPs for all of our listeners. Thanks for listening! We’ll be back again in two weeks with another great buzzword topic where we’ll break it down for you and send you off with some takeaways for that as well. So, tune in. And lastly, before we sign off, just remember the Salesforce Sync user doesn’t need to see every field.


Kristin Crowe (OGK): (24:12)

This podcast was produced by Kristin Crowe, Kristen Carideo, Ali Stoltzfus, and Lindsay Walter. It was edited by Kristen Crowe, theme music by Rusty Hall. Special thanks to our guest host Rusty Hall. And that’s it from Must Contain. I’m Kristen Crowe, and we’ll see you in two weeks.

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