Ops Cast

CMO Ops with Raja Walia

April 11, 2023 Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo and Raja Walia Season 1 Episode 89
CMO Ops with Raja Walia
Ops Cast
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Ops Cast
CMO Ops with Raja Walia
Apr 11, 2023 Season 1 Episode 89
Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo and Raja Walia

In this episode, we talk CMO-Ops role with returning guest, Raja Walia. Raja is the founder and principal consultant of GNW Consulting, a marketing automation and CRM consulting company. GNW is the latest in a series of marketing, marketing operations and marketing automation consulting organizations.

Tune in to hear:
 
- What Raja means by "CMO Ops."
- How differentiates these roles from “traditional” CMO roles or marketing ops roles.
- Raja elaborates on how this could be a fractional role and talks about what he thinks the scenarios are where the "fractional" CMO role would work well vs those that would not?



Episode Brought to You By MO Pros 
The #1 Community for Marketing Operations Professionals

MOps-Apalooza is back by popular demand in Anaheim, California! Register for the magical community-led conference for Marketing and Revenue Operations pros.

Episode Brought to You By: MO Pros
The #1 Community for Marketing Operations Professionals

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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we talk CMO-Ops role with returning guest, Raja Walia. Raja is the founder and principal consultant of GNW Consulting, a marketing automation and CRM consulting company. GNW is the latest in a series of marketing, marketing operations and marketing automation consulting organizations.

Tune in to hear:
 
- What Raja means by "CMO Ops."
- How differentiates these roles from “traditional” CMO roles or marketing ops roles.
- Raja elaborates on how this could be a fractional role and talks about what he thinks the scenarios are where the "fractional" CMO role would work well vs those that would not?



Episode Brought to You By MO Pros 
The #1 Community for Marketing Operations Professionals

MOps-Apalooza is back by popular demand in Anaheim, California! Register for the magical community-led conference for Marketing and Revenue Operations pros.

Episode Brought to You By: MO Pros
The #1 Community for Marketing Operations Professionals

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Michael Hartmann:

Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by MarketingOps.com, powered by the Mo Pros. I'm your host, Michael Hartmann. Joined today by my co-host Mike Rizzo. What's happening there? California, Mike. Uh, you know,

Mike Rizzo:

weather's been okay, although the whole country feels like it's in turmoil. It doesn't matter where you are and, uh, but you know, I'm in sandals today, so

Michael Hartmann:

that's nice. Nice. Well, and I, and I'm making a, you know, the. Modern sort of. Uniform. I quarter, zip, got your quarter zip, and a and a golf shirt. And a golf shirt underneath that. Yeah. So, all right, so, uh, we are gonna talk today by, we got a returning guest and uh, it is Raja. Walia he is, uh, he's got an interesting topic that we're gonna talk about today about, uh, something he's, he, I guess he's coined it, CMO ops, sometimes fractional. And so Raja, if you don't, for those who, uh, are not familiar with him from last episode we had with him is a founder principle consultant at GNW Consulting and marketing automation and CRM consulting company GNW is the latest in a series of marketing and marketing op ops and marketing automation consulting organizations that he's worked with. So, Raja, welcome back and thank you for joining us again, today.

Raja Walia:

Yeah, no, it's awesome. Thank you for having me back and thank you for having us talk about this topic. It's gonna be, um, it's definitely gonna be a little bit of a, uh, confrontational one for us, so to speak. I wouldn't say confrontation. No, wouldn't say confrontational. We

Michael Hartmann:

need to mark this, definitely. This episode is as having explicit content. Is that it?

Raja Walia:

I think, uh, explicit opinions maybe. I guess

Michael Hartmann:

that's all right. We've had to do that before. I think we did. We have to do that with our last one, with Andrea. I don't know if Andrea's on the show yet. Yeah, pretty much.

Mike Rizzo:

But it's, well, good. It's just part of the vibe, you know? And, and let me, let me just, let me jump in right now and say for all the listeners, GNW Consulting is also one of our very first three sponsors of MOA Palooza this year. So we have to thank Woo woo Raja for that. We got hooked up at B2BMX. We had a great. Specifically around some of what we're gonna talk about today. And then I was like, yeah, you definitely need to come hang out. So thank you for sure.

Michael Hartmann:

Absolutely. That's fantastic. All right. And yeah, so MOps-Apalooza is, I've already gotten the dates off, so Mike, November, right? November,

Mike Rizzo:

yep. November, November. Five through

Michael Hartmann:

8, 2023. Okay. So someone's listening to this after that, right? You missed it.

Raja Walia:

Yeah. In 2024.

Michael Hartmann:

Um, alright, well, let's, let's dive in. So I think, you know, this topic or something that you, you, Mike, you mentioned that you and Raja started talking about, you kind of both seem fairly passionate about it and it felt like it would be a good one for our audience, uh, to listen to and see. Uh, you're calling it CMO Ops. So Raja, why don't we start there? Give us, yeah, give us our listeners a little bit of a definition. Sure. Like what do you mean when you say CMO Ops?

Raja Walia:

Yeah. So I'll give you a little background about like my background for people who weren't able to like listen to the original one. But I've been kind of a dev, like I've been, I've been an operational person my entire life, right? Like the consulting agency that I started, GNW Consulting was driven and founded off of the fact that we needed. To have someone where we needed more operational, quote unquote high level, if you wanna call'em executives, you can call'em strategists, whatever it is. Um, but that's why I kind of started GNW Consulting cause majority of my life. And we touched on this a little bit last time, was that I, operations individuals are usually translating. Vision into executable strategies from a tech stack perspective. So the idea behind, you know, fractional CMO in a nutshell is that we have a vision, and one of my favorite quotes by Thomas Edison is like, you know, vision without execution is kind of a hallucination. And that's the idea behind fractional CMO ops is that you can, you can have a vision, you can have a very clear and defined vision, but how do you execute and. Operate for a lack of a better word on it. And one of the things that we talked about, and one of the things that, you know, Risa and I kind of saw eye to eye is that, you know, right now we're in the process of running like this kind of poll, but from my experience personally, from my experience and other operational people is that when we get a hundred thousand page strategy, PowerPoint deck, it really results in us translating all of those. All of those items into functional components. So the idea is that there's so much, there's so much out there about fractional CMO strategy, but there's not enough about operations. And even in organizations operations is like the last person. To know a finalized version and you know, lack of better word, like we're just trying to figure that shit out. Like, you know, we get it, it's been approved and it's the go forward strategy, business initiative, whatever you want to call it. And we're like, well, we don't. Either have a lot of these things, or we need to translate a lot of these things into something that's functional for whatever the businesses tech stack is. And that, and that's kinda like the, the founding premise about like CMO ops is like, you know, having a seat at the table and talking about operationally, how are we going to execute on this?

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. Um, definitely. I mean, I think like, look, we, there's books on from backroom to boardroom. There's talks about like how does marketing operations professionals, rev ops as well, right? Um, if you're proper rev ops, not just sales ops, uh, you know, how do you earn a seat to the table? And I think like, This idea rather than, rather than having to take what you're handed and try to like figure out how to smash together a bunch of different existing tech or workarounds, which is, you know, feels like most of the time is what's happening. It's like, how do you become this strategic enable? At like, when the conversation has started, right? Like that is, that is the thing that is missing today. And, and I like this idea of like CMO ops, right? Like it's something that is adjacent to this chief marketing officer role, but it's operationally oriented. And, uh, at, at my talk that I'll be giving at the b2b, or sorry, the best of breed, um, event. I talked a little bit around this same subject matter. I have no idea what this thing is supposed to be called Roger. You're calling it CMO ops. I was like, I don't

Raja Walia:

know what it's gonna be called. Yeah. You know, I, I, I, I'm talking it, I'm talking about it mainly from a, and the reason I call it CMO ops is because, and once again, like from my experience and like my fellow colleagues who have been in Rev in operational, like positions their entire life, uh, you know, we always talk about sales and marketing a. However, which is a nice topic to talk about. It's very trending, but one of the things we always fail to mention is like, what about marketing to marketing alignment? Like where are, oh, the mar, where are the

Michael Hartmann:

marketing strateg? There's the elephant in the room right there.

Raja Walia:

Yeah. And, and you know, like we're, we're so hellbent and focused on aligning the sales get internally between what's developed now from a rev ops standpoint. Right. Is we don't, we're not even aligned on how strategy is going to work with the rev ops portion of it. Like it's, it's, it's two separate roles, but we're so hellbent on aligning with sales. Is that, Marketing nowadays is not even aligned on what the hell is happening, what technology is going to do one, or what, what technology is going to do what. So, so that's kind of like

Michael Hartmann:

the idea. Let's just wanna make sure I'm hearing what you're intending, cause I think what you're saying is like, within most marketing teams or a lot that you've seen, there's not even alignment between keep it simple, like demand gen or, or, uh, you know. Would call it demand, demand gen and ops. Right.

Raja Walia:

I, I wouldn't even take, I wouldn't take even one higher level of that than that. Right. Like that's why the idea about CMO ops, it's, there's not even alignment between like people devising strategy. For demand, like demand gen is an operational item of we need to de generate demand, right? Lead generation, we need to generate leads. Content's syndication is we need to create content, right? Like, and then we syndicate that content through programs and operational and so forth. How about you even take, say it one step higher than that is that within marketing, the people designing the strategies that have to be executed on are so misaligned on what technology can do that functionally. It's just kind of fluff in the air, right? It, it's

Michael Hartmann:

just So just do you think it's techno, just like what there, there's a gap in their knowledge or understanding of what technology can do or, cause one of the things I see, cause I think you're hitting at a point that is actually really, really important is that, well two, one is that connection between strategy and execution, right? Like the knowing, doing kind of gap, whatever you wanna call it. But the other one that I think you're hitting on, to me that is resonating at least, so this is what's hitting me, is. What I often see is, um, yeah, everybody wants to do, like we have a strategy. We all want to go be coordinated across those different kinds of go-to-market activities. At the same time, those teams are incented in gold. According to their own thing. So they don't like, and it's not anybody's particular fault, right? People follow their what's incentive, how they're ient, right? So if they're ient in their lead generation to generate leads, they're gonna do one thing. If they're incentive to generate content that gets a lot of eyeballs on it, or ultimately lead. You know, that's what they're gonna do. They're not gonna necessarily be working on it to affect revenue per se. Right. Or maybe they all think they are, but they're not doing it in a coordinated effort. And so they, you sort of get some traction, but not maybe as much as you could if there was true coordination. Yeah.

Raja Walia:

Yeah. I'm sorry. Go ahead. No, no. I'm

Michael Hartmann:

just like, am I am, am I, am I coming at it with a different thing or are you, is that, is that kind of what you're addressing?

Raja Walia:

That's all that, that's all encompassing under the marketing to marketing alignment thing. Right? Like that. Okay. It's all there. There's a portion of. Not understanding technology and not understanding your own tech stack enough to do all of those items that you're talking about, like or to translate all of those items. Right. A lot of things that I've seen is that we can call them strategists, we can call them growth target us, we can call them fractional, whatever, insert, you know, visionary that you have. You know, whatever their titles are will traditionally plan. Strategy. That's such a higher level without even understanding technology and what it can do. That's one part of it. Without understanding what the capabilities are of an organization and just say, this is our go to business market strategy looks very good on PowerPoint, right? Looks very good. When you graph it out and shit like that and you have a funnel and you're like, if we get more people here, we're gonna get more closed. One opportunities. That means more dollar signs. In what? How does that even operate? Like if you're telling me a go to Strat, if a go to market strategy or a strategy for a business is to make more money, I'm on board. Right? Like that's, you have to increase your revenue. I'm a thousand percent down for that. Yeah. But what are the functional steps and what are the components of everything that we talk about in marketing that is going to get you to that? And that is always missed and that is always on the operational side. Rev ops always has to dissect. And say, okay, well if your target is$3 million for the quarter and you wanna do some ad spend, what does that mean? How do we track it? How do we source it, and how do we funnel back and attribute it to the associated campaigns, which is never talked about because rev ops just fucking does it, right? We we're just like, okay, well, and what I'm saying is that if it happens earlier, In the entire planning funnel, it's a lot easier to execute on on rather than, you know, go to market being we really need to deploy in two months. Why can't we do it? What's going on? Because no one is talking about the functional aspects of it. People are just talking about the glorified funnels and PowerPoint presentations of it.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah, it, it's, it's tough. Like there's a whatever carton horse, chicken and egg conversation that comes up depending on the size of your organization. Um, but let's just pretend for a moment we're talking about an organization that's at least been established for a few years, has maybe 50 or more employees. And I think this conversation is where like it needs to happen a lot sooner there, there might be some flexibility. You know, or not flexibility, understanding in that, hey, in a startup we might not have all the tools and resources and so we, we have to be a little pie in the sky and then sort of operate within our limits.

Michael Hartmann:

I would argue that that's also the case in many medium, min, larger. Organizations

Mike Rizzo:

too. Yeah, I think that is, I think that is the case. And what I'm saying is, uh, I'm advocating here for, for the, the alternate, which is that conversation should be what I call, I don't call it this, I use the phrase, the art of the possible all the time with folks, right? And educating them on. I've seen firsthand as a community builder and as a marketing ops profess, When someone says, Hey, how do I execute on building out a community? Or How do I execute on building out these programs or my go to market framework? If I sit down with a VP of communications, for example, and I say, Hey, these are all the things we have access to it, it creates this. This is like this wonderful aha moment that takes place when, if and when that ever gets to happen, right? And they go. Oh, you mean we could, you know, host an entire virtual conference on this platform? Like it's meant to feel like an in-person, like things like that where they're like, they didn't even realize, oh, I thought I could just run one webinar a month. Right? Like, yeah. It's stuff, it's like, it's so going back to what Hartman was saying and, and that's some of the points you were making there earlier, Raja were like, when you don't know what is possible, it is very difficult. To, to try to think about, okay, well how do I go to market? How do I implement strategy? How do I build a business around the tools and resources that I have? People or tech,

Michael Hartmann:

right, or, or you make a or you make assumptions about what's possible.

Raja Walia:

Yeah. Which is, which is what happens? Well, I wanna say 95 to 98% of the time. Cause you make assumptions of what's possible then. And if you think about a marketing, the marketing alignment, right? Like we talk, once again, we talk about sales and marketing all the time. But marketing, the marketing, it goes into a loop. Someone will design the strategy. We will, they will make assumptions based off on it. It will get handed off to operations. Operations will say, either we can do something or we can't do something. It'll go back into this loop until it turns out that really the go-to-market strategy is an email campaign, right? Like that's what we have to dumb it down into, because we have this broader view of generating leads from an email campaign, or it's a multi, or it's an online channel or multi-channel strategy, or it's a paid ads play, or it's a demand gen piece, right? So we run into this little. The circle of where we're just trying to catch up to our own marketing, and at that point, sales is just, What the hell are you guys doing? And then we finally execute on it. And then we're like, oh, we need sales and marketing alignment. Like sales and marketing alignment needs to happen. But like we've already talked about this back between vision to execution to possible to back to what changes need to be made. And I think it would just be a lot easier in just general if someone who knew. The Rev op side or operational side of the thing, and that's why I call it CM Ops, right? Is really, it's a C-level executive that has operational experience to kind of either help or devise what's feasible and a company perspective, regardless of what size essentially is. So, uh,

Michael Hartmann:

to, to follow up two sort of follow up questions and not really directly related to each other. So let me just pose them and then you guys can kind of talk to him. One is. Mike, you mentioned how this is somewhat sounds because this to me sounds a little bit like the chief of staff stuff that we've talked about in a couple of previous episodes multiple times, right? So I'm curious, but like, how do you see that different, um, from what you're talking about Raja? And then the second is like, I, I, the sense I get is that there is, you know, whether it's c as chief of staff, These kinds of roles that are like ops roles that are becoming more VP and even there's a handful. I think they're becoming C level roles as well. Like what do you think is the driver behind that? Like what do you, what's, what's making this something that you're like really passionate about? Raja and Mike, and at this point in time,

Mike Rizzo:

oh yeah, I'm gonna tackle the chief of staff thing first. Um, I do think that the chief of staff can act as a facilitator in the. How does your, like I need to filter the, the quote unquote noise of the C-suite to what is possible, and then also take the inputs from the team on where are your constraints, right? Like do you have limited budget, bandwidth, technology, all of those things so that I can act as that layer, whether that is CMO ops or chief of staff. I think they're sort of interchangeable in that. I think the difference is from the perspective of like what is your responsibility as a C level executive chief of staff sounds like a C level executive, but in reality it's not quite that, that tenure, so to speak. Uh, at least that's my take on it. I certainly never sat in the role, but my take is you're sort of reporting into the C level, right? Um, sure. I think on the CMO side of things, The dash ops is the only way that you'll ever ha like, let me just say, this is what I shared in this upcoming session that's, that's coming out with the best of breed thing with with Brinker. I said briefly, I said, A CMO who has an operational background hired by a CEO who would like that individual to be an expert or have a proficiency in operations. They go to hire for that role, and it's all. But at the end of the day, the CMO is always going to be tasked with generating demand and helping to hit revenue targets, which means your operational proficiency will always take second seat to what needs to happen to the go-to-market, which means tech debt and all of the things that you can't go execute on and the efficiencies that you would like to put into place are going to take second seat to, oh, I gotta get that campaign out. Yeah. Right. And so that CMO function, unless it changes dramatically overnight or in the next 10 years to be like, no, no, no. CMOs are operational experts and they're gonna do all like, they're never going to take to, to have the board's approval to be like, yes, spend 30% of your time, budget, and resources on creating operational excellence so that we can go to market. They're gonna be like, no, how are we gonna generate leads? Which markets are we gonna enter? Like your job is to tell me where to go sell and who's buying. Right? Right. And so anyway, I like the CMO ops Chief of staff, or potentially a future version of the COO could be this thing that we're talking about. I just don't, like, I propose, I have no idea what it's gonna

Raja Walia:

Yeah, and, and I think this. This is where from a counterpoint, Mike, I would probably challenge one part of what you said. Hmm. I feel like if you ask any c level, if you have an operating offers or, uh, you know, op coo operationals, or if you have a tech or even information person at C level, th this, this role, whatever you wanna call it, um, from a CMO level. Needs to have the ability to talk about those things but not execute on them, right? Like you need to be able, able to have strategy. And also operational experience enough to not sit and do the work. Mind you, I'm not saying like that's not what the C-suite is for, but to be able to guide strategically how we're going to execute on this, I feel like it's, I mean, an information officer can do it right. Like there's how many times has someone brought on a piece of technology and the information officer, he's not doing the work, but he's guiding his team. He is asking the right questions. He's saying, how are we gonna implement this? A CTO is the exact same way, right? If the CEO is the visionary of the company and all these other branches of the C-suite are supposed to help with their component, why is it that we're separating a C M O'S responsibility just to. Writing books about fucking strategy. Like why can't we talk about operational? Like why, like, I'm not saying that you have to do it, but I'm just saying like, you should be able to operationally articulate what's possible and feasible as well as the strategy as well. Not just talk about one component of it. Because Yeah, if a CTO jumped on a call and said, that's a really cool piece of technology. Yeah, it's gonna make us operate, operationalize this and all this other stuff, and you go to implement it and it doesn't fit the, uh, the tech. Whose neck is on the line? The cto. Yeah, because they, they have to be able to know, and I feel like that, that's why I'm, I'm, I'm kind of lost of like, I feel like the C M O and the ops rule has to be almost one and the same, what it's called later in life or whatever it is, but the reason that, the way that I'm defining cmmo ops is I'm saying, If you're in the marketing space, just like an information, just like a security person, just like a technical, any part of the C-suite, you have to have more than just your ability to write a book about strategy. You have to also be able to figure out how those strategies are going to operate from a business to business perspective, not just talk about that. Yeah.

Michael Hartmann:

So you know, I like, I like your term Mike, of the art of the Possible, and it has like what I'm hearing, and I'll just throw this out there like this feels. Uh, what you're suggesting, Raja, is sort of a shift in what we should expect out of CMOs, right, to be, not just the person who can talk about brand and demand gen and writing copy, and writing emails and building webpages and all that, but also one who can talk about, um, how to translate strategy and goals and objectives, business goals and objectives into executable. Stuff, uh, within the context of what's possible with what we have from a tech stack and staffing and resources. Mm-hmm. Um, and know, be, be able to know. Like if, uh, the head of sales comes to me and says, we need to do, what'd you say? 3 million in the next quarter. You know, what do you wanna do? And you can go, well, with our current, you know, resources, we can do X, Y, and Z. That will get you close to that. You know, in the future, if you think this is where they're actually going, then, then, then we need to invest in this other technology and Right. But that's, I think, consultative approach. Right. Yeah, but,

Raja Walia:

but here's the thing. Like, why is that like such a weird ask? Am I I don't think it is. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm not, I'm not talking to you. I'm not talking to you. I'm saying just in general, right? Like people are gonna listen to this and some people are gonna agree and they're like, you know the, I know. I've been in the game long enough to know like what they're gonna say. Like, you know, you need to define a vision strategy, but every other C-Suite person offers more than just strategy. They offer a certain specialty and a skillset that you also have as a sweet suite person. Right? Marketing is the only ones. TalkinGNWriting about and releasing books about all of these topics with no indication of how to implement these, right. The implementation has always been tr, you know, traditionally on the operations person or an IT person or whoever, they can get to freaking sit there and like do the job, right? Right. But, but what I'm saying is they're not particularly to you. I didn't want to come across that way is like, I feel like that's not a hard ask. I feel like that's an ask as a sea level person who's in the day, in day, day to day, day. As something that we, you know, there's so many pieces of technology and there's so much stuff out there and you know, marketing always has like, you know, shiny object syndrome because we've never had these pieces of technology before. Yeah. So we start investing in all this shit and because we're loo looking at reading of Google Top 10 reviews on what you should invest in 2023 and 2024. But we don't ask, the fundamental question is, does it just like a CTO. Does this fit into our company's vision and does it cohesively integrate into our company's tech stack because we'll just straight up buy shit. You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah. Like we just, we just need one good pitch. And we're like, yeah, ABM one to many, I'm all about that life. Right? So I, and what I'm saying is like, I don't think that's a tough ass. I feel like that's almost needed in order to marketing, in order for marketing and rev ops to have a seat at the table. That's almost a require. That you have to know a little bit more than just, you know, fluff talk and strategy. Totally. And I think

Mike Rizzo:

we're, I we're saying a lot of the same things, honestly. It's, uh, I'm

Raja Walia:

not, you just dunno what to call it. Yeah. We just dunno what to call it. Yeah. Like the

Mike Rizzo:

future, like, I'm, I'm challenging that the cmo, the today's CMO would struggle to fight for if you, if you think, you know, I've got one pool of money to use on people. And technology and then go to market marketing spend, right? And so all three of those things are things I have to think about. What staff am I gonna hire? What tools am I gonna buy? And, and, and how am I gonna actually like put it into the market? When the board, or your CEO or whoever it is that you're interacting with is saying now, like, how do you go deploy that? And you happen to be somebody that cares a lot about like, well, we need to go buy a data warehouse, build a whole data infrastructure and a data lake, and then a process that integrates all of these data tools so that we can have a more efficient and effective go-to-market strategy. They're gonna be like, wait a minute, like that feels like you're not generating enough. Like where's, so how many leads are you gonna. Right. Yeah. And it's like, so it's going to be a challenge is all I'm gonna say. And like, I'm not saying that the CMO can't become this thing in the future. In fact, I think there, I would argue there probably are some CMOs that are really proficient at this

Michael Hartmann:

already. Yeah, I, I know I've talked to some that I did. I would argue probably fit that, but I, I think,

Raja Walia:

I'm not gonna mention her name because it's gonna inflate her ego, but we all know one that's a really good cmo. Oh, yeah. That, that comes from an operational background. Might have been a,

Michael Hartmann:

might have been a previous guest on our, on our podcast.

Raja Walia:

Yeah. Yeah. Might have been a previous Yeah, that Does it articulate, you know, that does it relatively well. Right? So,

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah, but it's, but at the end of the day, I think it is a challenge for, in today's state, for this individual, in this role. To, to try to bifurcate the responsibility between how do I generate demand and revenue and sales from how do I build something that's effective and efficient and go to market capable?

Michael Hartmann:

So, so cause they're measured differently. No, I. Totally. Well, and one's like, one's really hard to put, like you shouldn't measure spend

Mike Rizzo:

spending, don't measure your

Raja Walia:

CTO and your CIO ability to generate revenue. Yeah. Yeah. But once again, it's, it's the same thing across the board, right? Like, yeah, it's might be difficult to do, but I, I feel like. I feel like in today's day and age, ultimately, like I almost feel like it's a requirement for everyone to know more than just, you know, a, a a, an information officer is not gonna tell you why CRMs are not going to work, right? And so I feel like it's nothing new. Like I feel like this is just something that has to happen regardless.

Michael Hartmann:

Well, so I think, so I wanna take this back to our core audience, which is, you know, people who are marketing ops, rev ops professionals. I think, um, what, what this feels like to me is that we should be holding ourselves accountable as professionals in that area to be, if that's not happening, like we should be the ones. Taking that stance. And I like, I've had examples in my career where I had a lot of pressure to say, you mentioned abm, Roger, right, let's go get abm, right? Let's do abm. And, and what they meant was, let's go buy some technology. And I pushed back with art. Like I would've call, would've called it art of possible if I had heard that phrase. But yeah, I was like, we, like we can make. The tech stack we have without buying more. But the first and most important thing is we need to agree on who are those accounts we wanna go target. Yeah. If we can't do that, there's no point in getting technology to scale it because it doesn't matter, which we never did end in mind. Yeah. And I said, and I'm willing to do experiments. Let's, let's narrow, let's, let's work together to define that top hundred. Let's figure out a way that we can do some coordinated efforts from a marketing standpoint with sales. Right. And we never got past defining the hot top. Yeah, we never got to that. And so, and

Raja Walia:

that's why things like one to few and one to many exist because the, the entire concept about ABM was to have a targeted solution on a one-to-one basis for a counselor. Similar, well, people didn't want to do that. Because it was a lot of effort and work. Then they released one to few, which is like, you know, all right, we can be a little loosey goosey. Right? And then they came out to one to many, which is just casting a wine net. I'm like, isn't that just technically marketing at this point? Like you're just casting to 5,000 accounts with no personalization and no target. I'm like that, that's just marketing. Like, you're just Right. You're not doing anything new. You just, you identified your buying audience. Yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah.

Michael Hartmann:

My tam is the whole world, and, um, here you go. But, and, and, I, I think attribution is another one where like, like, you know, I think every place I've been the last 10 years has wanted to do some version of what you would call attribution modeling today. And, um, you know, there's technologies out there, no disrespect to any of the vendors out there and ABM technology or, yeah. Or, or attribution. It's like sometimes no. Those things you gotta like, like what's the purpose of it? So I think like, I'm, what I guess I was suggesting is people in the roles that we're in should also be voicing, like they should be standing up for, Hey, like I hear what you're saying and this is what, like don't say, just say no. Right? It's like, no, I see what you're running. You get to, um, and we can get you partway there, whatever that is with our existing stuff by doing these things. Right. And it's a, it becomes a more of a consultative approach as opposed to a. Yes or no? Right? And there's tradeoffs, right? You gotta talk about the tradeoffs, like there's no right answer. I'm huge believer that there's not al almost with exceptions out there, I'm sure, right? There's virtually no decision you'll make, especially in a business world where it has a very clear yes or no. Mm-hmm. There's always trade offs, and that, by the way, includes all the things like compli. Privacy laws, and I'm not, I mean, I'm saying that like, I'm not joking, like there's trade offs. Like are you willing to take on the risk of getting Yeah. A fine and, and like that's a real, I think that's a real decisions people need to make and not every company thinks they have that decision. Yeah,

Raja Walia:

well, I'll, I'll, I'll, I'm gonna red card one part of that, what you said, just please do one, one part of that. And I feel like from an operational perspective, we can ask, um, and I'll tell you a hundred percent from a, from a junior operations person to have, You know, now I have a, like a senior operations person, though we can voice opinions as much as I, I've a hundred percent voiced my opinion on this, right? I've been in consulting for over like 15 years. Like I'm very good at voicing my opinion on this, but the idea is that, The voice will always fall on deaf ears. If there's not an operational or a, or a leader, uh, you know, a executive leader that is pushing it down if, if they don't have the abil, because I can tell you examples upon examples of where it makes sense, but it always has a decision, or the chief technical officer always trumps a cmo. Why is that? Is. The CMO can't talk to it at the same level as a technical officer, right? Like how many implementations have you done of a tech stack where a marketing person really wants to do it? And then all of a sudden they just get trumped by, by just, just had that happen in, in the last 12 months. Yeah. Right. And the, and the reason is, like, as operational as a junior operations person into a middle or a senior, whatever you wanna call it, is we can voice our opinions, all the want, all they want. But once again, when you go to the very, very top, again, there has to be someone that can articulately explain the reasoning why. And if it's not there, it's just gonna get sidelined. You know, no one's gonna listen to the senior, you know, marketing operations managers that's saying, Hey guys, uh, I don't think we can run email, because we don't have a marketing email tool. Right? Like, they're like, we don't have a marketing automation platform. How are we gonna send email? They're like, no, no, let's just use Outlook and send it out. Like, you know, everyone's doing that, rather I read this on right. But it's not gonna work up until the point where shit hits the fan and then it's gonna. Circle all the way back up and all of a sudden you're see, you're gonna see a bunch of job changes in LinkedIn happening. You know, like a reorg of like executive alignment happening because it got so far down track that by the time you tried to execute on it, it didn't happen, and then all of a sudden there's a reorg.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. I honestly like just, I think, yes, for our audience, it's important for you to keep trying to voice the opinion. I think. I think. It's going to consistently be hard, to your point, Raja on like falling on deaf ears. But if you don't try, then you never, you know, you're never really gonna get anywhere. Right? Yeah. Um, and I think, I think we're, you know, we're continuing to advocate for this idea that, hey, you're not a button pusher, right? You're, you're not just supposed to take the order and like put it in and, you know, fulfill. Um, it should be brought. Rules and guidelines and, and you know, I don't know about you Raja, but like some of the things that I think about that help put in some of the practicality around, well, how, like where do you go, right? Whether you're junior or senior or you're a cmo, how do you start to put in something that allows for that checks and balance to happen? Yeah. You know, maybe it starts with documentation. Maybe it starts with, here's what we have at our, uh, at our disposal, right? The, the things that we can. Um, he, if we're going to go to market, these are the core data policies and practices and, and data points that we actually want to use in order to create campaigning. So don't come up with a pie in the sky campaign until you're first informed by what it is that we actually have at our fingertips. Um, and, and I think a lot of that just starts with documentation, right? Like just, and I don't mean build it by, Like, yeah, yeah. We'll sit there and write it all down. Like go talk to everybody and be like, what are you doing? How are you using the

Michael Hartmann:

tools? I, I was just gonna say, like, asking really good questions is an underrated skill. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, and I think, I think it can,

Mike Rizzo:

this here I'm gonna read, I'm gonna read this quote from, from Simon Daniels, uh, over at Forrester. He says, um, although the flood of tech is helping solve some problems, it's creating others. In particular, B2B organizations are buying rev tech faster than they're refining the go-to-market processes that the te. Has been brought in to enable. Right. And I,

Michael Hartmann:

and I, truth, I'm proposing hashtag truth. Right? And I'm

Mike Rizzo:

proposing like that right there in my talk. And for this conversation right now, we're all saying the same thing. Your biggest opportunity is to figure out how to stop buying Rev Tech faster than it is meant to refine the go-to-market process. Yeah. And start figuring out how to help refine the go-to-market process before you

Michael Hartmann:

go buy Rev Tech. Yeah. Because you might find it, you don't need it. So, um, just, I'm. One of the books that was really sort of, uh, significant in my career was, was a book and it's now probably dont. 15 years old, maybe more. It's called execution subtitle, the discipline of getting things done.

Raja Walia:

Yeah. I, I, I, I

Michael Hartmann:

know that book. Yeah. Do you like, is it one you like or not?

Raja Walia:

No, no, no. I I, I, I feel like the basis of my operational career is that getting Shut done book because I read, I mean, I remember someone, someone had given me that book to read and I was like a junior operations consultant. I was just like, This is what we do. Like, you know, I mean like, like operation, like this is, this is the, this is how we do shit and get it done. And that, that's the basis

Michael Hartmann:

of it. So, well I thought that the thing that I always think about, like my summary is right, strategy's important, but not the whatever, like volumes of strategy, but that. Going from strategy to starting to execute and holding people accountable to the result expected results. That's the secret sauce, like moving fairly quickly. And I always, the way I equate it, and I'm not a sailor, so if I get this analogy wrong, I still use it anyway. Like strategy me tells me you're like, you're at this point. And you wanna get to that point and you, so you know generally the direction you want to go, but all you really know when you start is what are the conditions where you at. So you're gonna start heading in that direction, even if that means you're tacking off a little bit and then you're gonna adjust as you learn, right? You got new conditions, then you're gonna adjust. But you always know, this is where I'm going. And I think. To me, that's the way I like to approach things is like I, I want to have a roadmap. Like I wanna have a roadmap and I wanna have plans, but I wanna be, I wanna leave myself flexibility on how I get to the end result. And so sometimes you have more or less control over that, or more or less say over it. But I think it's a model that works. Um, and, and Raja, if you like that book, there's a new book. Um, like I think you and I have talked about this actually with, with my wife called Traction. Which it's, it is really interesting cause I think it references that e execution, it references good to greate, it references several other books that I'm also a fan of. Um, I'm not a total fan of this book, but I think it has, it's a similar vein and like putting in that one goes a little more detail into like, how do you operationalize that concept of strategy execution, strategy, execution with both long-term and short-term goals. In in mind it's, it's, uh, Yeah, I'm actually re-listening to audiobook.

Raja Walia:

Yeah, I mean, I'll, I'll definitely pick it up. I, I feel like it's tough to talk about strategy without pissing someone off today and day and age because I feel like the, the

Michael Hartmann:

modern day market, how about we talk about best practices? Then it just pissed me off cause like i's like, It's like I, I

Raja Walia:

feel like it's the same thing. I feel like you cannot, just like in Facebook, you cannot log in and throw stone until someone's talking about growth, hacking your appointment settings and getting you 500 appointments. I feel like you cannot log into LinkedIn to have someone. With no operational experience. Talk about strategy and marketing. Go to market targets. I mean, they're, they're like the executive version of the growth hackers that are on lead on on, um, LinkedIn. Oh, not LinkedIn, on Facebook, right. Like all those lead generators. And so like, I feel like you cannot just throw a stone on LinkedIn and you are gonna find some. You know, I, I don't wanna say any of these words, I'm pretty sure. Like, just fuck it, I guess. So, like, you're not gonna, you're not gonna be able to find like some evangelist or some strategist or some conceptual thought expert or some strategic thinker that's out there that probably would lock themselves out of every single tool that Marketing Operations uses to do any of their strategies and not be. Oh, okay. So you want us to make more money? That's cool. I mean, that's a very fundamental good strategy. Like, and I'm not, I'm not pointing on anyone specific. So please, if you're listening to this and that's in like your title or something like that, I apologize. I'm not, it is not intended. It is not intended for anyone. No,

Mike Rizzo:

I, but the, the standout, you know, the standout strategists out there, whoever they might be, uh, definitely figure out. Have real conversations and align people with the business. Right. Um, but you know, I think it's that tactical piece of like, how do you even implement this stuff? What are the, like, I don't know, do you measure your, as an operations person, like, first of all, we're not measuring any of the, in my mind, I don't think we're measuring any of the right things to, to say where we fit into the pie of. All of the spend and all of the go-to market strategy, right? It's like if, if you're, you know, state of the mopro research says you're measured predominantly on your, um, your KPI's predominantly, uh, pipeline, right? It's like, well, but you're not actually responsible for generating pipeline. So like, what does that mean? Right? And I, I know everybody's heard me say it a thousand times. Like I hope that it's just about through. And efficiency. But if you haven't built those systems to say, here's how we're impacting the pipeline, not the campaigns that we like created ourselves or anything like that. It's like, here's how much we can do. Here's how fast it reaches. Here's how we're measuring the efficiency and the effectiveness of our go to market. If you're not doing that, Then you're not going to ever get to a place where you can advocate for why that matters.

Raja Walia:

Right. Or know of those things. Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. Right. If you don't even know about those things, it's the same concept applies.

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I, and this maybe started way back when I started my career in consulting, but I always wanted to understand the context, what, you know, I'd have a, you know, my manager, senior manager would come to me working on a client project, like, go do this coding work, and I was. What's it for? Like I wanted to understand the business, um, cause that sometimes made me push back some, but at a minimum I tried to learn, you know, so I think that's what you're saying, Mike, right? Is like, like if you're in that role and you're, you know, the, the marketing being measured on. KPIs that are around, say, revenue or pipeline or leads or whatever, that you don't have direct control over, but you can enable, even if it doesn't mean yes, you think that that's what you should be as an ops person measured on, it's good to know it, right? Why, and then how Then you can help figure out, well, how can I be enable those, those teams better? Yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

And it just helps you unlock, you know, more questions, right? Like when you start poking into like, Why, you know, how long does it take for us to, to launch a campaign down to seeing the first lead put into this hands of the salesperson? When you start analyzing the business in that way, you're doing something that really no one wants to sit there and take the time to do. Oh, right. But it's like incredibly insightful and helpful. Yeah. And so, you know, you might not actually be measured on it, but you knowing it is an entirely awesome and kind of dangerous thing, right? Like you, you create like this, I don't know, I don't wanna call it a total moat, but like, it's something that you have access to and not everybody does so,

Michael Hartmann:

so, Raja and Mike, so we've, we've gone all around and around on this, like, so where do you, like, what do you think is the feature here on all this? And like, yeah, I know one of the things we didn't get to yet, and we can, maybe you can hit on it here, is that maybe this is an opportunity for some fractional scenarios, but like, where do you think the future is for this? Like, where do you think it's gonna go? Mike, you're speaking or presenting at something, coming up Raja, I dunno if you're doing something similar somewhere. So how can people learn more about.

Raja Walia:

I, um, that's a tough question to, to answer the first part of that question. I, going forward, I, I feel like, I feel like any operation or any C-level company like that sounds weird. Like any company that has C-level executives really need to kind of start thinking and outlining how do you get individuals that. The company's technology as much as the company's business as well. And if you have separate roles for that, that's perfectly fine as well. But at a, at a executive level, you know, no one's gonna say, oh, let's, you know, and I know someone's gonna say, um, because I've been on calls where like, oh, well let's just throw that, let's just listen to the operational people because they obviously know what they're talking about. Right? Like, someone's gonna say that. And, and that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, Either it's a hybrid role or it's a role, but the concept of operational execution has to be incorporated at strategy in order, in order to, you know, In order to devise a plan that works and you're just not stuck in like this loop of what's possible, just because we designed it well, we designed it already, it's been approved, let's get it out the door. Like the next step is like some sort of like, you know, to Mike's point, like either it's a separate role or it's this role. In my personal opinion, I feel like the CMO needs to own it. You know, I call it CMO ops, just because that's the best way I can describe it. But in my personal opinion, I feel like the, if you're a chief marketing officer at a company, you also need to have operational skillset and know-how to fully devise a strategy along with what you already. And you need to be able to assess like what are the operational tactics are needed for that strategy. So you can convey at board meetings what's possible rather than going to a board meeting, devising a strategy, going to the operations person, changing the strategy, going back to the board and, and the board's saying, well, what the hell, we already fucking talked about this. Why are we doing this? Like all that loop just needs to go. So in my.

Michael Hartmann:

Maybe that's contributing to the reduced, like shortening, shortening tenure of CMOs.

Raja Walia:

I, I'm, like I said, what did I, what did I say like probably 30 minutes ago, I said, you devi a strategy. It goes down to the person that says, Hey, we can't do it, and runs right back up and then all of a sudden you have a person has switched a LinkedIn job post. Right? Like all, all of a sudden your network is like, these people are. I feel like that is the next step. Like, and like I said, in my opinion, I feel like the CMO needs to own it. I don't think there has to be an internal, like I don't think another role needs to be created. I feel like it's just like a CTO and a c o own their tech stack. Marketing has technology now, right? We're not sending direct mail pieces. I mean, some people are, and that works perfectly fine. We're not, you know, just trying to figure and wing it. That's tech enabled. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, I know. But I'm just saying like, you know, like in order to QR code and attribute, like then that's why companies don't really have a grasp on attribution is because. We don't know what technology is doing what, but I, like I said, answer your question, I feel like personally the CMO needs to have operational, not experience, but knowhow, knowledge, skillset, whatever it is, to be able to talk about these strategies inside meetings where all of that shit is dictated rather than circling back and forth on it.

Mike Rizzo:

So I'm, I'm in agreement. I don't know that there, I don't know. I don't know that it needs to be a net. Functional category. I'm, I'm talking out of both sides. I, I know, but I. I'm saying, it sounds like the CMO is gonna have a hard go of it given their current focus. Yeah. I think a chief of staff is excellent. I think it's an awesome function to, to roll up into, especially for those that don't necessarily want to sit on the C level, right? Like mm-hmm. You want to be that in between and you want to be like respected in that strategic function, but you don't necessarily want to be like reporting to the board and doing all the rest of the thing. Who knows? Right? Um, maybe that's the right spot for you. Uh, it's, it's funny, I just met. A member of our community, Tony, we were talking about this and, and he reports, he's ha he's reported into the CMO and the CTO in a tech enablement function, right? At the end of the day, he's marketing ops. He came from a dev background and he, he just published a blog post for the listeners. Go check it out. It's why Marketing Ops should have its own seat at the table. And he ends up saying, Hey, like maybe it's the chief digital. And he goes through and breaks all, I'm not gonna sit here and break it all down for you, but he does talk about the differences in what that might look like between B2C and and B2B companies. And then there's uh, this other individual who's the CEO and founder of Exigent and is David home? And he's saying, Hey, I would ditch the COO for the dpi. And you could add chief to that if you want. And he's just basically saying like, Hey, there's a ubiquity of digitization across the entire business infrastructure, and perhaps the COO needs to have a shakeup. Again, I don't know who's gonna end up owning this at the end of the day, but I do. I do think we've come full circle in the way that all of this has been implemented. There's a piece that I'm working on with the Stack Moxi team about this idea that, hey, for the last 20 years we've been doing things around like lead generation and us utilizing the lead object literally because it was put in front of us. Yep. And it's like, and there are so many of us that say, I don't know that that thing should ever exist anymore, but it's not going away anytime soon. Yeah. Right. And so we are at this, so to illustrate the point of full. We were first in a place where it was like, well, here's what the technology can do, so I'm just gonna do what the technology can do. Yes. Well now we are like, I know what all the technology can do. I now need to be specific about how to best utilize the technology because using the lead object might not be right for us, or utilizing an ABM tool might not be the right solution for us. Right. But I can go and I can survey the landscape and today's practitioners are like, You know, tomorrow's future leaders because they're able to look at this ecosystem of technology and say, Hey, don't do that. Just because the tool does it that way, right? It's like it's sort of pigeonholing you in that direction. Go build a business around what you need to do and invest in the technology the way that you need to do it, right? So anyway, I don't know what it's going to be.

Raja Walia:

I think that it, and, and I'll double down though. I'll, I'll double down. I feel like if, if we, I mean, the last last podcast we talked about was, um, Was regarding your position, right? Like I think it was like how to grow in your CMO obstacle, right? I feel like if, if you're an operational person and you want to move to the C level, I feel like all the stuff about decks and creating PowerPoint presentations about all those things are just part of another skill set that you need to learn to have, right? Yes. So, and once again, like that's why I say like the, the next level of cmo. That are being created, that we've seen being created based off on, you know, people who I've known that have been doing operational stuff, they become cmo. They're hyper successful. Why? Because you just get shit done faster. Because you know at, at. At point, what's possible, and that's possible, right? Yeah. You don't have to consult with someone, you just know, Hey, this is, this is gonna be a way to do it. Yeah. So I will still, I will still say that the C, the CMO still needs to own it. That position needs to be refined operationally as well as strategically as well. I,

Mike Rizzo:

yeah, I think, I think it's a great call out. I think it's a good challenge for the CMO to take on. I don't know who it'll fall under, but to your point, I think if you, if this is a path you want to go on and you're a practitioner in marketing apps, rev ops today, you do still have to like become more well-rounded.

Michael Hartmann:

Right. So, well, I mean, I think it, you gotta go learn some of those other things to Roger's point, right? That stuff doing do like learning how to be a better communicator, whether it's through speaking or, or writing. It's just another skill set you have to learn as you, if you expand your role, like you have to learn how to manage people and lead and manage a budget and like, these are not the things that you normally get early on in your career. So just like those, they can be learned. Right. Yeah. But, but

Raja Walia:

so like, and you know how many technical design documents that I've created in my entire life from my implement, like, you know, how much fun those were? Never there. There were never fun. There was never a time in my entire life where I was like, you know, what I feel like doing today is documenting and creating a functional reason of a technical design doc. But they're some people who do I know. I know they. That's very true. But I'm just saying like in that category, like I actually get some joy outta this. I

Mike Rizzo:

dunno why I'm just like, paper makes

Raja Walia:

me happy. Yeah. But to grow into a role and to say, well, You know, we need someone at the table to talk to those things. Like, you also need to know that there's certain things that sea level executives do that are not very fun. They just do it because they have to. Just like any other role that

Michael Hartmann:

plays, right? Yes, absolutely. Like every job, every situation has things that, you know, give you energy and take energy away, right? Totally. Yes. Um, well this is like, okay, so for all of our listeners, like I came into this, like knowing that Mike and Raja had talked about this before, and. Um, wasn't quite sure where this was gonna go. This has been a really fun, interesting conversation. So, Raja, thank you for, for joining us. If, I'm sure there's probably other stuff we didn't get to and all this, but we're gonna have to wrap it up. What, uh, if folks wanna kind of keep up with you or what you're doing or what you're doing with GNW, like what's the best way for them to do that?

Raja Walia:

Um, just on our, um, Uh, just on our main website, um, everything's un gated. Um, we can talk about how I don't believe in gates later in life. Uh, but everything's un gated. They can look at everything. They can review everything, and if they have any questions, they can always feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or connect with me on LinkedIn, or if anyone got mad about me throwing out random stuff, uh, and they want to yell at me. Yeah, connect me on, shoot me a message.

Michael Hartmann:

You can take it. I can already tell. You'll be sure to, uh, leave your home address on the show,

Raja Walia:

right. I

Michael Hartmann:

just, well, good. Well, Mike, thank you. Uh, it's been a fun conversation. Uh, I have a feeling like our listeners are really gonna enjoy this. So thanks, Joel, your listeners out there for continuing to support us. Um, and we will look forward to getting you more content out there soon. And until next time. Thanks everyone. Bye. Awesome. Thanks everyone. Awesome.

Mike Rizzo:

Thanks

Raja Walia:

everyone. Okay.