The Founder of Etumos shares how he first got involved in the world of Marketing Operations and Marketing Automation (specifically Marketo), and the journey that led him to take over the reins of Marketing Rockstar Guides.
How did you get involved with Marketo?
I’d like to think that I’ve gotten into Marketo (and Marketing Operations) from the ground-up. My Marketo career started at a high-caliber marketing services company on the 4-person task force in charge of creating an Agency service line, where I helped establish the scalable foundations of the MOPs practice. During the day, I personally implemented, managed, and optimized Marketo for ourselves and all our clients. During the night, I would write the technical “how to” articles about Marketo that I wanted to read myself. I fell in love with Marketing Automation and inventing Marketing Operations from the ground-up.
Here’s the less glamorous and less buzzwordy version:
I studied statistics and economics in undergraduate and taught myself web development in my spare time for fun projects. I got into everything digital marketing as a generalist working for small local businesses, immersed myself in Web Development communities and philosophies, then I moved into running and managing Marketo. It took about 3 years of a career to find Marketo and throw everything I have into the tool and vocation.
I briefly considered software and web development for the “big bucks,” but I wanted a clearer career path to leadership. Hence, Marketo!
Why did you decide to become a consultant?
I jumped into the consulting world because how few people knew how to run Marketo well (5 years ago), and I wanted to be the one to figure out the answer and spread the answer.
I saw a massive talent gap in the emergence of Marketing Automation. I came into the world of Marketing with a background in statistics and web development, and I found pretty quickly that my perspective was unique compared to most marketers.
I saw significantly more value in the full, maximized usage of technology in Marketing. We’re in the midst of massive changes in the industry, and one of the things that we’re seeing is how technological maturity opens massive doors and provides
What’s your approach to consulting and how is it different than others?
My company, Etumos is all about inventing best practices. The most exciting thing to me about this field is how brand new it is. We get to be the pioneers, carving out and creating best practices that we can spread through our practices and what we write. We have an internal motto of “Build a Better Wheel,” which represents a core belief that if we rethink Marketing in today’s world, we’ll reinvent the core foundational components to create a Marketing machine that runs holistically.
We hire people who are *really* passionate about making Marketing Automation (Marketo, specifically), the people who are fully immersed in the industry, because those are the people who are learning the fastest, inventing trends that resonate, and Etumos is the place where they can thrive.
Take all this with a handful of salt and do your own research, but in my opinion—Etumos is the big leagues. We work with the most advanced/impressive clients, we have the smartest people in the industry, the deepest technical knowledge, and the most authority in MOPS process, strategy, and tactics, and best practices. We find the A players, and we show them how deeply Etumos will invest in their growth and career.
What is a challenge you think most CMOs don’t understand well about MarTech?
MarTech in itself does very little. Marketing Operations (people running MarTech) is what creates value. I don’t care about shiny tools—I care about extracting every single drop of value from these tools.
If you have twenty MarTech tools and only one person to work on the tools, you only get the output of one person, not 20 MarTechs.
The realized value of MarTech is proportional to your company’s investment (hours and budget) in the running of MarTech. Honestly, I think the explosion of MarTech has meant that (in macro) some MarTech salespeople have promised low on-going investment while seeing the same results. It just isn’t true. You can do it in-house, you can hire others, but the fact of the matter is that MarTech needs people to run the systems, and neglecting the tool nearly guarantees a negative financial return on the MarTech.
We see MarTech fail when companies put all of their money getting the most-expensive tool they can, and because of that they don’t have any leftover budget for good people to run the system. They blame the MarTech because it’s too complicated, too expensive, and not providing value; a year later, they abandon the MarTech and move to something cheaper after having wasted a year of time and money. Don’t overbuy MarTech. If you don’t have smart people to run it, it will provide you very little value (at least nowhere near the massive tech price tags).
There’s a whole art and science being created here, a whole budding, specialized vocation of managing MarTech: Marketing Operations. CMOs need to be aware that, like it or not, this is a new role. If you train a generalist on how to use Marketing Automation and that person wants to go from a Marketing Manager (~$65k/year) to a MOPs Manager (~$95k/year), you are probably not going to retain that employee in the medium-run. What I’m seeing is this huge brain-drain movement in the job market, where MOPS employees would rather become consultants than work on Brand marketing in-house.
- Would you rather have authority in your interactions with employees on the day-to-day, or would you rather be treated like a customer service function working through a never-ending, monotonous to-do list?
- Would you rather work from home or forced to work in-office (aka, do you want to move somewhere where you can actually afford a house without a 2-hour commute)?
- Would you rather make more money for the same work?
- Would you rather be deeply immersed in one company’s business (Marketing and Sales), or exposed to many different businesses, needs, and priorities?
I’ll tell you
Thoughts on setting up full-funnel transparency?
There is no excuse not to do this. It is 100% possible, and we’ve done it. I don’t care how small you are, how “unique” your business model is, or anything else like that. Take your business-driving goal and come up with a consistent way to measure those in small, actionable milestones. B2C? There’s a conversion funnel. B2SMB? Yep. B2B? Duh. B2Wholesalers? You bet.
Don’t believe people who say it isn’t possible, find the people who can do it and have done it.
There’s a lot of odd mythology around “full funnels” which makes it scary and unapproachable to many Marketing companies. Some orgs, honestly, are afraid of rolling out a full funnel because they think it will decrease their job security. How? Pre-funnel Marketing companies care about different things, and they hire Marketers who can deliver on what they care about. Switching to a full funnel model of Marketing and Sales means new rules of the game, and new definitions of success. That’s scary, and I get it.
A funnel is a mathematical model representing Marketing and Sales holistically. It’s the ultimate set of KPIs. It takes a really hard and complex process (“make people like us and buy our stuff”) and chunks it into actionable subsets. It takes really hard goals (“increase revenue by 50%”) and breaks them down into achievable goals.
The foundation of a funnel is to say, “All else equal, if we increase the conversion rate from this stage to the next stage, we’ll create more Customers (and therefore increase revenue).”
A funnel creates the foundation of measurability. A funnel converts what you’re doing as a company into KPIs that have bubbled-up and provide a measurement of what is converting in real-time, and it gives the ability to measure the quality of Marketing ideas in objective (or at least, consistently subjective) ways.
The next step is grading your Marketing and Sales organization by this approach, and then Absolute Reliance upon that Data. Don’t discount metrics by calling them “directional;” embrace math in Marketing, because it’s the key to improving (and testing) all of the “Art” of Marketing.
What’s your advice for someone getting into martech today?
Get into Marketing Operations, don’t get into “MarTech.” MarTech is a trend, while Marketing Operations is the substance that will sustain through time.