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Campaign Operations

Marketo Campaign Operations Advice from a Pro

Lindsay DiLemmo October 3, 2022

There can be a lot of pressure to get a campaign out – take a step outside and ask yourself the intention of the campaign. Your goals may be excessive and it’s okay to reevaluate!

–  Geraldine Gudiño Garcia

These are the wise words of Geraldine Gudiño Garcia, Marketing Operations Manager at Iterable. 

We sat down with Geraldine to get her take on some controversial marketing ops topics – from the hiring vs. training debate to the top efficiency killers in campaign operations.

campaign operations interview

Training Your Team to be Proficient in Marketo

Q: Should you hire experts or train internal members of your marketing operations team?

A: Either solution is good – but you’ve got to get a gauge of your team.

What do they want to do? If there’s no interest and you have the budget, then go for hiring! 

Of course, there is value to continuous learning – companies should always invest in ongoing education opportunities for their employees. 

Q: Genuine question, WHY do you think it’s so hard for people to learn Marketo? How do you approach it? 

A: For one, there are so many different ways to approach a build – this can make it challenging to build a program.

I find it helpful to learn how others use Marketo – tap into the knowledge of communities like Marketo Nation.

You’ll go through lots of trial and error, but keeping an open mind and furthering your education will help grow confidence over time.

Take into consideration that it won’t happen overnight – it’s not an easy tool and there’s only so much you can learn. Figure out how you learn best – and go from there. For example, I learn best through hands-on learning, but someone else might learn best by reading blogs and attending webinars.

Q: What is your approach to training newcomers in Marketo – how do you know when someone is ready to start working in Marketo?

A: We value training heavily at Iterable – training begins before new employees even have access to Marketo.

We’ll start with hands-on training and provide tips and pointers as we go. Once the user has gained confidence and completed training, they’ll gain access to Marketo. 

Providing documentation is helpful for newcomers, and whenever they have questions, we encourage them to post in our #ask-mops Slack channel so there’s more visibility. This way, others can learn and the responses are more immediate. We also host Marketing Ops office hours twice a week to provide any support needed.

Q: What excites you most about the future of marketing ops?

A: There is always something new to learn! I love that the market is ever-evolving and there’s always a new challenge to unravel. 

One of the most important things to me is growth, so I love the growth opportunity that marketing ops presents.

Q: Decentralized vs. centralized execution – which do you recommend and why?

A: It depends on the company. You’ve got to evaluate your people and get a gauge on where people want to grow!

Look at the size of the company, the business needs, and also at the budget. 

Can you hire a campaign ops person or outsource to an agency? Are you able to train your team to build their own campaigns? 

In the end, it’s about considering the best allocation of resources (time and people) for the team and the company itself. There is not one solution that fits all companies.

Building Campaign Operations Processes

Q: Top efficiency killers when it comes to campaign operations?

A: I suggest asking yourself the intention of the campaign – what will your audience get out of it? 

There can be a lot of pressure in campaign operations – that’s why I recommend taking a step back and asking yourself the intention of the campaign. Your goals may be excessive and it’s okay to reevaluate! 

If you don’t have QA built into your processes, now is the time to add it. Without proper QA structures, people can and will forget about it. 

Last but not least – last-minute requests. More often than not, these requests can take up a good chunk of our time. 

Avoid unnecessary stress and always make sure you are connecting with your team and processing intake information.

Q: How to be MORE efficient when executing Marketo campaigns? 

A: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – documentation! 

Documentation is crucial to executing efficient campaigns, and don’t forget to update it when processes change. I recommend creating a checklist within the documentation itself. I always review checklists before executing a campaign even after I’ve built the campaign countless times. Human error is common so you want to reduce it as best as possible. 

The second component is QA – always have someone else QA your work! It’s easy to miss details when you have been looking at the same campaign for a long time. This is why QA is crucial. At Iterable, we use Marketo program templates with tokens extensively. When I QA, I always make sure to check that the tokens are up to date because I know this is something that is easy to miss, but a crucial component of our campaign.

When building campaigns, you’ll want to lay out expectations with your team – you want your team to understand how long things take to build. I always stress the importance of communication! Always communicate with the individuals you are building with. 

In the spirit of communication, I host marketing ops office hours. This way, there is a dedicated time to have marketing join if they have questions on a campaign. 

Q: Do you have any tips for marketing ops managers to better manage campaign requests? 

A: Use a request system! 

Implement an intake system – whether that’s through Asana, Google forms, Jira, and of course, Jeto! Visibility and a clear track record are the key to successful campaigns. 

Last but not least, remember that campaign operations is crucial and can become unmanageable when you don’t have enough resources. Don’t be afraid to ask executives about hiring or partnering with an agency.

Picking the Right MarTech Tools

Q: What are your top three MarTech tools?

A: Marketo for its automation capabilities, Salesforce for its ability to troubleshoot, and Chilipiper for scheduling and routing.  

Q: What is your approach to adding tools to your stack? How do you evaluate? 

A: Less is more! 

When there are too many tools, it can get challenging to maintain. If no one wants to own the tool, it doesn’t get used properly and/or you’re missing opportunities for growth. 

There’s usually a chance that a tool in your stack is not optimized and used to its full potential.

Next time you begin your search for new MarTech, ask yourself if there’s anything in your stack you can use. If the answer is no, I typically go through this process: 

  • Do your homework: Evaluate several tools and ask others their perspective on the tool. Using marketing ops communities to get feedback and use cases is very helpful. 
  • Designate an owner: Before you purchase tools, select an owner and decide how it will be managed. 
  • Documentation: At Iterable, we have a document of all our tools and the owner of the tool. We also list our customer support details for each tool.

If you want to take it one step further, try creating a data map to illustrate how your tools are connected to each other. The visual representation can work wonders, and better yet, it can reveal gaps! 

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