Study business and marketing.
One of the things that I always advocate now, is that marketing operations folks ARE marketers. And we are business professionals. When you think in the framework of how will this impact marketing and how will this drive growth for the business? – it helps guide your priorities and decision-making. Over and over again (myself included) I find that marketing ops gets way too in weeds. We become obsessed with building our tech stacks just right, and going down the rabbit hole of perfecting our systems. The more we do this, the further disconnected we become from our organization and from our stakeholders. Remember that we are all on one team, the go-to-market team, and we need to act that way.
By studying business and marketing, you set yourself up early for success, and you’ll find that all of your initiatives become much easier.
Build a network of subject-matter-experts early.
I can’t put into words the impact of having a strong network of experts has had on me and my career. Whether it was my first large-scale migration, or just general business advice, I have my network of mentors and experts to thank for seeing me through. Building a network is easier than you think. All you have to do is take a problem that you are working on, or a question that you have been pondering, and reach out and ask someone. People are generally open to giving others advice, and when you find someone that isn’t open – well, just move on to the next. Slowly but surely you will build a fantastics rolodex of experts in your corner, and it will serve you for the rest of your career.
Improve your writing skills.
This is the big one that so many miss – including me. How can you get your ideas across succinctly and persuasively? How can you instruct or help hundreds, or even thousands of stakeholders so you can get you initiatives across the finish line? The answer – with great written communication. At large organizations, most stakeholders only know you by what you put down in writing. And it’s a great way to build a reputation. But more than that, improving your writing skills clarifies your thinking. Because if you can’t articulate your ideas clearly and simply, it means that your thinking is muddy, and there is work left to be done. Want to improve your effectiveness as a marketing operations professional? Improve your writing skills.