How Do I Build a Marketing Ops Team?


Hi Jo,

After several years in a single-person marketing operations team, my company is now willing to invest in growing MOPs.

Encouraging as it is to have initial support from leadership, this will be my first time in charge of building out a team.

How can I hire, structure, and lead a MOPs team effectively? What should I account for in my plan?

Leading Leah.

pink separator line

Congrats on getting buy-in, Leah.

By giving the green light to growth, your company is showing they take the success of MOPs seriously.

Creating a team from the ground up is no easy feat, but as a new and rapidly evolving function, building and leading a team in the MOPs space comes with a few unique challenges to plan around.

Here’s a rundown of the key considerations your strategy should address:


While the tools and processes in your organization will determine some of the fine print, the essential mix of skills in a MOPs team broadly breaks down as follows:

  • People leader who understands marketing technology platforms.
  • Day-to-day owner of each marketing system and tool.
  • Data expert to own reporting and data warehousing, with expertise in BI tools (e.g. Tableau).
  • Someone to handle day-to-day deployment and requests from Marketing, building campaigns, emails, and other tactical pieces.

Note: Depending on your budget for headcount, multiple functions can live in one individual; for example, you might own admin or reporting while leading the team.


Role design:

Whether you’re hiring one person or several, indicate in the title if each role is a generalist or specialist position, and to what extent the position’s deliverables roll uphill and have the candidate interfacing with C-Suite.

A smaller team might have a MOPs Manager (wearing all hats) and a Junior MOPs Specialist in support.

In larger organizations, you tend to see Senior Directors and VPs of MOPs along with Managers of Martech and Analytics. Note how those roles suggest degrees of seniority and focus.


Attracting candidates:

The benchmarks of expertise in MOPs are different from more standardized functions like IT.

It’s not uncommon to see job postings for senior MOPs leaders that ask for 10-15 years of experience—in a function that hasn’t existed for that long.

Without prior experience hiring in MOPs, collaborate with HR to research the correct compensation and realistic skill sets for roles in the space.

We’re in a candidate-driven job market right now, so your offers need to be compelling to poach top talent.


Nurturing internal talent:

For the same reason, recognize and reward effort.

Don’t overlook junior colleagues from adjacent teams (e.g. Marketing, IT) who want to learn new things.

Some of the best professionals get their start after an organization gives them the chance to grow, so keep an eye out for ambitious internal candidates.


Leadership initiatives:

MOPs people are driven to excel and willing to take a swing at things; you want to harness that competitive nature in productive ways.

Your team should understand what success looks like, so share high-level KPIs for the organization that cascade downwards to Marketing and MOPs.

Encourage your team to create job descriptions for more senior roles above them.

This accomplishes several things:

Clear upward career trajectories will incentivize people to act for the jobs they want.

If your team is displaying these advanced competencies, it’ll help in negotiating promotions, training, and raises with HR.

You’ve got this,

Jo Pulse.

How Do I Get Management to Listen to Me?

Hi Joe,

I’m having trouble getting respect from my marketing leadership.

Working in marketing ops means I understand the processes between Marketing and Sales, what’s working well and what isn’t, but I don’t think my boss values my insights.

My role involves lots of procedural responsibilities like building emails and handing leads over, which I think creates the perception that my contributions aren’t important to the big-picture strategy.

How do I get my boss to listen to me? How do I make them see that my work adds value?


Ignored Isabel.

pink seperator line

Isabel, I know this is tough.

Getting your boss to really appreciate the value you provide in MOPs can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill.

After years of progressing my career in MOPs and working with senior leadership figures, I’ve seen a real blind spot from management towards the complexities of marketing operations.

That said, the disconnect goes both ways.

A mistake I often made earlier in my career was to assume that everyone in a company speaks the same language. What comes fluently to us in MOPs can sound downright alien to people in other fields. For instance:

➡️ Data flows
➡️ Systems maintenance
➡️ Martech infrastructure

It’s rarely apparent to leadership at face value how these components help the company to work productively and achieve revenue targets. Add those things together — poor understanding of MOPs, communication that doesn’t touch the bottom line — and you get a lack of respect.


“A story of your value in MOPs
that makes your impact on the business clear.”


You’re doing great work that’s worthy of recognition. What’s missing is a story of your value in MOPs that makes your impact on the business clear.

Here’s some advice that can help you gain a seat at the table:


Unpack the strategy

Automating a ton of processes doesn’t mean your job is simple.

Every email you build or webinar you host comes after weeks of planning to make sure your campaigns run smoothly and reach the right audiences.

This is how you characterize your role to people who think you’re here to take orders; less plumbing, more architecture.


Know the room

You’re at a crossroads between technical know-how and commercial priorities.

Your CTO and IT team might relate to the grittier aspects of your work, but for Marketing and Sales, it’s all about how you’re planning and budgeting for successful campaigns and generating leads.

For responsibilities like vendor relations and data governance, you’ll need to surface how doing those things well helps your company be productive and profitable.


Unify your data sources

Reporting and analytics aren’t just ‘nice to haves’ — they’re the best instruments for painting the picture of your impact.

Give your tech stack some TLC and join together all the reporting elements that show how you’re performing against KPIs.


Share the right numbers

The most compelling move you can make with data is to leave behind the everyday operational challenges — the amount of tickets you’re handling, processes you’re running — and look at revenue.

👉 How many MQLs converted to SQLs?
👉 How many of those turned into closed deals?
👉 What dollar value are they converting?

Those data points prove your contributions to business growth, so own them.


goes the distance.”


Getting management to listen means changing their perspective of your value. It might not happen overnight, but persistence goes the distance.

Read our post How Do I Show My Boss My Value? for more advice.

You’ve got this,

Joe Pulse.

Mastering Salesforce: A Must for MOPs Professionals

Hey Joe,

My company recently invested in Salesforce and we’ve been using it for a few months.

Our sales team has been receiving ongoing training for the platform, but I’m not getting much guidance on the marketing ops side.

I’m concerned that when the time comes for me to use certain parts of Salesforce (or other platforms, I’m less familiar with), I’ll be lost.

How can I bolster my technical toolbelt and stay prepared?

Eager Ed

pink seperator line

Ed, I applaud your proactivity. Keeping your technical skills polished and up to date is very important in the marketing ops world!


“It’s rare to be a pro at
and Salesforce.”


Many MOPs members are proficient with marketing automation platforms like Marketo. Still, they won’t know as much as they should about CRMs like Salesforce. In fact, it’s rare to find someone who is a Marketo expert as well as a Salesforce admin.

This can be a problem because MOPs members must know how to navigate Salesforce to access lead modules, campaign data, and several other integrations to keep information across MOPs and Sales Ops clear and synchronized.

Let’s talk about some things you can do to improve your proficiency with less familiar tools:


1. Complete certification courses 🎓

Tell your boss you want to build your technical toolbelt and inquire about services you can use to train yourself independently on different platforms. For example:

👉 Many companies have training programs that allow their employees to acquire a Marketo certification.

👉 Hubspot also has a free certification course – as long as you can access a Hubspot instance.

👉 Salesforce has a free online learning platform called Trailhead that you can use as well.


2. Explore external resources 🧭

If you want to supplement these certification courses, or you want to hone in on a specific area of a tool, there are plenty of high-quality external resources available out there if you look carefully.

Healthy, active communities of users can be found online and are very helpful when it comes to learning about different platforms.

You can turn to sites like Reddit or official user forums managed by the platform owners themselves – such as Marketing Nation by Marketo or the Salesforce Developer Community forums.

Youtube is also home to many experienced users who create screen share tutorials, walking you through processes step-by-step.


3. Attend conferences and workshops 🧠

There are plenty of workshops and conference events (both in-person and online) that major platform companies like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Adobe will host throughout the year.

Attending these events is a great way to pick up technical skills, as well as build relationships with other MOPs and Sales Ops people who can offer guidance.

Many companies will pay for their employees to attend these events to expand their technical knowledge and bring back information for other team members to learn from.


4. Connect with your sales team 🤝🏽

If you still need help when it comes to using Salesforce at your company, try reaching out to one of your Sales Operators.

Ask if they can briefly walk you through a certain integration or process – this can go a long way in strengthening your understanding of the platform.

When you go down this route, however, be sure to come prepared. I recommend doing as much independent research as you can (through the above methods), so you can approach your Sales Operator with high-quality, concise questions.

🔥 Pro tip: Record the session with your Sales Ops team for internal reference purposes. Sales Operators are busy, so having that recording will allow you to independently review it after a one-time walkthrough. This will be helpful not only for your own reference but to train other members of your MOPs team who need to learn the same process.

Over time, this can develop into a useful collection of internal training resources for MOPs if anyone needs a walkthrough of Salesforce features in the future.


“Remember to stay curious
and stay engaged.”


It’s great to see you taking ownership of your professional development. Remember to stay curious, stay engaged, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

With these tools and resources at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to mastering new platforms and adding value to your company. Keep up the good work!

You’ve got this,

How Can I Become a Better Communicator in My MOPs Role?

Hi Joe,

I’ve been steadily improving my skills in MarTech, but I feel like other important soft skills have been lagging behind.

When it comes to building stronger relationships with my team members, communicating with other departments around the company, or even presenting in front of large groups in meetings, I’m really struggling.

Any advice on how I can communicate and present more effectively?


Awkward Alex.

pink seperation line

Alex, I know how you feel, and I’m sure many others out there do too.

Building and developing soft skills for better communication and presenting is no easy feat, especially if you’re a bit more on the introverted side or you’ve struggled with public speaking in the past.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have many conversations and experiences that have helped me forge these skills. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way!


Lead with empathy

When I think of soft skills, empathy immediately comes to mind as the number one trait to look at for improving communication.

Practicing empathy in all your interactions will help you develop deeper relationships around the company, as well as encourage and inspire those around you.

This goes for speaking with clients as well. Consciously employing more empathy will help you understand your clients’ needs more clearly. Ultimately allowing you to serve them more effectively.

This is one of my favorite Simon Sinek quotes that embodies this concept: “Empathy is being concerned about the human being, not just their output”.


Find common ground

If empathy is number one on our list of soft skills, then close behind it is the ability to find common ground with others.

Whether you’re speaking with sales, marketing, IT, or anyone else involved in the company, there will always be an opportunity to find some piece of common ground.

It could be anything from sports, pop culture, where they’re from, or what companies they’ve worked for — MOPs can be a small world! This is a great way to bolster your professional relationships and it’s a seamless ice-breaker when speaking with new hires for the first time.


Everyone is rooting for you

When speaking in front of an audience – whether it’s an internal meeting, client presentation, or anything else – it’s natural for most people to have some anxiety or fear of rejection.

To help with this, I defer back to the idea that: it’s in our nature to want others to do well.

We don’t want to see others fail or feel embarrassed. So the next time you find yourself speaking in front of a large group, keep in mind that they’re on your side and want to see you succeed.

It may seem simple, but internalizing this shift in perspective will go a long way in helping you feel more poised during presentations.


Company culture matters

A lot of soft skill development also has to do with the culture of the organization you’re with.

Here at Revenue Pulse, we promote a culture of teamwork and support. Mistakes will happen, and being transparent about your flaws in an authentic way will help build trust and strengthen relationships – both within the company and with clients.

It’s also important to surround yourself with people who will give you honest feedback so you can improve.

Give others permission to tell you if a presentation wasn’t impactful or if a conversation felt off – while we need to take our work seriously, it’s important we don’t take ourselves too seriously as well.


Leave your comfort zone

While all these tips are important, the final ingredient that ties everything together is experience.

I don’t know of any great communicator or presenter who is speaking in front of a group for the first time.

Put yourself in front of audiences as much as possible and have conversations often. Getting the reps in will help you build confidence, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better communicator.

You’ve got this,


How Do I Avoid Burnout in Marketing Operations?

Hey Jo,

For the past month, I’ve been working late almost every night.

I’m stretched thin across all the reporting and maintenance I have to do in a given day, and when I’m not on the clock, I’m still thinking about work!

It seems like there’s always more on my plate. More processes to improve, more leads to bring in, and more requests to handle.

The MOPs world seems to reward this level of activity, but I need to take it down a notch.

What can I do to stop burning out? How can I get time back for myself?


Always On Alex.

Alex, you did the right thing reaching out.

In the past, I’d fallen hard for this mentality of “MOPs never stops.” I thought “no” wasn’t an option, so I said “yes” to everything.

Soon, I was skipping lunches to catch up with reports. All of my reading outside of work was about Marketo. I’m pretty sure I was even dreaming about lead lifecycles.

Sales needs more opportunities, there’s never too much revenue for the business, and every other MOPs influencer has a blog and a podcast.

With that much energy around me, I felt I needed to spend every spare hour catching up, being “productive,” and doing more.

I really didn’t. Neither do you.

Here’s how you take back control of your time:


Structure your goals

There is always something you can improve on in martech, and it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew.

Got a big project on your hands? Break it down into small, achievable goals.

Come up with a plan and agree with your boss on what you’ll deliver and when.

For day-to-day tasks, reach out to your regular stakeholders and figure out workflows that mutually fit. Ordering your tasks based on urgency and time demands helps too—just factor in some meeting-free slots for yourself to really focus.


Ask for help

It’s impossible to know everything there is about a tool or have the time to do it all.

Speak with your manager about the budget for extra headcount or an agency to spread out the work.

Agencies are more likely to be within your reach, so it’s worth talking to other departments about their agency needs; you could score a better deal by approaching one with multiple streams of work.


Say “no” and “yes, but…”

Be tangible about how much time a task takes, the knock-on effect of taking on new responsibilities, and the resources and sign-off you’ll need to do something well.

If a request brings something you don’t have the time or expertise to handle, “no” creates a boundary that helps everyone.

You get to focus on your main priorities, and that task goes to someone more suitable. Voicing the output consequences behind each responsibility sets clear, accurate expectations.


Give yourself space

Near the end of the day ask yourself ‘what am I really excited to do tonight?’

Put the laptop away when you’re back from the office; get up and move around if you’re working from home. What are you watching, reading, or listening to that you can’t do at work?

Whatever your hobbies, do them not because they’re “useful.” Do them because you want to.

Remember: eat right, sleep well, and look after yourself. There’s more to life than the grind.


You’ve got this, (and if you need any help, let us know).


How Can I Manage My Deadlines?

Hey Jo,

I’m drowning in deadlines at work.

The pace has been particularly fast for a while now, with multiple campaigns and events happening at the same time. I’ve got lots of different tasks on my plate, and it seems like I’m always playing catch-up to complete them all.

I need to manage my workload more effectively, but I’m not sure where to start. What can I do to keep on top of my deadlines?


Deadline Dana.

pink seperator line

Dana, it’s good that you’re asking these questions.

After several years as the only marketing operations person in my company, I understand how tricky it can be to catch your breath. When your day-to-day involves a constant scramble to meet deadlines, you’re left with little time or energy to reflect on why that’s the case.

Learning how to manage your workload effectively with conflicting deadlines and priorities is an indispensable skill.

From my experience, you want to think about ideas like how to:

  • structure your work
  • communicate with your team, and
  • stay on the same page using the systems you have in place.


5 ways to manage deadlines:

1. Plan in advance

Rushed turnarounds tend to arise from poor planning. While your team may be eager to get the ball rolling with campaigns, don’t implement without a solid plan in place.

Start with a target launch date, then budget how much time you’ll need to sort out all the steps, dependencies, and approvals to make that viable (be generous).

Share that plan a good distance ahead of your deadline, and you’ll be ready to deal with any setbacks.


2. Prioritize your tasks

List all the responsibilities on your radar ahead of each day. Then, focus on the most urgent items to keep your projects on track.

Start with any low-effort tasks that take less than 15 minutes. This strategy can shorten your list and make you feel accomplished.

Then switch gears to take on the more demanding work. The less pressing items on your list are good candidates to put on the back bench or delegate.


3. Have ongoing check-ins

Proactively reach out to your colleagues to figure out ways of dealing with heavy deadlines.

Schedule regular chats with your manager about bandwidth. Talk about where your time’s spent and what your capacity is.

Also, schedule progress updates with your stakeholders on what’s on track and what’s at risk. This gives you an opportunity to surface any workload issues and collaborate in good time on a solution.


4. Get outside help

You only have so many hours in the day.

Outsource any tasks you don’t have the resources to handle effectively.

Getting time back for more important tasks is money well spent. (Psst… see how we can help).


5. Implement transparent systems

To prevent excess deadlines from coming all at once, your tech should make it easy to understand where your teams’ activities and requests fit together.

A central project management tool, campaign calendar, and dedicated channel to submit requests can all accomplish this.

You’re in a stressful position right now, but you can easily turn it around. The more proactive you are with planning and communication, the better you’ll get at keeping deadlines under control.


You’ve got this,

Jo Pulse.

Follow us on LinkedIn to never miss an update!

How Do I Help My Parents Understand What I Do for a Living?

Hi Joe,

I’m not sure if this happens to you, but every time I try to talk to my parents about what it is I do in marketing ops, I get nowhere. Regardless of how I describe it to them, they always seem to walk away from the conversation with more questions than they started with. Do you have any suggestions for how to make it easier to understand?

Tired Tim

Tim, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a conversation with a friend or family member where I start telling them about my job while secretly wishing that they’ll say something like “Oh, marketing operations! Yeah, I’ve heard about that.” It just doesn’t happen. Instead, I either get to watch their eyes glaze over as I dive into why marketing ops isn’t the same as marketing, or spend way too much time answering questions until they finally have a sense of what it is I do. Neither is particularly fun. 

With many of these conversations under my belt, I’ve managed to come up with a handful of strategies that seem to do the trick. Try them out and let me know how they work out for you.


  1. Keep it simple

Marketing operations is inherently a hard thing to describe—particularly to people who don’t have much exposure to this space. The fact that it’s a relatively new function, that it’s embedded in technology, and that it has so many moving parts makes it pretty hard to grasp at a surface level. That’s why I suggest keeping your descriptions as simple as possible. 

  • Avoid using jargon that might raise more questions. Remember, marketing ops is practically a different language, so you’ll need to use words that make sense to the person you’re talking to.
  • Try not to get too deep in the weeds. The more detailed you get, the more things you’re going to have to explain. 
  • Connect the dots between what you do and other business functions. If you tell people that you organize information, do the work to understand customers, and manage things on the back-end, they’ll be able to paint a clearer picture for themselves. 

With this in mind, I tend to say something like “I manage the software that allows companies to run their marketing” or “I help businesses understand how their investments in marketing convert to sales.” Simple, yet comprehensive. 


  1. Use a metaphor

Another thing you can do is use a metaphor that makes marketing operations more relatable to what they know. Here’s one that’s worked quite well for me. 

Marketing operations professionals are like the mechanics of the marketing world. Think about a factory line, for instance. The line is producing the different marketing materials (e.g. content and design) and there are machines (i.e. marketing automation software) that support that production. Those machines then need mechanics that set them up and fix them when they’re not operating properly. That’s what I do. 


  1. If all else fails, stop trying

It’s always great if you can talk about your job with your friends and family, but at the end of the day, it’s OK if they don’t fully get it. The only thing that’s truly important is that you know what your job is and that you love doing it. As long as you can showcase that, your loved ones will just be happy that you’re happy—and there’s not much better than that.


You’ve got this,
Joe Pulse

How Can I Progress My Career in MOPs?

Hey Jo,

I took the plunge and moved into marketing operations.

I have a product marketing background, and I was always interested in data and the technology that powers campaigns.

Beyond that, I’m still figuring out my longer-term career prospects. I’m not yet sure where I can specialize or what a more advanced role might look like.

How can I develop a successful career in MOPs? What skills and knowledge should I work on?


Long-Term Lou

Welcome to MOPs, Lou!

It sounds like you’ve noticed that this is a field without a set path of progression. People enter MOPs from all kinds of disciplines, and there’s no universal set of processes or chains of seniority that determine where you’ll go next.

I myself got into the field from a broader-based marketing role, where I grew interested in how tech can help marketers to create growth. Years later, I can say that this isn’t a static business—there are always new problems to solve, and new tools are constantly emerging to fill capability gaps.


“Success means taking initiative to own solutions, skills and knowledge.”


For that reason, success means taking the initiative to own the solutions, skills, and knowledge that grab your interest.

That said, some qualities and capabilities are fundamental to the role.

You’ll build systems and processes and spend time on technical specs and data flows, but you’ll also have to balance the needs of different voices in the company and advocate for solutions where everyone wins.

The strategic and commercial awareness you developed in product marketing is just as important as technical skills to performing well in MOPs.


Tips to grow a MOPs career

With those observations in mind, here are some tips to help you go the distance:


📚 Learn 1 marketing automation platform and 1 CRM system back-to-front:

These two platforms are the beating heart of your tech stack.

Look into trial versions and pay-as-you-go models to get started at a minimal cost.

Immerse yourself thoroughly, and you’ll gain a solid understanding of how everything fits together. Then, you can experiment with more secondary tools.

Read our column on Mastering Salesforce for more tips


💸 Take advantage of company training budgets:

Whether you’re looking to become certified in a platform or attend training workshops, your organization should allocate time for training and help you pay for classes.

Keep an eye on any qualifications and sessions you might be interested in and ask internally.


🤝 Build your network:

Product forums, user groups, and MOPs online communities are great opportunities to engage with people who have similar interests. Everyone’s learning as they go, so participating in discussions can help you build knowledge and relationships.


🧑‍🎓 Find a mentor:

When you start developing particular interests in MOPs, it’s worth asking for guidance from someone in the company who has specialized in that area.

This mentorship can help you pick up the right skills and perspectives to progress in your chosen direction.


📈 Get to the bottom line:

Breaking into senior management means shifting from gritty technical details to high-level organizational value.

That means knowing your business model, learning how marketing ops’ work impacts ROI and productivity, and speaking to different audiences with the right strategic versus technical framing.


🧭 Expand your horizons:

Changing environments every so often can result in valuable professional growth, and every person has a place that fits them.

Startups are made for creators and people who value breadth. Agencies let you gain lots of experience fast across different platforms.

If you’re someone who wants to refine and improve established processes, large companies are a good bet.

You’ve got this,

Jo Pulse