3 Tips to Improve MOPS Productivity

April 23, 2019 Michelle Miles

A bar chart showing increasing improvement from left to right and a man’s hand using a red marker to draw a line charting that improvement.

“Work it harder,
Make it better,
Do it faster,
Makes us stronger.”
–From “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk

If the Daft Punk lyrics above could double as the mantra for your organization’s MOPS department, you aren’t alone. Today’s marketers are being asked to work harder to deliver better results more quickly than ever before. Why? Because the competitive pressure is intense, meaning that your company not only relies on the strength of your products or services but also on your ability to market them effectively and efficiently. Squeezing out every bit of productivity from your MOPS people and processes isn’t an option; it’s a necessity.

Our expert consultants have previously shared with you time-saving Marketo hacks–quick “lightbulb moment” tips aimed at helping ensure you’re getting the most out of Marketo. Today, we’re sharing equally enlightening advice on enhancing your MOPS productivity so your team can tackle work more quickly and marketing can deliver on its financial goals.

Tip 1: Get Smart about Smart List Subscriptions

Marketo smart list subscriptions aren’t just good for getting lead reports—they’re also great to use to keep updated about system-related issues that may have an impact on your productivity. You can also set up a subscription to alert you about any other situations you may need to address.

One of the most common use cases is to monitor duplicates. Duplicates can wreak havoc on your system, so being proactive and catching them early is important. Set up a smart list like the one above and turn on a subscription to run each day. This will allow you to get a quick snapshot of any duplicates that have been created, allowing you to take quick action to address the person or process that is creating them.

Other examples:

  • List of leads created and their lifecycle status
  • Lists of leads missing critical info
  • List of high value leads that unsubscribe or are marked invalid.

 —Carey Picklesimer, Director of Consulting

Tip 2: Use the Awesome Features in Google Sheets

You want to build and send error-free emails consistently and efficiently. But are you setting yourself up for success every time? If your MOPS team doesn’t have a clear, documented QA process, you’re effectively taking a risk every time one of your marketers hits the send button. By creating a template QA grid for each email send and ensuring that your team fills it out and follows the process, you will improve communication within your team and reduce the chance for any errors.

Here are some specifics on using Google Sheets to make a top-quality QA grid.

Use Checkboxes to Note Finished Elements

Did you know that Google Sheets now has the functionality to add a checkbox? It’s a perfect way for the email builder to mark when they are done building each element in the email—and there’s nothing more satisfying for us list-lovers than the feeling of checking off a box to indicate we’re finished.

Employ Data Validation

As a part of the QA check, you can add Data Validation to your Google Sheet to mark each element as Ready for QA, Pass, or Fail. You can add a Questions drop-down and a notes column for the QA person to document their comments.

Some questions that a QA person may ask would be, “should we set up an A/B test?”, or “are you sure that this image is correct?”. The QA person can add to the Notes on Fails column with comments such as, “this sentence is missing a period.” Then, after the email builder makes the fixes, they should note in the Notes on Fixes column that the fixes are done.

Conditional Formatting Shows At-A-Glance Status

Adding conditional formatting allows you to color code your Google Sheet so that you can quickly view the status of your build, at-a-glance. Red indicates QA tasks that have failed; green tasks have passed and yellow tasks are those that have questions.

Tabs

It is useful to add tabs to your QA grid so that every asset within the program belongs in the same document. For example, you may want to have one tab for the program set up, one for email content, and one for the smart list check. Tweak this to meet your specific needs; the main thing is to keep it consistent.

—Hilary German, Consultant

Tip 3: Think of MOPS Like Managing a Product

This is more of a philosophy for managing marketing operations than a quick hack, but thinking about MOPS this way can make a huge impact on the way your organization runs marketing in general.

I like to think of MOPS like managing a product, with the people and technology playing the following roles:

  • Your martech stack and processes: the product
  • Operational capabilities (e.g., lifecycle, subscription center, data management, lead scoring, lead management) and program templates: product features
  • MOPS leadership: the product owner
  • Campaign owners: the “customers”

In essence, MOPS creates a product that enables marketing teams to execute the business of marketing. MOPS brings value by increasing efficiency, delivering new capabilities, and generally helping the marketing team to do their best creative work.

Viewing the relationship from this perspective, MOPS teams benefit from operating the same way a product manager does—by building user stories based around customer needs, prioritizing a backlog of features, working on them in regular sprints, paying down technical debt, and fixing bugs.

MOPS serves the team but has broad ownership of the product and thinks about it strategically instead of just being an order taker. Additionally, you make sure that your work as a MOPS leader is tied directly to the needs of your internal “customers” and helping them be successful.  

Your customers in turn see you as a key enabler of their success and truly appreciate what you deliver, because they can see how it’s tied to their needs and goals.

—Justin Norris, Director of Solutions Architecture

Is there a MOPS productivity tip that has had a big impact on your business? A tool that you use that’s invaluable? Please share in the comments!

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