Marketing ops donts & why healthy tension between DG and ops is a good thing | Darrell Alfonso @ AWS

February 2, 2023

Episode Description

In this new episode of Demand Gen Chat, I spoke with Darrell Alfonso, Global Marketing Operations at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and author of The Martech Handbook. Darrell has been at AWS for over three years, and his team empowers thousands of marketers around the world to do their best work. We spoke about marketing ops don’ts and the most common mistake Darrell sees when B2B marketers run A/B tests. Darrell also shared how ops can set KPIs to work towards things they'll be proud of, versus spending all year putting out fires and fixing issues in other marketers’ campaigns.

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Episode Transcript

 Welcome back to a brand new episode of Demand Gen Chat. I'm your host, Tara Robertson, and I have a very special guest joining me today. Darryl, welcome to the show.

Hey, thanks, thanks so much for having me.

For anyone who hasn't met Darryl yet, Darryl Alfonso works in global marketing operations at Amazon Web Services or AWS. He's also a frequent martech speaker and author. If you're in B2B, you've probably seen this face on your LinkedIn feed, I know I do every now and then, and often sharing-


... some fun takes on the marketing ops space. So Darryl, I'd love to start with just a little bit about your current role and what your team is working on.

A little bit of background on me, I've spent my career in B2B marketing, um, just in a, in a, a number of roles. I started as a, a- in a, in a startup for ... So my, so the first four years of my career, I was, um, in the startup life at about like a 20 person company. Um, and I've always just really enjoyed all things B2B, all things demand gen, marketing operations. Only recently have I been at a mega-enterprise company. So, so I work at AWS, um, and there's, you know, to give you some idea of it, you know, my team owns Marketo, so, um, there's about over 1000 users that, uh, mar- marketing users around the world that access our marketing platforms and tools and, um, we're really responsible for empowering them to create really great experiences for our customers. And, um, yeah, so, so it's only been recently, about three years, that I've worked at mega-enterprise. Most of my experience is actually at small and medium-sized companies, um, and that's why I, I like to comment and write about the variety of different ways that you can approach doing marketing operations, doing demand gen, and then just B2B marketing in general.

And are you able to share what the main KPIs that your team is working on? It sounds like lot of it is kind of enablement and setting up other marketers for success, but is there anything that you're measuring day to day?

Yeah, I think that there's a couple different ways that I think about this. I think that KPIs depends on your role, meaning that there's some things that we look at really closely, which is like, our system performance metrics, our channel performance metrics. Um, being the owners of Marketo, we also own the email marketing metrics [laughs] Obv- obviously, so, since that's what Marketo's primarily used for even though it does more than that. Um, so, but I would say that even though we have goals, so for example, one of our goals is really improving the marketability, mailability, and overall health of our database to make sure that it's getting better in quality versus worse. Um, and as you know that kind of downstream leads to improvements across all of them.

We actually report all metrics on a weekly basis. So even though there's some things that we're looking at, we still look at all of it. And I think that that's, um, you know, I think, I think at first I thought that was a little bit excessive. But, but, you know, coming to Amazon, I think that it really, you know, helps you put your sort of analyst hat on and your, your sort of analytical skills, and really kinda pushes you to look at the entire picture. And I think that that's really important for just business professionals of all kinds, you know what I mean? Like, even though we're s- like, even though, like, let's say you work in demand gen, and you're trying to increase the number of leads, or inquiries, or meetings booked, or something like that, um, it doesn't mean that you don't look at everything.

Um, and, and, and my favorite is to actually look at everything monthly, and then one other thing that I really recommend people to do is that you're tracking your goals on a trending basis, like are we gonna meet them? But when you look at the other metrics, you're also looking to just sort of see what's going on, and I think that that's, that's something that, that I think a lotta marketers miss. Um, because, because the data and information that you're getting is just really, it's just that. And, and you want to look at it as if you're looking, you know, at your book of business or your portfolio, and you're just kinda seeing what comes to the surface. And that's when the most exciting insights happen. You know, things that you don't expect to happen, things that you, you didn't plan for. Things that are working that y- [laughs] you may have thought, you know, wouldn't work. Um, so that would be my recommendation there.

I also have one other comment, I don't know if you wanna move on t- to a different topic, but, but there's, there is something else that I wanna talk about-

No, no, no, go for it.

... when it comes to-


Yeah, so we have this really cool concept at Amazon, and o- other places too, and it's-


... the idea of managing your inputs and then monitoring your outputs. And inputs means that these are things that you can specifically control and influence. Um, and if you manage those correctly, then the outputs should follow, right? So, so in a marketing context, like, let's say sales or sales qualified opportunities, right? Those are actually outputs. You don't have official control over that. But you do have control over the number of campaigns that you run, the budget that you're spending, quality metrics on your campaigns, feedback from customers. Um, you know, so each, each team and each division has control over a set of inputs that you can really change, um, if you want to. And if you goal yourself by doing that, um, y- you'll find that the output metrics follow. You know what I mean? It's kind of like, if you've read, um, Automic Habits by James Clear, it's a very similar, uh, concept. Where like you manage-


... the daily habits, and then if you do those right, long-term, you'll meet your goals. But you're not, like, you know, managing your, that output. You're managing actually what you can control on a day to day basis. And it's, I think that's a really cool concept and something that I try to think about often.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, d- we might've borrowed this from Amazon, actually but we follow something called actions, yields, and expected outcomes. So instead of setting-


... KPIs for every campaign, we just kind of say, "Roughly, here's what's happened in the past, here's what we expect." And then obviously we're taking some educated guesses in there. But that's how we kind of build backwards from our targets.

Yeah. I like that, I like that. That's a good way to look at it. Mm.

Mm-hmm. And I'm curious, because you're the first ops person I've had on here, usually I'm talking to demand gen marketers like myself, so how do you help th- say, the demand gen, the channel owners with their targets and building up their KPIs and their goals?

So the way that we look at it is that I think we recognize the idea of conflicting interests, and we-


... embrace it in a way where there's healthy tension between the two. So from a support perspective, we're creating the tools and the processes, the guardrails, um, the training, so that marketers can run as fast as they want to, you know?


Like we're, we're, like, empowering-


... we're, we're, we're empowering them. Um, the way that I like to, I like to put it, and I've said this on social media before, but like marketing ops is kind of like the pit crew on a race track, and, you know, let- let- let's say the demand gen team is driving the car. They have to stop every now and then to refuel, um, check your instruments, change out the tires. And when that happens, the demand gen team can actually go faster than if they didn't stop, right? So it's a really great analogy because, you know, the entire, the, the entire group, the driver plus the pit crew operate as a team. And, and i- only when everyone works together can, can you win the race. So I like that, that analogy-


... so that's how we support people. But naturally, demand gen tends to have, you know, unless, unless you're a little bit, like, unless by nature you have a very long-term culture, they have short-term goals, usually.


Um, and they're trying to, to meet this. So it's actually our job to look long-term to make sure that they can continue to hit goals in the future, and that our customer experience stays, um, of really high quality. So when those things clash, you end up usually with some sort of good, uh, compromise. And I think that that's, that's the w- that's the way that I look at it. Because if, if everything was run by demand gen, you would have this sort of law of diminishing returns, and things would slowly-


... kind of break, because you're moving a little bit too quickly. If everything operated from the cour- from the perspective of operations, it would probably be a little bit too slow, and a little bit too safe. So going against each other, even though it may seem conflicting, is actually a good thing. And if you take the sort of emotions out of it, you end up in a really good place, you know? Like, keeping your work separate from how you feel. And, and-


... you're gonna argue, but in the end it'll make the entire program better, because you're having those conversations and you're debating, um, which is too much and which is too little.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I like that trying to meet in the middle analogy. Because you're right, ops is often focused on long-term, making sure things don't break, our database is clean, and o- and I'm, obviously my experience, the demand gen goals are often what can we do this month, this week, today? To bring in [laughs] those leads for sales. So I'm curious from your perspective, how can demand gen marketers meet in the middle? What can we do to kind of explain to ops wh- our side of the story, maybe? Or if there's anything else we could do to kind of, again, bridge that gap and meet in the middle?

So there's two things. Um, I'll give you, like, I'll give you, like, the u- the high-level way that I think that your mindset should be, and then I'll give you like a practical way to do it.


So first of all, I think that no matter what your role is, um, the best way that I think of ... 'Cause you, 'cause you got different groups, you have like ops, demand gen, sales, um, brand, everything like that. Rather than think of yourself as a specific group, my recommendation is we always should think of ourselves as, like, business practitioners or business professionals that have a specialty. And, and that's, and, and in that way, you think about the business as a whole, what makes it run, and you think about customers. And if everyone thinks that way, but then contributes their own specific piece of the pie, it works a lot better.

So even though I'm in ops, I know that that, it's important that we meet our revenue and demand generation goals. I know that it's important that we throw events, that we do things fairly quickly. So, so this sort of, like, separate group thing means separate personalities and separate perspectives isn't necessarily true. Um, you, you, i- it's, it's always, it's always everyone thinking about the business and the customer, and then how they fit into it is, is, is, is the better way to look at it. So at a high level that's, that's, that's how everyone can kinda come to a compromise. I, I think that, um, when it comes to, if you're having trouble with it, um, there's something called over, under, and just right. And you wanna take each of your either goals or tenets or principles, and you d- you wanna develop different scenarios where you know what is when you're over-indexing, when you're under-indexing, and what an example of, of, of right is.

So, so, so my, um ... We have something called bias for action, which is one of our leadership principles. And it means that we, we move quickly. Now, over-indexing on bias for action would look like no planning, um-


... n- you know, no understanding of if something is working or not, and then implementing things on almost a throwing spaghetti at a wall sort of fashion, right? Which is what people make the mistake of when they think of bias for action. They're just like, "We're just gonna do this just because, and we're just gonna see if it works or not," when that's not necessarily true. You end up with chaos. Um, and a really bad customer experience, to be honest.


And then under-indexing for bias for action means that you're having like analysis paralysis, right? There's so much planning, you're, you're scared of what you should do because you're, you're afraid of making mistakes, and all of your projects, you see that all your projects are delayed, and, and you always miss deadlines. That's under-indexing. Um, so it's up to us to try to figure out what just right means, you know? And that could mean something like ... And, and you wanna define this for your own org. I think it's very different for enterprise versus startup. But, but that could mean something like you have 80% of the data. Um, you're 80% confident it's going to generate some sort of goal. Um, you, you're moving quickly, everything's not perfect, but the customer experience is still seamless, right? So, so by hav- by defining just right, uh, when it comes to demand gen, um, I thin- I think that, that, that you can, you can chart a course that- that's very balanced, and takes into account-


... both short-term and long-term.

Yeah. So something you probably just have to get in a room and talk about what just right looks like, so everyone can kinda get on that page before you just start throwing requests over to marketing ops that have no [laughs] context and aren't connected to anything else.

Yeah, yeah. And I think, I think that if you do the first part, which I said, which is like-


... being a business professional first, it becomes much easier. You know? Because you're already thinking long-term. You know what I mean? You're alr- you're already thinking, you know, here are the goals that we have to hit this quarter, but we also [laughs] like, next quarter we're not starting from scratch, and next quarter we don't wanna, you know, we don't wanna destr- destroy our, our, our relationship with customers.


Like, like the most common example is, like, over-emailing. That's, like, one of the most-


... common examples, if you're tryna drive something. And when you over-email a list, you may get incrementally more registrations for an event, but, um, you're also gonna drive more unsubscribes, and you have more people tuning out. So it makes it even harder to do it next quarter. So-


... you have to determine what over is and what under is, um, and it, it really, and that's very situational, I think, depending on how, how engaged your, your audience is.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, off, speaking on that note, uh, you had a really good post on just marketing ops don'ts in general on LinkedIn that I came across, so I'd love to hear, I think this-


... was posted a few months ago now. Um, obviously over-emailing is a huge one that people come across all the time, and you can really burn your list. But is there anything new that you've come across as kind of a recent trend that you've seen in the don'ts? Or maybe something that you just keep seeing over and over again?

I am so happy that that list was met with great reception, because it, to me, was a very practical, very in the weeds list. Like, I literally wrote out that you shouldn't email Quebec-


... if your email isn't in French [laughs] and Canadian. So I was o- I was wondering, I'm like, "Oh, this might be a little bit too in the weeds for, for LinkedIn, but I'm really glad that it resonated with people." Um, so-

I feel like that's knowing your audience, right? 'Cause ops is always-


... in the weeds figuring that stuff [laughs] [inaudible 00:17:01].

That's true, that's true.


Um, one of the things that I've been just thinking about, this is kinda random. One of the things that I've been thinking about, um, that I've been seeing a lot, and I've been thinking about more deeply is like, how to properly run experiments and do A/B testing, um-


... I think that when you have an incredible volume of traffic or audience, these really small A/B tests make, can make a difference. But for most of us, especially when we're in B2B, we don't have that, like, luxury. AW- AWS-


... is a little bit unique, though. 'Cause we actually have, like-


... millions [inaudible 00:17:39] customer.

You probably have a lot to play with.

Yeah, we have a lot to play with. But, but, um, it's much more effective if you test something with very stark contrast, right? So, so rather than say, "Oh, we're gonna subject line test, 'Register now for this webinar' versus 'Last chance to register.'" You know what I mean? The differences are so close, the similarities are so close that you don't take away a lot from the test. You wanna make something where it's like, completely different, you know, whereas you're testing maybe urgency versus you're tex- you're, you're, you're, you're saying something like, "Last chance to register for this," ver- versus the sort of caliber of the speaker, you know? Like-


... "What this CEO thinks about marketing," or, "What, um, what this C- CIO predicts th- are the, are the, is the future of cloud computing." I think that that is much more s- much more actionable. And more real, too. Because if you really think about it, making a ch- making a, a, a distinction between two very similar choices, um, might just be, you might just chalk it up to, you know, something small. Some, some sort of like emotion or, like, whim that your user is experiencing, versus really, like, versus the test really hinging on the fact that it's two completely different messages, and which message resonates with your audience?


So I think that you should think about, think about that. One way, one way t- one way to do that is, um, you wanna think about if either, if one of the versions or one of the, um, treatments wins, how would that change almost everything that you're gonna be doing or everything that you're approaching, right? You're, you're, you're, you're-


... you have th- this opportunity to really learn about your audience and really learns about wh- what, really learn about what resonates with them, and, um, that's, that's how you should be doing every single experiment. Um, unless you're in B2C, and unless you have super high traffic. You know, I will, I will, I will say that, especially with, like, the growth-hacking trend and stuff like that, it's very common to test very small stuff like purple versus violet, or [laughs] teal-


... versus light blue, you know what I mean?


And it's just like, "Ooh," and then, and then you'll see these webinars where someone's like, "We saw a 20% un- increase [laughs] because we used teal." You know? And, and when it comes to B2B, and whe- when it comes to most companies, it r- that really doesn't make a big difference. [laughs] So, um-


... you know, I, I, I do wanna, I do wanna, I did wanna comment that one. That's something that I've seen recently, um, and I d- I definitely encourage marketers to think about their A/B tests a lot more thoughtfully and more carefully.


And, and, and in, in a more, like, actionable way.

Yeah. So I, I f- I'm pretty sure a lot of people listening are in that boat of B2B focus, not a ton of traffic. So say you're running a test and you do get a great insight or a great learning, how would you recommend we kind of catalog those learnings or organize them and share them back to the rest of the team? So that, to your point, it's not just a one-time A/B test and then we move on and test something totally irrelevant the next time?

Yeah. This one's a, I think this one's a tough one. Um, here's some things that I think, you know, a little bit more tactically that kind of work.


One is we, um, you know, I'm a big advocate of centers of excellence, meaning that campaigns, campaign templates, even processes are all templated out. And you have this repository to pull from, and every time you come up with a really good insight, you improve the baseline. You know, so youv- you're going back to improving the center of excellence itself. Um, I think the other way, um, you know, you wa- you also wanna broadly share ... I- it's not ... For, a- a- at Amazon, we share our results so frequently, and we store them, um, his- historically so people can go back and look. So it's never been too much of a problem in terms of, in terms of documenting. Like for example, most companies have QBRs. We have MBRs. So it's like tha- so it's like the, the, the quarterly version, except we do it every single month. So literally, once we're done with an MBR, the next week we start working [laughs] on the next one. So it- so it's, so it's very, very much a regular thing to report out on, on what you're doing.

Um, so I would do that. The o- the, the, the final thing that would really help is to figure out some sort of goal that you're trying to get to that the tests support, right?


So that you don't necessarily need to remember what every single test was, you're always just sort of moving forward, um, when it comes to, um, um, when it comes to, um, um, uh, the goal. So like, like an, like an example that we have is that we prioritize ... We have so many emails going out on, on a weekly basis. Like 1000 campaigns, probably, that go out every week. So what we've been doing is we've been, we've built an algorithm to figure out which email goes first and which email goes second.

Um, and we're constantly testing that algorithm based on certain rules. Okay, you know, we want, like, like, this month we wanna test, um, regionally, if large events make sense in this region versus lead nurture versus, you know, product announcements. And then once we, once we pull that test together, we update the algorithm. So, so I think that that, in the same way ... Like you do- your team doesn't need to be working on an algorithm, but you wanna have some sort of goal in mind that you wanna do. Like, like, once you know that, um, X will increase your registration reach for each campaign, you, you build that into the loop of, of, of every single campaign going forward, and then you create another test to reach that goal. So in that sense, you don't need to be as, as, you know, tactical about remembering everything that you've done, you've just sort of ingrained the learning and now you're kind of doing it again. Um, so I would say that those, those are s- some ideas that, that could help.

Yeah, I love that idea of building it into a center of excellence, we're definitely, a littl- we're a little smaller, so we're not there yet, but [laughs] we're trying to build those out as we speak, which it's been a fun experiment to build. Um, one big piece of ops that I'm super interested in is just how cross-functional the role is. So I'd love to hear if you have any stories of just mistakes or maybe learnings you've made in working with other teams, could be within marketing or maybe with sales, and just what did you learn from that experience that maybe other ops marketers could take away from it?

Yeah, you know, one thing that, um, comes to mind is that we're, you know, my team is responsible for the process in which campaigns get executed and implemented, and-


... one of the things that I did last year, um, and I felt really strongly about it, was we implemented an incredibly high quality assurance check with each campaign. Um, you know, some people might say that it was unnecessarily high, and it involved having a third party, third party meaning like, not, like, someone outside of Amazon, but a different team review your campaign before it could get deployed. I really believe strongly in that, and I had to roll this out to, again, there's like 1000 people that, that, that, that run campaigns.


It was incredibly difficult, and each meeting that I had w- ended up being this really heated debate over, over why it was necessary. Um, and the first thing that I learned from that is that even though people may disagree with you, um, if you really believe strongly in the purpose of what you're doing, and you take the time to listen to people, um, give their feedback, even though you may not take it, but hear them out and understand their position, um, it'll help you move forward when you're, when you're working with these difficult circumstances. That's the first thing that I learned.

In hindsight, even though I do think that the incredibly high standard, campaign standard that we rolled out, um, would, was probably right, I think from a practical real-life perspective, it was too much when I, when I, when I look back at it in hindsight. And we have since mitigated it and made it a little bit, like, easier to actually get your campaigns approved. Um-


... so I think that that's also something that, that, um, that I try to advise people on. It's kind of like, you look at best practices when you read like marketing books, or you take classes, or you take, take things. There's this idea of what is how it should be, and then when you implement it in practice, it may not r- yield the results that you think. And I think that that really makes it up to us, or it's, it falls on us to be adaptive, to be empathetic, and to sort of be okay with doing things our own way even though it may go against best practices. And I think that that's, that's like the more balanced and, like, human way of, like, approaching work. Um, so those are like some really big things that I learned from that, I would say, pretty tough change management initiative that I had to do. Um, but overall-

Yeah, it sounds like it.

... I think it was a great learning experience.

That's, I'm super interested in that QA checklist, if it's something that you've ever shared. Just because we, I mean, to be totally honest, I shen- send most of our emails, and I'm lucky if I can get a second set of eyes on them [laughs] half the time, 'cause we're just always behind. You know, how things are, just moving so quickly, so it's super interesting to see just how it would look at such a giant organization like AWS.

Yeah. So, you know, when, when you're really agile, it's hard to do. But-


... I will say just one of the things that, like, you'll never go astray is, is, like, you, you always, even if it's not a marketer, you always have to have a second set of eyes. And it's because-


... we naturally get too close to our work. Um, it's why writers have editors, it's why, um, you know, like, our rule is that you, we can, you can never push something live that you've built. Um, that's our, like-


... number one rule. It always has to be someone else. And in that way, we keep it, um ... You know, 'cause if you think about scale, um, when, when you think about processes and scale, things don't get better. They get worse and more complex. So you wanna start very strong and have a really almost foolproof method in place so that you know that it kinda can keep growing. Um, 'cause it, otherwise it starts kinda-


... falling apart. Um, so that, that, that's something that I would do. I remember, um, working for a smaller team. Um, we would have, you know, even if it's like a, a, a agency or an intern or a graphic designer, um, h- be the second set of eyes-


... if you don't have another marketer, and, and, and it-


... they always find something. [laughs] They always do.

[laughs] Yeah, a link or someth- there's always something. Can't [inaudible 00:29:56]-

They're always just like, "Oh, what is this?" And you're like, "Oh my gosh, I was, I was working on that at 10:00 PM last night, I'm sorry, I didn't, I didn't see that." But-

Yeah, that's my draft. [laughs]

... that's okay, that's, like, natural. We, we make mistakes, like, like I ... Even after, like, I, I sent out an email to marketers, and I've r- read it like three times, I'll look back on it-


... another day and I'm just like, "There's a typo." [laughs] You know? And it's just, it's just-

Yeah, it's hard to catch.

... very human to do, so ...

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think that goes back nicely to, at the beginning you were saying a lot of demand gen marketers like to move quickly, obviously I'm in that boat of just trying to get our programs out the door. So if ops can be that person kind of not pushing, maybe gently pushing them to slow down a little bit and double check things, be that voice of the customer almost to make sure that, again, it has a second set of eyes on it, the experience makes sense when people click through that email. Just kind of tie it all together.

Yeah. And you know, if you're the one building the campaign, you're also ops. So I think that that's, like, one of my- [laughs] and it's actually one of my favorite, um, I would say in a future life, if I were, you know ... I definitely don't regret the hybrid roles that I've had in the past where, you know, you do both demand gen and ops because-


... it gives you s- incredible insight into how work actually gets done, and it brings a level of reality to your strategy. Because when you think about your strategy, and you think about what, what, what, what you need to do to m- to, to get to your goals, you're also thinking about the work it's gonna take to get it done, because you have to do it too.


Right? So you're not gonna, like, over-commit, or, or, or put something together that's really fuzzy. And this i- this becomes very, like this is the cause of a lot of the misalignment, when people-


... create a strategy that they're not exactly sure if it can become a reality, right? They're just saying like, "Well, we're gonna run engagement," you know, "We're gonna really engage our customers with a, an incredible, incredible, like, digital experience." And then like, what it really means is that there's like a landing page with a video. Do you know what I mean? And, and like, the disc- that disconnect between strategy and, and actual execution is present in so many especially large organizations. So I guess my, my thing is, um, you know, you probably do a lot more ops than you think you do, and, um, it's, it's a, it's a much, it's a very fun role to do both, um, at least for a little while, 'cause you get to learn both of it.

Great. So any last thoughts just on marketing ops in general that you'd like to share with our audience before we move on to our quickfire round?

The m- the one problem I see I think with most marketers is, um, they don't do prioritization correctly. Um, and we don't have enough time to cover all of the different frameworks that you do prioritization, but it's so helpful to take a look at your projects, whether you're demand gen or marketing ops, and then apply some sort of framework. Um-


... and then my favorites are impact effort matrix, urgent important matrix, and that's, um, um, what's it called? Eisenhower, it's called the Eisenhower matrix.


And then there's also something called weighted scoring, which is probably one of the best. And it's where based on specific goals that you have for the organization on different fronts, like revenue, um, customer experience, um, long-term scalability, you rank your priorities based on those different ones, and then you come up with a score. And that's one of the best ways to actually prioritize your work. Prioritization ends up changing the entire way that you work, because y- um, the focus of what you do ends up being, like, ends up having a really big impact on the output of everything. So by spending a lotta time with prioritization, you actually improve the quality of your work in ways that you really won't know.

Um, and that is, I mean, with d- you know, you might h- have like s- you might see this some of the time, but, but with ops it's very prevalent, where there's just too much to do in too little time, and-


... we spend so much time on the things that are least impactful, and at the end of the year we look back and say, "Gosh, what did I do that whole year?" You know. "I just put out fires the whole year." And you look back and you're not really proud of the work that I did. And you, you can solve for that by spending a good amount of time with prioritization upfront.

Mm, yeah, I think that's always a tricky spot to be in is that putting out fires role for ops, 'cause often it's one person at a startup, maybe half a person [laughs] like me doing it.


So when something's broken, it feels like the end of the world and it feels like you have to jump on that before your own priorities, but ... I like-


... the idea of taking, taking the time upfront and setting those kind of boundaries to-


... make sure that your own priorities get done.


Great. So, moving on to our quickfire round. Is there another marketer you follow that our listeners should go check out and follow?

I've been following Amanda Natividad a lot lately, maybe you've-


... heard of her, she's on like Twitter especially, and LinkedIn.


Um, super great stuff, very insightful. She's one of my favorites. Uh, there's probably too many too name that I follow, but-

That's a great one, yeah.

But she's one of my recent favorites. [laughs]

One is good. We can link that in the show notes. [laughs] Um, and this one might not apply so much to ops, but I'm curious if there's something under the radar, could be a tactic or a trend that your team has been talking about a lot right now.

We've been experimenting a lot with Movable Ink. Have you heard of that? How it-


... and, and it's a ... Yeah, yeah. So it gives you the ability to craft emails in real time based on who, who the person is. I think that there, that ... I have a sense that that's really going to be the future of marketing for B2B, um, because it already happens in B2C. So-


... if you think about the emails that you get from like, Amazon or Netflix and things like that, they're actually crafted in real time when it gets to you based on who you are, right? So, so y- you have an email, that's looking at your entire Netflix history, and serving up something based on what, based on what they think you're gonna like the most. So this, that is almost mainstay in some of the best B2C companies ev- um, right now.

But it's not in B2B. In B2B we just do like, maybe simple segmentation. You know, based on-


... your industry, we're gonna send you this. Um, so I, so I'm particularly interested in crafting digital experiences that are incredibly personalized for each person. Movable Ink is a great way to do it, and I think that we're, we're seeing some really great early results. But there's other ways that you can do it, too. You do like Velocity scripting, um, um, and you can do, like, other, other, other ways to make your, your, the experience really personalized. Um, that I think is going to be real- a heavy influence on the future of how we work in B2B.

Mm-hmm, yeah, that's a really great example. And lastly, where can we go to find out more about you and follow your content? I think I know the answer [laughs] to this one, but ...

Yeah, LinkedIn's my favorite, yeah, yeah.


I, I try to spend s- time on Twitter when I can, but, um, you know, I, I find that, I don't know, for some reason, LinkedIn just ma- just, just, uh, I s- I started writing on LinkedIn during the pandemic, um, and it just became a real good habit, and I just like the, the length of the, the length of the post that you can do, um, and I'm just so familiar with it. I'll probably start trying to do more of Twitter H2 this year. But LinkedIn for sure. [laughs]

Great. I'll put those links in the show notes so everyone can follow you. Thanks so much Darryl for joining me today. It was a really great chat.

Yeah, thanks for having me, Tara. I appreciate it.

Great. And thanks everyone for listening. We'll see you back here in two weeks with a brand new guest. 

Tara Robertson
Darrell Alfonso
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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue.
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