Communication, Data Mastery, and AI: A Recap of MOps-Apalooza 2023

Recapping the key themes and takeaways coming out of MOps-Apalooza 2023 in Anaheim

BY: Amanda Giacobassi

PUBLISHED: 11/22/2023

For members of the marketing operations community, the first-ever MOps-Apalooza is sure to become a destination event to circle on the calendar in the years to come. This year, the community-led summit brought together over 300 of the best and brightest in marketing and revenue operations for three days of learning and community building.

The MERGE team was on-site throughout the duration of the event, participating in the industry-leading conversation, engaging with thought leaders and experts, and taking note of the most compelling trends coming out of Anaheim.

Communication Is King

Communication was a topic that was front and center at MOps-Apalooza 2023, as numerous sessions were heavily focused on communication: how to set expectations with your peers, how to communicate the nuances especially with attribution, and how to communicate strategically across and up. When considering attribution specifically, the objective for teams shouldn’t so much be about understanding the overall share of influence on closed won revenue from each channel), but instead answering smaller more targeted questions that will determine marketing strategy. A critical component in attribution is setting expectations on what the reporting approach will and won’t provide.

In all, there was a clear emphasis throughout the summit on not only how to communicate in a way that makes sense to you and others in marketing operations, but how to communicate value and business impact in a “Why should I care?” manner to ensure that conveyed information is both relevant and impactful.

Marketing Operations Is Poised to Take the Data Reins

Another predominant theme highlighted at MOps-Apalooza was the need for marketing operations to take control of data management, including both prospect and customer data, as well as the flow of information in and out of the tech stack. There exists a pain point around the idea of a tech stack being the silver bullet to fix all of an organization’s problems. Solving that pain point requires exceptional communication, sound expectation setting, and the technical expertise to back it all up. However, that’s a gap that currently exists, and many of the sessions at MOps-Apalooza were focused on closing that gap.

One notable session led by AJ Sedlak, the Director of Marketing Automation at Smartsheet, emphasized the need for stewardship over large tech stacks, particularly within the customer acquisition funnel. He agreed that the duty of managing tech stacks should fall under marketing operations' purview, as his session also stressed the importance of understanding each vendor’s fiscal year and ensuring a solid foundation for your tools, cautioning against leaving tool architecture solely to junior team members.

You Can’t Deny AI

There are many within marketing operations who believe that AI is a little like Google. Before becoming far and away the world’s most popular search engine, there were companies that thought Google would be relevant to them, and those that didn’t. With AI there is a similar sentiment: there are going to be the early adopters that get onboard quickly and the stragglers who find themselves suddenly playing catch up. The truth, however, is that there are a lot of companies that aren’t using AI today due in large part to the struggles around securing legal approval to use AI.

For the companies that have found a way to embrace AI, there has been no shortage of compelling experimentation around how to optimize the technology. A virtual session led by Tyron Pretorius, a Marketing Operations Manager at Telynx, focused on the use of ChatGPT within Marketo to improve inbound processes. Specifically, Pretorius shared with his audience how he has leveraged ChatGPT to optimize send times, detect bots, create webhooks to send prompts for email subject lines and body copy content, and build towards personalization at scale.

Looking to optimize your marketing operations efforts? Connect with MERGE's team of seasoned marketing professionals to help take your organization to the next level!