<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/f25pfNfX8omqHOgIFa5E" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">
Skip to Content

MAY 9th, 2023 hosted by Glenn Bottomly

Ep: 47 - Fighting Imposter Syndrome and Staying Relevant in Marketing Ops

Posted by Glenn Bottomly on May 9, 2023 9:21:14 AM

Marketing ops is a fantastic, stable career path, and hiring for its essential skills is something every business should be doing.

So, why is imposter syndrome endemic in the profession? 

More importantly, what can be done about it?

In this episode, Naomi Liu, Director of Global Marketing Operations at EFI, joins to honestly examine the causes, symptoms, and cures for imposter syndrome in marketing ops.

We discuss:

  • The challenge of staying relevant in such a rapidly evolving industry
  • Why the essential skills for Marketing Ops are essential skills for every business
  • The vital skill of translating technical concepts to non-technical audiences

Let’s explore Naomi’s strategies for increasing value and removing roadblocks.

“I am a huge advocate for centralizing and running the marketing ops team like a mini internal agency within an organization.” — Naomi Liu

Subject matter experts

Marketing ops is a unique mix of business savvy, creativity and technical mastery. 

Naomi has an array of specialists in data operations, automation, analytics and web development on her team that deploy highly effective demand gen and customer experience initiatives on a global scale. 

This level of expertise allows her to deliver a huge amount of value to stakeholders. She’s hired and trained a legion of Marketing Ops professionals — what are the key attributes of top-tier talent?

One of the most important is “the ability to explain complex technical concepts to non-technical business partners.” She’s looking for hard skills like technical aptitude and SQL database administration, but applicants also need curiosity, stellar communication and adaptability.

“Having a centralized team has allowed us to shift and scale faster than if everything was decentralized.” — Naomi Liu

A clear career path

Most kids in high school are not thinking, “Oh, I want to be in Marketing Operations when I grow up.” But Naomi is quite passionate about changing that and promoting this field as an exciting and dynamic calling.

Mentorship and awareness are so important that she’s a founding member of MarketingOps.com, a community-led platform for both industry pros and those interested in a career in this ever-evolving field. 

Today’s customers expect a seamless journey, and it is operations teams who dominate the intersection of marketing and technology. There are new MarTech tools announced every day and literally tens of thousands of tools with all the bells and whistles.

But Naomi emphasizes that while staying on the cutting edge of tech development is critical, adopting every new AI-powered thing that comes down the pike isn’t the smartest move.

“When I’m evaluating new tools, I’m doing so because there’s a gap, a need in the business. It’s very rare that I’m pitched something new and say, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’”

That’s because she values people and processes over platforms. Intimate knowledge of brand voice, market conditions, and the organization’s revenue flow is what truly makes artificial intelligence align with your strategy.

“There is not enough exposure for people in high school or university to understand that Marketing Ops can be a career that you can pursue with passion.”  — Naomi Liu

You don’t have to be perfect

People in this field are particularly susceptible to impostor syndrome. Everything changes so rapidly, and “the more you know, the more you don’t know.”

Naomi stresses that Marketing Ops teams have to figure out a lot of things on their own in the midst of an ever-shifting and highly technical environment. It’s easy to feel like an imposter with a fresh marketing degree sitting in meetings with experienced software engineers.

She fights back against these feelings by dividing her days into three equal parts: teaching, learning, and doing.

She educates her business partners and ensures they know how to recognize and quantify her team’s successes. She studies the latest industry trends and new ways to leverage MarTech and develop automation. She keeps her skills sharp by leading innovative data strategies and standardizing analytics for better reporting. 

Her essential advice to Marketing Ops executives facing challenges today is that you have to learn from your mistakes. 

“Some of the best ideas and work projects I've been a part of have come as a result of myself and my team messing up,” Naomi says.

Naomi believes that we’re sometimes too hard on ourselves. The way forward is through more empathy, more patience, more collaboration and a willingness to admit failure and try again. 

Want to learn more about defeating impostor syndrome and the importance of mentorship in marketing ops? Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you find your podcasts.

Never Miss New Shows and Episodes
Sign up for podcast episodes below to get insights and experiences from the top leaders in marketing operations.