Marketing operations, building a MarTech stack, and ensuring data visibility & security in a startup


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In this episode of Ventures, my guests Kelly Jo Horton ( Sol Cates ( and I discuss marketing operations from a startup and enterprise perspective. We dive into Kelly Jo’s story entering the space, the need for a marketing operations expert as early as possible in a startup, how to avoid technical debt with your MarTech stack, why to setup a centralized command center, and how/why to retool a broken MarTech data infrastructure.

Visit for detailed notes and links to resources (videos, articles, etc…) mentioned.

You can listen to this episode anywhere you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”)

In this episode we cover the following:

1: 47 – Sol tee-up and introduction of Kelly Jo
2: 58 – Kelly Jo personal intro, background, brief career story, tech history, and overview of marketing operations.
8: 04 – What was the career path that Kelly Jo thought she was going on in the early days and how/why it pivoted.
14: 47 – Where did in Kelly Jo’s career did she turn toward data and marketing operations?
17: 48 – In the hypothetical example of a 3-person team (technical, business, and creative), how should they think about setting themselves up for success to learn from their data.
20: 32 – Until the archetypal founder team has the money to hire a senior marketing operations expert, what should be the foundational work that the team should do in order to not rack up too much technical debt with their data.
23: 01 – Does Kelly Jo have a recommended MarTech stack for early stage founders?
26: 44 – Valuing a marketing operations expert. More discussion about an ideal stack from an enterprise angle for B2B work.
35: 15 – Comments about the quantity of strong female leaders in marketing operations.
35: 43 – From an enterprise angle, what are the common problems that Sol sees on the marketing operations side of things?
37: 40 – The importance of having a centralized command center, at least the admin functions.
41: 02 – Identifying yet another hole in startup capabilities (tech/marketing).
42: 55 – Customers buy business outcomes
43: 38 – Resetting the marketing operations team/stack, what is Kelly Jo’s experience of retooling a marketing operations team and associated software tooling?
46: 02 – Yet another “type of CMO to hire” in startup land.
46: 33 – Where can people find Kelly Jo and Sol online? https://www.mopspros.com/mopstalks, /

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