If you work in marketing operations, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of MO Pros, or better yet, you’re a MO Pros member yourself. MO Pros is a staple for marketing operations professionals who are looking to expand their network, collaborate with peers, and deepen their technical knowledge.

MO Pros went from an intimate Slack community to a booming network of 2,000+ members, offering a weekly podcast, community forums, job board, MarTech demos, mentor database, and much more. With 1,300 weekly discussions, 15+ regional channels, and members from 800+ companies, you can rest assured you’re in good hands when you pose a question to the MO Pros community. It’s no wonder that the community experienced a 335% increase in 2020 alone (January 1, 2020-November 1, 2020).

MO Pros Growth 2020

And the main source of this sudden onset growth? A 2017 Medium post that founder Mike Rizzo shared with his network. What was once a close-knit group of marketing operations professionals had exploded into a thriving community of members eager to expand their networks.

I recently chatted with Mike Rizzo to learn how he got into the MOps space, what led to the success and growth of MO Pros, and what he’s most looking forward to in the marketing operations space and the MO Pros. Let’s jump in!

Mike’s Background

For those of you who have worked in marketing operations long enough, you can remember a time when the term “marketing operations” didn’t even exist. It comes as no surprise that Mike is part of this group. We kicked off our conversation by talking about how Mike entered the marketing operations profession, and how he got to where he is today.

Mike began his early career in Specific Media, where he would be exposed to advertising software, website development, and HTML. As he gained more experience, the deeper his curiosity grew. This hunger for knowledge led him down a path that would eventually lead him to modern-day marketing operations. Mike gained experience in various marketing automation platforms such as Pardot, Act-On, and HubSpot, which has brought him to where he is today, Community-Led Founder at Stealth Mode.

Mike also plays an active role at MO Pros, where he builds products and services that are intentionally built for members to:

  • Build centers of excellence that help exemplify ROI and earn MO Pros a seat at the proverbial “table” of leadership
  • Enable MOPs to easily and efficiently achieve work that we previously never had time for
  • Prove that we’re getting the most out of our MarTech investment

The Inspiration Behind MO Pros

When Mike began working in marketing operations, he discovered many marketing operations professionals were often working solo. The MOPs who worked in-house lacked the resources or community to meet other marketing operations professionals, which can get lonely real quick. Mike also experienced this firsthand – he discovered that connecting with marketing operations professionals was hard.

Once Mike began meeting marketing operations professionals at conferences and events, he discovered that there was a whole network of MOps professionals who were craving community just like he was, but just didn’t have one to turn to. This inspired Mike to create the MO Pros Slack channel, with a mission to provide a safe space for marketing operations professionals to collaborate, build community, and simply learn from one another.

How Mike Rizzo Found Success in Growing MO Pros

So, how has Mike found success in growing the MO Pros community to 2,000+ members? One word: authenticity. The mission behind MO Pros is to help marketing operations professionals learn from one another and expand their networks, and staying true to this mission over the years has allowed the MO Pros experience continual growth.

We all know that one of the best ways to grow is word-of-mouth marketing. This means you have to get people to believe in what you are offering, and being authentic and passionate about your offerings is one way to generate buzz and excitement. Mike recommends creating a value proposition – offer execution against the perceived value of what members are getting out of the community.

Mike also found success in asking the community for ideas and continual experimentation. This means looking for new ways to provide value to members, whether that’s new Slack channels, designating chairpersons for each marketing automation platform, or offering product demos. The more you experiment, the more you learn about your audience and what piques their interest.

The Future of Marketing Operations and MO Pros

As Mike puts it, marketing operations is a tremendously important role, and it’s finally receiving the attention it needs. We asked Mike what he’s most excited about when it comes to the future of marketing operations, and his responses did not disappoint.

  • Thought Leadership: With marketing operations experiencing exponential growth, MOps experts finally have the opportunity to showcase their expertise and rise up as thought leaders. We should expect to hear more from existing MOps thought leaders, and also meet new ones.
  • MOPs Supply and Demand: It goes back to the law of supply and demand – when you have a high demand and low supply, the market has no option other than to adapt. With the demand for marketing operations professionals at an all-time high, we can expect to see more talent arise in the coming years. As more MOps communities develop, this means colleges and universities are next to follow. Adding marketing operations to the curriculum will be essential for driving the next workforce of marketing operations professionals.

We are on the cusp of shaping how marketing operations can be perceived.
Mike Rizzo

When it comes to the future of MO Pros, Mike is most excited about activating even more programs to help members learn from one another. We couldn’t help but ask: what are these programs? Well, all we know is that he’s cooking up something for early 2022. We don’t know exactly what it is, but we do know that the MO Pros community and brand will be part of a much greater vision. Cue our excitement.

How to Break into Marketing Operations

Last, but not least, I asked Mike what advice he would give to someone who wants to start their career in MOps.

One word: dedication. We all know that breaking into marketing operations is tough, but let’s look at marketing as a whole. Marketing directly affects revenue, and since these two are tied so closely together, there’s not much room for risk. Organizations don’t want to take a risk on an entry-level candidate, and so they opt-in for those with more background and experience. This means you’ll have to practice ongoing patience and determination if you want to break into the marketing operations profession.

For those looking to enter the MOps space, Mike recommends that you join any community that appeals to you. Tune in, subscribe, and search for professionals who are sharing their knowledge and resources. MO Pros has their own podcast, Ops Cast where they dissect market trends, best practices, and even the MOps career path. Join Wizard of Ops for operations in general, MO Pros for marketing operations, or communities specializing in your preferred marketing automation platform, like Marketo Nation.

For those looking for a hands-on approach, Mike recommended getting started with an email marketing job, as you’ll likely be exposed to a marketing automation platform and can expand your knowledge from here. For a deeper dive into MOps as a whole, Mike recommends Highway Education.

Highway Education is a benefit corporation that provides a virtual 16-week digital marketing boot camp. At the end of the program, students can begin their career with a salary in the $65-$75K range and also defer program payments until they start their job.

Entering the marketing operations space takes dedication, persistence, and most importantly, patience. Set the groundwork for success in your career by putting in the work to grow your network, expand your knowledge base, and gain real-life experience.

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