A Day In The Life Of A World-Class Marketing Ops Pro: An Interview With Commvault’s Anna Soo

February 6, 2018 Matt Davis

What does a day in the life of a world-class Marketing Operations pro look like? We caught up with Anna Soo, Senior Marketing Manager at Commvault, to find out! 

Anna, along with Workfront’s Brandon Jensen, also joined us to present a webinar entitled, Building Best-in-Class Marketing Ops: Strategies from Commvault & Workfront


About Anna: “The Lighthouse that Keeps Everyone on Target”

Since 2011, Anna Soo has led the Marketing Operations function at Commvault. She’s the process whiz that aligns and synchronizes all the teams that comprise Commvault's marketing department. In other words, she’s the lighthouse that keeps everyone focused on target. 

When she's not building agility across the marketing department, she speed walks and plays volleyball and table tennis. 


Thanks for joining us, Anna! To start, how would you explain your role to someone not familiar with Marketing Operations?

Anna Soo: For us at Commvault, Marketing Operations creates the structure that helps support the entire Marketing Organization. We work hard to deliver key insights and recommendations to optimize the performance or our marketing programs to ensure that we achieve our goals.


In your many years with the company, you’ve led Commvault through a Marketing Operations transformation. What are some of the differences between when you first joined as compared to now?

Anna Soo: When I first started at Commvault back in 2011, there wasn’t really a Marketing Operations team as such. I was the first person in a MOps role. I was brought in to create marketing reports that didn’t exist yet. 

We had a few marketing technology tools in place, but they weren’t integrated, and marketers were doing a lot of things manually. It would take several hours each week to export the data, match the fields, generate our pivot tables before we even start to analyze the results.

In fact, there was such a backlog of Marketing Ops work to be done at that time, even just prioritization of the work was a major challenge in itself! 

One of my first projects was to implement the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall. If any of your readers aren’t familiar, it’s a taxonomy that helps categorize everything we do in demand creation. 

It was a huge effort. I attended a few workshops that SiriusDecisions held to speak with other MOps practitioners to discuss their experiences implementing the Demand Waterfall and find out their best practices — especially when it came to designing Marketing reports. 

After months of meeting, planning, and finalizing our lead management process in collaboration with our Demand Centers, Sales Operation, & Sales Department, we were finally able to implement the Demand Waterfall and track leads through our CRM Platform.

Fast forward to today. We’ve grown to become a Marketing Operations team of eight, out of a total 200 marketers at Commvault. We align closely with our sister teams, the Marketing Intelligence and Marketing Technologies teams, but we work with all marketers worldwide.


With so much going on in MOps at Commvault, how do you keep pace with it all? How do you go about serving all the various stakeholders you have?

Anna Soo: It can be a challenge, that’s for sure! I’ll mention two specific things we use to help with that.

The first one comes in handy when we’re working with the various marketing teams to build out a new process. We use the SIPOC model, which is part of the Six Sigma methodology. It stands for Supplier, Input, Process, Output, and Customer. We use that framework to run workshops to visually document everything from beginning to end. 

This may take a couple of days or even a couple of weeks, but in the end it helps us get more efficient. I’m getting a little technical here, but this stuff puts me in my happy place! 

Another tool that helps us is the SiriusDecisions technology inventory and assessment tools. With more than 5,000 marketing technologies out there, those tools helps us really find what fits for Commvault. 


Can you give us an example of a recent MOps project you and your team worked on?

Anna Soo: Sure! One recent example is our integration between Allocadia and Workfront

Here were two tools that our teams love to use — Allocadia for managing our marketing spend, and Workfront for managing tasks. We wanted to see if we could get the two connected together, which would reduce the amount of time our marketers spent inputting information. 

We set it up so that our marketers can create a line item in Allocadia for an activity they’re planning — a field event, for example — and then just hit a single button to send that item to Workfront where it becomes a project. All the data fields are included, no manual entry needed. I’m happy to say this integration just launched last week and it’s ready to roll! 

That was phase one. In phase two, we’ll add some process and automation to our blogs and press release processes, so that a marketer can have someone in Legal review and approve things, all within Workfront. We’ll eliminate all the email trails, and everything becomes trackable.

In phase three, information collected in Workfront will be pushed into our marketing automation platform and CRM systems to automate the creation of our marketing programs and campaigns. 

Finally, in phase four, we’ll be training our partner groups so that they can start planning and budgeting their projects in Allocadia, and then pressing a button to have all the information transfer to Workfront and our partner portal.

The goal of all these is the same: saving us time, manpower, and eliminating email trails. 

And what we call the “Allocadia ID” will be at the center of each one. That lets us calculate ROI for each marketing campaign. That’s how we build world-class marketing operations.


Special thanks to Anna Soo for this interview! Find Anna on LinkedIn or on Twitter

For more inspiration in marketing operations excellence, check out these resources:

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