Are you interested in becoming a DOO, but not feeling confident in the amount of digital marketing knowledge you possess?
Today, I’m answering a question that popped up in my facebook group:
If I want to be a Director of Operations, how much digital marketing knowledge do I need?
Here’s the scoop. There are 2 sides of business, the front side and the back side.
The front side is marketing, which is how people find you. It covers the strategies you implement to get more eyeballs on your business, to get people to know, like, and trust you, and includes the sale. These are all of your marketing activities.
Once you make the sale, what are all the things you need inside of your business to fulfill for the customer? Typically we are talking about HR, project management, financial management, data, technology, and delivery (client management, client success, accountability coaches, any other coaches). All of this makes up operations.
Understanding Operations vs. Marketing
In the beginning of a business, the CEO will own both sides. But as they begin to grow and scale, they will start to need support on both sides. If they are not at a place where they are able to have support on both sides, then the leader will likely take over one side. Most often I see that the CEO tends to fall naturally to the marketing side.
“It is not fair for one person to come into a business and have to bridge the gap between marketing and operations.”
These are two very different skill sets, similar to right and left brain thinking. You are not likely to find someone who is truly gifted in both areas.
If you are in the career path of becoming a Director of Operations (DOO), but you are finding job descriptions in which they are wanting you to have a lot of marketing knowledge, you should know this is a big red flag. This means that the business is not likely profitable enough to support you, or may not be big enough to bring on a leader at the strategic partner level.
“Your job is to come in as an excellent operator, not an excellent marketer.”
A DOO is not expected to be a marketing expert. It is an unfair place to be when you are asked to be the bridge between the front and the back side of the business. Step up, own your role as an operator and make sure you’re setting appropriate expectations with the leader. If you are asked to be both the marketing and operations director, that is a huge red flag.
The Gray Area
Businesses are moving online at a faster pace than ever before. Covid-19 has been really stressful for the economy, but for the online business space and those who support it, opportunity has been increasing. It is up to us to help educate these leaders on where operators fit in their businesses.
As leaders move their business online faster, they are now marketing more often from a digital perspective. There is some gray area because there is project management on the backside of the business in operations, but there is also project management needed in the digital marketing side of the business.
Because you are an operator, you have a gift in managing people, projects and processes. There will be projects on the digital side. If you are a DOO in a business, there should be no problem project managing the digital marketing side of the business as long as you have someone to help you with that strategy – because that is not your role in the business.
In episode 70, we talked about the four different layers of a business. You will definitely own the management layer, meaning you will be a project and people manager inside of businesses. You will need to practice your project management for these marketing projects that come along, but this does not mean you should be the one creating the strategy.
Your project management experience will be key. As you are entering a business, make sure you identify with the mission of the business, that your values overlap with the leaders, and you will also want to ask what side of the business the leader will be taking care of. If they are bringing you on in an operational capacity, make sure they have some marketing support.
Use this time to reset expectations and make sure they are not expecting you to be the marketing director or strategist. How do they sell? How do they make money and what is generating revenue for them? This will help you determine what methods they are using, and how comfortable you feel project managing those.
Do not stress about the strategy part, but make sure they have people on their team who are actually implementing. If they expect you to be implementing their marketing this is a HUGE red flag. If you are a DOO, the last thing you should be doing is marketing implementation for a business. If they don’t have the internal structure set up with people who will be implementing on the marketing side, you can give them strategy on the ops side, but you shouldn’t come in as their DOO until they have those things in place.
“If a client expects you to be implementing their marketing [as a DOO], this is a HUGE red flag.”
So the answer to this question is that you need zero knowledge to begin with. I started with no experience, but by getting experience in businesses and managing digital marketing projects (alongside someone who helped with strategy)… I learned about digital marketing. And you can do the same! Just remember, it is an unfair place to be if someone is asking you to be both the marketer and operator in a business.
Weekly Ops Activity
Come over to the FB group and tell me the different types of digital marketing projects that you have managed.
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