Today, Megan Zink talks with host Islin Munisteri about working closely with RevOps to track marketing activities to leads and pipeline. She talks about taking contextual information when reporting, and not doing too many things at the same time in order to see what drives revenue. We also talk about reaching out and asking the community on LinkedIn with contextual data and a direct question. People love to help.
Megan Zink is currently Senior Director of Demand Gen Marketing at ReviewTrackers. Over her 11-year career, she has worked in many facets of the marketing industry. She enjoys doing night photography in her free time as well as travel writing and podcasting. She graduated from Indiana University in Journalism.
Connect with our guest, Megan Zink, on LinkedIn
[00:00:20] Islin Munisteri: Hi, this is Islin Munisteri with F strategies and I'm host of the rev ops careers podcast. Today. I'm excited to have Megan zinc with us today.
[00:00:31] Megan Zink: Hey Megan. Hi. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:33] Islin Munisteri: It's awesome having you.
[00:00:36] So Megan Zink is currently senior director of demand, gen marketing at review trackers over her 11 year career. She has worked many facets of the marketing industry. She enjoys doing night photography in her free time, as well as travel writing and podcasting. She graduated from Indiana university in journalism.
[00:00:57] Great to have you on. Thank
[00:00:59] Megan Zink: you. Yeah, that was a pretty complete summary but I'm sure we'll get into a lot more detail. Yeah, I I'm very excited to be here. Talked about ops in marketing.
[00:01:10] Islin Munisteri: Awesome. Me too. Great. Now let me, so can you tell me more? Your career and how did you start your
[00:01:17] Megan Zink: Rev Ops journey?
[00:01:19] Yeah, so I had what I consider a pretty non-traditional route. I didn't get placed in an internship out of college, but like a lot of my friends I actually graduated right on the coattails of the most previous recession that we've had in 2008 . And so trying to find a marketing role was pretty difficult.
[00:01:38] I started right out of school working as a marketing assistant sort of assistant director of marketing and operations as my title was, I could make it up. But it was at this place called the Autobahn in Joliet, which is a if people aren't familiar with it, It's actually it's like a golf club for nice cars.
[00:02:00] So Maseratis, Ferrari McLarens. I saw it all. It was very cool. It was completely outside my comfort zone. But I have to say I learned a lot. And what I also didn't know is that. Quote, unquote marketing assistant was like also glorified office assistant, which I didn't really understand was part of the job but I didn't hate it.
[00:02:25] I embraced it. I learned a lot like how to order break pads and calipers and what VIN numbers were and just a whole host of things. So I think that just goes to show it's a nice analogy for marketing in general, because. I don't think anybody truly is prepared for what they will face. . I think things change pretty rapidly and not only that, but in RevUps as well.
[00:02:51] So after that, I began my journey looking for a full-time job. That was, it wasn't sustainable. It was a long drive. I actually was an it recruiter for two and a little over two years. And it taught me a lot of soft skills. It taught me, people skills, which are hard to come by. And then after that I finally made my segue into marketing and I was a a freelancer and part-time community manager for a social media startup agency in Chicago was there for about two and a half years.
[00:03:23] And that was drinking from straight from firehouse . That was a lot. But I have to credit it as a big milestone in my career in marketing and to rev ops because It taught me the importance of data and creating strong arguments based on data building cases based on data, everything having to do with data, because I was super young in my career, pretty omnipotent.
[00:03:48] Management. So wasn't really around, but we were left to our it in the best way they were, they taught us so much, but also wasn't like, we were pretty much on our own with a lot of our clients. And I'm talking like when I started, I was taking meetings at. A card table in a co-working space.
[00:04:05] And by the time I left about two, two and a half years later, I was managing pop valley social media. That was a really cool experience. I learned a lot, but I also learned how important data was in making decisions. So now I say I'm very data driven and decision making. Went in house with a chain health club.
[00:04:23] In Chicago for four years, did everything under the sun related to marketing, including marketing, training, content, marketing, training social media, influencer marketing, email marketing event, marketing PR, everything. . And that was a great experience too. Which leads me to my current company review trackers which is a SAS.
[00:04:45] It's a software service that allows you to manage your customer experience and apply business insights from different types of data, especially reviews to All your different departments. It's incredibly fascinating. I love it. We have a proprietary NLP, natural language processing engine that goes really granular on sentiment analysis.
[00:05:08] I could talk about it all day long. So I actually came from content marketing and now I am the senior director of demand gen. And that leads me to reaching across the aisle to rev ops very constantly because. It is super important for us to make sure that everything is aligned and optimized so that, especially when working with maybe limited resources or a lean team that you're not spinning your wheels.
[00:05:33] And so with rev ops it's just, there's many practices of that. And my day to day I work super closely with our rev ops team. Just make sure that whatever we're doing is creating results and tracking it down to pipeline and revenue.
[00:05:51] Islin Munisteri: Awesome. And I guess, what is your biggest challenge right now in your current role?
[00:05:55] Megan Zink: Just continuing to optimize the attribution. I think attribution is probably this sort of. Nebulous thing that nobody can really grasp onto. There's many models of attribution we've come a really long way in reporting. I'm so proud of our team because we have, created a lot of systems.
[00:06:16] We don't have a fancy third party platform that we use, but we've made do with what we have and we've been able to really create Great detail reports of okay, what is driving success? What is driving leads? What is driving ops? What is driving pipeline? Even down to what keywords are working, what email campaigns are working.
[00:06:36] So I would say that the challenge though, is to continually optimize that and make sure that we really have a handle on what truly is working.
[00:06:44] Islin Munisteri: That's a huge one. And I guess. When you figure out so how what did you. What are you figuring out for you that what is the thing that's working? ?
[00:06:51] Megan Zink: It changes a lot, but we have found some pretty decent success in one particular area of focus was okay, how can we expand traffic and lead gen with maybe paid advertising?
[00:07:04] And maybe, other models of just sponsored content or syndication or things like that. and we realize that we are seeing though it takes, a good, healthy life cycle to yield. We're seeing pipeline dollars created from Google search. So that's pretty exciting. And just getting down into the campaigns and what keywords are using, what intent is there?
[00:07:29] Separating out the. Spam inbox from, as I've been telling everybody, if you build it, the spam will come. So just making sure we have filtration in place and things like that.
[00:07:41] Islin Munisteri: That's great. And what is your biggest learning experience so far?
[00:07:45] Megan Zink: Every second of every day it's a learning experience.
[00:07:49] I'm lucky because I am a passionate, lifelong learner. So this is a really ideal career path for me. I get to tinker and test and optimize and see what is working and be creative about doing it too. I would say one of the biggest learnings lessons that I've gotten is. Don't get too stuck in the weeds, focusing on optimizing things so much so that you miss the forest for the trees and maybe you miss signs along the way that something's not really working.
[00:08:22] The other thing is to be open minded. And just because something isn't working one way doesn't mean it's not working in another. So for example, maybe it's not yielding direct pipeline or revenue, but maybe a certain channel has a huge impact in the journey as a whole. So that's, something specific
[00:08:41] Islin Munisteri: That's really cool.
[00:08:42] And what's your single source of proof in, in your text?
[00:08:44] Megan Zink: For us, it is heavily Salesforce because we, that way we can tie things to dollars one. That's just the way that we operate. Know, what , what pipeline is generated? The lead source detail, everything like that is.
[00:08:59] That's the end of the road, as we say, we utilize HubSpot also heavily in that, but I'd say if I had to pick one, it would be Salesforce.
[00:09:11] Islin Munisteri: That's great. And what's your philosophy on how on rev ops and how teams should interact with each other.
[00:09:18] Megan Zink: I we, so we actually have a fairly newer rev ops team.
[00:09:23] And I'm so grateful for them because before I think we were, were getting spread pretty thin in terms of. The technical requirements that it, it needed for us to be able to track things appropriately streamline things, make sure that there was consistency that all teams were using UTMs, things like that.
[00:09:44] And now there's actually a team that's helping us with that. And also keeping an eye on the big picture. I think that's super important too. I think sometimes marketing teams maybe fall in a bit of a trap of creating things in a vacuum. So it's nice to have this outside department sitting in the middle of everything that can keep an eye on all aspects.
[00:10:05] And working together is so important. If you're creating marketing materials that aren't working on the sales side, then what's the point. First of all, you're wasting your time. You're wasting resources, you're spinning your wheels. People are gonna get frustrated. So by working with the RevUps team and understanding what really is truly working my philosophy is that okay, you go to what.
[00:10:28] And then you work backwards from there and you understand, okay, what can we reliably continue with? What can we double down on what needs to change? And it's just a better place to start, I think, than just saying, all right, let's just throw all the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks. But if you're starting from what sticks and then working backwards, it's a better use of.
[00:10:52] Islin Munisteri: I like your spaghetti analogy. It seems like a lot of marketing teams just try out all the channels all at once, but you don't, but if you're not tracking to see, seeing what's working, that's like a waste.
[00:11:04] Megan Zink: Marketing. That's the, that's another, I'll give you two more lessons. We have got, I've always been a stickler about this, but making sure that from the get go, anything that you are doing, how are you tracking it?
[00:11:17] Because you might get further down the path and realize uhoh I needed to set up a little bit more robust tracking. Didn't do it. Don't have the historical data. So now things are skewed. The other lesson is that it is, you just have to figure out, you have to take the contextual information into your purview and say, okay, we tried this and this here's my takeaway.
[00:11:45] But is that truly the takeaway? Was I doing something else at the same time? Was this really why this worked or was this because we were running multiple things at the same time. So to your point Islin I. You have to be very careful about not doing too many things at once. And if you are, that might be okay, but just be super aware of it and what ramifications that might have on your reporting, your output.
[00:12:13] Islin Munisteri: Yeah. Yeah. You just have to be really careful when you're doing multiple campaigns at the same time. Cuz you're just, it's hard to track. Did one campaign influence another? What actually what. Actually happened.
[00:12:27] Megan Zink: Exactly. Yes, absolutely.
[00:12:30] Islin Munisteri: And what's the best piece of career advice you would tell your younger self?
[00:12:36] Megan Zink: This is something I actually, in part every time I get asked this question I would say the biggest piece of advice I could give anybody and it's not even in career, but just anything that you, you are going after in your life is to just make. Just make the ask. Because you people will likely not say no, it's really, I think just the act of making the ask that people are nervous about, they don't wanna inconvenience people.
[00:13:03] They don't want to take away their time. But in my experience, almost nobody has said, no, especially if you frame the ask in the right way, not something super nebulous Hey, I'd love to grab coffee and pick your brain. More hi, I know you're know, an expert is Lynn on rev ops. And I had a specific question.
[00:13:24] And I noticed from looking at your LinkedIn profile, that you've had a lot of success in this particular area. I was wondering if I could grab 15 minutes of your time to just talk through your thoughts. So something that's super directive is a lot more successful, but generally people love helping. I think a lot more than I thought that they did.
[00:13:43] So just make the. That's my biggest piece of advice. That's
[00:13:48] Islin Munisteri: great. Yeah. I agree with you sometimes you don't know until you make the ask, yeah. Like in sales that's really prospecting, right? It's like it's making the ask over and over again. And I guess what do you think of when I say the term rev ops roadmap?
[00:14:03] Megan Zink: I think of all of the things in the future that I can't wait for our team to have time to work on cause I know there's so much like we're getting really a lot more sophisticated with our reporting structures and we've even had so many people get on board with our team that we've created a rev ops request system.
[00:14:22] So that's what I see as when you say roadmap is. The horizon filled with all of these different projects that we've all wanted to do.
[00:14:32] Islin Munisteri: That's awesome. Yeah kinda what I think of as well. Yeah. I definitely recommend the ticketing system for like internally for getting all those rev ops tasks and projects done.
[00:14:44] And I guess, is there anything we haven't covered today?
[00:14:48] Megan Zink: I don't think so. I think. It's all about always be testing a, B T I always say that. Always be testing you. UT Ming always be UT Ming . That's that's what I'm gonna leave with the audience today.
[00:15:03] Islin Munisteri: Always be testing and always be U UTM.
[00:15:06] Megan Zink: Yeah, because if you can't, if you're not UT Ming, you can. Even if you are testing, you won't be able to track it. You won't really know what worked that is true. And it makes the rev ops teams lives a lot easier.
[00:15:20] Islin Munisteri: Yes, I agree. I guess that wraps it up for today. On the rev ops careers podcast.
[00:15:26] Thanks for being with me, Megan.
[00:15:28] Megan Zink: Thank you so much for having me. It was such a pleasure to share my background, some insights. I'm happy. I love talking marketing. Honestly. I'm surprised that nobody's started calling me marketing Megan yet because I just enjoy it so much. You can find me on LinkedIn, Megan zinc, or you can check out my travel site color and curiosity.com.
[00:15:49] I love talking, marketing and travel to. So maybe I'll catch somebody out there in the night sky shooting the Milky way.
[00:16:00] Islin Munisteri: That sounds great.
[00:16:25] Islin Munisteri: Talk soon, Megan. Thanks Islin