Wash, Rinse & Repeat: Creating a silky smooth campaign execution process (S2, Ep3)

< Back to article list

How do you build and manage a global digital production team that creates thousands of assets a year with barely an error in sight? Catalina Dobre, MarketOne’s Director of Global Production and EMEA Client Services joins Mary and Gifford to take us on an error-free journey from onboarding to delivery, along the way digging into the importance of people and processes, as well as revealing the source of her obsession with perfect execution.


Mary Kleinsorgen (00:00):
Hey everyone, and welcome to Funnelocity. The B2B sales and marketing podcast, where we exchange views with some of the top industry experts on what it takes to succeed in global demand generation and elevate the customer experience. We’re your hosts, Gifford Morley-Fletcher, Senior Marketing Strategist, and Mary Kleinsorgen, that’s me, Principal Consultant here at MarketOne. So, get your Starbucks, get your Timmy’s on and let’s get to it. This is Funnelocity.

All right, today we’re switching gears a little bit. Our podcast generally focuses on strategy, but today we’re focusing on the execution and the engineering of taking your demand gen strategy and creating a much more scalable, efficient, customer experience engine so that you can get your campaigns out the door quickly. I’m calling this episode, ‘Wash, Rinse, and Repeat’. So creating this silky smooth campaign execution process. So Giff, I’m gonna turn it over to you to introduce our guest today.

Gifford Morley-Fletcher (01:08):
Thank you, Mary. We are joined today by Catalina Dobre, Director of Global Production and EMEA Client Services at MarketOne. Now I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Jack of all trades, well, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the Jacqueline of all trades. Cat wears multiple hats within the organization, including overseeing MarketOne’s offshore campaign production team, the EMEA Client Services team, and our team of talented Solution Engineers. When she’s not working, you won’t find this Cat shying away from a good read, good recipe or good company, especially meeting up with friends in the town’s latest hot spots, especially rooftop bars. While of course, we don’t typically endorse the consumption of alcohol during these long days, we will indeed, in this case, raise a glass for our special guest today. Welcome Cat.

Catalina Dobre (01:56):
Hello, and very nice to be here.

Mary (01:59):
Cat, I mean, your role is your role here at MarketOne. You’re all about, you know, perfecting this engine and making sure that the engine is constantly running smoothly. And we’ve got clients that will leverage your team to help crank out those campaigns, get them out the door quickly. But it’s not just a single team, like this is a global effort where you could provide support for a team that’s based in the Americas, or a team that’s based in EMEA. So I think, you know, one of the, the questions where we can start is really how do you create, maybe that’s a really tough question to answer, but how do you create this global sustainable type of process?

Catalina (02:40):
Well, let me start by saying that it’s not easy, right? It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of alignment. And of course, we’re talking about global alignment. We do work with different global clients, and we have to ensure that we are servicing the accounts in the exact same way, whether they’re working with MarketOne APAC, MarketOne EMEA, or MarketOne Americas. In order for this to happen, we need to make sure that our processes are always aligned. We’re very big on documentation, and it is very important for us to ensure that we talk as one voice, as one MarketOne voice, to all our clients and our customers.

Mary (03:23):
So let’s say you’re just getting started with a new client, and obviously you have an organization that’s gonna have their own way of doing things. And then of course your team, your entire team is supporting all these other organizations and they have their own unique processes. How do you get started with a new client and making sure that if they’re gonna use a different process than other organizations that you’re able to service them while still maintaining that level of quality that you guys produce? So you’d mentioned onboarding, I think onboarding is the first thing you do, right? Like what do you need from the client to properly onboard.

Catalina (04:03):
Onboarding sets the ground for how we’re going to be working moving forward. It’s about understanding, the client requirements and understanding the processes, what has worked, what hasn’t worked in the past. And then taking all the learnings that we have and all our experience, and joining together the efforts, right? And by efforts, I mean, the processes, the ways of working, the documentation and agreeing with the client on our SLAs, on how we’re going to process briefs, right? So for example, think about the intake document. We need content, we need images, we need to understand the data requirements, all of these needs to be clearly and properly documented. We need to have a RACI to understand who is playing which role on the client side and also on our side. And bringing all of this together accounts for a successful onboarding. And post onboarding is of course, hitting the ground running. Right? So think of the onboarding as setting the ground for how we’re going to work. It’s the foundation. And then the documentation is what supports the foundation. The more documentation we have, the more clear our process is going to be, the easier it will be to onboard new resources on the account, or also support onboarding new stakeholders for the client on the client side.

Mary (05:27):
And I think that’s a really good point around the documentation Cat too, because, you know, often we’ve seen where maybe like simple changes are made in the platform and nothing is documented, but documentation, I think applies not only for maybe onboarding some new developers and engineers into the process, but then also I think it just kind of sets expectations with the client as well. So they know what the timeline looks like. They know what the setup is going to look like and how the team is gonna support. And really, it’s like everything that you’re saying is not just a MarketOne thing, supporting all these other clients. We have clients who have the resources in house that are taking this on themselves. And I think the process that you’re talking about onboarding, it’s not just a MarketOne or like an agency to client situation.

If you’re taking all this in-house, this whole process of onboarding and getting the agreements and the documentation, and, you know, making sure that you have all the appropriate assets to get started on a campaign. Like these are things that organizations can apply internally if the they’re gonna be running that engine as well. So it’s, you know, I think that’s a really important point there is that this isn’t just a, you know, if you’re relying on an agency to crank out campaigns, if you’re taking this in house, all of these practices really should still be applied to the organization.

Catalina (06:55):
Definitely. And of course, if you’re taking in this in house, there are different aspects that need to be considered. For example, governance, right? It’s not only about setting up the onboarding, it’s not only about completing the processes and the documentation. It’s about ensuring that all the users or stakeholders working in the platform are following the exact same processes. And you have a global alignment.

Gifford (07:19):
One of the things on top of documentation, obviously, part of client process is there’s the technology side. So I know that we in internally use one ticketing system for instance, but what if the client uses a different technology? How do we fit in with that? How easy is it to do that?

Catalina (07:40):
There are two different ways to go around it. Either we try to integrate the ticketing system or the platform that the client is using and integrate it with our own. Or we manage both. And I know that sometimes that might seem like doubling the work. Actually, it’s not. Because there’s one way in which we need to manage external communication with the clients in their own platform. But then we also need to have our internal processes, internal alignment, and ensuring that we keep track of the tickets so that we can provide monthly reports on how many assets have we produced, how many rounds of amends have we had, and what’s our error-free rate. So all of these are working together and we’re normally quite flexible with regards to the client requirements and how they want to proceed with this.

And one other thing to add on documentation, there’s also a matter of having the right amount of documentation. Documenting everything is great, however, if you end up with a document has 200 pages, it’s probably going to be extremely high for somebody to keep on top of that and actually be aware of everything that’s going on. So one thing that we would recommend is making sure that you have a version control, adding a table, for example, or some information at the beginning of the document with who is the person that updated it last, what updates have been made. And we normally highlight all the updates in red. So the next version that we produce and that we send out internally or to the client has all the updates that have been made in a different color, whether you choose red, pink, or any other color that suits you.

Mary (09:21):
You know, I love the idea of documentation. I’m a huge advocate of documenting. And unfortunately, I fall into that category of documenting everything, but, you know, let’s say, I mean, for the most part, everyone’s following this document, the SLAs, following these and setting these expectations. But we all know we’ve all been there where there is this campaign that is just last minute, it needs to get out the door like, holy crap, we didn’t realize this is coming up. Or we have a new opportunity here. We need to be able to crank out these landing pages, and these emails and these, you know posts on social. What happens there, what happens there with the agreement and the documentation and the process that you’ve outlined? How do you make exceptions for these emergency situations where someone just needs to get something out the door and it’s not gonna fit within that SLA. So how is that handled and managed?

Catalina (10:15):
On our side, so from an agency perspective, we need to accommodate urgent requests. What we would add though, is that urgent requests should be the exception and not the rule. Of course, things might go wrong. And when they do go wrong, we are there for our clients and we do support them. In the past we have deployed email campaigns in 1.5 hours to 2 hours. So, we turned them around extremely quickly when we had to. It’s about the trust and transparency between the agency and the client. And it’s also ensuring that there is the right level of communication, right? At times it might happen that we’re told a request is urgent, we do everything from our side to complete it as fast as we can, but then we, we face some delays in terms of providing approvals or, you know, receiving the entire content. So as much as we try to accommodate it’s I would say that it’s a joint effort between, you know the agency and the client or between the internal stakeholders. If this is being done insourced.

Gifford (11:23):
Okay. And talking about insourced from your point of view, what would you say the pros and cons are of insourcing versus outsourcing? I mean, I know obviously we’re a bit biased, we need people to outsource to us, but, you know, how would you, how would you break the two down?

Catalina (11:41):
Sure. And I will be as biased as I possibly can. I have worked on both agency and client side. So, I do understand both, and I have a view of both. Insourced might seem easier at times because you have your own team, right? You don’t need to follow the agency processes. We don’t necessarily have to follow a certain SLA and you can just tap into your own resources and assign work and get the work done. However, you all have to deal with all the challenges that comes from running a team at the end of the day. It’s about management, right? It’s about planned leave. It’s about sick leave. It’s about everything that comes with it. When you go agency side, that becomes our problem. So, you know, I’m responsible right, to make sure that I have enough resources to support all our clients and to manage the workload that comes into the team.

If we have all of the sudden 10, 20% of our staff members being sick or something happens, again, it’s the agency’s responsibility to deal with it. So it takes away quite a lot of pain and management, I would say from that perspective. And sorry to add, in terms of advantages of using an agency, you don’t only tap into the resources that are assigned to your account. These resources have a bigger team, a larger team of experts and support that they can reach out to in case there are any technical challenges, or they have technical questions, or they need technical support. When you do this in, when you insource this and you have your own team in case there are technical questions, they might not always have another party to go to.

Gifford (13:26):
And so, yeah, I suppose, you know, from what you’re saying there about knowledge within the teams and everything I’m supposing in training is quite an important part, kind of ongoing learning.

Catalina (13:37):
Yes. Correct. We do, we do weekly training on our side for our teams to make sure that we’re staying on top of new technology. And we’re also keeping a pulse on what’s going on in the market. We also share internal campaigns, or case studies for work that we have done that can be replicated.

Mary (14:00):
Like you’re replicating success.

Catalina (14:02):
Yes, yes.

Mary (14:03):
Yeah. And I think that could also be very helpful for on the client side as well. And I think that’s one of the other benefits of, you know, near sourcing versus, you know, taking everything in house and just doing it themselves. Because when you’re working with a third party to help build out these campaigns, there’s really an opportunity to tap into these resources when you’re using a third party, because now they’re exposed to other clients that are in similar industries, so they can really come back. And even though the design might come to them, might come to the agency and say, this is what we wanna do. You know, really that agency has the opportunity to say, okay, you know, we can, but, you know, here are some other things to consider as well, to really help, not just optimize that particular campaign and offer, but then also be able to create something that’s much more scalable that they can continue to repeat that success with future campaigns. Or maybe not, maybe I’m just talking smack. I don’t know, but..

Catalina (15:06):
No, exactly, exactly. It’s about having a wealth of expertise is right. Literally a chat away, that you can ask and you can get support from. So, it’s extremely important and yeah, that’s another advantage of using an agency.

Gifford (15:24):
So I get from what you say as well, I mean, obviously process, documentation, very important, but the other P that’s very important to in all of this, I would imagine, is the people.

Catalina (15:35):
Definitely, definitely. And I’m lucky enough to have an amazing team that is always hardworking, is always committed to deliver the best to our clients. And I believe that the success that we have, we have shown, purely speaks for that. One big thing that I always love to praise the team on is the error-free rate. Of course, errors they happen, right? We are all humans, everybody makes mistakes. The most important thing is for us to learn from them and to make sure that we’re being transparent about what happened and how we’re going to mitigate it in the future. My personal target for the error-free rate is 99.95% to put this in perspective. That means one error every 2000 assets that we send out. And by asset, I mean, email or landing pages. When you work agency side, you are as good as your last error.

And we are lucky enough and touch wood, even though I shouldn’t have to touch wood, because we have very strong processes. And again, we have a great team working for our clients. But we take quality extremely, extremely seriously because the moment that we have an error, whether it’s us as an agency, whether it’s the client’s internal team, it jeopardizes the way that the client is perceived by its customers. We are always doing our best to avoid that. And our error-free rate for 2021 is 99.93%. It is below my personal target, however, it shows the strength of our processes and of our documentation, and also the people, right? To put it in perspective, 99.93% error-free rate means one error every 1,500 emails or landing pages. So even though it’s not one in every 2000 emails, it is something that I’m personally proud of.

Mary (17:53):
Now, can you name the people that have made those errors, this is recorded and will be public, and we’re happy to publish that, to help those individuals improve their individual, you know, error rate, but you are welcome Cat to mention anyone who may have the highest error rate on this podcast. We can totally publicly shame them. And I think that’s the only way to motivate them to be 100% error-free going forward. So it’s totally up to you balls in your court, you do whatever, whatever feels natural to you.

Catalina (18:25):
No, I would never do that. I love my team too much and we don’t, that’s not how we do things at MarketOne, you know. We stand up for each other. We, I always, I don’t wanna use the word protect because I feel like that’s a bit strong. I always stand by my team. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize some of the flaws and I don’t speak up some of the challenges that need to be addressed and address them moving forward.

Mary (18:55):
And I probably shouldn’t call anything out either because I have to work with your team every day. So..

Catalina (19:01):
Exactly. So, yeah.

Gifford (19:05):
And, and then what will happen when you make an error?

Mary (19:08):
That doesn’t happen..

Gifford (19:10):
Oh, sorry. Of course it doesn’t. What am I thinking about?

Mary (19:13):
All right. So I wanna talk about something, ‘cause this comes up when I’m working with various clients and you know, I’m not, obviously I’m not managing this type of project with them, but like from a strategy standpoint, I have to work with the clients and advise them on, you know, how best to create something, an efficient, scalable program. When I think about how the strategy team will work with the client and build out this engagement type of program. So it’s not a single email going out, it’s not even three emails going out. It might be a series of messages that are going out. Channels, you know, all different channels combined. But I’ll stick with the email channel for now, since that’s, you know, primarily what your team is managing Cat. And then in some cases, these programs will be all right, well, we’re gonna have a series of three emails here, and then we’re going to have a series of another three, four touches that align to a different buyer journey stage over here, and then all this is gonna connect together.

So, if you can imagine, in some cases, you know, I don’t know, 16, 20 plus emails that could potentially be part of an entire campaign series. When this information comes to you and the client says, Hey, I wanna build out this entire program and always on type of nurture, we’re gonna have 20 some odd touches spread out for, you know, an indefinite amount of time. How do you get started with that? Because we’re talking, let’s say use that example 20 emails. Obviously, or maybe, maybe, maybe not, but what will we wait for the client to send you 20 emails, or is there something where you can kind of work in parallel, something to get started and kind of create this inner approach where you don’t have to have everything all up front? Or do you really have to have everything all upfront? So I guess I’m trying to wonder, like, what is that, God, this is like a six minute question here. But you know, really at the end of the day, do you really need all the content, all the assets up front, or can you kind of space it out where you’re, where you can still get something out the door while still working on the rest of the program?

Catalina (21:17):
In an ideal world, we would prefer to have everything upfront because that means that we can set up the program or the campaign in the right way. We have all the content, we get everything approved by the client and then we just build it in the platform. Now, of course we don’t always live in an ideal world. There are times when we create campaigns or programs in smaller batches, right. And we add placeholders for example, but this is not something that we recommend. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend it if you’re doing this in house. It needs to be very, very thought through. It needs to be planned in advance and you need to set yourself reminders, right. So that we don’t send out placeholder emails by mistake.

Mary (22:06):
Yeah. And the planning process, I think, is the most critical piece where you really need to think out the entire journey. So even if it’s not an ideal world and we’re gonna do this kind of campaign execution and piece mail, you know, at least the planning process, the entire journey, the objective, why is this program needed? You know, what are the channels that I’m going to be leveraging? Who’s the audience? Like all of that, that entire strategy needs to be defined upfront.

Catalina (22:34):
Yeah. So, for us from the production side, it’s very important to make sure that we are aligned with the strategy team. Whether it’s our MarketOne strategy team or the client’s strategy team. We need to ensure that the blueprint, right, the communication blueprint or the workflow that has been created for the campaign or for the program, are aligned with the capabilities of the platform. We need to make sure that the strategy team is aligned with how the delivery of the campaign, or the program is going to happen in the platform. To minimize any need of having out of box solutions. ‘Cause the moment that you started going down that path it’s going to be more complicated to keep a pulse on that campaign or the program moving forward.

I would say that it’s very important whenever you’re planning a nurture campaign, right? Especially if you have one with 20 emails, it’s very important to have a workflow. Whether you choose to do that in Visio or LucidChart chart, whatever platform you choose to use for that, it’s important to have it drawn out and to have it mapped out. It also helps when you’re doing the QA, right? So if one of our solution engineers would be the platform subject matter expert builds down the program and then somebody else of course, has to QA it. The moment that you have that workflow created it’s a lot easier for that for the QA person to go through everything and make sure that the campaign or program have been set up correctly.

Mary (24:10):
I think that’s standard project management practices as well, Cat, so as you’re initiating a new project, you’re gonna create like a requirements or an objectives type of document. And then as you get further along in the execution process, you have to go back like after building, you have to go back to those requirements and say, all right, well, what I built does that meet the specific business requirements? And then in your visual example, if you have a visual there, after you build something, you can go back to that visual to say, all right, this is how we’re meeting the business objectives, I guess, through that visual.

Catalina (24:40):
Exactly. And that’s part of our processes, right, that’s embedded, I would say by now in our DNA, and whether we like it or not, that’s the process that everybody’s following. Now, when it’s more related to the client side, I know sometimes things need to happen so quickly that we tend to cut corners, but, a big piece of advice here is try not to especially when it comes to documentation and making sure that what you have in the system has been set up correctly. Because the person that created a program or campaign might leave in two or three months, somebody else might come in and then they wouldn’t have all the background or the history, or why things have been set up in a certain way.

Gifford (25:25):
Is that I think it might be quite an English phrase, I always call it the under the bus rule, just in case the person working on it falls under a bus. There’s always somebody else is able to pick it up and carry on with it. So, I completely agree. From a briefing perspective, I mean, you know, you’ve talked about quite clearly, you know, 1 in 1500 emails, your team is working on large volumes of emails and campaigns, et cetera. We’ve talked about the importance of briefing, the flow, having all the assets prepared. Do you think it’s important as well that they’re given an idea of what each campaign is for what it’s about, does it help when they understand what they’re building?

Catalina (26:06):
It does. It definitely does because it helps the team to have the bigger picture in terms of what they’re being asked to produce. Sometimes we can advise on data, right. If we’re being given the segmentation to be used, and we see that we’ve created, for example, 3 or 10 or 20 emails, and we only have 500 contacts or a thousand contacts to send the emails to. It might not make a lot of sense to do that. Unless of course you have an always on nurture campaign or something similar. So, it helps to have the bigger picture. We’ve also pushed back at times to clients. When, for example, we were asked to send a webinar invite for a webinar that was happening on the same day. So, we are pushing back, when possible, right. I mean, of course we are working with the client, but we’d like to believe that we are more of a partner rather than agency.

Gifford (27:04):
Yeah. I mean, I’ve actually encountered some examples as well where there’s been pushback. I mean, you don’t want to be marketing right-handed scissors to left-handed people. And sometimes, you know, the team’s gonna pick things like that up. So it’s definitely good for them to understand it. I’m kind of glad to hear that. It must make it more interesting for them as well, surely.

Catalina (27:23):
Yeah, definitely does. And you know, it’s all about having challenging work, right? I mean, of course some of the tasks are always going to be repetitive, but it’s also around ensuring career growth for our employees as well. And making sure that they’re working on exciting new features and new campaigns and new programs that we’re launching. It’s all about knowledge sharing and,yeah, keeping it interesting.

Mary (27:50):
All right. So then let’s switch gears a little bit. And, you know, we’re talking about the process of having this documentation, the SLAs, and the visuals and measuring success and having over a hundred percent error-free rates. So um,

Catalina (28:05):
I wish.

Mary (28:08):
But so when you’re thinking about onboarding a new client into this campaign execution process, so what are some of the core values, or I don’t know, key aspects of a successful client to agency relationship. And to flip that around a little bit, so what are some of the key things that really help to make that agency, client relationship work? And then what are some of the hiccups that you can see in that process? So starting out, what makes a really solid client to agency relationship.

Catalina (28:39):
Trust, transparency, and honesty. For me are three big elements here that play a huge role. So when I talk about trust, it’s on both sides. Is the client trusting us with our expertise and trusting us with their customers, with their prospects, and us managing the communication, managing the deployments, the execution, and of course the strategy as well. When I talk about honesty, it’s being able to admit that we’re not perfect, even though we, trust me, we aim on a daily basis to be as perfect as we possibly can, but sometimes we make mistakes and

Gifford (29:25):
Well, we’re human.

Catalina (29:26):
Exactly. And it’s about being honest about it

Mary (29:29):
Speak for yourself, Giff.

Catalina (29:32):
It’s about putting your hands up and saying, hey, we messed this up. But here is how we will make sure that we’re not going to mess it up again, which comes to the transparency, making sure that we are proceeding towards the same goal we’re working as one team. And we are facing challenges together as well as success. And of course, alignment. So, making sure that we are a aligned to our clients’ goals and objectives, as well as they being aligned with the way that with our way of working and measuring success together.

Gifford (30:14):
So Cat, MarketOne’s obviously a global agency. Do you have any tips and tricks for the best way to deliver on a global basis, rather than on a local basis? You know, dealing with time zones, dealing with languages and all the other challenges that come up when you’re building emails and campaigns for multiple countries at the same time.

Catalina (30:37):
There’s definitely a lot to consider here. You need to make sure that to have business alignment, you need to ensure that all the regions are working in the same way. Whether again, you’re working with an agency or whether you’re doing this in house. Trainings need to happen globally. And of course, processes and governance, especially governance needs to happen globally. There are of course different nuances when you’re building emails in different languages. For example, you face the challenge of different characters for specific languages. We would definitely recommend a templated approach across all regions. It makes things easier. It ensures that your customers or prospects are receiving information from you structured in the same way. Of course, content is going to differ, images might differ as well, but the underlying tone and feel of the email would be similar.

Gifford (31:38):
Yeah. I can see why a template would be absolutely crucial there. It it’s interesting. And I, you know, like you I’ve worked in, well, like both of you, we all three of us have worked in this area for a long time. But you’re the first person, I don’t know, you’re the first person I’ve worked with who is who’s obsessed with this perfection, which might sound wrong in fact, but is there a reason for that particular obsession is there something that’s brought you to this point?

Catalina (32:06):
Yes, I had once a manager that was very perfectionist, and I looked up to him a lot. So this was probably around, I dunno, eight years ago or nine years ago. And he always taught me to read an email two or three times to make sure that I don’t miss a bullet point. I don’t miss a full stop at the end of the sentence. He was all about perfection. And it got me into this area of being perfect from the early stage of my career. So I think that that played a huge role into it. And at the same time, honestly I’m not perfectionist at all in my personal life, so I think that all my perfection, all the energy that I have around perfection just goes into my work life.

Mary (33:00):
Well, and I don’t know if it’s really even perfection. Like Cat, you know, I work with you constantly and I work with the team daily, and it’s like a culture thing. Like, you guys really take this to heart where you, your whole team, you’re putting yourselves in the client shoes. Like you are acting as an extension of the clients. And, you know, when they have an urgent request or if something’s just not working out and they really need assistance, like you and the team are always willing to come in, help out because you’re seeing yourself as being part of that team. And I think that’s a really good, you know, differentiator when we think about, you know, how a third party can support the team. And I think that’s really important to have and establish that trust and that transparency is creating that solid relationship where you really are putting yourselves on the client side. I do the same thing and maybe that’s part of my downfall is that sometimes I take things a little bit too hard if something’s not working out for a client, but that’s just my passion. That’s the way I work. And that’s how I feel will be the most successful is really by being empathetic and putting ourselves in their shoes and making sure that this is going to be successful for them. I think that’s, I think it’s more than just, you know, trying to be perfect. It’s really just trying to be part of the client, the client’s team.

Gifford (34:26):
And I think that, I think the client sees it too. I think our clients see it. And any client would see it that as Mary says, having a, you know, it comes across as not just, it’s not just, this is Cat’s way of doing things, is this is a culture. And it gets noticed that way.

Catalina (34:43):
Yeah, I’ll definitely say it’s a culture that, that we have at MarketOne. It’s a culture that I’m extremely proud of. I’m extremely happy to be working along such amazing peers. And it is at the end of the day, apart from us being an extension of team, it’s also about being reliable, right. And the client, knowing that they can always rely on us. They know that if they leave something with us, we’ll get it done. They know that if they trust us with communication around their customers, we won’t mess it up. It’s about, yeah. It’s about having a very strong and, and healthy relationship, right?

Mary (35:25):
Yeah, absolutely.

Gifford (35:27):
Yeah. It makes total sense.

Mary (35:30):
I just thought maybe we can kind of package this up a little bit, because we were talking about like very much the conversation was around using a third party to help with campaign execution. But we also touched on, you know, this idea where obviously these organizations can take this process in house. So really whether or not you’re using an agency or managing your campaign execution process in house, you know, the, the summary that I’m getting here is, you know, we create the documentation, right? Making sure that the objectives of the program are clear, making sure that you have a flow of the campaign. So there’s this visual component to it. So everyone knows what is the general journey that is expected throughout this entire campaign. You know, Cat, you also talked about establishing these SLAs or service level agreements to really set the expectation and making sure that the teams are aligned on the goals and the objectives. You’re establishing that trust and reliability up front, but at the same time, and you touched on making it flexible enough so that we can account for those occasional urgent situations.

So, making sure that that’s a little bit more of the exception rather than the rule, with those urgent situations. And then again, whether it’s in house or whether someone is using a third party to manage campaign execution, I love the training aspect of it. So, you know, keeping the team well informed on what’s changing, but then even better is sharing the success stories or maybe lessons learned because that’s how the team is going to grow. They’re going to learn from findings from maybe the last campaign or learn from successes and apply that to a future campaign to only further replicate that success.

Catalina (37:08):
Exactly. And let’s not forget this work never stops, right? Documentation never stops. Documentation needs to be updated. We at times update our documentation once a week or once every two weeks. It’s about, as you said, learning from past mistakes. For example, the quality assurance checklist that also needs to be updated as soon as something has been caught by a member of the team. We always update it. We reshare it with everybody and then we provide training on the same platform across other clients just to make sure that, again, errors are not going to repeat themselves. And governance, right. I can’t, I don’t think that I can stress enough on governance. Making sure that everybody is working in the same way, whether they’re in one country or the other, it’s very important.

And again, whether you’re doing this in house or you’re working with an agency or with a partner, it’s about ensuring that everybody’s following one process. And I know that change management is going to play a really big part in this, if you’re doing this for the first time or whether you’re just starting to align right now. But hang in there, people will line the process. They will understand. It’s also about making sure that everybody is going towards the same goal and just, you know, keep doing it. You’re going to get there. You’re going together in the end.

Gifford (38:38):
Wow. Well, I think that’s a very good message to kind of to wrap up on top of Mary’s wrap up really. It covers it really well. However, there’s just one little thing left to do. So we’ve already learned a little bit about you, specifically that you yourself in your own life, you’re not so much of a perfectionist, but what we like to do is we like to finish these podcasts with 10 quickfire questions and it’s an either/or, and you can pick either one of them or both, or neither. Don’t think too hard about it, but it’ll tell us a little bit more about you. So if you’re, if you’re okay, Cat, I’ll ask you the questions. And the first one cats or dogs?

Catalina (39:22):
Dogs that can only be one Cat. OK.

Gifford (39:26):
Perfect. Automated or batch and blast?

Catalina (39:30):
Automated all the way.

Gifford (39:32):
Beach or mountains?

Catalina (39:34):

Gifford (39:35):
Insource or outsource?

Catalina (39:38):
Oh, outsource please. We’re dying for new challenges.

Gifford (39:43):
You’re gonna love the next one, Cat. Bicycle or car?

Catalina (39:47):
A hundred percent car. Unfortunately, I can’t ride a bicycle.

Gifford (39:52):
Now controversial, but I had to put it in there. Romania or the UK?

Catalina (39:57):

Gifford (39:58):
Perfect. There’s a big fence and you’re sitting on it.

Mary (40:02):
So Cat, wait, you were saying you can’t ride a bike. So when people say it’s just as easy as riding a bike or, oh, you’ll never forget about it, ‘cause it’s just as riding a bike. So how do you react to that?

Catalina (40:12):
I just go, well, I dunno how to ride a bike. So I don’t really know how that feels like.

Gifford (40:18):
Brilliant. All right. Only four more. Now going to the serious stuff. Now, wine or beer?

Catalina (40:23):

Gifford (40:24):
Wine or Cocktails?

Catalina (40:25):
Ooh, cocktails.

Gifford (40:28):
Quality control or quality assurance?

Catalina (40:32):
Quality assurance.

Gifford (40:33):
And finally, night or day?

Catalina (40:36):
Depends for what but..

Mary (40:39):
Best answer ever.

Gifford (40:40):
Best answer.

Mary (40:42):
I think we should be thanking Cat for being such a perfectionist and really raising the bar for me because now I feel like I’m completely incompetent and I’ve been doing it wrong this entire time. And now there’s a new bar set that I have to live up to. So, thank you, Cat for that.

Gifford (40:56):
Thank you very much indeed. For such an informative chat. I think Mary and I can both say now that we feel completely imperfect next to your perfection, even if it’s only 99.95%. And I for one would definitely turn to you first, if I needed to build 1500 or even 2000 emails all at once in the future. Hopefully we’ll get to talk to you again on another podcast at some point.

Catalina (41:24):
Thank you both. Thank you for having me. And, yes, I hope this conversation was insightful.

Gifford (41:31):
And to find out more about MarketOne, you can go to and to listen to other episodes of this podcast, you can go to