From In-House Ops to Agency

(From Town Citizen to Becoming City Superhero)

What you are about to read is my very own perspective and comparison on what it feels like transitioning from a Marketing Operations role for one company to a role within an agency working for many (clients). This has been written with a superhero theme of me elevating to a position of wider impact, and as an interviewee broadcasting my experience so far to an imaginative televised audience - tune in below.


So, Jerel, how would you describe the transition into Agency Life?

Consider the comparison to the fictional story of Marvel’s X-Men characters that have been highly glorified and imitated for decades. For those who may be unfamiliar, popular figures such as Wolverine, Iceman, and Deadpool (if anyone has seen these movies). These were once individuals with roles as regular citizens until they grew more aware of their special gifts and powers.

So, a Headmaster with powers of his own, by the name of Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X), founded “Xavier’s School of Gifted Youngsters” where he searches for these gifted ones solely to shelter them and strengthen their abilities with hopes of using them for the greater good of society.

And any superhero can apply to this, but just for the sake of close comparison, I’ll use X-Men. So, in this particular case, I feel like I transitioned from a citizen (meaning I played a similar role to individuals living within a city contributing to the stability and overall growth) using special Marketing Ops abilities for one company, to somewhat of a young superhero, now part of CS2 Marketing.

CS2 feels much like a learning institution for those with special Martech and Operational skills to support not only one company but many in their daily objectives to win in the marketplace. This institution is run by two great leaders, Cristina and Charlie Saunders – and ironically, similar to Charles Xavier, Charlie shares the same name in a morphed form. But for the sake of this comparison, I’ll call him Charles Saunders (Professor S).

As I’m becoming more acclimated with the daily way of working at CS2, I’ve already noticed quite a bit of similarities and differences between acting as in-house talent dedicated to one vision for one company, and an agency talent dedicated to one vision for many companies – that vision being to help solve their business problems.

The Similarities (Things that just won’t change)

Patience - Acting out of haste can lead to major issues and unfavorable outcomes that will only require you to spend more time correcting – sometimes irreversible!

Anxiety – Being uncomfortably cautious when executing on irreversible actions such as scheduling email sends, purging leads, or running batch updates on lead data – pressing that infamous red (launch) button.

Projects – The projects still involve a heavy amount of focus around demand gen strategy and execution, Martech optimization and training for/with clients, and exchanging ideas on effective ways to manage tools and processes.

Emergencies - Extinguishing the metaphorical fires that arise from system issues, inadvertent human error or ops malpractice. Define, implement, & adhere to your processes. (Try this easy-cheesy approach to preventing errors)

Teamwork - Collaboration is still and will always be the key to efficiency and delivering quality results – there isn’t a “Me” nor “I.”

Documentation – Whether it’s the framework, execution, or assets associated with processes, creating guides on best practices will help ensure that teams remain aligned and equipped for success. Sharing knowledge enables growth.

The Differences (Things that make it unique)

Clients – Work days consist of not only working to meet or exceed CS2’s goals and objectives but those of each of our clients as well. Everyone gets a piece of you throughout the week!

Balance – Managing multiple clients means their different needs, at different times – and it’s very likely that they just may overlap.

Stretched Role – CS2 offers frequent opportunities to expand outside of your designated role to explore and contribute to other areas of the business. Doors of opportunity are left unlocked at all times to take a peek and walk through.

Time Management – Managing multiple clients also means being aware of how much time is being allocated toward projects, and always being in an effort to mind priorities, yet work efficiently. Smart work over hard work!

Creative Freedom – When it’s not working on projects for clients, it’s brainstorming, creating, and implementing some of the coolest ideas and assets to strengthen the company’s brand. Creative liberty and expression in a job make work always worth it!

Interesting! Anything else you would like to share with viewers and listeners at home?

Overall, the experience has already been rewarding for me, in that I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing my heroic teammates take on some great challenges facing our clients, strategizing and eliminating them with poise and determination.

Often times, the rumble gets tough when faced with unexpected technical and human errors, all while balancing high volumes of work. But one thing I can say is that it teaches you to exercise a bit of patience and persistence – or what I call the 2 p’s in a pod for peace. Sounds more like a novel title, but it has been tried and true for me with remaining calm knowing that challenges turn into victories, should they be seen all the way through.

As a protégé to the marketing heroes, I work alongside, I feel empowered every day to share my thoughts and ideas and to turn those into weapons of mass creation with my team, and jump into action as the sidekick to remove the barriers keeping our clients from meeting their goals and objectives.

Clients, like chanting citizens within an action hero movie scene, want to feel a sense of protection and trust when they lack resources or skills to take on some of the daily business tasks of the world. Luckily, they can rely on experts like us to help them maneuver toward their desired outcomes. In positions such as mine, you continue to learn every day that there’s a much bigger picture, and it’s not so much about you, but what you can do for those around you.

So…as I look down on the city from the rooftop, that’s my view from CS2.

Jerel Allenin-house, agency