Agile marketing for effective leadership, Shopify’s earnings: Friday’s daily brief

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Good morning, Marketers, and I have a question for you.

The question relates to a number of stories we are working on, and several conversations we are having. Here it is: how widespread is the trend of merging marketing operations teams with sales operations teams (and customer success operations teams too)? 

I became familiar back in 2019 with the term RevOps as an umbrella term for formally or informally merged marketing and sales teams, charged together with driving revenue outcomes rather than, on the one hand, acquiring customers, and on the other, selling to them. I attended Lean Data’s OpsStars event in San Francisco and spoke with a number of Ops leaders driving that transformation.

But I want to get a better sense of how widespread it is. Please let me know:

Kim Davis

Editorial Director

How to lead people effectively on agile marketing teams

As a manager, you’re often left in the dust when organizations shift to agile marketing. While your role has always been to manage the team’s work, your direct reports are now spread out across different agile teams and have been told to only work on items from the marketing backlog.

So if you’re not there to assign and manage work, where do you fit in? The good news is that you have an even more important role now: to coach, mentor and lead your people to be excellent in their craft.

In agile marketing, day-to-day activities and how the team gets work done need to be owned by the team. Think about the group of kids who created Facebook from their college dorm rooms. They were free to experiment, fail, learn and grow because they had full autonomy to be entrepreneurs. We want to think about our agile marketing teams more like a group of entrepreneurs than hourly employees — or even perhaps the average cubicle-dweller.

Read more here.

Digital-first commerce boosts Shopify’s earnings  

The Ottawa-based global ecommerce platform yesterday announced striking financial results, with Q4 revenue up 94% YoY. Merchant Solutions revenues grew 117% (these are solutions Shopify offers in addition to its subscription platform, such as payments and shipping). Sales on the Shopify platform surpassed $5 billion during the holiday period. Full year revenue for 2020 showed an 86% YoY increase.

In contrast to Shopify’s success, Walmart saw a fall in shares in today’s pre-market trading as it reported Q4 earnings which fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Walmart has traditionally been a big-box retailer with almost 5,000 physical locations in the U.S. alone. It does, of course, have an ecommerce presence too, but it showed disappointing growth in Q4 (69%, the smallest increase since the pandemic hit).

This came against the backdrop of extra expenses involved in running physical locations during the pandemic, including sanitization, cleaning, and bonuses to staff.

Why we care. For the present, and for much of the foreseeable future, there’s a strong case for digital-first commerce. As consumers become accustomed to online shopping and delivery for products they would have previously purchased in-store, it’s in doubt whether they will revert to pre-pandemic habits once it’s safe to do so.

Infutor’s ID Max to be leveraged by

Today identity resolution vendor Infutor announced the activation by lead distribution software provider of Infutor’s ID Max consumer identity data solution. (ID Max uses Infutor’s TrueSource Identity Graph of some 260 million consumers.)

With Infutor’s solution, marketers can build out a complete identity from a single data point, such as name, phone number or email address. This complete identity can then be leveraged for personalization in a campaign. Infutor says that its TrueSource Identity Graph is reinforced on the order of 97.5 million daily updates from privacy- and security-compliant sources. offers lead generation and distribution software, and will leverage Infutor’s data to improve lead tracking, scoring and routing, and eliminate bad leads.

Why we care. One of marketing automation’s main selling points is volume. But marketers are also upping the value of campaigns by leveraging data and personalization prior to execution. Real-time data also enables optimization while on the fly.

Quote of the day

“Digital experiences are part tech, part creativity, part scientific thinking.” Alex Atzberger, CEO, Optimizely

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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