The alphabet soup of corporate executive titles are familiar to most people - CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, CIO, CMO. One role that will see increasing importance in the coming years is that of a chief marketing officer who leans more towards technology than the traditional creative aspect.
This role is either titled as a Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT) or Chief Marketing Technology Officer (CMTO). Whatever the title, it’s very much a hybrid position that signals the transformation of technology in the workplace.
More Technology Than Business
In terms of responsibilities, the CMTO is positioned between the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). A CMO defines the overall creative vision and brand strategy. A CMTO is tasked with the practical side of marketing.
A CMTO’s responsibilities are varied:
• Assure that technology platforms and tools provide measurable and meaningful data for marketing campaigns.
• Analysis of data and outcomes from digital initiatives and leverage that analysis to improve customer acquisition, engagement and engagement.
• Use technology to enhance overall advertising for the company’s products and services.
• Collaborate closely with the CIO and CTO.
• Oversee and prioritize internal technology needs from marketing and translating those needs to IT.
• Manage marketing-specific systems and solutions supplied by multiple external vendors.
An Evolving Role
The role is so new that its scope is still being defined causing a CMTO to wear whatever hat they need to at any given time.
Vendors have been quick to step in to provide more and more tools. In the 2016 MarTech conference, it was revealed that there are at least 3,874 applications and platforms for managing and developing marketing campaigns and operations.
Demand for employees with both marketing and technical skills is increasing as companies realize the need for digital marketing. Most CMTOs are employees who have moved into the position from Marketing or IT.
Not all marketers are inclined towards the technical and vice versa for the technically trained. New hires with the necessary background and skills will be sought after as market technologists at all company levels.
University marketing curriculums are adopting more technology-oriented elements such as digital marketing, data analytics and customer relationship management software. A current marketing student would be well advised to pursue more technology classes not less.
Unique and Popular
The line between a CMO and a CMTO is growing blurrier by the day. What is fact is the continuing and increasing need for technically savvy marketers for companies of all sizes.
Market technology really is the convergence of business and technology. Market technologists and CMTOs don’t have to know how to code but they would need to know why IT development and systems work the way they do. They do need to understand and manipulate data but they don’t need to know how to install a database.
At minimum, a Market Technologist needs to have familiarity with:
• Marketing principles and techniques.
• Data mining methods and analytics software.
• Digital advertising networks and vendors.
• Social media platforms.
• Mobile communication platforms.
• Marketing software such CRM applications.
• Website design disciplines such as User Experience.
• Website development methods like Agile or Lean.
It’s an intimidating and unique collection of knowledge and skills. It’s this very uniqueness that make market technologists very popular.
A Bright Outlook
It was predicted in a 2014 Gartner survey that marketing technology expense would be an ever-increasing slice of the full budget. By 2017 it’s conceivable that Marketing would have a higher budget than IT. A large budget isn’t enough. The field needs people now and well into the future.
Since this field is in its early stages, it’s certain to be challenging and rewarding. The most essential item in a market technologist or potential CMTO’s resume will be the knowledge and experience of how to make technology and marketing work together.