Digital technology is changing everything from fitness and health to business and marketing. We are experiencing an evolution of the traditional business model, which means an evolution of traditional business roles. A marketer’s role now expands across multiple job descriptions including public relations, advertising, graphic design, and of course, a heavy emphasis on technology. While print marketing is still important, a large portion of marketing efforts are digital, hence the rise of the marketing technologist.
The Marketing Technologist
The Marketing Technologist integrates important marketing data with marketing incentives. Most marketing technologists have background experience in both IT and marketing. Whether they majored in marketing and learned basic IT post graduation or other way around, they have a solid understanding of both fields. It requires both analytical and creative ways of thinking. While the breed is rare, marketing technologists are slowly populating forward thinking companies to help foster innovation and make efficient use of data available through business software. According to a Gartner Research study, CMO’s will be spending more on technology than the CIO’s by 2017.
Why is this role so important?
It’s as simple as supply and demand. High supply of marketing technology demands people who can understand and use it. With new marketing software emerging daily, how can businesses keep up with the latest trends? Well, leave that to the marketing technologist. This person is an agent of innovation for your company and will make sure you’re at or ahead of the competitive curve. I recently read an article by Scott Brinker illustrating the extensive marketing technology landscape. Just glancing at this graphic gives me anxiety. With the already high and increasing supply of marketing technology, there is now an increasing demand for marketing technologists.
“Every aspect of marketing – from brand, experience design, and demand generation, to content marketing, analytics and measurement –is affected by technology,” as stated in the Gartner Research Study. “The CMO needs a senior trusted advisor skilled in the art of evaluating and implementing technology-enabled solutions.” The Marketing Technologist will have a hand in every aspect of marketing because of the technologies associated with them. In essence, the Marketing Technologist will manage marketing efforts and report to the CMO. (MarTech)
Why you should cultivate your own
Companies outsource for many reasons, whether it is a lack of resources, expertise, or something else. While there is no question that marketing agencies should have a handful of marketing technologists, how should companies with in-house marketing and IT departments approach this new landscape? Well, the simplest answer is to hire someone who has experience in both marketing and IT. But, let’s be honest, they are hard to find right now.
As a marketer in a small technology company, my advice is to develop your own marketing department to incorporate the tech side of things. Yes, it seems complicated and definitely a large uptake in work. However, thinking long term, it is the best investment for your team as a whole. Put a program in place that allows your employees (both IT and marketing) to invest their time in the future well being of your company.
It may already be evident from this article, but Marketing Technologists are hard to find so invest in your own existing team to create your own gang of marketing technologists! Here are some ways to start this organization development:
- Start creating goals based on analytics and integrate reporting in every marketing effort
- Begin a flow of conversation between IT and Marketing so they get comfortable working together and asking questions
- Foster an innovative environment rooted in new technology
One way your marketing and IT teams can work together to become marketing technologists is to collaborate on researching and implementing new technology in your company. Make sure your head marketer and IT person are on any implementation calls so that you can get the most out of the software.
Read more: Why a “Chief Marketing Technologist” Will Be Your Boss Soon
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