TextOre Blog

The Role of Chief Marketing Technologist

July 21, 2014

An article in the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review (HBR) talks about the new role of Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT). The CMT is bridging the gap between marketing and IT, but also spanning new business areas.

CMTs are runnersThe article, “The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist” by Scott Brinker and Laura McLellan, is based on the fact that marketing is becoming one of the most technology-dependent – and technology-driven – functions in market-facing businesses. In 2017, technology spending by Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) will be higher than by Chief Information Officers (CIOs), according to Gartner. The rise in spending is caused by growth in digital media, ecommerce, and supporting software and technologies.

A CMT is part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher, according to Brinker and McLellan. He/she sits between the CMO / marketing, the CIO / IT department, and external software / service providers, but usually reports to a CMO or VP of Marketing.

The CMT should be at the forefront in deciding digital marketing strategy, choosing the right software solutions, and making sure the organization is taking advantage of the technology available.

In our view, the CMT role – and similar business roles on the rise in other business areas – is crucial for organizations aiming for growth in the era of Big Data. Among the CMT’s focus areas should be collecting and utilizing data from for instance:

  • sales and other customer interactions
  • social media
  • general market trends
  • population and geo-data

The CMT should champion a marketing data strategy ranging from data collection, via processing and storage, to analysis and reporting. The data strategy should include data types, software tools and human resources needed.

The reasoning behind the CMT role might also be applied to other organizational functions.

  • Product managers would definitely benefit from access to real-time data on consumer trends and technology shifts.
  • Business analysts should get directly involved in choosing data sources and analytics tools.
  • Sales people may have clear views on how to collect the most valuable customer data.
  • Logistics and production managers in companies with mixed internal and external value chains should have access to dashboards with metrics from a range of data sources and systems.

In all these cases, a combination of domain knowledge and technology skills is needed. Business will have to become more tech savvy, and IT / tech need to understand business better. The winners will be those companies that blend business and technology in new and profitable ways.

Please leave your comments and ideas below.



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