Does Your Company Have a Chief Marketing Technologist? Do You Need One?

For the past four years or so, a small but growing number of marketing thought leaders have contended that companies need a senior-level marketing executive to oversee the selection, implementation, and management of marketing technologies. The title most often used for this position is chief marketing technologist.

One of the leading proponents of this strategy is Scott Brinker, the president and CTO of ion interactive . Brinker also writes the Chief Marketing Technologist blog.

Brinker argues that marketing has become deeply entwined with technology, that there are now thousands of software applications available to marketers which touch almost every aspect of the marketing function. For this reason, Brinker contends that marketing should no longer rely on the IT department for all its technology needs. Instead, marketing must take ownership of its technology platforms and strategies.

In an article for Chief Content Officer magazine, Brinker identified three factors that make it critical for marketing to take charge of its technology toolsets.

  • Marketing initiatives must be conceived, tested, and executed at a rapid pace. Because many marketing initiatives now require or include a technology component, negotiating for and scheduling resources from the IT department can quickly create bottlenecks.
  • Both marketing and IT are concerned about controlling costs, but marketing may have different priorities than IT when it comes to marketing technology investments. Marketing must be able to allocate its budget to those technology projects that it deems most vital.
  • Technology is now part of the creative toolset. Knowing what your technology is capable of and having the expertise to implement and use those capabilities expands creative possibilities. It is much easier to realize the full potential of these synergies when one person has both marketing and technology expertise.

Brinker believes that a chief marketing technologist has five major responsibilities.

  • Assist the CMO to translate marketing strategies into technical reality
  • Serve as the principal liaison between marketing and the IT department
  • Manage the integration of the software applications and data repositories used in marketing
  • Encourage marketing to experiment with new technology
  • Help infuse technology into the DNA of marketing

What are your thoughts about creating a chief marketing technologist position in your company? Do you believe that marketing should be responsible for selecting and managing marketing technologies?

This post was previously published on the ADAM Software Blog.

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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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