Marketing technologists – a new addition to the team?

In 2012, Gartner predicted that by 2017 CMOs would be spending more on technology than CIOs – so there’s no hiding from the fact that the lines between the marketing and technology teams are blurring.

According to Chief Martec, last year there were over 2,000 marketing technology solutions on the market. 2016 sees that figure rise to over 3,800. But how can marketers navigate this deluge of providers and platforms?

The key is to keep things simple. Maintaining the focus for the business and the customer is crucial. Sounds obvious, but start with the objective. Define what is to be achieved and find the right platforms to help.

Look for solutions that can automate some manual processes and consolidate tech too. Modern marketers are prone to the burden of marketing administration, the not-so-little monster that can turn attention away from the important stuff. The actual marketing bit. But creating efficiencies through single sign on, system integration or automation of triggered, repeatable tasks really can create more time in the day. And who doesn’t love that?

But does the breadth of technology applications at our fingertips require a new role in the marketing function? That of Marketing Technologist?

Modern day marketing is powered by technology and data. And it’s critical that, as marketers, we understand how to access, process and analyse the data these new technologies give us. But it can be overwhelming. Gartner’s 2015-16 CMO spend survey suggests that 80% of the large companies surveyed have a Chief Marketing Technologist or role equivalent – who is responsible for the tech capabilities of the marketing team.

Software is the window through which customers engage with brands digitally, so which platforms to choose and how to use them ultimately affects how marketing activity works – which is why it’s so important to remain focused on the goals. Marketing technologists can potentially hold the key to keeping the software we use relevant, as well as bringing marketers closer to technology.

Interestingly though, as Chief Martec also points out, around 47% of people currently in marketing technology roles were previously from a marketing background. Only 18% were in tech roles. This is encouraging, suggesting in the majority of cases that marketing technologists are marketers at heart, feeling the love for the customer and letting them guide the solutions which will help to deliver the very best experiences.

And print can help with that. As the digital world continues to explode, and consumers are exposed to more and more digital information, there needs to be a point of difference. With the personalisation opportunities, interactivity and myriad applications that modern print offers, it really can provide a platform for differentiation as part of a digital marketing strategy – delivering the wow factor in a physical form to augment that customer experience. 

Do you have a Marketing Technologist in your business? Do you think it’s a critical role for the future? Join the discussion on our LinkedIn page.

Do you have a Marketing Technologist in your business? Do you think it’s a critical role for the future? Join the discussion on our LinkedIn page.