The Chief Marketing Technologist

Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions in business. In 2012 the research and consulting firm Gartner predicted that by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than its chief information officer was.

A new type of executive is emerging at the center of the transformation: the chief marketing technologist. CMTs are part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher. They have a common job:

  • aligning marketing technology with business goals
  • serving as a liaison to IT
  • evaluating and choosing technology providers
  • helping craft new digital business model

The best CMTs set a technology vision for marketing. They champion greater experimentation and more-agile management of that function’s capabilities. And they are change agents, working within the function and across the company to create competitive advantage.

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This rise in digital budgets is not merely a migration of spending from traditional to digital media. A growing portion of marketing’s budget is now allocated to technology itself. A recent Gartner study found that 67% of marketing departments plan to increase their spending on technology-related activities over the next two years. In addition, 61% are increasing capital expenditures on technology, and 65% are increasing budgets for service providers that have technology-related offerings.

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There are now well over 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide. CMO and the CIO must collaborate closely. Marketing technology must be managed holistically. In a virtuous cycle, what’s possible with technology should inspire what’s desirable for marketing, and vice versa.”

via The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist – Harvard Business Review.

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