Think Like a Chief Marketing Technologist

Marketing today is a delicate balance between art, science and technology. Being creative is not enough. Marketers have to evaluate many factors – from audience engagement to revenue growth, business objectives, and more.

These days, the glue that holds the art and science together is technology. But if you’re focused on being creative and driving business results, how do you find the time to select technologies that tie to the principles and frameworks of marketing, as well as being the right technologies for the rest of the business? 

Enter the Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT)— a hybrid role that comprises Chief Technology Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Recently The Harvard Business Review stated marketing is “rapidly becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions in business,” and that by “by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than its chief information officer.” With these increased investments occurring on the technology side, it’s no surprise that 81% of large companies have also invested in a CMT-like role to support this growth. An additional 8% of large organizations expect to add this type of role within the next 24 months.

But what kind of skills and traits does a CMT possess that makes them so valuable? For starters they have a strong background in marketing strategy, are technology enthusiasts who can work closely with IT, and are comfortable with evaluating and selecting technology partners. Above all, they are able to connect all of those aspects back to business goals and objectives in order to drive revenue.

Even with these increased investments in marketing technology, finding the right person for the role can be difficult. If your organization isn’t part of the 81% who have a Chief Marketing Technologist on the payroll yet, here are four ways you can begin to think like one:

1. Think in terms of solutions​

While it can feel easier to focus on the campaign at hand, a CMT is able to connect initiatives and investments to cost savings and revenue. They do this by thinking in terms of solutions versus focusing solely on creative campaigns or individual issues. Consider using the POST method to keep you and your team focused on the big picture, while also keeping in mind specific goals and objectives that will get you there.

2. Data before politics 

Words usually get all the credit for storytelling, but don’t forget that numbers tell (and sell) strong stories too. If you feel strongly that there’s a technology that will improve your business, crunch the numbers before you start to justify why you or your team needs it to do your jobs better.

3. Invest in complimentary products 

When it comes to technology there’s no such thing as a silver bullet that will solve all of your needs. Because of this, it’s important to select tools that either partner or compliment each other so you avoid investing in tools that overlap in features and functionality, but also put you on the fast track to achieving marketing success.

4. Support your users

Piggy backing on the idea that there isn’t a silver bullet technology fix to all of your marketing challenges, it also takes a village to make any technology implementation successful. You can further invest in success by getting your team members’ blessing before purchasing a technology and by supporting them once it’s up and running.

Has your organization hired a CMT or began to adopt a CMT mentality? What are some must-have traits that you look(ed) for? 

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Meghan Brindley is an Associate Market Director for Spredfast. When she’s not working with prospects and customers to achieve their social goals, you can find her enjoying the sights and sounds of Austin, TX with her dog, a goldendoodle named Tyler.