How to Find the Technologist Hiding in Your Marketing Team


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The average marketing organization often runs on 40+ technology applications. As teams bring more and more tech onto their plates, the marketing operations specialist who runs them is more crucial than ever. With that being said, how do you find the right person hiding within your marketing organization to take on the important role?

Marketing is quickly becoming one of the most technology-dependent departments in businesses today. We’ve all heard the infamous prediction by Gartner analyst Laura McClellan that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs (source). It has been over three years since she made her widely cited forecast, and each day it seems more likely to come true with the dramatically changing marketing technology landscape. Looking back at Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape from 2012, the year that McClellan made her provocative prediction, there were 350 marketing technologies cited. In his most recent landscape over 1,800 technologies made the cut.

As more and more marketing technologies crop up, CMOs face new pressure from CEOs to keep up with the widening landscape. They are expected to become technologists, but very few have the experience or the bandwidth to undergo the shift. To mitigate the transition, a new role is taking root – the marketing technologist.

40% of CMOs say increasing technology savvy is their top goal (Forrester).

Not all companies are at the right stage to hire a marketing technologist. However, someone within your existing marketing team that is already familiar with how your marketing organization operates and understands the needs of the organization is a hidden marketing technologist gem. If someone on your team can boost their knowledge of the marketing technology landscape, they would make a great marketing technologist – at least in the interim before a Chief Marketing Technologist becomes necessary.

To Uncover the Technologist CMOs may ask themselves:

  • Who is the marketing automation guru?
  • Who knows the analytics platform inside and out?
  • Who understands sales processes and marketing/sales handoffs?
  • Who is not terrified of spreadsheets?
  • Who is organized and tech-savvy?

Marketing Technology is wholly representative of the intersection between marketing and IT. Depending on the size and structure of your marketing team, the role of marketing operations is probably the closest fit to this unique combination of skillsets.

Designating a specific member of the marketing team, such as a marketing operations team member, as the technology owner helps ensure the marketing technology the company uses aligns with overarching marketing strategies and business goals.

This delegation also gives the marketing team the best chance at staying operationally efficient and independent from outside IT or engineering departments.

Equipping a marketing ops team member with a marketing technologist skillset is not necessarily an easy feat. However, with an existing understanding of core marketing operation technologies such as CRM, marketing automation, advertising, and business intelligence platforms, the transition should prove manageable, if not smooth.

As Kathleen Schaub, VP of IDC CMO Advisory Service said in The Future of Marketing Operations: Predictions for 2015, “companies can’t just reap all of the benefits of marketing technology without proficiency in operations” (source). One of the keys to success for a marketing technologist is a firm understanding of how to map an organization’s marketing needs to the technologies that are currently available. Marketing technologists need to have a deep competency of the tech landscape in order to piece together how their marketing strategy fits in; or more importantly, what technologies are available that could execute operations more smoothly for the organization.

Marketing technologists, like marketing operations, also need to act as a liaison between various departments and across functions within the marketing team itself. A core competency in the existing marketing technology stack will only help solidify this position as the owner of all things MarTech. This distinct ownership will become increasingly important as the marketing technology stack grows both in size and in complexity.

Looking ahead at the growth trajectory of the marketing technology landscape, a marketing technologist, or even a Chief Marketing Technologist, will become a required investment. Until that position is necessary, equipping a particularly tech-savvy marketing operations team member with the skills they need to succeed in a marketing technologist role is the best option. With one foot through the MarTech door already, they will be mapping innovative technologies to your marketing strategies in no time!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Orinna Weaver
Orinna is a Content Marketing Specialist at Radius. She helps marketers grow through constructive content and specializes in business-to-business marketing strategies.


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