What are the job responsibilities of marketing technology management?


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Marketing Technology Management Job Responsibilities

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2019 Martech Salary Survey. We’re analyzing the compensation data now, and we’ll release the full results at the MarTech conference in San Jose in just a few weeks. (There’s still time left to snag a ticket — it’s a packed agenda you won’t want to miss.)

But as an advance look, I want to share with you the data we collected about marketing technology and operations roles and responsibilities. (Click on the graphic above for a full-screen — i.e., readable — view of the chart.) Having run this survey two years in a row — here’s the data from last year — we can see how these roles are evolving longitudinally over time.

For our analysis, we filtered the data down to only those respondents who reported their role as primarily marketing technology, marketing operations, or combined marketing operations and technology management. We excluded respondents who identified as a “digital” role instead — even though many have martech responsibilities — to focus on dedicated marketing tech and ops positions.

For 2018, n=432 respondents were qualified by this criteria. For 2019, n=371. The survey was global, although the majority of respondents were from the US.

Top 5 Marketing Technology & Operations Responsibilities

Top 5 Martech Job Responsibilities

One of the first things that jumps out from the year-over-year data is the consistency of the top five responsibilities. From martech staff and managers up to more senior directors and VPs, these are the core functions that these roles deliver to the organization:

  1. Research and recommend new marketing technology products.
  2. Operate marketing technology products as an administrator.
  3. Train and support marketing staff on using marketing technology products.
  4. Integrate marketing technology products with each other.
  5. Monitor data quality within marketing technology products.

If you’re looking for a brief marketing technologist job description, that’s a pretty good one.

You can actually map these top five martech responsibilities across the complete grid of the 5 Forces of Marketing Technology & Operations:

5 Forces Marketing Technology & Operations Top Job Responsibilities

  • CENTRALIZE + AUTOMATE: Operate marketing technology.
  • DECENTRALIZE + AUTOMATE: Integrate marketing technology products.
  • CENTRALIZE + HUMANIZE: Train and support marketing staff on marketing technology.
  • DECENTRALIZE + HUMANIZE: Monitor data quality.
  • CHANGE: Research and recommend new marketing technology.

While the foundation of marketing technology management is centralizing technology and data — the “operating” in marketing operations — real success in these roles is often achieved through connecting to the rest of this grid.

Training and supporting marketing staff on martech is key to modern marketing enablement. Integrating martech that may be decentralized across marketing helps more teams use more specialized tools without being siloed. Monitoring data quality looks for anomalies in customer experiences and empowers front-line staff to identify and fix erroneous information.

Researching and recommending new marketing technologies is a key element of embracing continuous change.

Changes and Gaps in Martech Responsibilities

As we go further down the list, there were a couple of significant drops in the frequency of other martech responsibilities. Participants in this year’s survey were a little less likely to:

  • Perform technical reviews of marketing technology products (-11%)
  • Identify and sundown outdated or unused marketing technology products (-10%)

Reduced technical reviews may be a function of the maturing of martech products. They’re more polished. Many have been around long enough now to have established track records. More of them are certified partners in the ecosystems of major martech platforms, which can simplify their integration and provide some assurance of their quality and interoperability.

The 10% drop in identifying and sundowning outdated or unused martech isn’t huge. But at 47%, less than half of marketing technologists reported this as one of their job responsibilities. Maybe in the scheme of ever expanding martech stacks this isn’t a top priority. After all, many of these tools are cheap or free. But still, good marketing stack hygiene feels like it should be higher on the list.

But what really concerns me are the two responsibilities highlighted in orange below:

Martech Job Responsibility Gaps

It is disappointing that, for the second year in a row, performing data privacy and compliance reviews and performing security reviews both remained at the bottom of the list of martech responsibilities — and even dropped a few percentage points.

Given the current environment, where privacy regulations and data security breaches present increasing risks to brands — both financially and reputationally — it seems imprudent for these responsibilities to be “not my job” in marketing technology and operations.

I’m willing to acknowledge the excuse that perhaps an IT or security team outside of marketing operations carries the mantle of governing privacy and security. It’s wise to have a dedicated security expert conduct reviews. But even when that’s true — and I believe IT should provide expertise and oversight here — it does not absolve marketing technologists of their duty to manage their stacks with these factors in mind too.

In the marketing stack, security should be everyone’s job.

Differences Between Junior and Senior Martech Responsibilities

This year, we also segmented the martech job responsibilities data into two groups:

  • Junior Roles: Staff and Managers
  • Senior Roles: Directors, Senior Directors, VPs, and C-Levels

This is how they compare with each other (click on the graphic below for a full-screen version that highlights the delta of significant differences):

Senior Marketing Technology Job Responsibilities

The differences aren’t surprising, although it is reassuring to see that several strategic martech responsibilities that had lower averages overall were ranked significantly higher among senior martech leaders. Senior roles are much more likely — 37% to 42% more likely — to:

  • Pay for marketing technology products from a budget, partially or fully (71%)
  • Negotiate business terms for purchasing marketing technology products (68%)
  • Approve or veto purchase of marketing technology products (68%)

With more than 2/3 of these senior-level martech positions given the above authority, we can add these three responsibilities to the core job description of such roles. The majority of senior martech leaders also own these responsibilities:

  • Architect the overall marketing stack of all marketing technology products (69%)
  • Monitor the performance and other SLAs of marketing technology products (56%)
  • Integrate marketing technology products with non-marketing systems (58%)
  • Perform technical reviews of marketing technology products (56%)
  • Identify and sundown outdated or unused marketing technology products (59%)
  • Identify and consolidate multiple instances of same or similar marketing technology products (56%)

It’s also a bit encouraging to see that 44% of senior martech leaders perform data privacy and compliance reviews — up 9% from the overall average of 36%. But it should be a responsibility of the majority of these roles. And still only 27% perform security reviews.

As a profession, we’ve got work to do on privacy, compliance, and security.

Customizing Martech Without Tears Code

This year’s data also revealed a slight drop, from 43% to 35%, of participants reporting that they customize martech products with software development.

It could be that the out-of-the-box capabilities of martech products, particularly with all the off-the-shelf choices available inside marketing platform ecosystems, offered by certified third-party developers, have reduced the need for homegrown martech software.

Another factor may be that the democratization of marketing technology is proceeding apace, with a growing array of tools for citizen development and citizen integrators. See: Now every marketer is an app developer — even if they don’t know it. Marketers are tailoring marketing technology for their specific workflows and customer experiences, but they’re not explicitly doing “software development” with programming languages like Python or Javascript.

As we discussed in the 3 trends driving the Second Golden Age of Martech, we’re moving beyond a strict “build vs. buy” dichotomy to a world of custom apps & ops built on common platform foundations.

Martech Trends: Ecosystems, Experts, and (Citizen) Engineers

One thing is clear from this year’s data. Marketing technology management continues to mature as a profession, with increasingly well-defined roles and responsibilities.

P.S. If you’re working in or leading marketing technology management, one more thing is for sure: the MarTech conference is for you. Come join us April 3-5 in San Jose to hear about vendor-agnostic martech leadership strategies from brands such as Aetna, Autodesk, Cisco Meraki, Docker, The New York Times, Netflix, Nordstrom, NPR, Sub-Zero, Zillow, and more.

Get your ticket now.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Scott Brinker
Scott Brinker is the president & CTO of ion interactive, a leading provider of post-click marketing software and services. He writes the Conversion Science column on Search Engine Land and frequently speaks at industry events such as SMX, Pubcon and Search Insider Summit. He chairs the marketing track at the Semantic Technology Conference. He also writes a blog on marketing technology, Chief Marketing Technologist.


  1. Hi Scott: It’s clear that the self-assessment of job responsibilities for marketing technology practitioners skews toward tactical, rather than strategic outcomes. What struck me is that outside perform data privacy and compliance reviews, none of these deliverables examines protecting customer outcomes or addressing corporate risk.

    That deploying marketing technology carries great potential for nefarious use and stakeholder damage is no great epiphany. The apparent primacy of operational issues, and the absence of governance and risk analysis as a job responsibility, might explain some – or many – of the trust and brand image problems organizations experience when customer privacy is breached, or when their data is used in ways that customers did not know about or approve. Could a root cause be that no one in marketing paid attention to it?

    I’m interested in your thoughts: Among managers of marketing technology, do you think governance deserves greater attention?

  2. Short answer: absolutely.

    Caveat that this survey was done in the context of technology management, which is a narrow subset of marketing. We didn’t really ask strategic questions, so it’s not their fault that we didn’t show strategic answers in our results.


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