Technology permeates nearly every facet of marketing today. The modern marketing team is powered by a mix of marketing automation platforms, email marketing applications and social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Add a layer of analytic and customer intelligence databases, and suddenly marketing looks a lot more technology- and data-driven than it ever has before.
Of course, your marketing team probably includes several members who have a good handle on at least some of these tools and platforms. A few young guns are social media savvy. You have an email guru and a couple of Excel experts. But do these people really qualify as a “marketing technologist?”
A marketing technologist sets the technology vision for marketing and is a strategic asset to the organization.
A chief marketing technologist is able to bridge the worlds of marketing and IT and also manage these areas holistically. As the person who sets the technology vision for marketing, they’re a strategic asset to the organization. Why? Because the melding of these two functions can create efficiencies, provide an in-depth understanding of the customer and, ultimately, forge a strategic advantage as you position your products in the marketplace.
It’s easy, then, to see why organizations are prioritizing marketing technology in their 2016 budgets. In its latest CMO Spend Survey, Gartner found that marketers’ top areas of technology investment were in social marketing, digital commerce, analytics and customer experience.
Yet choosing marketing technology vendors isn’t easy. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly challenging: In 2015, the number of marketing technology companies doubled to 2,000, according to Scott Brinker of ChiefMarTec.
The chief marketing technologist is a role focused on the future.
Navigating this landscape requires a special type of expertise. Focused on the future, the chief marketing technologist has both technology experience and a thorough understanding of marketing and how it impacts organizational goals.
But what happens if you don’t have this type of visionary on your team? That’s where an independent consultant comes in. They can provide the kind of experience you need to immediately transform your marketing efforts.
With expertise in marketing technology, a consultant can help your team lay the groundwork for their future efforts immediately. Because they’ve worked on numerous technology and marketing projects across many industries, independent consultants have a unique perspective on what works and what doesn’t, and can quickly begin the process of transforming your marketing organization into one that uses technology in appropriate and effective ways. For example, they can:
- Make meaningful connections across disparate datasets.
- Expand the use of customer intelligence.
- Evaluate workflow and marketing processes with an expert eye.
- Assess technology vendors and marketing platforms to identify those that best fit your needs.
- Save time by eliminating inefficiencies.
Gartner’s data indicates that there’s already a race underway to unlock the competitive advantage of marketing technology. Organizations who delay their entry may find themselves left woefully behind. Hiring a consultant to be your chief marketing technologist may be the smart way to stay ahead.