cmt-featureWhat is a Chief Marketing Technologist? The position of CMT is a new executive level position that has been tossed around the blogosphere for a number of years. Many big companies have yet to fully understand the value of the position, primarily due to the lack of understanding exponentially changing information technologies- of which marketing is one.

As marketing and technology merge into hybrid disciplines where one cannot live without the other, it is critical one isn’t building technology that limits marketing. Or vice-versa, implementing marketing that isn’t taking advantage of the leaps and bounds that have been happening in technology.

This missing role is most apparent in larger organizations who have siloed the activities of their IT and marketing departments. If an “us versus them” situation exists between those two departments, missed opportunities are already afoot. One of the reasons these two disciplines traditionally do not play well together is due to the nature of the brainpower required. Marketing is often led by creative individuals who are less rooted in logical thinking paths while IT is led by data driven logically minded individuals who generally couldn’t draw to save their life.

In our data driven world, the importance of quantified marketing is surpassing the importance of advertising. To get clearer on that, here are about.com’s definitions of marketing and advertising.

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

The key nugget in here is the notion that marketing is about systematic planning, implementation and control. This is where marketing departments tend to make a mess instead of make a profit and where IT’s role is important.

In a previous blog post we talked about marketing maps. A marketing map is the visual representation of the systematic planning for a marketing process. When implemented and tracked you’re able to clearly determine the performance of a process both from the initial element perspective (ie: how well did this page convert new traffic to opt-ins we could remarket to) and the lifetime account value perspective (ie: great, we received more opt-ins but we have a lower lifetime account value from that traffic source [or offer]).

It takes the combined efforts of the TWO departments to design, implement, execute and quantify these activities. This is where the combined role of Chief Marketing Technologist is critical to keeping the left brain and right brain from blaming each other about why the body keeps tripping instead of sprinting through the 100m at record pace.

As our brand implies, we strive to bring the two juxtapositioned disciplines together under one roof in an effort to serve clients on both sides of the fence — but ultimately live in this new hybrid environment whose importance and value to a company continues to rapidly grow.

So the questions to ask yourself are these questions:

  1. Do you have in-fighting with regard to your technology team and your marketing team? Are they collaborative or combative? If the answer is yes- you’re missing the boat.
  2. Do you have someone who is systematically planning marketing or are they trying to do everything at once- throwing things at the wall to see what sticks? If the answer is no to systematic planning – a change here might be required. There is no reason to waste marketing dollars on things you can’t test to statistical significance – there are simply too many options and opportunities.
  3. Do you feel you and your team are taking advantage of the opportunities that exist within technology and marketing in today’s world? If the answer is no – give us a call and we’ll see if we can’t point you in the right direction or help with a project.

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