Marketing technologist: Everything you need to know about this emerging role | Brafton (2022)

What is a marketing technologist?

A marketing technologist is a curator of the technology vision of a marketing department, from the marketing software tools it uses to how it trains teams to use them. The marketing technologist (or martech) role is relatively new — having really emerged in the 2010s — and typically senior.

Marketing technologists also go by titles like chief marketing technologist (CMT) or business information officer and serve as liaisons between an organization’s IT and marketing operations. CMTs work closely with CIOs and especially CMOs — to whom they often report — as well as with other senior members of the marketing team internally and numerous vendors externally.

Gartner has provided a helpful visualization of how CMTs usually stand in relation to other departments and marketing professionals within large companies:

Marketing technologist: Everything you need to know about this emerging role | Brafton (1)

Via Harvard Business Review

The importance of CMTs to marketing teams

For the “broader marketing team” in particular, the marketing technologist serves as a teacher, trainer, advisor, technical support provider and creative director. Basically, a CMT helps other marketers navigate the intersections of marketing and technology, drawing upon their deep knowledge in both fields.

Their expert guidance is important because marketing has become more automated, more multi-channel and overall more technologically complex over time, particularly since the 1990s. Demand for a holistic, CMT-like position bridging the marketer-IT manager divide has increased in tandem.

Indeed, marketing department hierarchies once lacked any technology-oriented roles. Instead, all technical strategy was entrusted to CIOs and CTOs, including the procurement and deployment of marketing automation platforms and analytics systems, plus any related software development.

Today, CMTs take the lead instead. Their day-to-day activities reflect the realities of a marketing industry dominated by software and by cloud computing.

A history of the marketing technologist role

Scott Brinker, the main chronicler of the evolution of the marketing technologist role, described the position as a product of the dot-com boom of the 1990s, when marketing and IT were still siloed from each other despite the growing reliance of marketing teams on online channels.

(Video) The many minds (and roles) of marketing technologists

For example, Brinker described marketing teams circa 2000 needing outside agency assistance with building their websites, and more specifically in progressing through the entire process of mocking up designs in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and then turning those assets into something material. CMTs and the tools of their trade — like marketing automation software — arose in response.

When we look at this timeline of marketing automation platforms, we can see inflection points in both 1999 (the peak of the dot-com era, when future Oracle acquisition Eloqua launched and around the time of Brinker’s anecdote) and in 2006, when marketing software staples like Salesforce and HubSpot both began liftoff:

Such software has also become much more economical over time. Here’s the cost of marketing automation tools since the 1990s versus the number of vendors offering them, with 2006 again as a pivotal year:

Marketing technologist: Everything you need to know about this emerging role | Brafton (3)

Via Marketing Automation Insider

The marketing technologist role today

The modern CMT role has integrated the responsibilities that once fell to external agencies like Brinker’s into the internal operations of marketing and IT departments.

(Video) Webinar: A conversation with Scott Brinker. Marketing Technologist and the future of jobs

A marketing technologist helps marketing teams adapt to new tools (e.g., via training), master existing ones and generally get the most utility of the numerous applications — from email marketing products to SEO analytics suites — they rely upon.

The maturation of cloud computing (i.e., the on-demand delivery of IT resources, including marketing platforms, over an Internet Protocol network) has turbocharged the adoption of these marketing technologies and others, as many of them can now be easily accessed from any internet-enabled device and don’t require super-complex configuration.

Cloud adoption has in turn reshaped the CMT role itself. The vast range of options, all available in an instant, means that marketing technologists must be adept curators in addition to technical masters. This diagram of content marketing tools, many of them cloud-based like Adobe Creative Cloud and GoToMeeting, shows the importance of the CMT knowing which exact solutions will best support their organization’s marketing efforts.

What are the main responsibilities of a marketing technologist?

What a marketing technologist does will inevitably vary by company, but typically their work spans two primary areas: one focused on software tool curation and the other on how this software is utilized in marketing initiatives. These areas can be more granularly described as “martech selection and implementation” and “brand and demand building.”

Area No.1: Martech selection and implementation

A marketing technologist may determine whether marketing teams have technical tools suited to their strategies. For example, if a marketing department is still manually tracking the KPIs (e.g., cost per lead, conversions, etc.) of a content marketing campaign in spreadsheets, a CMT may evaluate the possibility of implementing a marketing automation platform or CRM system.

Similarly, they may field marketer requests for new technology and provide recommendations, along with training and how-to guidance on integrating tools into marketing initiatives. Because many marketing technologists have an academic background in computer science plus practical experience in IT, they bring relevant knowledge to their considerations of martech vendors and to the subsequent rollout of any selected solutions.

Sorting out the marketing tool wheat from the chaff is no trivial endeavor. Consider this overview of the martech landscape as of April 2019, which includes literally thousands of solutions across sales automation, data analytics, PPC, artificial intelligence and more:

(Video) The Role of a Legal Technologist

Marketing technologist: Everything you need to know about this emerging role | Brafton (5)

Via ChiefMartec.com

Again, curation is paramount. CMTs are ultimately responsible for reviewing, retiring, upgrading and replacing the entire marketing technology stacks at their companies. To that end, they may approve or veto purchases, solicit feedback from other marketing team members and assess potential options based on criteria like their respective cybersecurity protections and feature completeness.

Area No. 2: Brand and demand building

Marketing automation platforms, big data analytics software and other technologies are essential tools for today’s marketers, who rely on them to identify, nurture and track leads, among other purposes. The marketing technologist is both a technology leader and a creative director for the rest of the marketing team, showing them not only which tools to use (and how) but the ways in which these products and services support their work.

Let’s think about some of the common workflows a marketer may need help with, in the form of hypothetical questions, and how a CMT might initially steer them toward the right technologies for building the company brand and stoking demand.

Marketer: How can I improve the conversion rate on our website?

CMT: Take advantage of landing page grading services, A/B testing and custom form/app creators to draw more leads toward your digital marketing funnel and fine-tune your copywriting, too.

Marketer: What do I need to run a successful B2B email campaign?

CMT: Many marketing automation platforms like Mailchimp have comprehensive email capabilities alongside templates and content creation features.

(Video) #GlennSymposium2022 Day 2: Essential Technology: The Future of Energy Storage

Marketer: How do I know if what I’m doing is truly working?

CMT: You need analytic modeling. Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics can help you track the customer journey in general, while many other tools include their own bespoke analytics.

Marketer: Most of our customers engage with us on mobile platforms. How do I optimize their experience?

CMT: Responsive web design is an important component of mobile strategy. Alternatively, a mobile app or dedicated mobile domain may be useful.

As we can see, the CMT should be a subject matter expert on how marketing technology works, both technically and in the context of actual marketing campaigns. That said, the balance of IT and marketing know-how is not uniform across all marketing technologist roles.

Brinker created this chart showing how there are four main varieties of CMT, as defined by their positions on two axes: 1) How internal or external facing their roles are and 2) the degree of technical or procedural activity involved in their job:

Marketing technologist: Everything you need to know about this emerging role | Brafton (6)

Via Martech Today

Note the “operations orchestrator” role. Its title underscores the influence of cloud computing on the very terminology of marketing technologist, as orchestration is the automation and overall management of multiple cloud interconnections. CMTs do something similar in making sense of various tools, in support of marketing campaigns.

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The skills necessary for becoming a marketing technologist

At a minimum, a marketing technologist must have technical knowledge and skills related to key marketing technologies such as automation platforms and data analytics. Experience in building websites, running digital agencies and/or overseeing marketing campaigns is important.

An undergraduate degree in an academic field such as computer science is common, as is a graduate degree in business. This combination gives CMTs balanced expertise, which they can leverage when training other marketers, interacting with vendors and deciding how to spend the marketing budget of their organizations.

Is it worth it to upgrade to that new platform? Should we hire those consultants? The CMT, alongside the CTO, CMO, and CIO, is at the forefront of making these choices, and their responsibilities will only grow as technology becomes more intertwined with how marketing operations work.

FAQs

What is the role of marketing technologist? ›

Most Common Responsibilities of a Marketing Technologist (Source: Survey by chiefmartec.com / MarTech Today) Train and support marketing staff on using marketing technology products. Research and recommend new marketing technology products. Operate marketing technology products as an administrator.

What skills do you need to be a marketing technologist manager? ›

The top five successful skills of a marketing technologist
  • Optimizing the martech stack. ...
  • An agile mindset. ...
  • An early adopter mindset. ...
  • Experimentation. ...
  • Strategy-focused. ...
  • Ahrefs. ...
  • Google Analytics. ...
  • Slack.

Is martech a good career? ›

But martech is also a profession where careers — like the technology itself — are advancing quickly. Nearly half (45.6%) of the respondents in our survey have been promoted within the past year. 75% have been promoted within the past two years. Martech is also a pretty good paying profession too.

What are marketing technology solutions? ›

Marketing technology (also known as martech) is a set of software solutions used by marketing leaders to support mission-critical business objectives and drive innovation within their organizations.

How does technology benefit marketing? ›

Technology has transformed marketing by making campaigns more personalized and immersive for people and creating ecosystems that are more integrated and targeted for marketers. And it's not just the interface between brands and people that have been transformed.

How can I improve my marketing management skills? ›

Here are the top 10 skills you need to succeed as a marketing manager.
  1. An ability to understand buyer needs. ...
  2. Know the sales process. ...
  3. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills. ...
  4. Creativity and writing skills. ...
  5. Good teamwork skills. ...
  6. Communication skills and networking. ...
  7. Adaptability. ...
  8. Good organization and planning skills.

What is the most important skill set marketing professionals should have in today's job market? ›

At its core, marketing is about communicating to an audience, so it's no surprise that communication is the top skill those in the field need to have! Being able to express yourself and convey concepts to others in a clear, engaging way will be essential to your work as a marketer.

What are skills required in marketing department? ›

Successful marketers use communication skills and time management to handle multiple projects at once. They pay close attention to metrics and analytics to see what advertising and marketing campaigns perform well. They're constantly adjusting and using critical thinking skills to create more effective opportunities.

What are examples of marketing technology? ›

Here are the main types of marketing technology:
  • Analytics. ...
  • Advertising. ...
  • Customer relationship management. ...
  • Search engine optimization. ...
  • Email marketing. ...
  • Customer experience software. ...
  • Content management. ...
  • Content creation.
May 17, 2021

Is MarTech a CRM? ›

MarTech is your source for CRM (customer relationship management) content. You'll find a variety of up-to-date and authoritative resources, including the latest news, tactic-rich tutorials, and the latest data to help you work smarter and make better decisions.

Is MarTech digital marketing? ›

MarTech has become a staple in digital marketing campaigns, but can also be used to optimize marketing efforts across any marketing channel.

What is an example of martech? ›

Examples of martech include: CRM software. Content marketing platforms. Email marketing software.

What are the 10 advantages of technology? ›

Table of Contents
  • Ease of Access to Information.
  • Saves Time.
  • Ease of Mobility.
  • Better Communication Means.
  • Cost Efficiency.
  • Innovation In Many Fields.
  • Improved Banking.
  • Better Learning Techniques.

What are the latest technologies used in advertising? ›

Conclusion
  • Chatbots.
  • Blockchain-based marketing tools.
  • Voice technology.
  • Mobile-first solutions.
  • Data management and customer data platforms.
  • Omnichannel communication experience.
  • Push notifications.
  • Internet of Things.
May 5, 2022

What are hard skills in marketing? ›

Hard skills in marketing are tangible, teachable, and often improve with time and experience.
...
Mastering these marketing skills will put you in position for a promotion.
  • Data Analysis. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Technological Proficiency. ...
  • Project Management. ...
  • People Management.

What training is needed for marketing? ›

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many entry-level marketing jobs typically require a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate marketing education programs typically lead to a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing or a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing.

What is the most important skill in digital marketing? ›

Skills such as empathy and communication should be installed in a marketer to improve Customer Service Management. Good communication skills in a digital marketer includes variables such as spreading impactful messages, establishing trust, and building relationships.

What are the four marketing skills? ›

Commercial awareness, market acknowledgement, customer centricity, and strategic thinking. The business world presents the need for owning and managing as many skills as you possibly can in order to be a flexible employee and work proficiently in different departments.

What are the five key skills needed for a successful marketing manager? ›

Top marketing manager skills
  • Leadership skills.
  • Technical skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Creative skills.
Feb 25, 2020

Is digital marketing a technology? ›

Simply put digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the application of digital media, data and technology integrated with traditional marketing communications to achieve marketing objectives.

What is the role of marketing? ›

Marketing proactively identifies the products and services to focus on over the course of your sales cycle, and then produces materials and communications that get the word out.

What are marketing operations? ›

Marketing operations is the function of overseeing an organization's marketing program, campaign planning and annual strategic planning activities. Other responsibilities include technology and performance measurement and reporting and data analytics.

What is Martech landscape? ›

What is the Martech Landscape? Martech describes the marriage of technology and marketing with the intention of satisfying marketing goals through useful tools. However, these tools are not one-size-fits-all - marketers need to select from a wider martech marketplace to satisfy their unique initiatives.

What are the 3 roles of marketer? ›

The Three Roles of Marketing
  • The First Role of Marketing: Get their attention.
  • The Second Role of Marketing: Help them figure out if it's a fit.
  • The Third Role of Marketing: Lower the risk of taking the next step.

What are the two major roles of marketing? ›

Some of the most important role of marketing in making a product successful are as follows:
  • Meets consumer needs and wants: ...
  • Ensures organization survival, growth and reputation: ...
  • Widens market: ...
  • Adapting the right price: ...
  • Better product offerings: ...
  • Creates utility: ...
  • Management of demand: ...
  • Face competition:

What are the 10 marketing activities? ›

11 marketing activities
  • Conduct market research. ...
  • Segment your customers. ...
  • Enhance customers' experiences. ...
  • Create engaging and informative content. ...
  • Target customers with high bounce rates. ...
  • Distribute newsletters. ...
  • Budget for more ads. ...
  • Develop an effective pricing system.
Oct 26, 2021

What are the 5 different job levels in marketing? ›

How the marketing job title hierarchy is organized
  • Specialist/coordinator marketing jobs.
  • Manager jobs.
  • Director jobs.
  • Executive-level marketing jobs.

What is the highest position in marketing? ›

The Chief Marketing Officer, or CMO, is the most senior marketing position.

What is the highest paying marketing job? ›

High-Paying Marketing Jobs
  1. International Marketing Executive: $282,100. ...
  2. Top Channel Development Executive: $267,200. ...
  3. Top Marketing Executive: $244,400. ...
  4. Top Market Research Executive: $193,100. ...
  5. Marketing Director: $152,800. ...
  6. Ecommerce Marketing Director: $148,500. ...
  7. Database Marketing Manager: $97,100.

How do you market a beginner? ›

Consider these tips to make the most of your experience.
  1. Consider your long-term goals. ...
  2. Know the importance of building brand awareness. ...
  3. Use SEO to its fullest. ...
  4. Choose the right target areas. ...
  5. Create strong content. ...
  6. Discover your online potential.
Apr 1, 2021

What is technical marketing content? ›

Technical marketing is marketing that focuses on the key specifications and features of a product. Normally, marketing should avoid the use of jargon or inside information. But crucially, technical marketing is designed to appeal to people with a basic technical appreciation of a product.

What are the 4 components of operational marketing? ›

Key Elements to Operational Marketing
  • Element #1: A strategy-based and goal-driven planning approach.
  • Element #2: A complete system view.
  • Element #3: A process for measurement, refinement, and optimization.
  • Element #4: The discipline to connect all activities to outcomes.
  • Element #5: A culture of excellence.
Sep 24, 2020

Is martech a SaaS? ›

How Has Martech Grown? +5,233%. This is the growth rate of the number of SaaS marketing technology companies between 2011 and 2020! The huge wave of digital transformation across industries has helped bolster this growth.

How many martech tools are there? ›

There are currently a little over 8,000 MarTech solutions available worldwide, a market that has seen considerable growth since 2011 where only 150 tools were available.

What is an example of martech? ›

Examples of martech include: CRM software. Content marketing platforms. Email marketing software.

Videos

1. What Is a Marketing Technologist Video
(Datalicious DataScientist)
2. FoundFriday - The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist
(DemandSphere Enterprise SEO & Content Marketing)
3. Webinar: A conversation with Scott Brinker. Marketing Technologist and the future of jobs
(GenDSchool)
4. Marketing Technologist at P&G
(P&G Careers)
5. DIGITALISATION & SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSFORMATION TO DELIVER ON FOOD SAFETY, QUALITY & CONFORMITY
(FW AFRICA TV)
6. P&G Marketing Technologist Recruitment Video
(Danny Kirkland)

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