The world of marketing technology is expanding at an exponential rate, constantly grown and disrupted by innovative products and services that promise new ways for companies to learn about, connect with, engage and sell to customers. Many of these tools have the potential to revolutionize a business and dramatically improve marketing ROI–when used at the right place, at the right time, by the right people. But with so many vendors and products to choose from (and more coming every week), how can you know how to best allocate your MarTech budget and make the acquisitions your company needs most?
Chiefmartech.com published its annual “Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic” last month as it has every year since 2011. It is quite the sight to behold, with about 3,500 brands offering nearly 4,000 products ranging from web analytics to team collaboration to programmatic video advertising and beyond. Break out your magnifying glass and check out the version below, or click here to see the complete landscape in high definition.
For context, last year’s supergraphic showed “only” 2,000 MarTech products–that’s an increase of around 87% YoY!
It’s apparent to any successful marketing and business leaders that making the right technology purchases and partnerships is vitally important to sustained growth. But even the most experienced and innovative digital marketers will probably only be able to recognize a fraction of these offerings, and the most brilliant IT professionals don’t know enough about marketing to understand its needs. How can you determine what’s right for your business?
Plotting a Course
Luckily, there’s an already-established leadership role that’s custom-tailored to tackle this specific challenge: the Chief Marketing Technologist. Though not a brand new position, this emerging role has been gaining steam alongside the booming MarTech industry as more and more firms realize that they need sophisticated leadership and strategy dedicated to making MarTech decisions. Almost 90% of Fortune 500s are expected to have adopted a Marketing Technologist role within their company by this year, according to Gartner:
image from Harvard Business Review
In most cases this role should report directly to the CMO, working with the executive team to understand overall marketing strategy and then determining which technology solutions can execute it. They also bridge the gap with IT, working with key stakeholders there to ensure appropriate adoption, implementation, support and security. The CMT is the ultimate internal adviser on all things related to marketing technology, and also serves as the head relationship manager for key vendors and third party partners.
Because they’re able to focus solely on the strategy and logistics of optimizing your Marketing with technology solutions, they’re better positioned to stay on top of new trends and tools that the rest of your marketing leadership might be too busy to keep an eye on.
Performing a Chief Marketing Technologist Executive Search
Ready for a Chief Marketing Technology Officer Executive Search of your very own? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just publishing a job post and waiting for applicants to pour in. As a relatively new role in a constantly-changing MarTech environment, the amount of people truly qualified to hold the title of CMT is restrictively small. You need to look for a leader with a very specific skillset and capabilities.
Obviously your next MarTech leader must be a technology genius; constantly learning new ways to improve marketing ROI, keeping track of the thousands of possible products available, and innovating tech solutions to business problems. But they must also fit well into the culture of your company and understand what makes it tick if they hope to be successful.
Joseph Kurian, former Head of Marketing Technology and Innovation at health insurance giant Aetna and current CEO of 249Labs Inc., a MarTech solutions provider, lists a few other key traits for individuals taking on the Marketing Technologist mantle:
- Solid communication skills
- Strong leadership to go down the road less traveled
- A resilient ability to sell ideas that haven’t taken off in the past
- Patience to deal with false starts and disappointments
- The ability to handle the politics that always come with the role
Finding someone with this right mix of skills and a proven track record of success is a tall order for any business, especially one that’s already lagging behind on technology in general. If you’re having a hard time finding the right fit for your organization, you may want to partner with an experienced marketing executive search firm that has plenty of experience identifying, engaging, and drawing in these rare professionals.