Top Traits of Chief MarTechs: 60 Experts Weigh in On the Must-Have Traits of Today's Top MarTech Talent
Chief MarTech Officers, or Chief Marketing Technology Officers, aren’t really the new kid on the block, although these roles are increasingly popular within the C-suite as the lines between CMOs and CIOs are increasingly blurred. This unique role caters to the growing need to support marketing functions with technology tools, yet it requires a unique skill set that, until a few years ago, was uncommon. Today, with the need for qualified Chief MarTechs on the rise and the benefit of marketing technology having been around long enough now to be supported in higher education, more professionals are emerging with that unique set of skills and proficiencies for the role.
But what is it that makes a professional especially well-suited for the Chief MarTech role? Is it the right blend of marketing and technology prowess, an understanding of Big Data and how to use it to the company’s advantage, leadership traits, or something else? To gain some insight into the key traits that today’s companies look for when filling the role of the Chief MarTech Officer, we asked a panel of marketing pros and business leaders to weigh in on the issue by answering this question:
“What is single most important trait or quality of successful and influential chief marketing technologists?”
Learn more about the top traits necessary for success as a Chief Marketing Technologist in today’s fast-paced marketing technology landscape by reading what our experts have to say below.
Meet Our Panel of Marketing Pros and Business Leaders:
Sloane Berry is the CMTO and co-founder of Odesso, a mobile app creation platform.
“The single most important trait among Chief Marketing Technologists is…”
To make marketing, customer experience, and IT work together to deliver a competitive advantage for your business. Software and IT is a primary interface for your customer, and it’s up to the CMTO to ensure consumers receive a consistent, seamless brand experience on every single platform. Marketing is about customer engagement and experience, and it’s up to the marketer to make every interaction as customer-centric as possible.
“The most important trait that a marketing technologist in a C-level position can have is…”
Data literacy. Any company that has any sort of web presence, be it social media, search traffic, or anything else, needs to know exactly how these things are translating to the bottom line. This is doubly true of any business that sells products or services through their website.
Not knowing whether your marketing efforts are generating sales is, in my opinion, almost a dereliction of duty in this age where data and analytics are readily available.
At the very least, any chief marketing officer should be aware of how they get people in the door (search, social, paid, direct, email, referral) and how each of these is linked to sales/profit.
Data literacy is key to all of this. Every single business has a sales funnel, and the person running marketing should always be looking for ways to improve the funnel, and it’s virtually impossible to that (except maybe by getting lucky) without being able to understand data.
Douglas Karr is the founder of the Marketing Technology Blog and consults with brands internationally on their use of technology to achieve greater marketing results. His firm, DK New Media, provides consultation to marketing technology companies on product development and marketing.
“The most important trait in a marketing technologist is …”
Curiosity on how technology is evolving along with consumer and business buying behaviors. Marketing technologists understand how to leverage technology to achieve greater brand awareness, efficiency, acceleration and adoption. Marketing technologists are able to deep dive within specific solutions while recognizing their impact and dependence of other channels, strategies, and their respective technologies. Most importantly, they are able to match the timeline, culture, resources, and internal processes with the appropriate martech solutions. Marketing technologists recognize that the best solution dictated by the industry is often subjective and may not be the right solution for their corporation.
Joe Davy is the Chairman and CEO of Banzai, the leading Inside Sales On-Demand platform. Joe has led several companies from zero to multi-million-dollar revenue. Before Banzai, Joe was General Manager at Avalara, and Founder / Chief Product Officer at EvoApp, a social media business intelligence company.
“We’ve found that the best marketing technologists (and the ones who seem to stick around the longest) are truly…”
ROI-driven. There are many new and exciting technologies and products available to marketers today, and the landscape is shifting very quickly. It can be hard to separate the new “shiny object” from the real innovation that adds value. Sometimes the most valuable innovations are actually quite mundane, but they add measurable value to the business.
Sam Williamson works for Aims Media Glasgow, a digital marketing agency based in the UK.
“The single most important trait of top chief marketing technologists is…”
Communication skills. A marketing technologist acts as the bridge between marketers and the IT department, so they often find themselves communicating with both teams to reach a conclusion to any issues that arise. For this reason, I believe that communication skills are the most important trait that any marketing technologist can possess to carry out their role as effectively as possible.
Elizabeth Venafro is a self-proclaimed high-heeled modern marketing technologist with over a decade of experience in digital/print media, public relations, advertising, and corporate events for start-ups and multi-million dollar companies across diverse industries. She currently acts as the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of True Exec.
“The single most important trait or quality of a successful and influential chief marketing technologist is…”
Being a “unifier.” Marketing and IT have been separated into distinct silos for so long that it is difficult to find that person who has great knowledge in both areas and can bring everyone together.
Jason Stewart has more than 15 years’ experience in B2B marketing at both private and public companies. Jason has been named one of marketing automation’s key influencers in Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation and was one of the inaugural nominees for the Content Marketing Institute Awards. He has also won DemandGen Report’s Social Impact “Killer Content” award in 2013 and a gold medal for content in the 2014 MarCom Awards. Currently, he works at ANNUITAS.
“It is vital that the Chief Marketing Technologist understand the difference between…”
What is “need-to-have” and what is “cool-to-have,” and the only way they will know is with a deep understanding of the overall goals and strategy of the organization. With the growing volume of marketing technologies, there is always going to be a temptation to hop onto the bandwagon for new trends and to be an early adopter for the latest shiny and new software … but if that technology doesn’t serve the strategy that has been designed to support your goals, and if that technology hasn’t ironed out the details around integration with the technologies you are already using, it will not be worth the effort of implementing it.
Gene is a Co-Founder of GreenPal, which has been described as Uber for lawn care.
“I believe that a must-have trait of a successful chief marketing technologist is that they have to be…”
Empathetic. They need to have the ability to relate to the customer and put themselves in the soul of the person spending money. Without the empathetic trait, it’s very hard to relate to your target audience.
Jesse Casman is a software marketing executive with extensive experience in early-stage startups in Silicon Valley and Japan. He focuses on building developer communities and works with great companies like RICOH, Intel, and NEC to leverage open source, open communities and open APIs to build strong developer communities that benefit community members and companies alike. Casman is a Partner at OPPKEY.
“The single most important trait of successful chief marketing technologists is the ability to…”
Produce images. It comes down to communicating well. You would think that words are important. And they are. But to cut through information overload, manipulating images to communicate is the key. If the person needs to get graphics help, it’s a very bad sign. They themselves need to be using GIMP, Adobe Creative Suite, whatever. But the very best chief marketing technologists produce lots of images explaining their ideas, and they do it themselves.
Sean Zinsmeister crafts the positioning, messaging and overall go-to-market strategy for Infer’s next-generation predictive platform. Once a satisfied Infer customer himself, Sean joined Infer from Nitro where he developed and led an award-winning global marketing team. Sean holds advanced degrees from Suffolk Sawyer School of Business and Northeastern respectively in strategic marketing and project management.
“When you’re building a marketing technology stack, you need to be selecting pieces not only based on a thriving customer community but on…”
Roadmap and vision. Marketing technology vendors are partners for your business. Their roadmaps that peer into 2nd and 3rd horizons are vital to figuring out what systems you want to build on. Poor choices on unfocused products might cause incompatibilities, leaving your team to spend more time ripping out and implementing new systems rather than driving innovation and real business results. Take the time to look hard at how your own business roadmap will change, and make sure it’s aligned with the vendors you are partnering with.
Stanley is the CEO of OwlGuru.com, a career site that helps people to find a career that is right for them. OwlGuru.com has also been featured in sites like Monster.com and MSN.com.
“If I could only pick one trait when hiring a Chief Marketing Technologist…”
He/she must have deep domain expertise in both the marketing and IT side of the business.
The CMT should be able to make key marketing decisions that grow the business while at the same time consider the opportunity cost on the IT side.
On the other hand, he/she should have be able to lead the IT team to add features that will also grow the business and bottom line.
Michael brings more than 20 years of experience in the software industry, building and managing various departments from sales and marketing to customer services. He possesses proven success in developing, implementing and managing CRM, and brings to bpm’online deep and comprehensive sales, marketing and management experience.
“In short, the single most important quality of a successful CMT is…”
The understanding of the key business value of marketing technology that companies implement. The influential chief marketing technologist has to clearly understand how technologies help his organization to achieve business objectives.
The general public perceives a marketer as a person who comes up with new and conceptual ideas. The same is translated into the role of CMT – it’s the same kind of person but with some technical expertise. In reality, CMT needs to understand which technologies can help marketing generate more leads. Additionally, the CMT will nurture these until the leads are sales-ready and re-engage those who are not responding to communications. With marketing technologies taking over 33% of the marketing budget* the CMT also needs a clear vision of how these activities can generate higher revenue.
It is also imperative for the CMT to stay on top of the innovations and choose the marketing technology that can help to manage all marketing tasks. Also, it should smoothly integrate with the sales and service management software. It’s even better if all customer-facing software is built on the same platform. This can dramatically cut the integration and implementation cost while providing a complete view on the customer journey. With 25.2% of the marketing technology budget going to external services to develop, implement, and integrate marketing applications,* it’s up to CMT’s wits to get a solution that seamlessly integrates native marketing tools within the same system.
*According to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016
Jon Baker is the executive vice president, technology, at Wire Stone, an independent digital marketing agency for global Fortune 1000 brands.
“The single most important trait of a successful chief marketing technologist is…”
Having enough knowledge about modern Customer Experience Marketing and what it takes to build solid CXM initiatives, combined with a sufficient technical understanding of the underlying platforms and how to best employ them to deliver great CXM.
Kenny Jahng is founder and CEO of Big Click Syndicate a strategic communications and digital marketing advisory firm helping nonprofit, cause-driven and faith-based organizations nationwide. Kenny has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Strategic Marketing from Columbia Business School.
“In my experience, the key factors that make a successful and influential Chief Marketing Technologist in today’s market are…”
Trendspotting and Innovation. With the ultra-fast speed of change across technologies, methods, and media, a C-level leader can’t be up to speed in the nitty-gritty of all arising media options these days. But, they do need the ability to constantly assess what’s working, what’s not, and have a deep appreciation for the WHY things are working. Understanding the drivers underneath the latest trends in tools and services is more critical than being a specialist in whatever is the latest top-rated technology and outlet.
Jonathan is the CMO and CSO of Hatchbuck, an all-in-one sales and marketing automation platform. Under his leadership and direction Hatchbuck has grown by over 2000%. Jonathan has been recognized as a thought leader in places such as Mashable, Forbes, Inc magazine and the Huffington Post.
“The marketing landscape has changed…”
No longer are marketers in control. In this digital era consumers hold the keys to brand engagement and the buying process. That means one of the most important traits of a successful CMO or CMTO is the desire to be Customer obsessed. By leveraging martech and data together, it allows businesses to get to the heart of their radical buyer and better attract, engage and retain them.
Niraj is the COO/CIO at Nutrisavings . In his role at Nutrisavings, Mr. Jetly focuses on building effective digital engagement strategies for customers while presiding over technology strategy.
“Data is the currency in today’s economy. To be successful, chief marketing technologists must…”
Be able to create strategies for identifying and anticipating relevant data elements important for understanding target audience behaviors and ability to interpret data in meaningful fashion for translating it into tangible action items for designers, copy writers, content producers to understand.
Ted Clark is the founder of Adventag.
“The single trait that pivots successful marketing technologists from the rest are…”
The ones that have organized their team to pivot their decisions based on their data and analytics in virtual real time. In this day and age, lots of marketers ask the right questions, however only a fraction have the tools and the data acumen within their teams to successfully redirect their efforts based on what’s working. First to the line wins, and when you have data to back up what you are going to do and tell you the winning horse ahead of time, getting to the starting line and getting out of the gate first is a huge advantage.
Steve August is the Chief Marketing Officer at FocusVision.
“Effective chief marketing technologists are always…”
Learning, always looking for anything that can help improve execution and measurement of their marketing efforts. With all the information and options out there, the really good ones know how to filter out the noise and hype, and find the things that truly deliver, so they can deliver for their organization.
Sam is a marketing manager for a leading digital healthcare start up, Dr. Felix, and has over 10 years’ experience in the industry.
“The most important trait for a chief marketing technologist is the ability to be…”
Analytical. CMTs are a hybrid product of the conventional information officers and marketing technologists. They need to have to ability to analyse big data or perhaps construct tech systems to manage customers. I think moving forward; CMTs will become a growing part of major organisations since it is a more efficient approach to real time big data which will allow companies to gain useful insights and take actions which have a substantial impact on the company’s bottom line. A successful CMT will have traits to enable him to analyse, select, evaluate and chose the right marketing tech for their company.
Edward Sturm is an SEO and video and image producer in NYC.
“The most important quality of a marketing technologist is knowledge of…”
A/B testing and the type of personality to embrace it. The difference between a great marketer and an average one, in my opinion, is growth hacking. An average marketer starts with good intuition about something and puts it into effect. A great marketer starts with good intuition and iterates on it with A/B testing until that good intuition becomes perfect marketing. This is what a chief technologist should do best; growth hacking.
A landing page, website, Adwords ad, etc. doesn’t become optimized just through expert analysis, it becomes optimized through strategic failure and improvement. Knowledge of tools and how to employ them are crucial. As are understandings of results and how to make changes based on those results.
Ninh Tran is the CMO and Co-founder at Hiretual, a Recruiting Power Tool made by Recruiters for Recruiters.
“The single most important trait and shared quality among successful and influential chief marketing technologists is…”
The mastery of influence. Influence is not the same thing as control or power. It is the ability to gain favor and the ability to steer those in control and power, the decision makers, to persuade them. Mastering influence is the ability to get the message across to key players while being heard. The secret to speaking is being heard. *Whether a chief marketing technologists is practicing more push or pull, hard or soft influence, we have to know how to utilize both to stay relevant and persuasive with different audiences. Influence is like a big stick that influencers have. I recommend carrying around a big stick but speaking softly, those are the traits of the best influencers.
Esther is the CEO of SAYLII, an app that helps hotels capture more reviews and figure out how to give their guests better experiences.
“A chief marketing technologist should overall have a…”
Growth mentality with big picture thinking. The marketing technologist should be super creative yet deeply analytical.
They should be able to simultaneously run experiments daily to growth the company to the metric that is the #1 at that given time.
“Here are two key traits that the top chief marketing technologists have…”
Willingness To Challenge “Best Practice”
The best Chief Marketing Technologists recognize the fact that it’s important to challenge best practices every now and again. More than anything, it’s the CMT’s job to have their finger on the pulse of the latest technologies that will arm their teams with a competitive advantage.
It’s been best practice for years to embrace standardized tools but when tools saturate the market, it becomes challenging to gain an advantage. The first organizations embrace marketing automation were able to take advantage of the fact that their competition was ignoring inbound as a practice. As such, the best Chief Marketing Technologists are willing to take a risk on a new startup attempting to change the industry.
Similar to the way Netflix was able to disrupt the entertainment market through their new form of distribution – Chief Marketing Technologists must be on the lookout for these opportunities as well.
Embraces A Foundation Of Storytelling
The best Chief Marketing Technologists recognize the value of analytics, stats and research but also value the importance of a story. It’s often that you find a Chief Marketing Technologist who solely wants to put their head in the numbers and ignore the importance of design cues and copywriting. The best of the industry embrace it, celebrate it and get excited during a creative presentation.
The best Chief Marketing Technologists recognize that whether it’s content curation or landing page optimization – a story is being told in every action taken by a brand. It’s their job to embrace storytelling while also ensuring that the decisions being made associated with it are backed by data and insight.
“What worked last year doesn’t work this year, and…”
What will work next year might not work this year. While there are some basic tenants to digital marketing, the platforms are always changing, combine that with constant algorithm updates from Google and you have a recipe for consistent, almost unpredictable change. Technologists need to have their fingers on the market’s pulse by knowing what their competitors are doing and also which direction tech innovation is pulling the market.
David Koerner is a marketing technologist, consultant and speaker who has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. He currently advises startups in Silicon Valley and Denver, CO. On twitter he likes to poke fun at the self-deception and rampant anti-customer behavior in the marketing industry.
“The most important trait for a chief marketing technologist to have is…”
Having a healthy dose of skepticism. Particularly when it comes to ad-tech KPI’s, the power of customization and web tracking, and anyone (still) promising your brand will find any kind of ROI with social media.
John Turner is CEO/Founder of UsersThink, a tool that delivers user feedback on demand for website landing pages, helping to increase conversions and improve usability and UX.
“One of the most important traits for chief marketing technologists is…”
The ability to learn quickly. Because chief marketing technologists have to adapt quickly to two rapidly changing worlds, engineering and marketing, the ability to learn quickly is invaluable. Not only in terms of adapting to new tactics, but if they can learn quickly, they can probably also learn how to educate and persuade others on their team on new methods and approaches, leading to more success for everyone involved.
Jean Margaret Walker
Jean is the Co-Founder and Chief Communications Officer of The Regear Group, LLC.
“Chief Marketers must be…”
Great chameleons. They have to be ready to adjust at any moment, because marketing techniques, platforms, etc. change at very rapid rates. Matter of fact, we steer clear of anyone who uses the word expert when it comes to marketing today. Nobody’s an expert. It’s impossible to be one. New platforms show up constantly, and all platforms change consistently often.
If you have a hard time dealing with change, marketing is not for you.
Stephan Roussan is the founder of ICVM Group, a leading agency for the creation of websites for professional services firms. He has served as principal consultant and interactive design director to some of the world’s most renowned law firms since 1996. Stephan is also the co-creator of icXlegal, a paradigm-changing website and thought leadership platform for law firms.
“Marketing technology is amazing and powerful. It is also incredibly…”
Time-consuming, expensive and distracting. It is very easy to see technology as the answer to everything, when in reality it is only meant to be a toolset to support and amplify fundamentally sound offline thinking. When the tail wags the dog, watch out… your ROI is flying out the window.
The best chief marketing technologists are the ones who, first and foremost, understand core marketing fundamentals and what makes their organizations successful irrespective of technology. They are aware of the above pitfalls, embrace the bottom line, and have the experience to flag when technology is becoming the problem rather than the solution. Tech chops are important, for sure… but so is a healthy dose of pragmatic skepticism. That allows someone to effectively narrow the search for the right tools, implementation and training focus.
Brian is a Communication Consultant for Taylor Business Solutions.
“I think the key trait to successful CMTs is…”
Balance. Plenty of CMT people come from one camp or another, technology or marketing, so there are major gaps with respect to understanding the theories, attitudes, and metrics held by the other discipline.
In my case, I started in the communication and marketing camps so it took some effort for me to be comfortable directing those entrenched in technology. I started by earning in AAS in Computer and Electronics Technology. Learning the fundamentals of systems, programming, and design, in addition to a lot of the verbiage, was critical to helping me direct application development such that marketing goals could be met.
Amber is the Director of Strategic Recruitment at Betts Recruiting.
“The most important trait of a chief marketing technologist is their ability to…”
Execute on a vision. Marketing requires being able to have a broad vision that can be created through actionable concepts. An influential chief marketing technologist will be able to inspire their team to reach the overarching goal for the company and be able to track measurable growth over time as they work through their strategy.
Matt Buder Shapiro
Matt is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of MedPilot. He is the political and tech director for a major Interscope artist and actor, and also serves on the tech advisory board of Blue Star Families. Previously, he’s worked at Digitas and the premier marketing firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, which was created by the digital marketers of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“To be a successful and influential chief marketing technologist you must be absolutely enthralled with…”
Measurement and analytics. While I loved the show Mad Men, Don Draper would have no place in today’s marketing world. Everything we do needs to be grounded in numbers. The best CMO’s stress measurement and analytics in order to prove the real value of marketing.
Symon Perriman is VP of 5nine Software’s Business Development & Product Marketing and President of FanWide. Previously he was Microsoft’s Senior Technical Evangelist and worldwide technical lead covering virtualization, infrastructure, management, and cloud. As one of Microsoft’s most recognized faces, Symon has trained millions of IT Professionals, holds several patents and dozens of industry certifications, and in 2013 he co-authored Introduction to System Center 2012 R2 for IT Professionals (Microsoft Press).
“To be a successful technology marketing leader…”
You have to be able to communicate a cohesive vision of the product to every party that is involved in the product lifecycle. A leader must translate what engineering develops to what marketing and sales promote to what businesses and consumers use. To become credible, you have to get hands on with the product and become a power user so that you know exactly what your engineering team and customers are talking about, and you can even give constructive feedback and drive innovation.
The biggest challenge I face with communicating a cohesive vision comes when explaining a product enhancement to marketing and sales, as they are often neither technical nor users. When 5nine Software prepares for a new release, I organize group meeting between the engineering leads and some of our trusted lead users, and require that the entire marketing and sales team attend. We have the engineering team demo the Beta, while we talk through why each feature is needed, how it enhances the current solution, the different options, and how this differentiate our product and make it more competitive. The customers, marketing and sales team will also provide feedback on the design, text, and usability, which the engineering team can incorporate. By bringing together all the different parties, you can be a technology marketing leader by ensuring that there is a cohesive vision and your organization can deliver the best services that meet your customers’ needs.
As an engineer and the founder of an emerging cloud-based marketing app that handles big data analysis, Zaki is the CEO of Pagezii Marketing.
“With the roles of the CMO and CIO meshing together, you need to have…”
Technical, business and market savvy skills. But one skill that really sets you apart is the ability to visualize and prioritize large data sets. In this role, you’re exposed to big data and it can be overwhelming to consolidate and augment numbers to find trends and patterns. So that’s why being comfortable with disparate inputs and instinctively knowing where to prioritize and develop is crucial in succeeding as a Chief Marketing Technologist.
Alan is an ex artist, ex film maker, ex designer, ex product manager and ex entrepreneur. VP of Marketing here at OnePageCRM. Author of 2, soon to be 3 marketing books. Almost made it to the big time as an extra on TVs A Tale At bedtime with Podge and Rodge playing snooker player #2 but they didn’t show his good left side.
“There are two key qualities that make a successful and influential chief marketing technologist…”
There is so much new and evolving marketing technology on the market. You need to be driven by curiosity to constantly explore this technology and seek out others experiences of it. You are always on the look out for what could be applied to your own business and market. I am contently listing to Podcasts on my way in and out of work and I love hearing about people tool sets and results.
It is a rare gift to be able to take complex ideas, tactics and technology and break that down to a clear use case. Then the difficulty is to communicate its potential ROI to your team and boss on the front end and measure it’s results on the back end.
Reshma Nigam is the CEO & President of Markable Solutions. Reshma has over 27 years of experience in consulting, sales and business management. Reshma started Markable Solutions with the clear goal of delivering high quality opportunity identification services to high tech clients and quickly built an enviable list of clients. Previously, she founded aMarketForce a marketing services company and ran it for 12 years. She also was Vice President of Medical Market Research at Frost and Sullivan and Director of Marketing Operations at RightWorks.
“Two most important traits of a successful chief marketing technologists are…”
1. Advanced Digital Literacy
2. Data-Driven Decision Making
Call them change agent or innovation leader, today’s marketers are effortlessly analyzing big data, managing varied marketing software and making complex data architecture to enhance customer experience. CMTs are not only setting technology vision for marketing but also bridging the silos between marketing and IT departments.
Adam is the CEO of Odd Dog Media, a Seattle-based digital marketing company that offers marketing software & services for businesses with multiple locations. With a background in both marketing and development, Adam started Odd Dog to be able to offer businesses a simple solution for implementing Marketing Technology that drives and measures quality leads.
“The single most important trait for a Chief Marketing Technologist is an ability to…”
Simply and succinctly explain complex topics. A CMT has to be able to conceptualize and implement complex technology that aligns with a marketing strategy, yet at the same time be able to explain and sell the CEO on why this is necessary and how the business will benefit. Often times the CEO doesn’t want to know or understand the technical details. He or she simply needs to know why it makes business sense. It’s important that the CMT fully understand both the marketing strategy & the technology as you have to be able to answer the CEO’s questions quickly, simply and with confidence.
If you are someone who can explain Snapchat or Pokemon Go to your Grandmother in less than a minute, chances are you have the core skills to make a successful Chief Marketing Technologist.
Zachary Weiner is the CEO of Emerging Insider communications, a boutique emerging media and technology content relations firm. He is a frequent contributor to Adweek, Entrepreneur, ImediaConnection, bulldog reporter, and INC magazine.
“To be a bit contrarian, there is one core talent a chief marketing technologist must have to properly execute their role…”
Skepticism. The marketing landscape is littered with tools, technologies, platforms and services. The commonality amongst them all, whether it’s marketing automation or a dashboard provider, a social media tool or a native ad platform, is that they make lofty promises to solve your marketing challenges. They can’t. A truly effective chief marketing technologist must realize that their greatest strengths come from the creativity and ingenuity of their team and that any new tech is a supplement to that core. Not a corner to cut nor the end all be all. By becoming an incredibly informed skeptic, CMTs can navigate the tech jungle and select supplements that allow their team to flourish, their brands to grow and their tech stack to be optimized.
Jess Tiffany is the President of the Marketing and Networking University, a portal for online business courses and digital tools for building successful businesses. Our commitment is to create a one stop hub for business leaders to gain the education to move forward and the right mix of tools to grow your company.
“The number one quality in a Chief Marketing Technologist is…”
The successful marriage between information technology and high quality marketing skills all contained in a single person. Typically these roles were filled by a CIO and CMO working seperatly on different budgets. However with the advent of growth hacking or finding sneakier ways to market at lower cost by harnessing technology through a marketers vein, has significantly changed the way technology is used while marketing your companies products or services.
Bryan is the CEO of GreenPal which is best described as Uber for Lawn Care.
“The key trait of every successful marketing technologist is…”
A curiosity to understand why people say yes and the belief that no problem should ever have to be solved twice.
This requires a disciplined strategy of testing over and over again to solve the problem of closing the gap between customer logic and company logic.
Swapnil Bhagwat is a creative design and digital marketing professional with a global experience. Strategic and result driven leader with extensive experience in project, stakeholder and team management. Accomplished MBA graduate with strong management skills and working experience in the United States, United Kingdom & Europe. Successfully implementing design, web & digital strategy and delivering high impact results for B2B and B2C enterprises.
“The field of marketing technology is expanding with medium and big sized companies making the role of Chief Marketing Technologists (CMT) mandatory…”
But with rapid expansion and diversification of marketing, the decisions of marketing technology encompasses various fields like conversion optimization, campaign management, bid management, marketing automation, attribution management, behavioral targeting, social media monitoring, and others.
The traits that makes a better CMT is a person with versatile and multidisciplinary interest or even a background. Artistic bend of mind with high social and emotional intelligence is a must to understand human behavior in changed settings. An intuitive bend of mind, power of observation and attention to detail is a plus to know the nuances of human behavior with a solid foundation of technicalities. A collaborative approach is necessary as the CMT has to work in tandem with other departments like marketing, IT, sales, shops and others. It’s a plus if the person has a research oriented mindset.
Ryan is currently the Director of Marketing for Retirement Solutions, Inc. based outside of Chicago. We help a select group of clients by building a financial roadmap and assist them in reaching their long term financial goals.
“The single most important trait is having a true passion for…”
Innovation. The top marketing chiefs are always continuing to surround themselves with the top talent and most innovative individuals around the globe. They are willing to travel around the world to learn, to speak at conferences, and share knowledge with other top CMO’s. There is a daily driver to get up early and stay current on what’s coming next in the industry, all well before heading into the office in the morning.
Tyler Moore is the Marketing Director at App Press, a mobile development company that makes it easy for anyone to build, publish, and manage mobile apps without having to learn how to code.
“In my experience, a must for any CMT is…”
Having excellent communication skills. The chief marketing technologist bridges the gap between IT and marketing – two very different worlds, with their own jargon, slang, and challenges.
A CMT will work closely with a number of different people in order to effectively manage their company’s marketing technology stack. This includes CMOs, VPs of marketing, developers, IT staff, and outside vendors. The CMT must be comfortable speaking to a variety of people from all walks of life, with varying skill sets and levels of experience.
The CMT must be able to understand the most effective way to speak to any member of their team, in order to ensure marketing technology is firmly aligned with business objectives.
Jasmeet Sawhney is CEO/CMO of YibLab, which provides sales and marketing services to some of the most successful B2B/B2C companies. He is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in marketing and technology innovation for 15+ years, and has helped startups and large-corporations in their branding, product-marketing, and customer-engagement efforts.
“It may sound intuitive, but the most important trait is having the right balance of…”
Marketing/Business knowledge and IT/Technical depth. Typically, Chief Marketing Technologists have two types of background. Either, it’s someone from the IT side who is an expert in marketing/data infrastructure and software, and has worked with Marketing teams for a long time. Or, someone from the Marketing side who has been actively involved in implementation and use of technology and data since digital channels came around. Here’s why this balance is important – if a CMT lacks Marketing/Business knowledge, he/she would not be able to identify business opportunities that are created by new technologies; on the other hand, if a CMT is weak on the IT side, then data security and performance issues might creep-in. These are just examples, and a lot of other issues can happen if the balance is not there.
Amber is the SVP Marketing for Sysomos, a global leader in social intelligence. She’s a seasoned communication strategist specializing in the new era of digital and social business. She’s also the co-author of The Now Revolution.
“In the search for marketing technology to meet or address business objectives and challenges, marketing technologists have to be…”
Open-minded and willing to constantly evaluate the marketplace for the tech that is standing the test of time. One of the biggest challenges business leaders face right now is shiny object syndrome, and chasing each new and promising technology that comes along. However, many technologies in early stages struggle to support complex enterprise security requirements, scalability for teams, or integrations with other platforms that can help streamline analytics or intelligence.
The most influential and accomplished marketing technologists know to stay agnostic and open minded to new solutions, but to thoroughly ask the hard questions about their capabilities in order to evaluate the true potential investment return and time to realize value for that technology. With the fast pace of consolidation in marketing technology and the change-laden startup scene, marketing technologists need to be the level-headed experts that temper the need to be cutting edge with the need to be scalable, sustainable, and focused on business outcomes, and to mitigate the risks of having to swap solutions every several months.
Damian is the CEO for Rocketseed.
“A chief tech marketing specialist for us is someone that…”
Has a real grasp on the customers needs and is able to create campaigns using technology that can rapidly survey requirements, understands new touch points in the market and can create push campaigns in response. The trick? Everything at lightning speed.
How can this be delivered expeditiously? Spending time on the automation architecture upfront and ensuring it is nimble and flexible as technology moves at such speed.
Once the set up is complete, the content plan is fundamental to ensuring consistent messaging, targeted content and through the line campaigns.
All campaigns can and must now be measured. It is shocking in this day and age how many companies do not properly analyze spend versus ROI.
Robbie Abed is the Director of Marketing for Y Media Labs, a product innovation agency.
“The single most important trait for a chief marketing technologist is…”
Persistence. It’s mainly the persistence to keep trying different marketing techniques. Some are going to fail miserably, some are going to work average and one or two will come out as the clear winner.
The real issue with marketing is that you don’t know what’s going to work until you can deploy it and test it. If you run marketing for a B2B company, then you won’t be able to get conclusive evidence that the test is working until at least 3-5 months.
So great marketers are persistent about coming up with new ideas, deploying them and keeping what works and destroying what doesn’t.
Rupert has 15 years’ experience in the TMT industry, previously working as a Strategy Consultant and Equity Analyst at top tier firms such as Deloitte, OC&C Strategy, Bell Labs and Morgan Stanley. At Renovata Partners he leads the Stockholm office serving digital and technology companies in this rapidly growing market.
“Successful Chief Marketing Technologists realize it is not about the amount of data you have but the way you…”
Think about and interpret data. More data does not necessarily create greater clarity, if anything it clouds the picture.
Great marketing technologists know how to build multi-functional teams that use a range of different perspectives to interrogate the data to understand consumers’ behavior and responses, and ultimately to optimize ROI.
Karrie Sullivan is a revenue guru specializing in growth and transforming services organizations into technology companies. You can find Karrie’s profile and her work at LinkedIn.
“The single most important trait of a Chief Marketing Technologist is…”
Intellectual curiosity. The challenge is thinking several years or chess moves ahead of where the company is today – not bleeding edge – so that the development translates into revenue. That means pulling together a mix of industry knowledge, product capability, problem solving, research, revenue/cost analysis, and other disparate data into a roadmap that isn’t outdated by the time it’s developed. The ability to translate this information into the language that technologists need to build elegant solutions is simply icing on the cake.
Teri Ross has been in the Internet marketing and web development business since 1995. As an entrepreneur and retained consultant, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, SMBs and many start-ups. Her experience and knowledge around strategy, marketing, technology and web analytics is well recognized. Having built and sold an online trade publication, Teri is well versed in all areas of digital marketing and publishing, including but not limited to inbound marketing, e-commerce, channel integration, platform development, resource allocation and sourcing. With a strong foundation in web analytics, her services focus on the delivery of measurable results … what gets measured gets managed.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from What is a CMTO? via yourCMTO.com.
“Chief MarTechs, or CMTOs (Chief Marketing Technology Officers) must be able to…”
Use strategy, technology, marketing and analytical expertise to help companies exploit and leverage the vast amounts of customer and market data from sources as diverse as competitive intelligence, web analytics, customer databases, marketing campaigns and trending social media discussions.
In addition to the sourcing and management of the technology pieces being bolted together to create customized marketing automation solutions, the CMTO is charged with delivering co-ordinated and measurable marketing campaigns across multiple channels. The CMTO eliminates the subjective opinions that have historically driven marketing strategies and replaces them with data and technical analysis that clearly identify the ROI for all marketing initiatives.
Scott Brinker is the co-founder and CTO of ion interactive, a leading provider of post-click marketing software and services. He also writes a blog on marketing technology management, Chief Marketing Technologist. He also contributes to the Content Marketing Institute.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Why Your Content Marketing Team Needs a Marketing Technologist via the Content Marketing Institute.
“The chief technologist role is an example of a new kind of hybrid professional known as a marketing technologist. Marketing technologists can be either…”
Tech-savvy marketers or marketing-savvy IT people. They can be either self-taught power users and hackers or formally trained computer scientists and IT managers. But they share an intuitive appreciation for how software works and are passionate about applying that knowledge in the service of brilliant marketing and remarkable customer experiences.
Marketing technologists are adept at configuring and operating the many different varieties of software that are entwined in marketing today. They often serve as the bridge between non-technical marketers — who need to harness these software-driven capabilities in their work — and the providers of that software: software vendors, digital agencies and IT departments.
Tim Leberecht is a San Francisco-based German-American author, entrepreneur, and consultant with 20 years’ experience in marketing leadership roles in the design, software, telecommunications, and entertainment industries in the US and Europe. He is the founder and CEO of Leberecht & Partners, a consulting firm that helps leaders and organizations build beautiful, humanist stories, cultures, and brands.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from From Technologist to “Mensch”: The 5 Key Traits of Tomorrow’s Marketer via TimLeberecht.com.
“Today’s top Chief MarTechs must be…”
Value architects. As radical transparency makes every internal issue and initiative public-facing, the internal and external brands of companies merge and integrity emerges as the only lasting value proposition. Concerns over privacy (personal data) and human agency (artificial intelligence) are adding new complex dimensions to the existing ethical conundrums of social and environmental responsibility. More than ever, brands that stand for something will stand out. Therefore, tomorrow’s marketers will increasingly become corporate soul-searchers, spending more time identifying their firm’s purpose and values than packaging or promoting its products or services. They will pay more attention to the why and the how than to the what, by leading visioning exercises and crafting values statements that go beyond safe boilerplates and set a true north star for their organization.
A writer and strategic communicator, Brendan MacArthur is the former Content Marketing Manager at Yottaa and currently serves as the Marketing Manager for POLITICO Pro. His specialties include inbound marketing, digital media strategy, blogging, copy writing, social media, business development and media relations. He has showcased his talent on political campaigns as well as at high-growth software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 4 Traits of the Marketing Technologist via Yottaa.
“The most successful Chief MarTechs are…”
A Bridge Builder: the goal of a marketing technologist is to maximize production from a company’s technology stack. An effective candidate must draw from both the marketing and IT worlds; moreover, they must possess excellent communication skills to bring these teams together.
MarketPro is a nationwide marketing recruiter and marketing staffing agency, matching high-performing marketers with clients who need their skills and experience to take their business to the next level.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Is Your Marketing Leadership Ready to Handle 3,500 MarTech Vendors? via MarketPro.
“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.
Liz O’Neill Dennison
Liz O’Neill Dennison is a data-driven writer and content marketing strategist based in Boulder, CO. She helps companies create seamless content experiences that inspire consumers, solve problems, and drive business. Presently, Liz is the Content Marketing Manager at Proofpoint. Previously, she served as Writer & Content Marketing Manager at Kapost.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Why a “Chief Marketing Technologist” Will Be Your Boss Soon via Business2Community.
“Today’s Chief MarTechs must be experts in…”
The capabilities of the technology marketing relies on to engage consumers.
Increasingly, it’s through technology that marketers understand, engage, and customize brand experiences for customers. And as technology continues to advance, the silos between data, mobile, social, email, marketing automation, SEO, and digital advertising need to be torn down. If this happens, a consolidated, channel-based technology will emerge, resulting in what Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with Altimeter, calls: “content stacks.”
Marketers will use these integrated stacks to prioritize their customers, and provide the most personalized, unified brand experience possible.
To do it well, they’ll need to become experts in the capabilities of these technologies, how to operate them, and how they integrate. And since data is at the center of the technology stack, and is essentially the language these technologies use to talk to each other, marketers will need to become data-literate, and identify what metrics to track, and what they’re saying about the larger marketing operation.
Tom Kaneshige has been covering business and technology in Silicon Valley for two decades. As senior online writer at CIO.com, Tom covers Silicon Valley culture, BYOD and consumer tech in the enterprise.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from The 6 faces of chief marketing technologists via CIO.
“Some of the best marketing technologists today are…”
Marketing now must be well-versed in customer data, analytics, mobile, social and marketing automation tools. Who’s going to lead this dramatic and critical transformation? Enter the chief marketing technologist – or chief marketing ‘technologists’.
Technologists working on tech that touches the customer, such as e-commerce and mobile tech, can become chief marketing technologists. After all, they know more about the customer and how technology affects the customer experience than anyone else in IT. They can help marketers better leverage technology at these critical touchpoints.
Stephanie Overby is an award-winning reporter and writer with twenty years of professional journalism experience. For the last decade, her work has focused on the intersection of business and technology, but she has written about everything from wedding planning to Wall Street during her career. She is a contributing writer to CMO.com and other publications.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from The Chief Marketing Technologist: Luxury Or Necessity? via CMO.com.
“Gartner’s chief marketing technologist job description calls for someone familiar with…”
Marketing techniques and technologies—including marketing software, data and analytics, social and mobile platforms, digital advertising networks collaboration, and Web site design—who can align the two “to define markets, attract, acquire, and retain customers.” The chief marketing technologist must create an agile environment that can rapidly respond not only to technology changes but evolving customer wants and needs.
Mary Barbour is an experienced copywriter and journalist with a background in Communications and Social Media. She holds a Master’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and has completed a novel and a collection of short stories. She specializes in social media, marketing, copywriting and content strategy for both startups and Fortune 500 companies. Among other projects, she contributes to Oz Content Technologies.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from What’s a Chief Marketing Technologist and How Do I Get to Be One? via Oz Content.
“Basically, the new title of CMT has come about as a way to align marketing technology with business goals. The person in this position needs to…”
Serve as a liaison to IT in a way that old ad execs would have scoffed at. They also need to craft new digital business models to keep up with the advances of digital marketing and the constant need to analyze content performance. Basically, they are creating a technology vision for a company’s marketing and need to have the ability to work across the company with inter-developmental agility and stealth to stay competitive.
Sheldon Monteiro is SapientNitro’s Chief Technology Officer. Sheldon leads global technology capabilities, engineering, quality, methods, devops and tools. He sponsors and is a senior faculty member at SapientNitro’s CMTO University, an in-house executive development program to grow SapientNitro’s marketing technologists.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 4 tips to break into the C-suite and become a chief marketing technology officer via MarketingLand.
“A CMTO needs to be a jack-of-all-trades and master of several. They must be as comfortable…”
Navigating a conversation about virtual reality or responsive design as they are discussing enterprise architecture or marketing mix modeling.
Through it all, they must serve as a strategic adviser, understanding and articulating business and marketing issues just as effortlessly as they do core technology.
At the same time, there are some skill gaps that particularly ambitious CMTOs-to-be may want to consider for specialization now. For example, our recent research reveals that big data and customer relationship management are two of the key areas most organizations are in need of. Those who can address these growing needs will find themselves very much in demand in the near term.
That said, the needs of organizations are constantly changing. It’s important to consider not just a company’s immediate needs, but those of the future.
Mondo is a digital marketing and technology services company. Every day Mondo helps clients drive their businesses forward by providing access to critical technology and digital marketing resources at a moment’s notice. Real people with real experience. People you can rely on to help push your technology platform to the next level and accelerate your business. This is the world of Mondo, where agility and quality collide perfectly.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from The Rise of The Chief Marketing Technologist via Mondo.
“A Chief Marketing Technologist has the skill set of…”
An IT architect with the creative mindset of an experienced marketing professional combining the capabilities of a strategist, creative director and technology leader. CMTs have been tasked with aligning marketing technology with the overall strategic initiatives of the company, assisting in and often leading the decision making process of selecting a technical platform and ensuring that the chosen product will maximize efficiency, capabilities, and most importantly bottom line revenue. CMT’s must be involved in every step of the process weighing in on how a platform will be configured and will operate to help the firm best influence its audience through all digital touch points.
They act as the glue between the CIO and the CMO as well as their respective technical and creative teams. This relationship continues to become more and more significant as marketing proves to be the most important technology-backed decision a company can make.
Natasha D. Smith
Natasha Smith is the senior editor for Direct Marketing News and covers data, email, social, mobile, tech, case studies, and marketing trends. She joined DMN in February 2014. Her journalism experience includes reporting and producing at Cotton Candy Magazine, NBC New York, News 12 New Jersey, and CNN in Atlanta.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Enter the Chief Marketing Technologist via DMN.
“As companies begin to include this senior management position, the quest to define the role becomes imperative…”
Gartner surveyed 229 companies varying in services from hi-tech firms and retail to healthcare and manufacturing. For most, the chief marketing technologist will be part strategist, part creative, and part technologist, according to the Gartner report. He or she should orchestrate all of the technologies that affect the marketing team and make sure marketers know how to use and optimize each platform. Two-thirds of respondents say aligning technologies with business goals is the primary responsibility of a chief marketing technologist. Aside from tech firms, this sentiment was strongest among retail executives, with 82% agreeing compared to just 50% of media firms. Some other primary responsibilities spelled out in the survey for a chief marketing technologist include serving as the liaison between marketing and IT departments, choosing platforms and providers, and prioritizing funding.