Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The new role of technology in the Marketing Department

There is a fantastic post today in AdAge Magazine. "The Case for a Chief Marketing Technologist: If Technology Is Now a Strategic Dimension of Marketing, Who Should Lead It?" by Scott Brinker.

I agree 100% with Brinker that technology is taking on an increasingly significant role within marketing, but of course, whether there is a "Chief Marketing Technologist" necessary at most organizations is really a case-by-case decision. Regardless of the structure or of titles, from my experience in the past few years as a technologically savvy marketer, I believe marketing leaders who embrace the use of technology in day-to-day analytics and execution of marketing strategy and foster a collaborative environment with the IT department are likely to be more efficient and effective in achieving their goals. Brinker makes many more solid points about the role of technology in marketing, and I've highlighted my favorites here:

Amplify’d from
Analytics software shapes your perception of your audience. Automation and optimization software influences the design of your marketing operations. A plethora of new advertising, social media and web technologies directly affect the experiences your customers have with you. These aren't mere implementation details -- increasingly, they're important strategic and brand-positioning choices. Who makes them, and how?

Simply put, marketing has become deeply entwined with technology. This didn't happen overnight; it's been sneaking up on us for a while. But because technology had been so tangential to marketing management for most of our history, the organizational structure of marketing has been slow to adjust to this new technology-centric reality.

marketing must officially take ownership of its technology platforms and strategies. And the first step of such ownership is to appoint someone to lead it.
Enter the chief marketing technologist. This is a senior management position, reporting to the CMO, with three key responsibilities. First: Choreograph all the disparate technologies under marketing's umbrella. Second: Nurture a growing technology subculture within marketing, raising the department's overall technical proficiency. And third: Collaborate with the CMO on strategy, translating the CMO's vision into technology with high fidelity -- while also inspiring the shape of that vision by advocating for what new technology can enable.
the most important skill they need is the ability to effortlessly map marketing ideas to technical requirements and, vice versa, map new technologies to marketing opportunities.
This is a marketer whose expertise is leveraging, scaling and governing technology.
In this Golden Age, not everyone in marketing needs to be a technologist, just as not everyone in marketing needs to be a "creative." But relevant technology expertise must become a native part of marketing's identity and, with a chief marketing technologist, a native part of its leadership.Read more at


  1. Thanks for the kind mention of my article in AdAge, Erin. I agree with you -- titles and roles are less important. What really matter is an increasing level of technology savvy in the marketing department, in whatever form best suits a particular organization. Glad to hear this meshes with what you're seeing!

  2. Scott, glad to see you found my blog post. Great article. Thank you again for writing it.

  3. Good post, Erin, and good read by Scott Brinker.

    I interviewed creatives/ad folks from several agencies 7-8 years ago and discovered very few if any of these agencies had little if any focus on the Internet. Mostly Print, Radio, TV, Direct Mail.

    That trend has certainly changed in the past decade. And if the Web is changing how marketing is done, I believe mobile devices and their millions of untapped uses will only accelerate this trend in reaching audiences!

    Those with a mind for marketing and a background in technology/Web/Mobile are almost guaranteed new and exciting opportunities in the future of business.


Thank you for commenting on my blog post! I really appreciate the conversation. -Erin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...