New Role? Chief Marketing Technologist

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New Role? Chief Marketing Technologist
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands

According to Scott Brinker and Laura McLellan (2014), marketing is increasingly becoming a technology dependent function in business.
Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2017 a company's Chief Marketing Officer will be spending more on technology than its Chief Information Officer.
IT has become crucial to marketing and businesses. And there are already more than 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide ranging from CRM, content management, and marketing automation to specialized solutions for social media management, content marketing and customer facing apps.

That's why the authors suggest a new type of specialized executive: The Chief Marketing Technologist.
A job description of Chief Marketing Technologist typically includes:
- ALIGNING marketing technology with business goals
- Serving as a LIAISON to IT (between the CMO and CIO)
Source: Brinker, S. and McLellan, L. "The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist", HBR July-August 2014, pp.82-85.

>> Do you agree that IT has become crucial in marketing?
>> Should all major companies appoint a CMT?

Need for Marketing Technologist
vincenzo de vera, Manager, Italy
I agree absolutely. It is a very important role, especially in medium to big organized companies, with marketing often having to be more IT oriented and IT often having to be more marketing/business oriented.

Technology Dependency of Marketing
Korenhof, Teacher, Netherlands
I agree that marketing will become more technology-dependent as ever before. But this won't be an exception for marketing.
Many more activities that so far have not been influenced by "digitization" will be affected in the long run.
These more "sophisticated" activities can be eventually also be replaced by software-applications.

As far as marketing is concerned, another phenomenon is there: shorter supply and demand circles (enabled by technology) are pushing the marketing to "the front side" of the company in stead of big staff departments.
From this perspective you could argue a Chief Marketing Technologist" is necessary, but you could also argue that the knowledge will become increasingly included in software.

CMT Further Evidence of the Strategy System
Alan Kennedy, Strategy Consultant, Canada
Nothing surprising in Brinker & McLellan's description of the emergence of the role. Big Data and marketing are now inseparable.
As for the 2nd question, "Should all major companies appoint a CMT?", the answer is "Yes, they probably will". Look at the many roles created before it, e.g., CFO (finance), CMO (marketing), CTO (technology), CRO (risk), CMO (manufacturing), CGO (growth), CPO (people). These roles are now common in all major companies.

But one needs to understand the origin of roles in order to understand how to define a CMT function, or indeed, any role, for a specific organization.
B&M struggle because they can't explain the role in terms of strategy. This is because: "CMTs are part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher." In other words, there are too many blended roles for the CMT to fit into the conventional definition of strategy, as seen by Dr. Porter, as being a value proposition or for competitive advantage.
Chandler pointed out in 1962 in Strategy and Structure, that structure, i.e. "roles", such as the CMT, follows strategy. How can Chandler and Porter be reconciled? How can the CMT role be reconciled with strategy?
The simple answer is Porter's definition is too restrictive. The marketing strategy may be about competitive advantage but the general term, strategy, is broader than that.
Fayol told us in General & Industrial Management in 1918 in General and Industrial Management that there is a system of strategies common to every company. This would make strategy a choice of action and a system. Our research finds there are 8 strategies common to every company, for-profit or nonprofit.
Using this definition, it is easy to see an ongoing parade of new roles in the future, which like the CMT, will reflect the intricate relationships among the various strategies in company's strategy system. Clearly the CMT role is about managing aspects of the relationships between the marketing and technology strategies. It is these relationships that need to be understood in order to understand the scope of functions, such as the CMT, and to prepare a "job description" reflecting the specific needs of an organization looking to create the role.

Chief Marketing Technologist Reports to CMO
john 18, Consultant, Singapore
The coining of CMT is by itself a subset of Chief Marketing Officer? In brief, using the job scope as an example (see above):
Aligning & liaison: Using IT to support marketing;
Choosing technology providers: Used as communication tool;
Digital business model: Using strategies and tactics relating to possible business outcomes.
Again the rhetoric outcomes of relationship marketing; service marketing and the 4 Ps!
To see CMT as a replacement of CMO is not likely in the near future, but being a sub-set or part of CMO a more likely nature at its current state.

Marketing Technologist
Cintler Santos, CxO / Board, Brazil
I totally agree and it's clear that in a close future this function will be inevitable for companies.

Why 'marketing'?
Michael Melvill, Analyst, South Africa
Agree... But with a caveat... I suggest to remover marketing in:
- 'Aligning marketing technology with business goals'.

So Many Changes in Marketing Due to Technolgiy
Latif Salifu Kasim, Student (University), Ghana
I totally agree. In today's marketing activities, all aspects of the 7Ps are impacted heavily by technology such as the websites and smart phones:
- Products are viewed online, customer can know more about the product in the product information before he purchases,
- Prices are listed with all pricing shown on the website (i.e. discounting, installment etc).
- With Place, people can schedule their own delivery mode or method or choose which store closer to them can they pick their product.
- In terms of Promotion, the Internet has made this so easy via Google and other ad companies.
- Physical evidence, the company's website and IT details can communicate how serious the company is, company colors can also be used for websites etc.
- People, you have customer service personnel providing service to the people online.
- Processes, website has made processing in acquiring a product easier, they can sit in the comfort of their homes, from product info to billing and then shipping or product delivery.

Why are we as Managing Director Paid?
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico
What are we as Managing Director paid for? We are paid to build a FUTURE for our company, generating VALUE (Market Value and Economical Value)
Being BETTER than the Competition on value package delivery to the Customer with LESS use of key resources, time and money.
Better in value creation; market and economical value.
You, as head of the organization, have many roles to perform: Strategist, Constructor, Doer...

Marketing Becoming Technology Oriented
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India
One of the major things happening is companies are looking forward is, that their marketing plans are more tech-based approach. Tech-based marketing trends area; (1) Increased mobile demands; (2) Increased local demands- Computers and lap tops are being increasingly used; (3);Apps with better mobiles-Apps have come to use more mobile ads; (4)Increasingly adoption of new payment methods -mobile payment systems- Mobile payment system adopting NFC (Near Finance Communication.(5) More mobile competition- optimization of mobile processes.

A Paradox for the Chief Marketing Technologist
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Thanks all for your reactions so far. We seem to agree that a special role is needed to lead and accelerate their firms to capture the many rich business and marketing opportunities that are offered by countless new technical possibilities.
On the other hand it's also important that the entire staff participates in this process, contributing ideas, is willing to change, and is actually changing to operate in new, much faster ways, helping to realize the numerous improvements that have become possible for their firm.
That's why I suggest besides the 4 areas already mentioned, the CMT should posses the skills to reconcile these 2 aspects, from the boardroom to the workforce, creating organizational alignment while at the same time proceeding at the speed of the internet economy.

Chief Marketing Technologist
Zahid asghar, Consultant, Pakistan
Useful discussion thanks. CMT has to take a leadership role within organization to meet top and bottom lines. Hence the role besides above things also has include a good understanding of financial, supply chain including distribution and plant operations for their involvement and improvement to drive competitive advantage and thereby profitability.

CMT Could Be a Part of Effective Marketing Team
Dilip Khanal, CEO, Nepal
The discussion has so far placed high importance on the CMT. I view technology differently. Technology is a means, not the business itself. Yes, technology can be used in all the components viz customer, form and the process that makes a business. And no doubt, the need for a CMT is growing.
However, there are many functions for marketing beyond technology. So I opine CMT could be a strong and influential member of a total marketing team.

Marketing Becoing More Technology Oriented
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India
Today IT has become crucial. Marketing is full of managing technology; understanding cross-channel interaction; delivering co-ordinated multi-channel messaging; delivering more relevant advertisement; measuring marketing performance; turning social media data into actionable insight; addressing the CEO's strategic concerns; enabling agile marketing dealing with new marketing technology.
In these situations a role of Chief of Marketing Technology becomes very important and crucial.
CMTO uses strategy, technology, marketing and analytical expertise to help businesses exploit and leverage vast amounts customer and market data from sources as diverse as competitive divergence, web analytics, customer data bases, marketing campaigns, and trending social media discussions.
Therefore I agree all major business companies should go in for a CMTO cadre in their organizations.

New Role? Chief Marketing Technologist
Ken Gordon MBA PMP, Strategy Consultant, United Kingdom
What is in a name? A great deal as it goes. A review of Venkatraman's Strategic Alignment model allows insight into the potential directions of influence of business domains on the IT strategy. The strength of the influence of each domain will be determined by the nature of the organization's services and products as well as the nature of the strategies being pursued to achieve the strategic goal.

With the growing emphasis on Customer Relationship Management and the increasing ability of the organization to store and mine data for insight, the management of this effort must be guided primarily by marketing. If and where this effort is a significant aspect of the organizational strategy, encapsulating this importance at the CXO level could well be critical to the organizations survival in the long term.


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