The Role of the Marketing CTO or Chief Marketing Technologist

Marketing technologists have become a new class of professionals with rising demand in the  marketing department triggered by the move from traditional marketing to cloud based marketing. Moving forward marketing will become more and more  reliant on technology. The shift of budget from offline to online, the forces of cloud computing, the need to track conversion and ROI, and at the  same time lower cost, have created a storm of disruptive innovation. The result will be an explosion of new marketing technologies over the next few years.

 The marketing technologists have technical backgrounds like software architects and engineers but they also have a marketing orientation. The marketing CTO, or Chief Marketing Technologist, usually reports to the CMO, instead of the CIO but coordinates with IT.  The role of the marketing CTO is to evaluate and implement cloud based technologies that enable state-of-the-art marketing like marketing automation and email marketing tools, web analytics, virtual events, ppc management and much more.

Ultimately, the mission of the marketing CTO is to use these cloud based technologies to improve marketing efficiency and increase marketing ROI.

Some of those technologies will be off-the-shelf applications that don’t require much customization- for instance, virtual events platforms, ppc management, or a social media monitoring service-that marketers will buy (or, more likely, subscribe to as a service), configure, extend, and integrate into their operations. Other technologies will be platforms with APIs that will need customization and very sophisticated integrations like marketing automation and its integration with CRM software and web analytics.

The role of the marketing CTO will be to help incorporate and manage these applications, but also to integrate them together and use them to synthesize powerful new marketing strategies that weren’t even conceivable before. A great example is the use of automated emails triggered by web site behavior of known visitors; only conceivable with the integration of marketing automation, web analytics and CRM.

Technology has become an integral part of the marketing department and the need to use it in a strategic way has triggered the rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist.

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