As marketing has become dependent on technology, a good understanding of technology has become an essential part of being a successful marketeer.
The industry is being inundated with marketing, sales and customer service software, and with more options managing technology is a major challenge. Some enterprises have even created roles such as the chief marketing technologist (CMT) or digital chief marketing officer to help them evaluate, select and implement technology.
CHIEF MARKETING TECHNOLOGIST ROLES
We see enterprises that have created a CMT role within the IT department, to demonstrate to the marketing department that IT has a focus on marketing needs. These organizations cling to the idea that IT should be responsible for all technology projects. In the long-term, this is likely to fail because many SaaS vendors, such as Falcon Social, and marketing agencies are successfully delivering software and campaigns directly to the marketing department.
In marketing led enterprises the CMT is expected to understand the full spectrum of marketing solutions available. They are tasked with finding the most effective solutions for projects and to build cross-functional teams that deliver better marketing results.
A marketing technologist can ensure software is aligned with business goals and work with the IT department to integrate applications with other systems. Today’s marketeers control increasing chunks of the IT budget, so knowledge of platforms and the ability to demonstrate their value is a must. Gartner has predicted that by 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.
Technology pervades all aspects of marketing and as enterprises undergo digital transformations, marketeers want to be more hands-on with new technologies, rather than leaving it to their vendors. In addition to traditional marketing skills such as market research, communications, creative and design skills, marketeers need to know how to apply technology.
Internet and smartphone penetration continues to grow worldwide and marketeers need to capitalize on e-commerce opportunities around the clock. Access to social media and online shopping, anytime and anywhere, means these technologies are hugely important in helping marketeers drive traffic to websites and increase brand awareness.
Marketeers still need creative ideas to attract consumer interest – but the way businesses are promoted has changed. Technology helps enterprises to publish content that engages audiences on social networks. In addition to selling products directly, using traditional marketing techniques such as advertising, marketeers can use publishing platforms to start conversations and encourage consumers to share their experiences. Coca-Cola’s recent ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is a great example. It replaced the usual branding on Coca-Cola bottles with popular names and encouraged consumers to share stories of friendship on social media.
Marketing has become more operational. Digital campaigns often have global reach and this means more channels, issues and data to deal with on a daily or even hourly basis. Positive stories need to be shared straight away on social media or they lose impact. And when consumers share poor customer experiences online, a prompt and appropriate company response is often the best way to avoid damage to a brand’s reputation. Platforms allow campaigns to be tweaked in real-time and to measure performance. This means marketing spend can be quickly linked to business outcomes and campaigns can be optimized as they happen.
As marketing becomes more complex, technology should empower marketeers and help to make life simpler. This is why it is important to have a broad, robust platform that is easy to use and understand and covers as many of the marketing department’s digital requirements as possible. Marketing, sales and customer service teams will increasingly work together, and too many disjointed systems will result in people having to keep switching between applications. It is much better to have a single integrated platform that is scalable.
Marketeers need marketing-aware technology vendors more than ever to help them identify and act on opportunities, drive innovation and ensure they stay ahead of the latest trends.