CMT: the evolution of the marketer
Remember the days of complete outbound marketing - constantly talking AT clients instead of WITH them? Marketers were responsible for pushing products and services at clients through a one-way communication channel. They were often hunting for clients through outbound marketing tactics as opposed to providing value and earning their interest. Then came the digital age and the fundamental shift in consumer behavior, causing marketers to rethink how they communicated and reached potential clients.
The early years of the 21st century saw a shift towards digital technology and marketing communication. Cloud computing, search engines, and the power of the Internet brought the need for interactive and social communication. This revolutionized marketing, as individuals were seeking information and communicating online. Traditional marketing quickly took a back seat as the need for content creation, optimized sites, and social and mobile marketing transformed business.
In recent years, there has been yet another change in marketing, a technology evolution if you will. As marketing becomes more and more dependent on technology functions, there is a rising need for professionals equally adept in marketing and technology. In 2012, leading research firm Gartner predicted that by 2017 a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than its chief information officer. We see this become more apparent with each passing year as new marketing software and tools revolutionize the field.
Labeled the chief marketing technologist (CMT), this emerging executive is aligning marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT departments, and evaluating the latest technology providers. These individuals are the technology visionaries of marketing. With 67% of marketing departments planning to increase their spending on technology-related activities in the next two years, CMTs will serve as the leaders in software adoption, configuration, and operation.
Marketing platforms such as CRMs, content management tools, and marketing automation software are driving changes in lead generation and communication. Marketing automation is the “must-have” technology that is widely changing the process of nurturing, scoring, and contacting leads. The challenge for marketers then becomes digitally focused – demonstrating ROI, analyzing data and analytics, and reporting business metrics. The role of the CMT is to master this capability through the use of technology, while also understanding the firm's marketing goals and strategy.
The roles of a marketer are changing, and the impact of technology is transforming the marketing landscape. The new marketing focus is on technology and data. Marketers who choose to act now, embrace these advances, and educate their teams will acquire a differentiator that few will able to duplicate.
Posted on Sun, February 1, 2015
by Christine Hollinden