DNA of a Marketing Technologist

DNA of a Marketing Technologist

Author: Ankit Sethi | Categories: Customer Experience, Digital Analytics, 1:1 Marketing, Digital Marketing

Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions in businesses. Back in 2012, Gartner predicted “by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than its chief information officer was”. That oft-quoted claim seems more credible every day. In marketing, more and more technology decisions need to be taken.

Below are some of the technology decisions needed in marketing while illustrating the necessity of having marketing technologists even more:

Marketing Technology

Source: Chiefmartec.com

Every time a new platform or application arrives on the field, the decision space actually grows exponentially. Remember, it’s not just about taking decisions of individual components, but the connected ecosystem. Further, these decisions have significant consequences:

Marketing Technology

Source: Chiefmartec.com

But who makes these decisions?

  • Marketers
  • IT department
  • Web agencies
  • Technology vendors

And, on what basis do they make those decisions?

  • Marketing vision
  • Technical depth
  • Right incentives
  • Business alignment
  • Accountability

Marketers have the vision, incentives, accountability, and alignment — but often lack the technical depth. The IT department has plenty of technical depth, but different incentives. Web shops, agencies, and technology vendors may have a right mix of marketing vision and technical depth, but their business alignment has a different vector than yours.

This is where the need of a marketing technologist comes in.

The marketing technologists are part strategists, part creative directors, part technology leaders, and part teachers. Their titles may vary as per different organizations, else, they have typical jobs - aligning marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT, evaluating and choosing technology providers, and drafting a new digital business model.

The marketing technologists, therefore, build technological, marketing, analytical and strategical qualities. This leads to analyzing and seeing new business opportunities and developing technical solutions for marketing purposes.

A recent study conducted by the GreenHouse Group illustrates some examples of the shifting needs and questions that arise around digital marketing and where a marketing technologist can add value:

Former question

Current question

Marketing Technologist needs




How can we write good content?

Which content should go where, when and why?

  • Well written content
  • Analyses of the performance of content
  • Technical possibilities to provide different content on different moments and user dependent

Can we measure the amount of users on the landing page?

What is the conversion rate?

How many leads does our website generate?

Which data do we need to answer our business questions?

  • Formulating measurable and effective business questions
  • Not just knowing how to measure, but knowing how to measure the right things and collect the data you need
  • Interpret data and presenting conclusions in a way that it’s clear enough to validate business decisions

“Once technology becomes so entwined in marketing's mission (your technology choices, and how you configure and operate them) has a material impact on customer experiences and your brand, then it imperative to have technologists as an integral part of the marketing team.”

- Scott Brinker, Creator of the chiefmartech.com

How do you measure the effectiveness of the marketing technologist role?

Marketing Technology

Measurement is done across the following functions of the marketing technology management: front-office innovation, back-office innovation, front-office optimization, and back-office optimization. Scott depicts it using the following quadrant:

Marketing departments should have a firm grasp of how it's managing its capabilities in each of these quadrants: people, process, and technology. And it is because you also want to understand how these departments and their capabilities are interrelated - for instance, how today's innovative experiments become tomorrow's optimized infrastructure.