The Rise of the Marketing Technology Officer

Marketers are using technology, specifically marketing automation platforms, to make an impact on revenue. In a recent study from Lenskold Group/The Pedowitz Group, 373 marketers were surveyed and 68 percent are using some type of marketing automation system. While this is interesting and certainly shows growth in this space, what is more interesting is the business result from using this kind of technology -“ companies using marketing automation integrated with CRM helps companies outgrow their competition.

This kind of data is fueling the use of technology in marketing to the point that marketing needs to proactively embrace technology as a key competency in their organization -“ not outsource it to the IT department.

So, is it time for the Marketing Technology Officer?

A recent report from Gartner tells us that marketing automation will be the fastest growing category in CRM over the next four years and that by 2017 chief marketing officers (CMOs) will have a bigger IT budget than chief information officers (CIOs). This article should be a real wake-up call for any B2B marketing group who has delayed jumping into the marketing automation and social marketing fray. The message is clear -“ if you want to remain competitive, you’ll need to master these technologies.

Another recent article at discussed the proposition from Forrester that companies need to hire a Marketing Technology Officer to manage all customer facing technologies – I loved this article as it works well within the Center of Excellence framework (see below) and really emphasizes the need to effectively use technology as a game-changer for marketing.

How do you structure around a Marketing Technology Officer?

In June of this year, we published a white paper called Building a Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence. The paper presents an organizational model with role descriptions for the company that is serious about changing marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.

A Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence is led by a VP of Revenue Marketing with two main groups reporting to him or her -“ a Demand Generation Center and a Marketing Operations Center. The Demand Generation Center drives programs, campaigns, creative, QA, a lead concierge service, content and best practices. The Marketing Operations center is responsible for technology, data management, process improvement, reporting/analytics and liaison services to all field marketing. The entire structure works with the field and global marketing teams to provide the optimized mixture of shared services, best practices and ultimately, a tangible revenue result.

For today’s CMO, the question is how do you begin to understand all the technologies you’ll need in order to survive and thrive?

  1. Start with a high level review of the various technologies that are being used in companies that look like yours.
  2. Talk to other CMOs and heads of marketing around how they are addressing the optimization of technology.
  3. Get your team involved in the understanding and assessment of various technologies. You’ll probably find them more ready than you can imagine!
  4. Finally, try something! You can pilot technology in a specific area of your business. This will help you with lessons learned while gaining alignment and excitement on the value of the technology.

As we move into 2013, it’s clear that technology is playing a key role in the transformation of marketing into a revenue center. For today’s CMO, it’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN. Get ready!

Debbie Qaqish is principal partner and chief revenue marketing officer for The Pedowitz Group, A nationally recognized thought leader, Qaqish has more than 30 years of experience helping organizations connect marketing to revenue. She is a pioneer in marketing automation -“ first as a beneficiary of the technology and now as an advocate and expert. Contact [email protected] or