There was a time when marketing and IT were separate areas of any business. Marketing was about the creative process of product creation and sales generation, and IT was about maintaining computers, software, and networks.
Today, everything is different. Marketing is now completely dependent on data — automated marketing platforms, algorithms for targeting your efforts, CRMs, big data analytics, social media analysis, Google Analytics, and so on. Technology and marketing are inseparable, which led to a new buzz phrase and a new role: marketing technologist.
An Increasingly Defined Role
Marketing tools and sales platforms are more complicated than they’ve ever been — they require increasing levels of tech savvy to implement, monitor, and oversee. To that end, the role of marketing technologist has arisen. A marketing technologist’s role is to oversee the marketing team’s use of technology — what to use, how to use it, and how to monitor its success.
Marketing technologists weren’t created from whole cloth — they evolved because of larger trends in the software and marketing industries. Markets have grown and evolved, and marketing has become more granular and personalized as a result. It’s harder and harder to pin down where your target audience is and what they want to see.
A Hybrid Of Expertise
That’s where big data comes in. Managing the huge variety of customers, their likes and dislikes, their favorite social media platforms, and every other aspect about them that informs your marketing efforts, is an enormous task.
To help companies manage that data, tools like Salesforce and Marketo emerged — inexpensive, cloud-based tools that helped businesses of any size leverage data and social media. Suddenly, a new obstacle arose: finding someone who both understood the world of marketing and could competently implement all the software tools available to them.
One of the major roles of a marketing technologist is managing the data that an organization has available to it — not only is the availability of customer data higher and more detailed than it’s ever been, but the variety of tools with which to manage it can be overwhelming.
Putting Data To Work
In the twenty-first century, any business with a coherent digital marketing strategy is also aware of the technology platforms that made that strategy possible. Whether it’s the algorithms used by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to optimize their users’ news feeds, the ad platforms that Google and Amazon use to sell to their customers, or the principles behind search engines that make SEO possible, it’s vital that today’s marketers be as tech-savvy as they are people-savvy.
Whether marketing technologist is one of the many hats worn by someone at a startup or a dedicated executive role on par with a Chief Information Officer or Chief Marketing Officer, every business needs one. The world of marketing will only become more dependent on technology to decipher the data involved and make it usable, and your business will need someone to bridge that divide between data and action.