In a recent Brandweek article I saw a quote from Lynne Seid, a senior partner at Heidrick and Struggles – one of the top recruiting firms in the world – in which she said: “We’re seeing the emergence of the chief digital officer reporting into a global CMO.” This explains many of the calls I have been getting from recruiters also looking for someone just to do “all that digital stuff” for the CMO. Said differently, I think they are looking for Marketing Technologists!
This got me thinking about an idea I’ve had for the past year about the need for a new role in the marketing organization: Marketing Technologist.
In researching the concept further, I came across the Chief Marketing Technologist blog by Scott Brinker. Brinker recently published an article in Advertising Age titled, The Case for a Chief Marketing Technologist (September 29, 2010), in which he states:
“Marketing has become deeply entwined with technology. This didn’t happen overnight; it’s been sneaking up on us for a while. But because technology had been so tangential to marketing management for most of our history, the organizational structure of marketing has been slow to adjust to this new technology-centric reality. But we’ve clearly reached a tipping point. To fully reap the benefits of this Golden Age, marketing must officially take ownership of its technology platforms and strategies. And the first step of such ownership is to appoint someone to lead it. Enter the chief marketing technologist.”
I know for my own team we are building things we never did before like: iPhone aps, iPad aps, Android aps, as well as implementing various SaaS applications like Salesforce.com and WebTrends, and marketing automation applications like Aprimo but what is odd is that we have never had to talk with the CIO. In fact I get a little worried that the CEO of one of these companies will one day meet our CIO and thank him for our business and he won’t even know who they are!
I also like to think about the traditional path that the CMO has taken into the C Suite is changing. Typically the modern day CMO takes Marketing 101 in college, gets a Masters in Marketing, works for a major brand like P&G as an entry level marketer, becomes a brand manager then rises up to eventually become the CMO. Well today’s marketers are growing up digital – they create aps, they make Facebook pages, they test mobile ads and design augmented reality games – all before lunch!
So while the idea of a Marketing Technologist probably didn’t make sense for many organizations five years ago, it’s hard to imagine that major B2B companies won’t be operating without one in the very near future, as evidenced by the recruiting demand.