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The Evolution of a Digital Marketing Technologist

2014-04-September-evolution

Daryl Hemeon's an IT guy. Web guru. Software creator. A technical architect. He's implemented content management systems of various flavors.

The next logical venture for Hemeon? Marketing, of course. What, you say? It's happening. With Hemeon — and many others.

Technology is converging with marketing — just as they said at last month's first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.

And here is Hemeon, the poster boy for this convergence. A true technician diving into digital marketing now at his organization — Unum.

"Technical architecture is my background, and web development is where I started," said Hemeon, who caught up with CMSWire at the #MarTech conference. "And now I'm figuring out how to connect the dots. The job's very new."

Move Toward Marketing

2014-4-September-Daryl Hemeon.jpg

In his application development experience, Hemeon once worked at an agency doing public-facing web work and CMS implementations of "various flavors."

"We had a marketing group that did a lot of SEO and campaign development, and I worked with the design team to do landing pages," Hemeon said. "That was 5-6 years ago — that's when all of this was starting to converge. Everyone was realizing why content was important: how you can get data out of it and what you can do with that data. I was exposed enough to all the various parts to prepare me for this job" as marketing technologist.

"It's exciting," he added.

Being in IT, Hemeon knows technology will always have its challenges. It's something he heard loud and clear with peers at #MarTech.

"There's a big theme happening that nothing ever really works exactly the way you want it to or the way an organization may expect it to," Hemeon told CMSWire. 

For Hemeon, the high-level challenge is this: adapt your organizational structure and strategy to conform to a tool, or take the tool as a service or platform to help you enable your strategy.

"The real example we've seen is workflow publishing," Hemeon said. "It's not as simple as a person writes an article or a piece of content and it gets published. It usually has to be reviewed by a couple of people or has to get approved by the legal department, especially if it's a tricky subject."

The good news — most of the tool sets are starting to evolve.

"They've realized that there isn't just one way of doing something, that you have to have a platform that enables customization and requires your company to have the skill sets — or you have to hire out for it," Hemeon told CMSWire. "We're fortunate. We have the skills in-house."

Define Your Requirements

And when there's technology, there's integration. With a "Hodge-podge" of different technologies, organizations are constantly having to "connect the dots," Hemeon said.

One of the themes from #MarTech Hemeon appreciated? Make sure you adequately define your organization's requirements from a platform.

"What is it you need it to do?" Hemeon asked. "Then you make your tool selection. Make sure you have deployed the right kind of talent on the IT side when it comes to implementations. It's almost like with any strategy — that you don't tightly couple yourself to the implementation of the tool if you find out the tool isn't meeting your needs. You want to be able to swap it out so you can easily put something in its place, which is easier said then done, but I think it's fundamental."

Be 'Nimble'

Construct your system integration in such as way that it is "nimble enough to recover from bad decisions."

"At big companies it's sometimes harder, but it's not unexpected at the time to do integration because there are such complexities at large organizations," Hemeon said. "I'd expect startups that have less legacy data to deal with and starting from fresh there's probably a lot less integration and a lot fewer barriers."

Find a capable content management system and build on it over time with things like lead generation, sales, advertising and ROI.

"It's important," Hemeon said, "to try not to marry yourself to the actual implementation of the technology."

Title image by congvo (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

 
 
 
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