The “what” behind marketing technology (martech) has been well documented. According to Scott Brinker’s annual report in the Chief Marketing Technologist blog, there are more than 7,000 martech tools to choose from. But, what about the “who” behind martech? Who should be involved in selecting and managing martech? Someone should lead the way, according to industry reports.
Gartner found in its Marketing Technology Survey 2018 (subscription required) that 26% of marketers reported having a dedicated martech leader and formal team in place. Those teams were more likely to rate their marketing maturity at a higher level than those with cross-functional or leaderless approaches. Some organizations see martech leadership is a crucial role. It was important enough for Ogilvy to create a 900-person Marketing Technology Center of Excellence.
So who should be on your martech dream team?
Chief Marketing Officer
Your CMO may not be bogged down in martech all day, every day. They’ve got bigger fish to fry. But the CMO is a critical martech dream team member because this individual is both a strategic thinker and a honed tactician, according to Megan Horton, director of branding and digital strategy at Oklahoma State University.
“She or he motivates their team to dream big and celebrate wins,” she added. “They are also unafraid of being challenged and encourage ideation from all team members within their organization.”
Web/Software Developer and UX Designer
It would be tough to leave out these folks from the martech table. The web/software developer is a key player on the web team who knows more languages than you can count, according to Horton. “They know development best practices and look for unique ways to solve business problems with web tools,” she said.
And where development lies, so does design. As for the UX designer, that role is an intuitive visionary with skills that align audience needs with a smooth interface. “He or she will make users feel at home on your website and make the next click that much easier for them,” Horton said.
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Carlos Doughty, CEO and chief marketing technologist at the Martech Alliance, said the full stack marketer, or what he refers to as the “Fat T,” is the most crucial position in any martech team. “Martech platforms by their very nature can enable marketers to cover a lot more depth and breadth without needing the technical knowledge and experience,” Doughty said. “As described by Scott Brinker martech democratizes technology. T-shaped talent can prove the difference in capitalizing on this opportunity. They help move with speed and get the most from your tech stack. Put another way, they help make sure you get stuff done. Naturally they are difficult to find though.”
Customer Advocacy Specialist
A customer advocacy specialist is “so in tune with the needs of your target audiences that it’s almost as if they’re family,” said Horton. “They will fight for their voice and find ways to make them happy.”
Horton added that in meetings, project planning discussions or brainstorming sessions this individual never takes their sights off the needs of the customer, “even if it means tearing down a process or sharing information that isn’t popular.” They are keen communicators and can assist with communication flows and aligning the proper voice and tone for target audiences, she said. “In a ‘dream’ scenario, a company would have multiple specialists representing audience segments,” Horton said.
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When you need to leverage a digital platform, this individual is your ace, according to Horton. He or she knows the ins and outs of your company’s platforms and growth strategies for each. “He or she eats data for breakfast and uses that to build brand muscle — improving the next round of content or tactics leveraged across channels,” Horton said. “He or she works closely with all team members to ensure company goals are clear and reflected in his or her strategies.”
This individual leverages martech tools and software to extract actionable insights and communicate complex ideas to non-technical stakeholders, according to David Jorgensen, CEO, Equiteq.
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The project manager is a quick-thinking individual with an eye for efficiency and communication, Horton said. “This individual takes martech to the next level by outlining detailed roadmaps for complex projects,” she said. “They are a critical component of making sure projects are delivered on deadline and within the budget scope.”
This person knows how to tell a good story and keep you reading. “They can find a story opportunity anywhere,” Horton said, “and find ways to leverage it across owned channels — and even find ways to get it picked up in earned media.”
The Web Wizard
Horton said a “web wizard” should be on your martech team. Though a "web wizard" is not a common name, Horton's point is a martech team should have a designated leader of all things website — both technical and from a design standpoint — because your website is crucial part of your digital experience offerings.This individual, she said, has magical powers and can “mystify minds by ensuring websites are secure, accessible, redundant, optimized, user-focused and on-trend.”
He or she is constantly looking at the tech horizon, resolving site vulnerabilities and positioning the platform or site for the future. “This position is of critical value for the martech team because they cover ‘home base,’” Horton said. “Your website is a key digital property that has to be ready for site visitors and make them feel like you rolled out the red carpet — just for them.”