Who is in Charge of Digital Strategy? Say Hello to the New Chief Marketing Technologist.

You’ve boggled at the digital marketing transit map.  You’ve thrilled at big technology budget numbers that marketing now controls. But what’s it going to really take to pull together this convergence of marketing and technology?  The Chief Marketing Technologist, that’s who.  Today’s Marketing department’s recent and growing dependence on technology results in new responsibilities and roles. I have also seen this called Chief Digital Officer, or Marketing IT.  But no matter what the name, its time has come for the convergence of technology and marketing.

According to Gartner, the new marketer needs “to understand how to use technology to define markets, attract, acquire and retain customers. They often have organizations that align this goal to areas such as marketing software, data and analytics, social and mobile platforms, digital advertising networks collaboration and website design.” (Think Salesforce.com, Marketo, Hubspot, SiteCore, Jive, Box, and other mobile, social and cloud technologies making their way into the marketing world. In their March 2013 survey, Key Findings from U.S. Digital Marketing Spending Survey, Gartner listed this No. 6.

70% of Companies Surveyed Have a Chief Marketing Technologist — 80% of Them Report to Marketing.

http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-spend-report.jsp

This starts to make even more sense when you are implementing digital technology across the organization. According to Ad Age “CMOs must drive a shift in organizational culture that makes consumer relevance at scale a key operating principle, shared by every department beyond marketing that affects the consumer experience — R&D, sales, manufacturing, supply-chain management and services. Building a marketing organization powered by analytics and technology and focused on business outcomes will play a critical integration role across channels and business units.” (Ad Age, May 8, 2013)

And even if they don’t create a new role for this, it certainly means it’s time that the CMO and CIO sit down at the table together to create a digital strategy.