Be it online or offline, marketing requires the use of technologies to perform at its best. That being said, small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) business to business (B2B) marketing professionals are expected to take on three CxO roles in one: CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer) ,and CTO (Chief Technology Officer). That’s a lot for one person.
Contributors to the Wikipedia CTO article mention that the “CIO is likely to solve organizational problems through acquiring and adapting existing technologies (IT), whereas a CTO principally oversees development of new technologies (of various types). Many large companies have both positions.” Reality is different for small and medium sized businesses. They often have a geek as a marketing resource (CMO), who is also business process-oriented (CIO), and often acts as a CTO with IT outsourced providers (CRM, hosting, WordPress integrator, etc.) to get the job done.
This is a growing trend with the adoption of various cloud services driving CRM development, social media monitoring, web analytics, content management and so on. Today’s marketing is now, by default, deep in IT. So the geek on the team is now essential in the development and the integration of marketing support tools. He’s a kind of CTO, whether he likes it or not…
But IT solution providers are not marketing providers
Watch out for IT service providers that call themselves marketing solution providers. IT people are, well… IT people. Even though they may be marketing oriented, they are not marketing people per se. Technology is there to serve marketing requirements, not the opposite.
Marketing experts are not IT specialists. But at least one in the group has to be geeky in order to make sense of all this technology, interpret, and be able to “talk” marketing and IT. In mature enough organizations, that resource must be formally identified and given a real title other than “the guy that’s good with techy stuff” and given a mandate, a responsibility: it’s a CMTO: a Chief Marketing Technology Officer.
Does your organization already have a CMTO without even knowing it? Here are 10 things they do on a daily basis:
- Manage technologies used in the organization
- Understand cross-channel interactions
- Deliver coordinated, multi-channel integration
- Deliver relevant display advertising
- Measure marketing performance
- Turn social media data into actionable insight
- Address the CEO’s strategic concerns
- Break free from IT-Marketing deadlock
- Enable agile marketing
- Foresee and manage even more marketing technology coming your way
Not all SMBs need a CMTO which is a combination of a CIO, a CTO and a CMO. But those who engage seriously in B2B marketing with technologies do so with a team of IT specialists and marketing experts. Is your organization mature and aggressive enough to have a CMTO position?
For further reading on the CMTO:
- SlideShare presentation http://www.slideshare.net/Alterian/10-reasons-why-you-need-a-chief-marketing-technology-officercmto.
- Blog post on the CMTO’s role http://www.engagingtimes.com/2011/06/13/do-you-need-a-chief-marketing-technology-officer-cmto/