Code Worldwide

Marketing Technology: an entirely new marketing discipline

14.12.2011
Matt McNeany

Matt McNeany

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Few would disagree that the importance of technology in marketing has increased exponentially in recent years. But how has that trend affected Client Marketers? First there were Marketing departments. They bought from Agencies. Next came IT departments who bought from technology vendors or Management Consultants. Occasionally Marketing would need some techy stuff, like a database, and IT would help them find a vendor.

Marketing becomes richer, but harder

But then the world changed. Media got complicated and the brand experience got complicated. Keeping track of everything got complicated. In short, marketing got richer but harder. The role of technology in marketing has advanced to such a degree that a new discipline has been created – Marketing Technology. The Marketing Technology toolkit includes analytics, monitoring, targeting, automation, optimisation, CRM and more. And every day new vendors come to market, adding products to this dense jigsaw (thanks for the image, Scott). To adapt this new world, client Marketers and IT professionals are teaming up to form a new department – the Marketing Technology office.

To adapt this new world, client Marketers and IT professionals are teaming up to form a new department – the Marketing Technology office. “Splintering touchpoints and the growing torrent of data force marketers to build up investments in technology to keep up with customers. To manage and direct the increasingly complex marketing technology stack, Forrester recommends that organizations create a Marketing Technology office” Forrester Research Inc. October 2011, Three Approaches to the Marketing Technology Office

Who are client Marketing Technologists?

The role of these Marketing Technology teams (or Business Technologists, or equivalent) is to choose and deploy the right technology solutions to meet the business' marketing needs.

To do that, they represent an interesting blend:

  • They speak tech and brand and generally don't see any issue with being fluent in science and art
  • They are not 'digital' – sure they’re responsible for web development, display advertising and search, but also for much deeper technology work, like ERP integration, business taxonomies and process optimisation
  • They often work at the enterprise level – they’re tasked with using technology to bring order to unstructured and often chaotic processes
  • They create huge value very quickly.

Who does the Marketing Technologist buy from? 

Clearly these changes make for some seismic shifts in the marketing landscape. But of course one of the most important questions for agencies is how well served the Marketing Technology office is – or isn’t – by the current supplier landscape. That will be the subject of our next post...