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Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist


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To help us shed more light on the emerging profession of marketing technologists, SapientNitro partnered with Scott Brinker, the host of the MarTech conference and popular chiefmartec blog to conduct a first-of-its-kind study of marketing technologists’ skills, career paths, attitudes and behaviors. For the first time, we have been able to ‘x-ray’ the professional marketing technologist, and the results are striking.

Published in: Marketing

Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist

  1. 1. © 2015 SapientNitro 2 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist A reflective survey of MarTech professionals and what it means for brands and the profession It’s yesterday’s news that marketing and technology have become inextricably intertwined. Tectonic forces, enabled by technology, have fueled more disruption and competition for customer attention in the last five years than corporations experienced in the 50 years prior. On one hand, CMOs have realized that marketing’s success is gated by the digital acumen of their own organizations. On the other, CIOs find that the expectations of their engineer- ing teams are influenced more by digital exemplars like Amazon, Google, and Silicon Valley startups than by peer benchmarks within their own industry. It’s no surprise then, that Harvard Business Review recently joined the chorus and profiled the Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT)1 – a new type of executive responsible for bringing marketing and technology together. According to a 2014 Gartner study, 81% of large organizations now have a CMT2 . Despite the excitement around marketing technology and the CMT role, the ambiguity as to who these individuals are, the skills they possess and where they sit organizationally has led to considerable confusion. And the confusion results in two related issues. One, executives need better clarity regarding how they can identify, recruit, on-board, and retain these talent- ed individuals. Second, aspiring marketing technologists have no guidelines against which to benchmark and level-up their own skills. To help us shed more light on these issues, SapientNitro partnered with Scott Brinker, the host of the MarTech conference and popular chiefmartec blog to conduct a first-of-its-kind study of marketing technologists’ skills, career paths, attitudes and behaviors3 . For the first time, we have been able to ‘x-ray’ the professional marketing technologist. The results are striking: Today’s marketing technologists cluster into 6 distinct archetypes, and they are not equivalent or interchangeable. Of the 6 archetypes – 3 are focused on technology, 3 on mar- keting. Respondent’s self-identified skills fell into distinct clusters, revealing the archetypes. Marketing Mavens (26%): With marketing skills emphasized over technology, Mavens specialize in building marketing programs using expertise in marketing strategy, stra- tegic positioning and promotion. Data Divas (17%): Divas are skilled in marketing operations management, CRM, data science, analytics and modeling.They know how to acquire, integrate and make data perform. Content Curators (16%): Storytellers. Message crafters. Marketing strategists. Content Management platform experts. This type exercises considerable knowl- edge of the content marketing and related technologies to direct communications-ori- ented marketing. Infrastructure Architects (16%): Enter- prise-level technology chops define this archetype, but they are also business con- sultants and bring a high-level understand- ing of a company’s marketing initiatives. Experience Engineers (15%): One foot in technology and another in experience.They are experts in cutting-edge technology: from eCommerce to front-end technology and mobility. Media & Marketing Analyzers (10%): specialize in research, consumer insights and strategic planning.They think strategi- cally about segmentation and connections planning. 1 HBR July 2014 “The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist”, by Scott Brinker, Laura McLellan 2 3 We asked the community of marketing technologists – recruited from the MarTech 2014 fall conference and Scott Brinker’s popular ‘Chief Martec’ blog - to help us document this group. We contracted an independent market research firm – Decision Analyst – to execute the survey. Our study had 280 respondents, and took place from August 15th, 2014 to September 8th, 2014. (for more details, see “About the Survey” at the end of the article). 26% Marketing Mavens 16% Content Curators 10% Media & Marketing Analyzers 15% Experience Engineers 16% Infrastructure Architects 17% Data Divas 52% Marketing 48%Technology THE SIX ARCHETYPES HAVETWO MAIN AREAS OF FOCUS We found that MarketingTechnologists are grouped into six archetypes - three with a marketing focus, and three with a technology focus. Key Points • 4 in 5 companies have a marketing technologist. Yet, analysis of their careers and skills reveals a profession in a formative stage. • Marketing technologists are not equivalent. Today, there are six archetypes, 3 focused on technology, 3 on marketing. Prospective employers must mind the differences because doing so will help define the role they hope to fill. Prospective marketing technologists should pay attention as well – if only to better recognize the skill gaps they may need to develop. • Most marketing technologists have marketing job titles, and a majority report to a CMO, senior marketer or CEO. • STEM degrees are in the minority (26%) and professionals are learning on the job. We are concerned as to whether or not this provides enough preparation / ensures a strong enough set of skills upon which to build. • Alarming skill deficiencies exist. Of greatest concern, Information Security is the single weakest skill. • 94% of marketing technologists say that marketing and IT skills can be combined in one person, yet most self-classify within one discipline.
  2. 2. © 2015 SapientNitro Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist The emergence of these archetypes may represent specialization within the profession, often seen in mature fields such as medicine or engineering. However, we doubt it. More likely, the skills gaps we found indicate that the archetypes are emerging through a Darwinian selection pro- cess as individuals who may not meet the full job specifications are promoted into this new role. One immediate implication for those organizations in search of the best person to steward marketing technology through a period of profound disruption is that they need to define the role more spe- cifically than simply as “marketing technologist.” The needs of an organization may in fact require that the CMT embody a combination of at least two and possibly as many as all six of the archetypes. This said, the archetypes are a starting point to contain search efforts and costs, as they are a clear segmentation of today’s talent. Marketing Technologists report into marketing. While 69.2% re- port into the C-Suite, just 8.6% of marketing technologists reported to the CIO, with the majority reporting into the CMO or CEO/Pres- ident. Our findings matched other recent industry surveys, in this regard. In our view, this reporting bias could explain the surprising under- weighting of engineering/STEM academic backgrounds in the popu- lation, which we describe further below. Our hypothesis: marketers and business leaders are promoting from their own departmental ranks and backgrounds. This is understandable, but executives should consider where pure play digital firms – who are setting the pace of today’s disruption – are sourcing their talent, and then consider proactive skills development to level up existing talent, or increase the diversity of their talent sourcing, for instance, by over- weighting IT and business analytics capabilities. Today’s practitioners are learning technology on the job. Today, marketing technologists are strongest in core marketing skills, and only 26% have STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) degrees. Additionally, nearly half the respondents reported their prior job was managing technology or programming, often in a marketing context – providing the job environment for developing technical skills. We believe the lack of hybrid academic programs is forcing talent to train on the job. The implication? Rudimentary preparation in computer science fundamentals, systems and algorithmic thinking, statistics and data science may be glossed over or completely skipped, which will undoubtedly impair job effectiveness. Interestingly, technology-oriented marketing technologists are 20% more likely to be the “primary” or “chief” marketing technology of- ficer, indicating that greater responsibilities are awarded to those with technical proficiency. Current and desired job skills are balanced between marketing, technology and business. The top 5 skills that respondents report they possess are marketing strategy and positioning, marketing op- erations management, website design, the ability to persuade and negotiate and marketing channel strategy/connections planning. Perhaps attributable in part to confirmation bias – the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s pre- conceptions – 3 of these also featured in the 5 skills respondents said are most important to the future of marketing. Regardless, we are delighted to observe a balance between marketing, technology and business domains, all three of which are essential for success in the role, in our view. There are alarming deficiencies in current skill sets. Advertis- ing technology, system performance and resiliency, and several omni-channel enabling technologies all featured in the bottom 10 of self-assessed current skills, with information security coming in dead last. This lack of skills is of huge concern in light of recent massive se- curity breaches across industries, the extreme scale at which digital businesses must operate during periods of high demand, and the ever-increasing requirements for brands to imagine and deliver im- mersive and pervasive experiences. In addition, when we examined the largest skills gaps (differences between stated future importance and current self-assessment), big data techniques and technologies emerged as the skill with the widest gap. The absolute deficiencies in current skills, the gap be- tween current and desired future skills, and the under-representa- tion of STEM academic backgrounds reinforce our view that today’s marketing technologists must level up their technology chops with great urgency. The gap between marketing and technology is real, even for marketing technologists. While 94% believe that marketing and IT skills could be combined in a single person, respondents identified a stark polarity between marketing expertise and systems integration expertise. Most technology archetypes are less likely to describe themselves as “marketing experts” and marketing archetypes don’t think of themselves as “systems integrators”. This subtle indication of how respondents described who they are may be indicative of the culture gap that must be overcome for the role to attain its highest potential. In our view, the CMT role must straddle both functions as a native, not with a major in one and a minor in the other. Business Skills Marketing Skills Technology Skills The most important future job skills, according to our survey, include marketing, technology and business skills. (see Finding #6) 3
  3. 3. © 2015 SapientNitro Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist Findings and Analysis: 1.Although most organizations may have a Chief MarketingTechnologist (CMT), they are certainly not all alike, or interchangeable. The CMT role is pervasive, with Gartner recently reporting that 81% of large organizations now have a CMT. But the roles are not alike. The July 2014 edition of Harvard Business Review defined the CMT role noting “CMTs are part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher.” (emphasis added) Our survey findings took this analysis one step farther, providing deep insight into the ratio of those parts in the current cadre of professionals. We asked our survey respondents to rank their skills, in relative, not ab- solute terms. We also asked them to choose from monikers they might use to describe themselves professionally. Analyzing these data sets, we found clear evidence that the population of marketing technologists is fractured around distinct areas of expertise. We identified 6 different archetypes of marketing technologists by iden- tifying distinct clusters of skills “rank your strongest/weakest skill…” and attitudes “I think of myself as…”. Sorted by size within the overall population, the 6 archetypes are: The Marketing Mavens (26%): The largest single group, the skills and attitudes of this group show that more than 1 in 4 marketing technologists have a much stronger marketing orientation (and conversely, a weaker technology orienta- tion) than we had previously assumed. This group’s key skills are dominated by market- ing strategy and positioning and to a much lesser extent marketing operations. They think of themselves as marketing experts, business consultants, and customer expe- rience specialists. The Data Divas (17%): The second-largest group loves their data. Their skills are grounded in marketing op- erations management, CRM, data science, an- alytics and modeling. They scored themselves highly in managing big data – one of the biggest skill gaps identified by the overall survey popu- lation – and also are proficient in data manage- ment software/systems. With their expertise in systems; tag management; CRM tools; and data science, analytics, statistics and modeling, they know how to acquire, integrate and make data perform. 68% of members of this group said they are the primary marketing technolo- gist in their organizations – the highest of all the archetypes – reflecting the importance of data driven marketing. Marketing Strategy and Positioning Marketing Operations Management The Ability to Persuade and Negotiate Marketing Channel Strategy and Connections Planning Website Testing and Optimization A Marketing Expert80.8% A Business Consultant61.6% A Customer Experience Specialist41.1% An Entrepreneur38.4% A CRM Expert27.4% MARKETING MAVENS: SELF-REPORTED SKILLS PROFESSIONAL SELF-DESCRIPTION: ITHINK OF MYSELF AS... Mavens view themselves as professional marketers, business consultants and customer experience specialists.They are the oldest (43% are 45+), and have the highest mean salary ($149k). Marketing Operations Management Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems and Platforms Data Science, Analytics, Statistics, and Modeling Marketing Strategy and Positioning Data Management Software and Systems 35.0 31.7 16.834.0 17.4 A Marketing Expert55.3% A Database Marketing Specialist53.2% A Business Consultant53.2% A Systems Integrator51.1% A Data Scientist, Statistician, Analyst A CRM Expert A Customer Experience Specialist 42.6% 42.6% 40.6% DATA DIVAS: SELF-REPORTED SKILLS PROFESSIONAL SELF-DESCRIPTION: ITHINK OF MYSELF AS... Data Divas have much stronger sets of skills in database marketing, system integration and data scientist-related skills than the other archetypes.They were the most likely to be the primary marketing technologists in their organization (68% reported being the CMT). 4 Marketing Channel Strategy and Connections Planning Website Testing and Optimization Website Design Including Responsive and Adaptive Design The Ability to Persuade and Negotiate Content Creation, Copywriting, and Content Optimization Marketing Strategy and Positioning Content Man- agement and Digital Asset Management Systems 45.6 39.8 24.6 23.4 21.6 17.2 16.0 CONTENT CURATORS: SELF-REPORTED SKILLS A Marketing Expert64.4% A Content Management Expert57.8% AWriter Or Content Creator53.3% A Business Consultant46.7% A Customer Experience Specialist35.6% PROFESSIONAL SELF-DESCRIPTION: ITHINK OF MYSELF AS... Content Curators specialize in content creation, content management and the customer experience. They were also the youngest, with 42% under 35. The Content Curators (16%): If you want to tell a story – and ef- ficiently disseminate it to your con- sumers – this is the group you want. With considerable expertise in content creation, content optimization, marketing strategy and positioning, and content and digital asset management platforms, this group helps your brand converse with customers. 4
  4. 4. © 2015 SapientNitro 5 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist EXPERIENCE ENGINEERS: SELF-REPORTED SKILLS An IT (InformationTechnology) Specialist46.3% A Systems Integrator41.5% A Business Consultant39.0% A Software Developer, Coder, Or Programmer39.0% An Entrepreneur A Customer Experience Specialist 31.7% 31.7% PROFESSIONAL SELF-DESCRIPTION: ITHINK OF MYSELF AS... Experience Engineers play a hybrid role – blending depth in IT and SI skills – but also have breadth in the form of customer experience.They have considerable skills in mobile app development, eCommerce technology and other core competencies as well. GIS, Geomapping, and Geotargeting Website Design Including Responsive and Adaptive Design Content Management and Digital Asset Management Systems Design and Development of Mobile Apps and Platforms eCommerce Technologies and Platforms Front-end Technologies (e.g. HTML5, Javascript, and CSS) Software Design, Programming, and Coding 33.9 29.8 21.5 17.0 17.0 13.6 12.9 The Experience Engineers (15%): This group pushes boundaries at the intersection of technology and experi- ence. They have remarkable proficiencies in the technologies that directly touch the cus- tomer experience – eCommerce, front-end, and mobility. 5 Enterprise Architecture, Tech Selection, and Lifecycle Management Software design, programming, and coding Content management and digital asset management systems Software Development Operations and IT Operations Front-end technologies (e.g. HTML5, Javascript, and CSS) 46.8 31.6 23.3 11.417.1 INFRASTRUCTURE ARCHITECTS: SELF-REPORTED SKILLS An IT (InformationTechnology) Specialist73.3% A Systems Integrator64.4% A Business Consultant60.0% A Software Developer, Coder, Or Programmer35.6% An Entrepreneur A Customer Experience Specialist 33.3% 33.3% PROFESSIONAL SELF-DESCRIPTION: ITHINK OF MYSELF AS... Infrastructure Architects are much more aligned with technology. Information technology, systems integration and even a developer/coder scored highly.They were also the most male (89%), and 40% had an undergraduate technology degree (versus a 25.3% average for all archetypes). Visual display of data (including infographics and dashboards) 9.0 The Infrastructure Architects (16%): This is a classically trained cohort of technologists, with expertise in devel- oping enterprise marketing platforms. With deep understanding of technology architec- ture and selection, software development, content and digital asset management plat- forms, they describe themselves as the IT specialists, systems integrators and busi- ness consultants that deploy marketing tech- nology at scale within the enterprise. Marketing Research, Consumer Insights, and Competitive Intelligence Marketing Strategy and Positioning Advertising and Marketing Communication Development Market Segmentation and Psychographics Marketing Channel Strategy and Connections Planning 58.4 47.3 24.1 16.6 13.5 MEDIA AND MARKETING ANALYZERS: SELF-REPORTED SKILLS A Marketing Expert An Advertising Expert A Business Consultant An Entrepreneur A Customer Experience Specialist 72.4% 51.7% 44.8% 37.9% 31.0% PROFESSIONAL SELF-DESCRIPTION: ITHINK OF MYSELF AS... Our final archetype is also the smallest; Media and Marketing Analysts bring strengths in advertising, business and customer experience.They tend to be younger – 45% are under 35 and are the most likely to have a graduate degree (59% have a graduate degree) – and, of those, most degrees are in business (71% of graduate degrees are in business). The Media and MarketingAnalyzers (10%): A rare breed in our survey, this type has significant skills in research, consumer insights, and strategic planning. They think strategically about segmentation and con- nections planning. Findings and Analysis:
  5. 5. © 2015 SapientNitro 6 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist The existence of the archetypes shows us that today’s marketing technologists do not have equivalent competencies. In fact, the differences in the ratio of skills between the arche- types are quite large. One immediate implication for brands looking to appoint a CMT – they must be more spe- cific in creating a job description – the term “marketing technologist” simply is insufficient. Lacking specifics when casting the role will increase the odds of professional failure. For instance, recruiting a Marketing Maven when the job situation calls for a Data Diva or Infra- structure Architect will require additional senior team members with complementary skills to build out a capable marketing technology function. We recommend an outline of the specific skills required, followed by a determination of which primary, and secondary (or more, if needed) archetype fits best. Brands with stable business models should be able to define their needs succinctly e.g. evolve and manage the marketing automation infrastructure. By doing so, they will be able to focus on the archetypes required, which will increase the likelihood of finding experienced candidates who can fill the role effectively. Of course, employers concerned about changing consumer behavior or digital disruption to their core business will need a “unicorn” with breadth and depth across multiple, or all archetypes to lead the marketing technology office. In this case, expect the candidate pool to be much smaller, and the search to take longer. 2.Archetypes are split evenly between marketing and technology disciplines, but mar- keting archetypes are more likely to operate as a team, while technology archetypes are more likely to play the role of Chief MarketingTechnologist. In our data, we found a roughly even split between marketing and technology orientations – 52% of the respondents are classified in one of the three marketing archetypes (Marketing Mavens, Content Curators, or Media Marketing Analyzers), while the remaining 48% are in the technology archetypes (Data Divas, Infrastructure Architecture, Experience Engineers). Interestingly, those with a marketing orientation are far more likely to operate with a team rather than as the sole marketing technologist. We hypothesize that marketing oriented ar- chetypes need additional technology support in order to realize the marketing technology function: • Marketing Archetypes (52% of respondents): Marketing-oriented archetypes tend to be self-taught in technology, to have more marketing academic training, and to be equally divided by gender.They are slightly more likely to report into the CMO than any other group (33.9% report to the CMO vs. an overall average of 31.4%). • Technology Archetypes (48% of respondents): Technology archetypes are younger, more likely to have STEM degrees, and are more likely to report into non-marketing leaders (e.g. the CEO, “others”, or the CIO). • A full 55% of the three technology archetypes reported that they are the “Chief Mar- keting Technologist,” (CMT) a moniker roughly equivalent to the CMTO. In contrast, only 35% – a full 20 percentage point delta – of the three marketing archetypes report themselves to be the Chief MarketingTechnologist. Our hypothesis is today’s technology archetypes (Data Divas, Infrastructure Architecture, Ex- perience Engineers) possess more of the skills needed to align the marketing team, technol- ogy vendors, service providers and corporate IT. Our recommendation for brands? Evaluate your CMT’s ability to be the glue between these teams, including her ability to represent the interests, viewpoints and concerns of the different stakeholders without bias, see the big picture while not missing key details, and her gravitas as a cross functional leader. Our six profiles are evenly split between marketing focused and technology focused archetypes - consistent with the blended nature of the role. Data Divas Infrastructure Architecture Experience Engineers TECHNOLOGY 48% 17% 16% 15% Marketing Mavens Content Curators Media Marketing Analyzers 26% 16% 10% MARKETING 52% THE SIX ARCHETYPES HAVETWO MAIN AREAS OF FOCUS
  6. 6. © 2015 SapientNitro 7 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist 3. Marketing technologists most likely work for the Chief Marketing Officer.They also have marketing titles. Our respondents report into a marketing function most frequently. Just 8.6% of marketing technologists report into the CIO; most re- port into the CMO (31.4%), CEO/President (23.9%), or CDO (chief digital officer)/CSO (chief strategy officer) (5.3%). In sum, 69.2% re- ported into the C-suite. Chief Marketing Technologists (CMTs) are similar, with just 5.5% reporting into the CIO. In our view, this distribution of reporting relationships is supportive of our thesis that the marketing technologist is broadly the equiva- lent of a CIO or CTO dedicated to marketing, and the CMO or CEO needs a trusted advisor skilled in technology and marketing on his/ her team. Current job titles are predominantly in the marketing domain. CMTs were 7% more likely to have a marketing title. We also found that the title of “MarketingTechnologist” is rarely used and made up only a small fraction (11%) of CMTs in the field. Given the title variance and reporting into IT by exception, rather than norm, we recommend that the individual tasked as the CMT have explicit objectives, socialized with all concerned stakeholders, to align marketing and technology concerns, and own the blueprint for how marketing technology is deployed and will evolve in the con- text of the enterprise technology estate. Marketing Title e.g. CMO Director/VP/ Manager of Digital Marketing Marketing Manager/Director/ VP/Manager of Marketing Technology Business Title e.g. CGO/CSO/ Director/VP/ Manager of Strategy Project Manager/ Account Manager/ Director/VP/ Manager of Business, Product, or Application Development/ Strategist Technology Title e.g. CTO/CIO/ Director/VP/ Manager of IT/ Director of Market Automation Director of CRM Director of Analytics Market Automation Specialist Marketing Technology Title e.g. Marketing Technologist Marketing Technology Consultant Marketing Technology Manager 55.9% 16.5% 18% 11%48.9% 23.2% 16.8% 7.1% PARTICIPANT JOBTITLES – OVERALL AND CMT Marketing technologists job titles are typically marketing titles. And Chief MarketingTechnologists (CMTs) were even more likely to have marketing titles. 60 50 40 30 20 10 REPORTINGTOTHE CMO, CEO, OR CIO – OVERALL AND CMT Marketing technologists reported into senior leaders in an organization; the most common were the CMO suite, CEO and, at a distant third, the CIO. CMTs are 7 percentage points more likely to report to the c-suite. CMO, EVP of Marketing, Senior VP of Marketing, or VP of Marketing 31.4%33.1% 23.9%29.9% 8.6%5.5% 3.2%4.7% 2.1%3.1% 28.9%21.3% Chief Digital Officer/Director of Digital Marketing/Digital Research CPO/CSO/Director/VP/Manager of Strategy, Planning, or Development CIO, EVP of IT, Senior VP of IT, or VP of IT Other Business or Group CEO or President OVERALLCMT 69.2% reported into the C-suite76.3% CMT CMT CMT CMTOverall Overall Overall Overall
  7. 7. © 2015 SapientNitro Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist 4. Only a quarter of today’s marketing technologists have STEM degrees. Predictably, technology training is done on-the- job, not in school. Surprisingly, 3 in 4 marketing technologists do not have a tradition- al STEM degree. 25.3% have a STEM undergraduate degree, while 18.8% have a STEM graduate degree. Instead, the most common ac- ademic majors for marketing technologists are business and business administration (13.7% of undergrads and 41.4% among graduates). Once in the workforce, “marketing manager” is the #1 job leading to a marketing technologist role, followed by web/CRM/automation platform technology management. But when we group all respons- es by domain, the technology/programming domain emerges as the most common prior job focus, followed by the business/manage- ment domain, with the marketing/communications domain in third. Almost half of all the respondents had a prior role in technology, and primary marketing technologists skew higher – 53.5% report having a technical/programming role prior to their current primary marketing technologist role. Our conclusion? Today’s talent has cross-skilled themselves, espe- cially in technology, on the job.This is understandable, given the pau- city of cross-discipline academic programs. However, we are con- cerned that preparation in computer science fundamentals, systems and algorithmic thinking, statistics and data science are hard to pick up on the job – absent curricula, coaching and skills roadmaps for which there is no industry consensus.The marketing technologist is, by its very moniker, a technical and marketing role, and those recruit- ing or planning their own career must have a strong grounding in the fundamentals of both. We recommend that both brands looking for CMT’s, as well as aspiring CMT’s themselves, evaluate their skills across the archetypes to understand existing gaps, and to create development plans or source additional talent to fill the gaps. PREVIOUS JOBS 46.9%Technical/Programming Background Web/CRM management/ Automation platforms Web Developer/Programmer/ Software Engineer IT/Tech background SEM/SEO/Search engine management Background in mobile platforms/mobile aps 20.7% 14.5% 14.1% 4.6% 3.7% 2.9% 01 02 03 04 05 06 eCommerce Technology/programming is the dominant background for marketing technologists. Specifically, we found focus areas in web/CRM platforms, web development and general IT/technology. Marketing technologists are a highly educated group, with 92% having at least a bachelors degree - compared to 29.5% for the U.S. general population. Undergraduate areas of study included liberal arts, and, at the graduate level, skew towards business. Advanced Degree (Master’s, ph.D) Bachelor’s Degree 40.7% 51.4% Associate’s Degree Vocational or less 7.9% EARNED DEGREES Business or Business Administration Marketing Communications Computer Science InformationTechnology Engineering Science or Math Social Sciences (Economics, Sociology, Psychology) Art and Other Majors (Net) AREAS OF STUDY Undergraduate Graduate 41%14% 16%11% 8%9% 14%12% 3%9% 2%4% 5%10% 11%31% Earned At Least Bachelor’s Degree 92.1% 8 37.3% Marketing/Communication Background Marketing background/Mar- keting Manager/Marketing Digital/Interactive Marketing Digital producer/Graphics/ Animation/Video/Audio Engineer Communications/Market Commu- nications/Database Marketing Background in social media/social platforms 22.4% 13.7% 4.6% 3.3% 3.7% 01 02 04 03 05 While ‘marketing background/marketing manager/marketing’ is the single most common single (historic) role for marketing technologists, the marketing/ communication category as a whole ranked below technology focused prior roles. 01 02 03 04 05 01 02 03 04 05 06 39.0% Business/Management Background Consulting/Management Consultant/ User Experience Consultant Management Background/ Manage a Team Account/Project Management Sales/Lead Generation Business Development/ Strategy/Research Strategy Analytics/Business Analyst/ Business Background Market research/Research and development 10.4% 9.1% 9.1% 8.3% 7.5% 5.4% 4.1% 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Business and management was also a popular job category, and we observe prior general management roles described as consulting, managing teams, and project management. 01 03 04 05 06 07 02
  8. 8. 9 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist CURRENT JOB SKILLS: WEAKEST SKILLS CURRENT JOB SKILLS: STRONGEST SKILLS In-venue/In-Store ExperienceTechnology Physical Computing and the Internet ofThings Tag Management and User Management (United User Profile) Loyalty Programs Media Planning and Buying International Marketing/Translations/Legal Issues Digital Ad Networks and Real-time Bidding System Performance and Resiliency GIS, Geomapping and Geotargeting Information Security/Firewalls/Encryption/Data Recovery 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 38.1 15.6 13.3 12.3 12.2 Marketing Strategy and Positioning Marketing Operations Management Website Design Including Responsive and Adaptive Design The Ability to Persuade and Negotiate Marketing Channel Strategy/Connections Planning In these data, we were particularly surprised at the strength of Marketing Strategy/ Positioning and the relatively balanced set of current strengths across disciplines. We were startled by the importance of several of the skills on which marketing technologists evaluated themselves poorly. Information security, particularly, is of growing import. © 2015 SapientNitro 6. Desired skills in the future span marketing, business and technology, but mind the data gap. We asked our respondents which job skills were the most impor- tant for the future success of marketing. Of the top 5 skills impor- tant for the future, two are marketing related, two are technology related and one is business related.This supports our view that the marketing technologist must span marketing, technology, and business. However, the technology-oriented skills are narrower than we’d anticipated. 5. Marketing technologists are strongest in core marketing skills, and weakest in information security and system performance/resilience. Our respondents say their strongest skills are marketing strategy/ positioning, followed by marketing operations management and website design (including responsive and adaptive design). At first glance, this is great – a mix of strategy, operations and technology, in that order. Our concern? Operations – the second strongest skill, is ranked 2.5 times weaker than strategy, and technology – website design (responsive + adaptive) is ranked almost 3 times weaker. Given the demo or die mode in which most digitally native competi- tion operates, marketing technologists must be as proficient in the details of execution (operations and technology), as in strategy. System performance and resiliency, advertising technology and sev- eral omni-channel enabling technologies (e.g. in-venue, in-store ex- perience technology, physical computing and IoT, tag management, and geotargeting) all featured in the lowest 10 self-assessed cur- rent skills, with information security dead last. Of all our findings, we were concerned with this one the most. In our view, marketing technologists must envision and lead the delivery of omni-channel experiences that are integrated, scalable and reliable.This in fact, is a core mandate of the role. Further, the bottom 10 list also included some core marketing topics, such as loyalty programs, internation- alization, media and ad-tech. In the light of recent massive security breaches in many industry verticals, the extreme scale with which digital businesses must operate during periods of high demand, and the need for brands to imagine and create immersive and pervasive communications and experience, the lack of needed skills in these areas is worrisome. Our recommendation? Understand your weakest skills and source help from specialists to mitigate risks and avoid blind spots. Consid- er immediate audits in gap areas, and strategy retainers for forward planning. MOST IMPORTANT FUTURE JOB SKILLS BY DOMAIN MarketingTechnologists Must Span Marketing,Technology and Business Business Skills Key Gaps: • Ability to persuade and negotiate Marketing Skills Key Gaps: • Marketing Strategy Positioning •Target Marketing Identification Technology Skills Key Gaps: • Website Design including responsive design adaptive • CRM Systems and Platforms In our evaluation of the survey data, we found that a mix of marketing, technology, and business skills were important for marketing technologists for the future. MOST IMPORTANT FUTURE JOB SKILLS 44.344.3%% 43.943.9%% 43.943.9%% 42.942.9%% 020406080 62.162.1%% M arketing Strategy and Positioning TargetM arketIdentification W ebsite D esign Including Responsive and Adaptive CRM System s and Platform s Ability To Persuade and N egotiate When we asked respondents for the top skills for future success, the top two skills which emerged were traditional marketing skills, although technology skills rounded out the next two slots.
  9. 9. © 2015 SapientNitro 10 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist We also compared responses for “skills ranked important in the future,” to those for “skills they have today.” By doing so, we iden- tified specific skills gaps and their magnitude.The most significant skills gaps are seen in target market identification; CRM systems and platforms; data science, analytics, statistics, and modeling; big data and marketing segmentation.The list indicates that leveling up is required on both the marketing and the technology side. But by far, the most significant absolute gap is in big data: techniques and technologies for handling data at extreme scale. MARKETINGTECHNOLOGIST SKILL GAP Job Skills Target Market Identification Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems and Platforms Data Science, Analytics, Statistics, And Modeling Big Data:Techniques and Technologies for Handling Data at Extreme Scale Market Segmentation and Psychographics Importance to Future Success 2 3 6 7 9 -20 -7 -6 -27 -8 22 10 12 34 17 Strength of Today’s Skills Gap When we compared the most important skills with their current strengths/ weaknesses, we identified a set of skills with the greatest gaps, shown above. It’s notable that the biggest gaps span technology, marketing, and business skills. We recommend a careful analysis of skills needed for the future of your business, and building these skills through development, talent sourcing and retainers. In particular, given that data centricity will dominate marketing for the foreseeable future, we suggest ad- ditional emphasis on acquiring data science and data management competencies within the marketing technology function. 7. MarketingTechnologists are excited about the future. To close out the study, we moved to softer, attitudinal factors. First, we asked how much stress and/or excitement our respondents received from their jobs. Less than half – 42.9% of marketing technologists reported that their jobs are “extremely” or “very stressful.” Of those who serve as the CMT role, this number is slightly higher at 45.7%.The good news – nearly 3 in 4 – or 74.3% of marketing technologists report they are extremely or very excited with their current job. Of those who serve as the CMT, 83.5% were extremely or very excited. The marketing technologist role has been established in response to marketing rapidly becoming one of the most technology-de- pendent functions in business. Intuitively, it’s not surprising that marketing technologists are excited about the future – they are the wizards tasked with creating competitive advantage on this frontier. We did expect greater stress levels given the era of marketing dis- ruption we are in – perhaps this is a cue to raise our collective level of urgency to reinvent the future. 8. Marketing technologists have many similarities, but there are striking personality and identity differences between mar- keting archetypes and technology archetypes. Finally, we asked individuals to choose monikers they might use to describe their personality and profession. Regardless of their background, respondents say they have a logical/analytical side and an innovative/creative one. But, when we compared technology and marketing archetypes, we discovered interesting differences: 1. Technology archetypes were almost twice as likely to select “Practical, Realistic” to describe their personality. They also described themselves as “Innovative, Creative”, more often than the marketing archetypes. 2. Technology archetypes are half as likely to describe themselves as “marketing experts” than marketing archetypes. And, mar- keting archetypes less than half as likely as the technology ar- chetypes to describe themselves as “systems integrators”. 94% of respondents believe that marketing and IT skills can be combined in a single person, yet how they describe their person- ality and jobs reveals a culture gap. Our recommendation? As we noted earlier, this role must straddle both marketing and technology as a native, not with a major in one and a small minor in the other. If you are a CMT, or aspiring to be one, examine how you view yourself and whether you are naturally centered in one department. If you are a brand leader working with a CMT, provide him with open and timely coaching that will allow him to become aware of any unconscious biases he might have. U nder$100K U nder$100K $100K -$150K $100K -$150K $150K+ $150K+ CM T CM T Team M em ber Team M em ber 62.3% Excitement* 32.3% Stress** EXCITEMENT VS STRESS As a professional, marketing technologists report that excitement increases with income - and, thankfully, that stress does not. Among roles, those serving as CMTs report higher excitement and stress, relative to those less involved. *Score Calculation: 100% Extremely Exciting + 70% Very Exciting **Score Calculation: 100% Extremely Stressful + 70% Very Stressful
  10. 10. © 2015 SapientNitro 11 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist Conclusion The rise of the Chief MarketingTechnologist is bridging the worlds of marketing and IT. In these data, we see a new picture emerging of the marketing technologist.This first-ever analysis of the profession- al population gives us a remarkable view of six discrete archetypes, their skills, and where in the organization they sit. Importantly, we have a clear view of the skills and attitudinal gaps which employers must recognize when hiring and that the profession (and, ultimately, academia) must address. We can logically infer from the data that marketing technologists are growing their skills on the job. That’s great news. But, it should be deeply concerning to both marketing technologists and the brands that rely on them that the largest skills gaps are in areas of signif- icant opportunity (e.g. targeting, CRM and data) and high risk (e.g. information security, performance and resiliency). Academia has yet to create programs for hybrid talent that must operate at the intersection of marketing and technology. The need for marketers who understand technology, data and algorithms is as pressing and urgent as the need for technologists who have a grasp of marketing, advertising and the art of growing customers. Against this backdrop, we believe it is critical for organizations to invest in ongoing training and skills-development to grow market- ing technology talent. As an agency, our clients often ask us to play advisory CMTO roles. To fulfill the demand, we founded our own CMTO University. We decided to challenge, rather than coddle our best technologists. We go deep by teaching marketing, business, applied influence and persuasion skills, modeled in the style of an executive MBA (see sidebar on Page 12). For businesses that want to thrive, and increasingly, those that want to survive, grooming leaders with relevant skills and who operate with competence and confidence in the age of the customer is the single biggest investment we can make in our future. PROFESSIONAL SELF-DESCRIPTIONS Personality Types: In terms of personality, it appears those with a Marketing orienta- tion and those with a Technology orientation are more similar than different. Six of the ten characteristics were similar, although marketers believe themselves to be less “Practical,” but more “Independent,” “Original” and “Organized.” Technologists scored slightly higher overall, and relatively higher in “Practical,” “Realistic.” All groups believe themselves to be “Logical, Analytical”. Professional Self-Descriptions: A complex picture emerges of two backgrounds - both alike in dignity, striving to be entrepreneurs, customer experience specialists, and business consultants, even as significant cultural and professional divisions remain. 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 0% 10% Marketing Archetypes Technology Archetypes A Business Consultant A Custom erExperience Specialist A M arketing Expert An IT Specialist A ContentM gm tExpert A D atabase M arketing Specialist A System s Integrator Jack ofalltrades A CRM Expert A G row th H acker An Entrepreneur M anager PERSONALITY TYPES BY ARCHETYPE GROUPINGS 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Marketing Archetypes Technology Archetypes Collaborative,Cooperative Enthusiastic,Energetic Independent,O riginal Innovative,Creative Logical,Analytical O rganized,System atic Practical,Realistic Reliable,D ependable Responsible,Trustw orthy Versatile,Flexible Percentofrespondentsreportingthepersonalityorself-description
  11. 11. Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist Growing Unicorns: SapientNitro CMTO University With the shift from analog to digital, from communications to expe- rience, from story yelling to Storyscaping, companies need a new breed of technologist. This new breed sees around corners, paints the big picture, and “gets” marketers, ad types and marketing.They are scrappy innovators, who also understand scale and complexity, and, who are awesome at influencing people. For all the hand wringing about Chief MarketingTechnologists (CMT’s or CMTO’s), talent that gets both marketing and technology is rare. While marketing technology talent is in very high demand, there is an enormous industry skills gap. SapientNitro decided to do something about it – by creating CMTO University within our Agency. CMTO University is an internal leadership development program to grow some of our best technologists, focusing on three core topic areas: technology, marketing, and communicating with influence. It is a year-long experience that combines elements of a corporate leadership development program with the rigor, challenge and learn- ing of an executive MBA. Modeled as a cohort-based program, our students are selected through a competitive application process which includes a formal application from the prospective student, agency business sponsor- ship and references, and a reference interview with a SapientNitro client who has worked closely with the applicant and can attest to her prowess. SapientNitro technologists hailing from any of our glob- al offices at the Vice President, Director and Senior Manager career levels are eligible to apply. Participants are required to commit to investing an extra 10-15 hours every week over the course of the program year, in addition to their demanding jobs. In our most recent cohort, fewer than 1 in 3 applicants who applied were admitted into the program. The curriculum includes four intensive workshops, conducted in different SapientNitro locations around the globe, with “interim” periods between the workshops. Each intensive and interim has a specific focus; activities include group projects, weekly individual assignments and discussions through an online collaboration tool, and semi-weekly virtual classroom sessions with presentations, held over the weekend. Students must also complete an independent study project, the cap- stone experience of the CMTOu program. Similar to a thesis, the independent study demonstrates competency in a specific aspect of critical marketing technology as well as the opportunity to creatively communicate thinking. Participants select a topic, and then design, plan and complete this work with the assistance of internal and out- side advisors, including several industry luminaries. Each student is required to present in public at a conference held during the final intensive. Sessions are taught by SapientNitro thought leaders across the globe, industry and academic external experts, and by the partici- pants themselves as their skills and knowledge are honed.Through- out the program, participants are assessed for progress, share feed- back with their peers, and receive personalized coaching from the program faculty. The curriculum is designed and delivered in collab- oration with Hyper Island, a leader in digital learning and executive training. This program also imparts the tools to ensure the graduates contin- ue to stay on top of what’s next – a critical skill in the digital world, as many marketing technologies become obsolete and new ones rise in importance. Our clients reap the benefits through the work we produce, and our participants see the impact of their collective transformation throughout the program, both in the curriculum and on client work. 12© 2015 SapientNitro
  12. 12. © 2015 SapientNitro 13 Analyzing the Chief Marketing Technologist About the Survey The survey was an online questionnaire distributed through two primary channels—chief- and the 2014 Boston MarTech conference (August 18-20). Survey responses were collected from August 15 to September 8, 2014. A total of 280 surveys were completed. The distribution of the sample appears to be rep- resentative of the marketing technology community, as defined by the blog and attendees from the 2014 Boston MarTech conference. SapientNitro sponsored the study and worked alongside Decision Analyst, a market research firm, to design and execute it. The authors are grateful to Scott Brinker, the host of the MarTech conference, and owner of the chiefmartec blog for his support in distributing the survey. About the Authors Sheldon Monteiro Global Chief Technology Officer, SapientNitro, Chicago Sheldon leads global technology capabilities, engineering, quality, methods, devops and tools. He sponsors and is a senior faculty mem- ber at SapientNitro’s CMTO University, an in-house executive devel- opment program to grow SapientNitro’s marketing technologists. Hilding Anderson Director Research Insights, SapientNitro, Washington, DC Hilding is a Director of Research Insights at the SapientNitro Re- search Institute, which catalyzes thought leadership within the agen- cy, and advisor to global clients on emerging digital trends and the changing consumer. ScottTang Head of Global Consumer Industry Research, SapientNitro, Chicago Scott leads a team of researchers that supports SapientNitro world- wide through secondary and quantitative analysis on topics regard- ing consumers, industries and all things digital.