Over the last few months, I've been asked to speak more and more about the emerging strategic role of marketing, particularly as it relates to technology, something I first started to explore in 2012. The explosion of customer data provided by social and digital have put extreme power in the hands of marketers, if only we'll learn how to wield it (this recent article in Harvard Business Review outlines the enormous opportunity for marketers as other parts of the business start to slow in their ability to deliver value). We're entering a new era of big data, automation and the ability to drive business strategy by delivering real-time access to the voice of the customer. Is your team is ready to let go of decisions made based solely on "gut feel" (though you shouldn't entirely, for our brains are the most advanced supercomputers on the planet) and get ready for the Chief Marketing Technologist, who's much more of a "quant" than a "qual"? Savvy, forward-thinking marketing leaders who "get it" can position themselves to deliver enormous business value and take a seat at the big table if they can figure this stuff out - fast.