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MARTECH is more about butterflies than unicorns

by Matthew Gonnering, January 20, 2015

MARTECH is more about butterflies than unicorns

All this talk about a mythical creature relating to the role of a marketing technologist may make it seem like this role is untouchable. Fear not, being a marketing technologist is absolutely within your grasp; it’s less of a unicorn and more of a butterfly. However, this professional metamorphosis requires a set of competencies to guide us. 

We need to determine the right competency framework with which to advance the skill sets and behaviors of the marketing technologist. It’s not as simple as just a marketing person with technology experience or a technology person who has a marketing degree. We need to define the MarTech framework to advance the current team, identify and fill the gaps, and hire appropriately.

CMO Australia highlighted a list of characteristics from Bruce Rogers, Forbes Chief Insights Officer, that he shared at the ADMA Global Forum. These characteristics may be viewed as things someone needs to demonstrate to be effective in the role of marketing technology, especially from the marketing technology leadership perspective. Mr. Rogers established T.R.A.N.S.F.O.R.M.E.R.: Transparency, Real-time, Agility, Networks, Storytelling, Focus Orchestration, Relevance, Measuring, Experiment, and ROI. Intended to guide the leaders in the modern marketing age, Mr. Rogers shared these characteristics in the context of focusing marketing on driving business and revenue growth.

In another acronym to guide competency development, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah feature D.A.R.C. in their book, Inbound Marketing. D.A.R.C. stands for digital citizens, analytical, reach (web), and content creators. It was intended to guide the hiring and development of inbound marketing savvy employees but also provides value for our need to establish a competency framework for managing marketing technology.

The aforementioned are appropriate for marketing leadership and inbound marketing. They contain competencies that are needed in the development of marketing technologists as well but they were not built solely to address that. What we need is a MarTech specific competency framework. To continue the acronym abuse but with the benefit of remembering what is important, behold the M.A.R.T.E.C.H. competency framework!

Advancement of the right competencies within the right employees will contribute to higher satisfaction, retention, and productivity metrics, which significantly influences our customer experience and financial outcomes. The M.A.R.T.E.C.H. competency framework will set the right direction for developing employees.

Marketing: Creating and communicating value; content-rich and channel-focused, creating value through inspiration and education.

Agile: Evidence-based, content marketing with customer collaboration and a dynamic responsiveness to changing market conditions. How about an Agile Marketing Manifesto?

Resourceful: A genuine curiosity coupled with an openness to new networks and the need to navigate uncharted waters, all in the interest of getting it done.

Technical: A developer may not consider you technical, but your peer network comes to you for technical stuff because you can explain it. Understanding and appreciating the intricacies and connectivity within the technology stack is critical along with in-depth application configuration knowledge.

Entrepreneurial: Ownership like it was your own, passion and pride in making sure things run properly, and ultimately, if this was your business, this is how you’d do it.

Culture: Cultural fit equates to better teamwork, collaboration and rapport across various departments. If the culture sucks to begin with, significant efforts to change the negative culture is needed to make this effective.

Hero: The mindset needed here is to make someone else a hero. This role is the magic behind the scenes powering the initiatives of others by leveraging various marketing technologies that make everyone’s life more enjoyable, because they might get to work on something they like to do. Fade into the background as servant leadership becomes your motto.

Where do you have gaps in this framework? What resources are available to advance in these areas?

Update: Continue reading about each of the M.A.R.T.E.C.H. competencies below:

 Stay tuned for more M.A.R.T.E.C.H. exploration and thought-leadership alliances to come.

Topics: Culture & Company, Content, Marketing

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