The ascendency of marketing and marketing technologists

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Meet Scott Brinker of ION Interactive and Chief Marketing Technologist Blog – The keynote speaker at the 2013 Widen User Summit


By Scott Brinker

It's a great time to work in marketing.
Marketing has always been a fun career. But for a time, most marketing departments sat on the edge of an organization, rather than at its center. Sales owned the relationship with the customer. R&D or operations owned the product or service being sold. Marketing was, well, too often relegated to being "the arts and crafts department."
But that has changed dramatically in the past few years.
In a digital world, the asymmetry between buyers and sellers has been inverted. Buyers have more control over their journey through the sales process than ever before. They can mine tremendous quantities of information about you, your market, your competitors — in other words, their options — from search engines and social media. They can do this on their terms, not yours.
This has dramatically shifted the balance of responsibility — and power — from sales to marketing. For many industries, well over half of the buyer's journey now happens before prospects ever even talk to a salesperson. If you're going to win customers in the top of the funnel, and then successfully nurture them through to a sale, you need to do so with compelling and meaningful marketing.
Marketing has become the primary conduit between the company and the customer. And this has moved marketing from the periphery to the very core of an organization's strategic leadership.
But it's important to note that this conduit is built and operated with software and data.
Delivering brilliant marketing today isn't just about communicating. It's about knowing how to leverage technology — such as digital asset management — to communicate with far greater scale and intimacy. Those two things may seem contradictory at first, but that is what makes this new generation of technology-powered marketing so game changing.
Digital has done to marketing what quantum mechanics did to physics.
In this environment, marketing has been forced to take a much more direct and prominent role in technology management. It's required a new level of partnership between the CMO and the CIO. And it has given birth to a new class of marketing professionals: marketing technologists.
Marketing technologists are interdisciplinary maestros who combine strong technical skills with savvy marketing sense. They are passionate about the potential to unlock the capabilities of technology to deliver better marketing. They have a customer-centric perspective, but they view customer opportunities through a lens of technical innovation.
They're quickly becoming some of the most valuable players on the marketing team.
Perhaps you know a marketing technologist? Maybe you are one yourself? Or possibly want to move in this direction? It's an exciting path ahead.
I'm looking forward to speaking at the Widen User Summit this fall, where I'll discuss the power of this new generation of marketing, marketing technologists, and related topics. In the meantime, if you'd like to read more of my writing on marketing and marketing technology, please visit my blog, Chief Marketing Technologist. You can also reach me on Twitter @chiefmartec.

Topics: Events

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