Make marketing technology work in an organization

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Verna asked,

“What is the dynamic between the marketing technology operations and other technology teams?”

To make marketing technology work, we must be equal parts marketer and technologist. The Chief Marketing Technology Officer (or equivalent) is the bridge between the CMO and the CTO.

To make marketing technology work at an organization as a distinct entity, we must build two things: coalitions and insights.

Coalitions are allies in each of the departments of marketing and technology, respectively. Building relationships helps us to advance our strategic needs as marketing technologists. We find ways for everyone to win; a project success for marketing technology also means a success for marketing and a success for IT.

Insights are understandings of what other departments and teams are working on that we can integrate. Is IT deploying a new cloud database? Determine how we can make it a valuable part of our marketing work. Is marketing launching a new display ad campaign? Determine how we can make the campaign smarter and more efficient with technology.

The ideal situation is when we can bring marketing and IT together to share success. Both departments can point to successes we broker as their own; department heads can showcase how they, as team players, helped the other and helped the organization advance.

Marketing technology fails most when we lack both coalitions and insights; keep a careful eye on both and reinforce them to reduce the likelihood of failure.

toshitsugu takamatsu.jpg
Photo credit: Masaaki Hatsumi

The ninja of old have an expression, as relayed by Toshitsugu Takamatsu, 32nd grandmaster of the Togakure ninja lineage: the art of winning is attaining that which we need while making the world a better place. This aphorism perfectly encapsulates the answer to Verna’s question: we help marketing and IT to win, and in doing so, marketing technology wins as well.

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