Almost every aspect of the commercial enterprise depends heavily on technology. No employee, whether in the mailroom or the C-suite, can succeed unless they have the right tools to do their job.
Marketing is no different. Keeping up with technological progress—and the cultural advances that often accompany technological development—is critical to achieving consistent success in the world of B2B marketing.
Most content teams include the usual roles: content marketing managers, graphic designers, and managing editors. But because all of these roles lean heavily on technology, they can be improved by leveraging better technology—and doing so more efficiently. This is where the marketing technologist steps in.
Entrust Your Digital Infrastructure to a Marketing Technologist
In ten years, your company probably won’t be using a single element of its current digital infrastructure. And that’s a good thing.
But upgrading legacy systems and optimizing data stacks will lead to migrations. The marketing technologist is your content team’s primary advocate for IT decisions.
There are more than 7,000 MarTech tools available to content operations teams today, and more are coming out every month. Someone needs to take ownership of the tools that your team uses and assume responsibility for data migrations between tools, transitions to new platforms, and day-to-day optimization.
Additionally, the person who fills your marketing technologist role is the best-suited team member to lead training and user education sessions. Someone who knows your specific set of marketing tools inside-and-out will be able to impart that knowledge to the rest of your team, ensuring that your content operations are working at optimal capacity.
Ultimately, your marketing technologist becomes your team’s advocate for change. This employee demonstrates value by constantly tweaking your systems to run better and campaigning for major infrastructural upgrades when the time is right.
What Does a Good Marketing Technologist Do?
To hire the right marketing technologist, you must first carefully define what kind of problems you’d like your candidate employee to solve. Every content team faces different challenges with a different internal structure for problem-solving. Some common challenges you might consider include:
- Assessing Vendor Mismatch. Many technology vendors are happy to claim their solutions can do anything and everything but conveniently leave out the all-important question of how. Eventually, you need an expert to figure out whether the vendor’s solution can actually perform the promised functions—and whether those are truly what you need.
- Quantifying Core Capabilities. Technology vendors rarely outline the quantifiable benefits of their tools in their marketing materials. Quantifying the benefits of a system’s core capabilities typically requires creating comprehensive data capture solutions.
- Managing Integration Challenges. Technology vendors love to use language like “easy to implement” and “CRM-ready” even when the process of integrating their system with a marketing automation tool is an extensive, highly technical one.
- Providing Training and Support. Does your technology support your existing business processes, or does your organization need to create new processes to support the technology?
- Reporting Compliance. Maintaining compliance with user data guidelines isn’t always a straightforward process. Without a marketing technologist, you may need employees to carry out manual compliance tasks.
All of these challenges are strictly within the domain of the marketing technologist, who should serve as the administrator and super-user for all of your team’s marketing tools. This employee will play a critical role in developing and implementing your team’s marketing strategy from a tools-based perspective.
The position requires wide-ranging experience with multiple marketing tools and enough development knowledge to see solutions to problems where others can’t. It’s an intersectional role between IT professionals, who may know how to improve infrastructure but not know enough about marketing to implement new solutions, and marketers, who often know what they need but don’t have the IT skills to optimize their toolset.
We define six key characteristics for an excellent marketing technologist in our Content Operations Hiring Handbook:
What Are Their Responsibilities?
As intersectional employees, marketing technologists have multiple cross-team responsibilities. They need to balance large-scale strategic roles with granular, small-scale upgrades and implementations that optimize marketing workflows.
One of the major roles that marketing technologists play is advisory. By constantly asking key questions about the organization’s technology toolset, technologists can arrive at clear conclusions on how to best improve marketing operations. Some of the questions that marketing technologists must ask on a daily basis include:
- What does this technology do for the organization? What are its must-have and lower-priority elements?
- What is the strongest available feature that this technology vendor offers, and how does that differentiate it from other vendors?
- What are the use cases that other B2B marketing teams are leveraging this technology for? Do they apply to our organization?
- Who uses this tool, and what do they need to properly administer and support the technology behind it?
- Considering the organization’s overall strategic plan, when is the right time to add, replace, or update this technology?
- Why do we use this particular technology? Will business processes decelerate if we don’t use it?
- Does this technology actually solve the problem it’s supposed to, or would the organization be better served by improved processes, training, or strategies instead?
- How can the organization ensure that its technology toolset remains relevant five years down the line?
We’ve listed five major daily duties that every marketing technologist shares in our Content Operations Hiring Handbook:
Marketing technologists have a narrow focus yet paradoxically take on a wide range of responsibilities to help the organization maintain an efficient, modern workflow. Every marketing team needs to make sure it’s using the best tools for the task at hand.
Finding the right person for the job is not always an easy task. B2B marketing managers and leaders in hiring positions should ask their candidates pointed and often technical questions during the interview process to make sure they have the right individual for the job.
For examples of interview questions to ask marketing technologist candidates (and a wealth of other useful hiring data), download the Content Operations and Strategy Hiring Handbook!