I stumbled upon the following article from Scott Brinker:


Scott asks the following question regarding marketing technology:

“Where should marketing technology live in the marketing organization?

I agree with Forrester’s recommendation of creating an office of marketing technology within the department — headed by a marketing CTO or chief marketing technologist, reporting to the CMO. (For smaller companies, that “office” might consist of a single marketing technologist with many hats.)

But what should be marketing technology’s relationship to the rest of the marketing team?”

I love that Scott is addressing where technology should fall in the equation – his belief that technology is an enabler is spot on.  I often see marketers, agencies and marketing departments picking technology first.  This would be like going to a dealership and buying a convertible and suddenly realizing that you really should have bought an SUV because you need to pull a trailer.

Scott’s makes the point that “technology will not fix bad strategy or creative”.  I would take this a step forward and say that technology also won’t substitute a good plan around what you are tracking and why.

The one place I might disagree with Scott is in where he feels technology falls in the structure of the marketing department.  He puts it just before Operations and Tactics in the following diagram:

I believe the technology selection should happen after marketing operations and tactics are determined as well.

Once you understand the creative and strategy, then you need to understand the operational aspects that support the execution and implementation.  Build this plan and pretend the technology is just “magic”, that it will do exactly what you need.   Understanding  both sides of this equation allows you to laser focus on why you are choosing a technology or set of technologies and assures the solution will support your overall needs.

About Eric Holtzclaw

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the Founder/CEO of Laddering Works. He has spent 20+ years creating opportunity by identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends and disruptions to business. Eric is a sought after speaker on consumer behavior and entrepreneurship. His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Inc.com. Eric is author of the book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior and a frequent contributor to CMO.com, Fortune, Time and Wall Street Journal.
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