Marketing’s New “Unicorn”: The Creative Marketing Technologist

September 2, 2014 James Thomas

Marketing’s New “Unicorn”: The Creative Marketing TechnologistLast month, I traveled to Boston for the MarTech conference. It was a great few days of talking to and learning from CMOs, CIOs, and other marketing industry leaders.

One overriding theme at MarTech: the role of the modern marketer looks a lot different than ever before. Organizations are looking for an almost mythological creature (referred to at the conference as “unicorns”) when they recruit marketers. They’re not looking for Don Draper. They’re not looking for data nerds. Instead, they’re looking for people who combine both of those very different skillsets. Today’s marketer needs to be creative and have a firm grasp on using technology to harness all of the data that’s available.

That’s not an easy profile to recruit. Finding creative, innovative, visually-inclined marketers who also have a deep understanding of data analytics is difficult. We have tons of data available, but we need people on our teams who can draw useful conclusions from that data and apply it to marketing plans. The industry is facing a skills shortage that is ultimately an HR challenge.

Allocadia booth at Martech 2014Making Data More Accessible for Marketers

In response to this skill shortage, marketing technology providers are attacking the problem from all sides. Vendors are working on ways to make data more accessible, consumable, and user-friendly for marketers. It’s an exciting time to work in marketing technology, because there are so many big opportunities to simplify all of the data complexity, connect marketing with IT and finance, help marketers speak the language of the CEOs they’re reporting to, and just let marketers be marketers again.

New marketing technology is emerging that is fueled by serious data, built on visual, intuitive platforms that are built specifically for marketers. Marketers want to know what’s working and what’s not, and I think we’ll see more and more tools that answer that need. I’m excited that Allocadia is part of that solution.

Focusing on Performance

Another trend at MarTech: CMOs are still very focused on the customer or buyer side of the marketing equation. A huge cast of vendors has built sophisticated technology to help marketers understand the customer lifecycle, and marketing organizations are spending a lot of money to capture data and insights about how their buyers’ journeys.

Allocadia at MarTech 2014But next, CMOs will need to think more about performance. CEOs are looking for clear, numbers-based answers about how marketing impacts the bottom line. So, marketers are asking more and more questions about performance and revenue attribution. How should you be assigning spend and revenue to specific campaigns? What are new, more accurate ways to attribute revenue? Technology is starting to help marketers answer these questions.

CMOs and CIOs Working Together

It’s a popular myth that CMOs and CIOs stay in their own corners — they don’t work together. I saw the opposite happening at MarTech. Marketers and technologists had come to the conference together to work on new, better ways to use technology and answer business questions. There’s a people side and a technology side to marketing, and CMOs and CIOs are working together in an industry-wide conversation about what’s next.

I left MarTech feeling energized and optimistic about the future of marketing technology. The team at Allocadia is ready to respond to the trends we’re seeing and help marketers use technology in new ways to answer important questions and make better decisions.

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