Martech Skills A Must For Modern CMOs, Study Finds

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What does it take to be a marketing leader today?

According to a new survey from Wipro and Coleman Parkes Research, proficiency in marketing technology is a precursor for being a successful leader of a marketing organization. And talent is following suit — with C-suite marketers departing from their traditional business backgrounds for experiences rooted in tech.

A solid understanding of marketing technology

According to Wipro, more than half of marketing leaders lend their expertise in martech to their degree in technology. The second majority say they gained their martech skills at the office or through supplemental learning, working hands-on as they progressed in their careers.

Out on the field, the majority of senior marketing professionals have at least two years of experience working with marketing technology. Less than 20 percent of CMOs, VPs and marketing directors have more than 10 years experience, but that coincides with the steady emergence of marketing technology over the last seven years.

According to Scott Brinker, founder of Chiefmartec.com, the martech ecosystem only consisted of roughly 150 companies back in 2011.The environment has ballooned to roughly 7,000 companies as of 2018.

Now, martech is integrated into the day-to-day of nearly every person within a given marketing organization. Wipro reports more than half of all members of marketing teams are “conversant” with some form of marketing technology. In turn, there’s greater demand for CMOs and upper-level marketing professionals to have a solid understanding of the tools they’re investing in. Ongoing employee development and education is also crucial to keep up with evolving trends.

Tech is key, but don’t leave strategy in the dust

Though there seems to be a growing sector of tech-savvy CMOs, marketing strategy remains a coveted component of upper-level leaders. After all, it’s not just about understanding how the tools work — a strong leader will also be able to delegate and execute the right strategies to maximize potential.

Charting the course for innovation, however, isn’t always easy. According to Wipro, implementing new marketing strategy is the biggest challenge for CMOs today. Fundamental organizational change takes time, and can rack up cost training employees as companies work to keep up with evolving consumer demands. The study suggests that marketing leaders approach innovation in two different ways — by either adapting their tech to fit an evolving model, or adapting their model to integrate and implement new tech. In both cases, martech plays a central role, but it isn’t always the root cause for change.

The big picture

Overall, marketing technology seems to be a boon for marketing organizations, especially when it comes to productivity, customer experience and sales enablement. Eighty-one percent of marketers surveyed reported they were “satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the effectiveness of their martech stack investments.

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