Someone once said to me that “marketers were a dime a dozen” during a budget meeting, as the need basis for their department’s increased skill-based recruiting budget. The argument against was simply “anyone can discount the price, add pretty colors and hand out t-shirts.” I smirked at the oddity of the defense (ok, maybe an eye roll accompanied as a chaser), and captured a book of mental notes.
Given the landscape of reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, and globalization, a CMO’s average in-role tenure is 23 months to make an impact. So, I’d argue that the delta of that dime from the dozen, or two, represents today’s highly effective full-stack marketers, and the magic in what sets them apart from any other role in an organization.
Today’s marketer is a multi-skills ninja and sure, sometimes must reduce the price with pretty colors and t-shirts to successfully execute their annual plan. Annual plans are a misnomer, so the marketer must practice agility to achieve or exceed plans quarterly, despite inevitable changes. If you’re a digital marketing warrior, your plan must also be nimble enough to sustain weekly or daily optimization.
Unlike many other roles, today’s marketer needs detailed knowledge in breadth and depth of pan-organizational functions to effectively succeed in their role. Interdependencies linked across Sales, Operations, Legal, Human Resources and Finance are included in the planning process. However, and perhaps the most complex and immersive skill not needed a decade ago, is fluency in all internal and vendor technology stacks, or marketing technology.
This past April, at MarTech San Francisco, they shared this incredible infograph of the now 5,000+ vendors and technology platforms represented in the marketing technology ecosystem. This is up from just 150 in 2011, when they first produced the graphic. For those playing along, marketer’s touch all these stacks and must understand how each of the vendor products and platforms work for the various marketing activities they execute within their plan.
Marketing and technology are now fully integrated and hyper-measured for trackable results. Real-time dashboards provide insights and opportunities for tracking and reacting to campaign metrics. It’s never been easier to have quantitative information for forecasting, measuring, and conducting a campaign post-mortem. It’s also never been more daunting for a marketer to analyze big data from multiple stacks.
One thing is clear though, there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing! The extent and availability of data helps to reduce the hypotheticals and allows you even more creativity in planning and pilots across branded content, marketing mix models, segmentation, lead generation, channel marketing, and social media.
Most recently a debate sparked around the overuse of the word platform from the proliferation of companies claiming a better MarTech mouse trap to reach customers. Regardless of that outcome, the 3,200% growth of available marketing technology in less than 6 years has had a positive effect for marketers leaning into Tech to design creative and authentic customer engagements. You can check out the 2017 Stackie and Hackie winners here.
I’m thankful to have been part of that budgeting meeting all those years ago because it fueled my fire to always be part of the delta and always be more afraid of atrophy than change. If you are also fueled to be part of the delta, and want a partner to help drive your vision, let’s connect at firstname.lastname@example.org.