Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

What’s Next for the Chief Marketing Technologist?

If you have an interest in understanding how marketing can successfully harness technology in your organization, you’ll care very much about what Scott Brinker has to say.

If you haven’t heard of Scott, don’t worry – you will soon.  He is the President & CTO of a digital agency called ion interactive, and he has recently produced a great piece of work entitled “Rise of the Marketing Technologist”.  Originally presented back in April at the Search Insider Summit, and since featured in, his message has struck a chord with many of us in the industry who want to see the powerful combination of marketing and technology reach its full potential for businesses.

Scott’s basic premise is that marketing must control its technological destiny, and that the introduction of a new role within the marketing organization – the Chief Marketing Technologist – provides a key to success.   Here is a link to his full SlideShare presentation

Rather than analyzing or critiquing his work further in this post, my intent is to amplify the message and help “get the word out” to those people and organizations that can benefit from Scott’s comprehensive approach to marketing technology.

I had the good fortune to speak with Scott last week regarding his thought process behind the creation of “Rise of the Marketing Technologist”.  It was obvious that a great deal of his motivation came from his passion for business, marketing, and technology done right. 

Just as importantly, Scott is keenly interested in soliciting feedback and inviting discussion as a way to refine this overall concept.  I had the chance to express my viewpoint that extending the idea of a Chief Marketing Technologist role to agencies can create a greater sense of expertise, trust and respect between those agencies and their clients’ IT organizations that so many times seem to be at odds. 

Scott and I talked about where we this type of approach seems to work (and not work).  While case studies and true success stories are still works in progress, Scott sees many encouraging signs of commitment, including GE CMO Beth Comstock’s recent comments at June’s Business Marketing Association (BMA) conference in Chicago, regarding GE’s efforts to “marry” marketing and IT.  On the flip side, we agree this type of approach falls short in instances where organizations elect to throw lower-level technology “doers” into the mix as opposed to C-level leaders and strategists.

Finally, we discussed the desired target audience for the “Rise of the Marketing Technologist” concept and best ways to get the message out to it.  Scott’s view is that CMOs are the target audience.  I personally think that CEOs, COOs and CIOs would also be good additions to the mix. 

As for best ways to deliver the message, Scott’s initial presentation and subsequent sharing via social media have provided a great starting point.  However, we agree that live marketing events that attract CMOs and other C-level execs can ultimately provide the biggest exposure.  As Scott points out, more opportunities to present at these types of events will likely occur as high profile case studies continue to develop. 

So what’s next for the Chief Marketing Technologist?  If you agree with the concept in principle, what do you think will be the best ways to “advance the movement”?   Who out there is willing to step up with an idea, or even better yet, a great case study?  Please be sure to provide your feedback to Scott via his Chief Marketing Technologist blog, or to me in the form of your comments below.

I’ve got a feeling we’ll be coming back to this topic soon!

– Jim S.


Do we jump into SEO and SEM too soon?

October 5, 2009 4 comments


The value of web site search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) is indisputable.  It has been proven time and time again that businesses can realize a greater ROI with web sites that are well optimized and marketed than ones that are not.  As marketers, we have more great resources available to us than ever before to help our clients achieve SEO and SEM success, in the form of web sites, software, tools, blogs, books, associations, and solution providers. 

Admittedly, given all of its benefits, it is a sin to not consider SEO and SEM at all.  However, in our zeal to wring the most value out of our clients’ web sites, are we often guilty of going too far the other way and jumping right into SEO and SEM activities too soon?  Should we be trying harder to first understand our clients’ overall business objectives, target markets and customer demographics?  It seems that if we do a good job of this up front, it will not only help us make our SEO/SEM efforts for our clients even more effective, it will help us to determine how much investment we should really be putting into SEO/SEM for them, period.

To me, some very basic “who”, ”what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, and “how” types of questions are the best way to get this type of dialog started.  Here are just a few examples of the types of questions we should be asking clients for their consideration: 



Who is typically looking for your company’s product or service?  Who is it that you really want to reach?  Are these the same or different audiences?


What is your desired outcome when potential customers find you?  To sell them something immediately?  To qualify their needs in a consultative manner?  To service them?  To educate and/or entertain them?  


Where are your potential customers located?  Where are you located?  Does location even matter with your particular business and desired clientele?  


When will people be looking for you?  Will it be seasonal or year round?  At particular points in the sales cycle or purchasing funnel?  When they have an immediate problem, or when they have a long-term RFP?


Why do people need your product or service?  As a commodity?  Necessity?  Luxury?  Why might potential customers likely choose you over your competitors?  


How do potential customers most often encounter your business?  Via the web and social media?  Through print ads?  At live events, conferences, or meetings?  Via signage on your store, trucks, or delivery vehicles?


The above list of questions is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you an idea on how a client’s answers can dramatically affect the scope, direction, and volume of your SEO and SEM efforts for them.  If you can suggest other additional important question, or better yet, point out an existing comprehensive source of these “pre” SEO and SEM considerations, please share the wealth!

In the meantime, do you agree that we sometimes jump into SEO and SEM too soon?  Or are we actually doing OK in understanding our clients’ businesses, target markets and customer demographics first?  Should we look at amending, or perhaps revamping, the SEO and SEM qualification process?    

I’d love nothing more than to see a range of SEO/SEM providers, business owners, customers, and industry techies chime in on this topic.

– Jim S.