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The Dawn of the Chief Marketing Technologist

The ways in which brands connect and engage with customers are witnessing a transformation as are customer expectations. With customer expectations continuing to grow and evolve, it is no longer sufficient to simply offer them no-frills, transactional benefits, such as a loyalty program that consists solely of rewards based on transactional points. To gain consumers’ allegiance, brands must now strive to truly understand their customers’ unique needs, wants and motivations to continually deliver them highly customized brand experiences at every point of interaction. 

The power of social media has now made this interaction even more direct leading to a fundamental shift in the way businesses of all sizes engage with their customers and manage their reputation. By now it's clear that basic social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter need to be an integral part of customer service. Communicating with customers through these mediums enables businesses to respond to their customers in a time-bound manner making every interaction dynamic and vibrant. 

Also, the advent of these new digital tools and platforms, combined with powerful data analytics, are enabling brands to improve the overall shopping experience and harness valuable insights at every stage of purchase. Unlike previously, brands that were dependent on brick and mortar retailers are now empowered to sell direct to consumers - both locally and globally. This is resulting in them opening up new markets and creating new revenue channels. With advantages galore, brands will be increasingly, seen using digital platforms, as not exploring them will create a negative perception and do more damage to the brand value than thought of. With fierce competition and tight margins, businesses are constantly looking at different methods and new technologies in marketing to enhance the buying experience of the customers as well as distinguishing themselves as a unique brand.

With new digital trends accompanied by a new set of expectations, the marketing function is becoming more complex, diverse and integrated. As business processes become more automated and consumers more connected, CMOs are being increasingly called upon to foresee the entire buyer’s journey – from prospect to advocate. Contrary to the traditional product-focused techniques, marketers are taking a step ahead and embracing customer-centric marketing strategies. They are now employing marketing technologies like customer data integration, predictive analysis, web analytics, brand monitoring, contact optimization, event triggered marketing, site optimization etc. 

While talking about the above technologies and many more which will eventually come into play, the question for a marketer is which of these should he or she use to help build brand loyalty and drive direct to consumer sales? It is difficult to come to a conclusion as to what a brand needs in terms of the marketing technologies that have to be used to enhance it.

Newer technologies are challenging marketers to use online and digital platforms. This has made the collaboration between creative and technical teams inevitable. A new professional is therefore beginning to emerge at the centre of this transformation. 

Enter the Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT)

A Chief Marketing Technologist is someone who has an all-important job of aligning marketing technology with business goals, acting as a liaison to IT and judging, and evaluating technology providers. His role is to design a technology vision for marketing campaigns, and act as a change agent working within the function and across the business to create competitive advantage. The battles for new leads and sales opportunities are going to intensify in future. This is where the Chief Marketing Technologist can help. In coming years, a lot of organizations will be looking at hiring CMTs. Here’s why:

·     Hybrid Marketers - A CMT is someone who is 60 percent marketer and 40 percent engineer. They contribute in formulating the marketing strategy with their creative and sound technical know-how. They also evaluate thousands of marketing software products (e.g. marketing automation software, CRM, social media management tools, website CMS, digital marketing media buys, tools etc.) and service providers (marketing agencies) to find out which ones suit your needs the best. They are also responsible for best use of those products as well as partners to make sure that the plan gets implemented and proper metrics are tracked.

·   Digital marketing experts are under qualified – Marketing teams across organizations may have a digital marketing specialist but they aren't as tech-savvy as you need to be. One doesn’t need a degree, certification or any credentials to call oneself a digital marketing expert. Unlike most of their digital marketing contemporaries, the marketing technologists have degrees, technical software certifications and hands-on experience. However, certifications and degrees are still the best way to weed out the growing pool of under qualified people in this space. 

·    They will make everyone accountable - The marketing technologist isn't a developer, SEO guru or a digital marketing person. Their role is to work closely with the marketing team and enable them to build the digital marketing end of the business which makes everyone accountable. 

·     Cross-pollination - A CMT can bring about radical changes in the way an organization functions. The CMT can facilitate cross-pollination management methods from software development to IT, thereby shaping agile marketing practices. By taking the core concepts of technology and adapting them to the organizations, they bring about transparency, close feedback loops, distribute leadership and help in shorter cycles of action at greater frequency. 

·    Dealing with different channels - Businesses today are faced with a huge challenge of integrating all different channels, data and tools to provide a consistent, compelling experience for customers. These tools and software solutions help marketers serve the channels they organize around: social, video, email, data analytics, display advertising, mobile, e-commerce and many more. In addition to organizing and prioritizing marketing technologies, CMTs also help bolster customer experience. This makes companies consumer-led rather than technology-led. The role of CMT is the lynchpin to unifying technologies across an organization and identifying which ones to invest in. All of these put together allow companies to deliver seamless consumer experiences.

The emergence of this new professional, the chief marketing technologist (CMT) is blurring the lines between designations and responsibilities in the corporate world. The developed markets who are hiring CMTs are increasingly benefiting from their knowledge which has helped them foster a healthy interaction between their brands and consumers. 

With consumers of today being more informed and connected to the world, the task of influencing purchase decisions is not a tranquil job for marketers anymore. Therefore, it is vital for brands to share exciting and relevant content, respond promptly, ensure a personalised engagement and stay true to their core promise.

The role of CMT is not just like that of a Chief Technology Officer. We must note that, someone with a deep technical know-how and passion about marketing would be able to marry technology with creativity in marketing. IT domain specialists couldn’t fill that spot because they couldn’t think beyond a process, but hiring a CMT can bring about a different level of sophistication and efficiency to bridge that gap."

Synechron was formed in 2001 and  since inception, Synechron has been on a steep growth trajectory. Synechron provides customized, client-centric solutions provided by subject matter experts with a deep domain understanding.  Synechron today is a business aligned technology services provider with proven capabilities in software application development, application management and systems & technology integration services.This New York based  firm has over 5,500 professionals operating in 16 countries across the world including US, Australia, Canada, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, India, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, France and Development Centers in India. Synechron’s services are strategically aligned with clients' business needs for growth, profitability optimization, and efficiency and compliance transparency, meeting the challenges of clients in industries such as Capital Markets, Insurance, Banking and Digital.

The mastermind behind this growth, Faisal Husain, his immaculate leadership has made the $300-million one of the largest independent pure-play technology consulting and outsourcing provider for the financial services industry. He delves into how brands have to share exciting and relevant content, respond promptly, ensure a personalised engagement and stay true to their core promise.

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