The term “marketing technologist” is sometimes broadly interpreted as anyone who wields technology in the marketing domain. However, since everyone in marketing should be doing that to some degree these days, it makes sense to distinguish what a marketing technologist does above and beyond that.
I’ve drafted a set of skills and knowledge that I propose delineate a marketing technologist:
In the inner ring are eight areas of expertise that I think every marketing technologist should be familiar with — and proficient or expert in at least two or three of them:
- Data & Analytics — management, measurement and manipulation of the fuel of digital marketing
- Marketing Applications — configuration, operation, and integration of marketing software
- Advertising Networks — managing and optimizing the complete digital advertising ecosystem
- Social & Mobile Platforms — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and their tools and APIs
- Content Marketing — navigating the entire lifecycle of content marketing, especially SEO
- Web Mechanics — a clear and thorough understanding of the web and browser platforms
- Software Programming — how to speak, read and write the lingua franca of technology
- IT Operations — independently leveraging cloud computing and a strong liaison with IT
Different marketing technologists will combine different strengths. For instance, a web developer working in marketing might specialize in software programming, web mechanics, and IT operations. A data scientist might focus primarily on data & analytics, IT operations, and marketing applications. An SEO expert would logically master content marketing, web mechanics, and data & analytics.
From these core areas of knowledge, we can extrapolate more specific capabilities (the outer ring), along with a few links to get you started with any you’re not familiar with:
- Data Mining & Analysis — a data scientist who “can obtain, scrub, explore, model and interpret data, blending hacking, statistics and machine learning”, see the Data Science Venn Diagram
- Web & Social Analytics — technical and interpretive mastery of tools from Google Analytics (web) to Radian6 (social media), see Avinash Kaushik and the Web Analytics Association
- A/B & Multivariate Testing — a mix of analytics and content marketing that embraces test-driven marketing, see Conversion Science, Which Test Won? and ion’s post-click marketing blog
- Email & Marketing Automation — configuration and operation of semi-automated “nurturing” platforms, see Email Insider, MarketingAutomationSoftware.com, Propelling Brands and Eloqua
- CRM — customer relationship management systems such as Salesforce, the backbone of modern marketing, new social CRMs, see CustomerThink and Destination CRM
- CMS & DAM — (web) content management systems and digital asset management, metadata organization, see CMS Wire, Digital Asset Management, Drupal and Nimble report
- PPC & Bid Management — tools and tactics for pay-per-click advertising on Google, Bing, Facebook, see PPC Hero, Clix Marketing, WordStream, Click Equations and this post
- Behavioral Targeting — audience targeting/segmentation and data exchanges in ad networks, remarketing or interest-based advertising, see Behavioral Insider, BlueKai and Quantcast
- Social & Mobile APIs — go beyond canned applications, directly tap platform feeds, make mashups, see Facebook APIs, Twitter APIs, Google APIs, Mashery and Programmable Web
- SMO — social media optimization to maximize content distribution and influence, sharing buttons, badges and widgets, see Open Graph protocol, OAuth, Rohit’s 16 SMO rules and 5 new rules
- Video & Delivery Networks — video production, formatting, encoding and delivery, the technology and economics of content delivery networks, see Akamai, CloudFront, Ooyala and Brightcove
- SEO — search engine optimization to maximize organic rankings on Google/Bing, see SEOmoz, 100% Organic, Google Rich Snippets, GinzaMetrics and Conductor
- HTML, XML & CSS — complete fluency in web markup, browser capabilities, features of the new HTML5, see QuirksMode, CSS Zen Garden, XML.com and Visibone’s HTML cheatsheet
- HTTP, REST & Cookies — the protocols of the web, IPs and DNS, URLs and RESTful interfaces, how SSL works, caching, cookies and 3rd-party cookie constraints, see Fielding/Taylor paper
- Application Frameworks — server-side development of web applications, iPhone and Android apps, your own utilities and customizations, see PHP, Rails, Django, Stripes and ASP.NET MVC
- Agile Development Process — experience with agile software development such as Scrum, adaption to agile marketing, see Agile Manifesto and Agile Marketing blog
- Cloud Computing — evaluate, setup, operate and monitor cloud-based infrastructure, platforms, and applications, loosely-coupled integrations, see Amazon Web Services, Heroku and Azure
- Privacy & Security — privacy policies, how to enforce them, network and cloud security, see Google Privacy Principles, Network Security Blog and CERT
- Databases & Big Data — relational databases and SQL, NoSQL data stores, 3rd-party data sets, large-scale data processing, see Factual, InfoChimps, Hadoop and Google’s MapReduce paper
This list isn’t comprehensive, but I think it covers the “common ground” of many marketing technologists. Depending on your business, you might also leverage technical depth with e-commerce platforms, transaction processing, industry technical standards, integrated product technologies such as RFID, etc.
What would you add to this list?
Of course, technology is just a tool — don’t forget the marketing in making marketing technology sing!
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22 thoughts on “8 things every marketing technologist should know”
Whoa Scott, easy 🙂 That’s a pretty comprehensive list you got going there. I don’t think I want to add anything to it or my brain will explode…
However, the e-commerce aspect is becoming an increasing important part of the puzzle. Thus far, through content marketing the focus has been to blast open top part of the funnel to drive traffic and widen the middle to convert these opportunities in leads. But the ‘closing of deal’ means that marketing technologists need to make it ridiculously easy to effect a purchase, thus requiring some pretty clever integration strategies with e-commerce systems.
Thanks for the post Scott. Very informative.
Thanks for a great post, Scott! This is a TON of great resources. I also appreciate the kind mention of GinzaMetrics. I have lots more good stuff coming in 2011!
I know, there’s a lot there, Cleve. And to clarify, I wouldn’t expect many people to be masters of *all* of these technologies. However, think marketing technologists should have a pretty good idea about all of them, and then specialize in the set that are most relevant to their work.
You’re absolutely right that e-commerce technologies are huge. I left it out because it didn’t seem as relevant to the portion of marketing departments out there that focus on lead generation. But given its importance to so many companies, it was probably a mistake to leave it out. Will think about incorporating that in version 2.0.
Thanks, Ray. Love what you’re doing with GinzaMetrics. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2011!
Excellent compilation of the growing collection of tools and resources that marketers have available to practice our craft. I especially appreciate the list of resources associated with each of the tools. A keeper for 2011 program planning. Thanks Scott!
Words cannot express how happy I am to find your site and this particular post especially!
Great work, Scott! I’ll certainly use this to help shape our strategic priorities for the year.
Something to consider adding is domain name strategy — a marketing technologist should be smart about acquiring and leveraging domain names, negotiating transfers, and managing DNS settings.
Maybe it would fit under SEO? Web Mechanics?
Scott, I’ve been reading your work for some time, and I am always impressed with your message and more importantly the ability to break it down to make it easy to understand.
This is a great diagram that really encompasses skill sets a new marketing technologist should know. I can also see how these skill sets translate to business analysis as a practice as well. Keep up the great work!
Finally found my CV. As mentioned, always the risk of the brain exploding.
Excellent job at qualifying the different areas of technical expertise required of modern marketing executives. There will continue to be more and more overlap, as you suggest, between the various disciplines. Another good example is using a social media platform to promote content (Webinar, white papers, etc.), with a signup form which feeds leads into the CRM system. Lots of steps, and it’s not easy to find a web master skilled enough to understand the technical aspects of the different applications.
Rob, excellent post the chart made me a bit crossed eyed…did find this helpful though, thanks!!! ~Jonah D.
Scott – I found you on SlideShare and now your Blog. You are a guiding light to traditional Marketers like me.
More Marketecture Diagrams Please! Keep drawing the marketing technology picture AND the interelationships of the applications to each other. It’s exciting to see the science of Marketing becoming more pronounced.
Superb!!!! Great presentation. Thanks for taking time to lay it out this nicely. Forms a great Superset. Individuals can pick this information and leverage the resources mentioned further to develop the required specialization in line with their interests, current work domain to get the needed focus in place.
Thanks once again ….
Depending on the company ecommerce expertise might be required in the inner circle.
Really well done, Scott.
This is a pretty comprehensive list of a Marketing Technologist’s attributes, a lot of times you don’t realize the different pieces that are being used during a technology strategy effort. While the individual boxes & components make a lot of sense, one challenge that I see a lot is the need to align the different pieces and look at the solution from a holistic digital marketing standpoint. How the CRM would feed into content delivery through various different channels for instance, that’s a topic for the next discussion I guess :), how to best align the different buckets and enable them to contribute to the other to really make marketing technology do what static designs cant — bring intelligence & automation.
Wow, I’m find this helpful in a career-shifting way since I’d been gravitating that way from pure I.T. over the past few years. My only question is, how much would this be changed for 2015 marketing technologist demands. Maybe more of a shift toward Mobile (but you’d included that already)?
Is there anything you would update on this graphic seven years later?
Yes! I should do an update. Some of my more recent articles cover broader things that marketing technologists should be taking the lead on.
I’d love to see an update to this chart as well!