The Emergence of the Chief Marketing Technology Officer (CMTO)

Bridging an Important Enterprise Gap

The intersection of KPIs in MarTech

Back in 2008, when I first worked in MarTech, most of our solutions were built in-house with a combination of web applications and database scripting that took care of everything from customer data capture to offer selections and dynamic content generation for everything from lead generation, welcome, and onboarding to cross-sell and up-sell campaigns.  

The martech supergraphic by Scott Brinker didn't exist, and Salesforce and Adobe were yet to become cloud providers of marketing technology and services.  For the executives, it was more straightforward; you either were in Marketing or Technology, so either were under the CMO organization or the CTO's

Fast forward to today, and MarTech is now an industry valued at USD 325.7 billion in 2022 and expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.8% from 2023 to 2030.

In today's fast-paced business landscape, the roles of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) have never been more critical.  The CMO, tasked with understanding and reaching the customer, and the CTO, charged with leveraging technology to drive business efficiency and innovation, play pivotal roles in the enterprise's success.  However, a noticeable gap exists between these two crucial roles, often leading to siloed operations, misaligned strategies, and unrealized potential.

The CMO's world revolves around understanding customer needs, crafting compelling narratives, and driving customer engagement.  On the other hand, the CTO is focused on harnessing technology to drive innovation, efficiency, and competitive advantage.  While both roles are crucial, their distinct focus areas can lead to a lack of cohesion and alignment, creating a gap that can hinder the enterprise's overall performance.

This gap is not just a challenge; it's an opportunity.  An opportunity to create a new role that can bridge this divide and unlock the full potential of the enterprise.  This is where the Chief Marketing Technology Officer (CMTO) role comes into play.

The CMTO bridges marketing and technology, understanding both domains deeply and facilitating effective collaboration.  They are fluent in the languages of customer needs, marketing strategies, technological capabilities, and operational efficiency.  This unique blend of skills enables them to align the goals of the CMO and CTO, ensuring that the right technology supports marketing strategies and that technological innovations are effectively leveraged to drive customer engagement and business growth.

Consider the potential impact: businesses leveraging customer data can increase their marketing ROI.  Yet, most companies still view martech as an underutilized asset.  The CMTO, with their cross-disciplinary expertise, can unlock this untapped potential.

Similarly, companies aligning their marketing and technology strategies can generate higher revenue.  Yet, most marketers feel that marketing and IT need to be aligned.  The CMTO can bridge this divide, fostering collaboration and driving growth.

Moreover, businesses that optimize their operations through technology can reduce operational costs.  However, the majority of companies need help with technology adoption.  The CMTO can lead marketing technology adoption, driving efficiency and cost savings.

The introduction of the CMTO is not just a structural change; it's a strategic move towards a more integrated, efficient, and successful enterprise.  In the digital information and exponential adoption era, the CMTO is not just an option; it's an imperative.  By bridging the gap between the CMO and CTO, the CMTO can drive cohesion, alignment, and growth, leading the enterprise to new heights of success.

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