Sheldon Monteiro, CTO of SapientNitro, talked about “How Great Technology Leaders Partner with Marketing.”
At the 2016 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum held in San Francisco on February 18, Monteiro began his keynote address by talking about the basics of marketing and IT. In 1960, the marketing mix consisted of product, price, place, and promotion. Over the last century, promotion has dominated these four. This approach focused on superimposing a brand message upon some emotional meaning to be conveyed, explained Monteiro. This was termed “interruptive marketing”—interrupting a consumer behavior, such as watching television, with an unrelated product or service.
Consumers have dictated a complete shift in the way they interact with brands, said Monteiro. Consumers now engage with brands wherever and whenever they want. In addition, consumers have more choice. “We’re in the era of hyper-competition, and the only way for brands to survive these days is to become customer obsessed,” said Monteiro.
Monteiro posed this question: Great marketing technology creates experiences worth talking about, so how can we build marketing technology that’s worthy of conversation?
“Great marketing technology creates experiences worth talking about, so how can we build marketing technology that’s worthy of conversation?”
The new role in the C-suite is the Chief Marketing Technologist, which is essentially a CIO or CTO dedicated to marketing. According to the Harvard Business Review, the Chief Marketing Technologist is part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher. “Being good at any one of these things is hard,” said Monteiro, “and being good at all four is pretty darn rare.”
In 2014, Gartner reported that four out of five large organizations already have a CMT. “We did our own survey of the marketing community in general, asking individuals about their background, who they reported to, and who they are,” said Monteiro. “We found that Marketing Technologists are clustered into six archetypes. Half are skewed toward marketing and half are skewed toward technology.”
“We found that Marketing Technologists are clustered into six archetypes. Half are skewed toward marketing and half are skewed toward technology.”
Monteiro stated that there’s a pressing need for Marketing Technologists but there aren’t a lot of people that fulfill the role. So, where do we find these people? SapientNitro decided to grow its own by standing up its own executive development program that combines elements of corporate leadership development with elements of an executive MBA. “We call it Chief Marketing Technology Officer University,” said Monteiro. “It’s a grueling program with a competitive admissions process.”
Marketing Technologists work with CIOs and CMOs. To serve the CIO, Marketing Technologists need to be familiar with the depth and breadth of marketing technology, said Monteiro. Such technology ranges from virtual reality, augmented reality, website development, content management, and commerce systems to enterprise architecture and information security. SapientNitro teaches the full gamut of these technologies in its CMTO University.
Marketing Technologists also need to learn to how to speak to and work with the CMO. “The Marketing Technologist needs to know the fundamentals of marketing and advertising, and also know the culture,” said Monteiro.
To influence change, Marketing Technologists must work with the entirety of the C-suite, especially CEOs. “We teach our Marketing Technologists influence skills so they can work with everyone from the C-suite to operations people,” said Monteiro. “We groom our MTs so they live at the intersection of story and technology. We want them to be scrappy innovators as well as understand scale, complexity, organization, and culture—and be awesome at influencing people. This is our definition of a well-rounded MT.”
“We teach our Marketing Technologists influence skills so they can work with everyone from the C-suite to operations people. We groom our MTs so they live at the intersection of story and technology.”
In summary, said Monteiro, “IT’s fundamental purpose and meaning has moved to being the enabler of the customer experience.”
ABOUT SHELDON MONTEIRO:
Sheldon Monteiro is global Chief Technology Officer of SapientNitro, a new breed of agency that works with brands to engage today’s always-on consumer. With nearly two decades with the agency, Sheldon directs its global technology capabilities, engineering programs, and global standards. He is responsible for building the technical talent, innovation culture, processes and systems needed to consistently deliver groundbreaking work for SapientNitro’s clients. He is the executive sponsor and co-lead of SapientNitro’s Chief Marketing Technology Officer University, a professional development program designed to develop senior leaders to innovate at the intersection of story and technology, while also taming scale and complexity in systems, organization and culture.
Sheldon believes that technology is today’s most important medium of creativity—the new paper and pencil—changing how we feel and experience the world. He believes that yesterday’s science fiction can be today’s reality. And, he is passionate about quality—technology becomes invisible only when it works reliably, seamlessly, and at scale.
To this point, SapientNitro creates integrated, immersive stories across brand communications, digital engagement, and omni-channel commerce by fusing art and imagination with the power and scale of systems thinking. SapientNitro creates game-changing success for Global 1000 clients, such as Chrysler, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Lufthansa, Target, and Vodafone, in 31 cities across The Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
You can find Sheldon on twitter @sheldon_tm