Wise Insights

4 Ways Chief Marketing Technologists Can Unlock the Value of Data

chief marketing technologistIt’s no secret that the line between marketing and technology is getting very blurry. While marketers still serve as the connection between customers and the business, they are using technology more and more to make that connection happen.

According to Marketing Land, 65% of marketing departments plan to increase their spending on technology-related activities this year. In addition, 45% of CMOs believe integrating marketing technology at a high level is essential to business growth and 32% consider it critical. The research and consulting firm Gartner predicted that by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than its chief information officer.

The hybrid needs of marketing and tech are creating a flurry of new job titles like Chief Marketing Technologist, Chief Marketing Technology Officer, Business Information Officer for Marketing, and Director of Marketing Technology. There’s even a MarTech conference dedicated to the new breed.

As noted in Harvard Business Review, “CMTOs are part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher responsible for aligning marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT, and evaluating and choosing technology providers.” All marketers must be fluent in data now.

Finding More Signal than Noise

A side effect of this new crossbreed is the accumulation of more and more data. Theoretically, more data means more insight into customers’ buying habits and better business decisions. But, an increase in the collection of data doesn’t necessarily mean data is being used to its full potential.

In fact, in a report released by Forrester Research, 39% of CMOs said they do not optimize the data they have to create actionable insights. No matter what arrangement of ‘marketing’ and ‘technology’ are in a job title, at the end of the day organizations need to glean useful insights from all the data they're collecting. Even with an unlimited amount of tools available to collect data, learning must take place to truly unlock the value of the data.

Marketers need to be pointed to what’s interesting, relevant and valuable to make better business decisions and not get overwhelmed, which is how machine learning helps.

4 Ways Machine Learning Showcases Value

Machine learning finds patterns and links in data so marketers can gain more insight into the drivers of customer behavior. While predictive analytics delivers hypotheses about data that marketers can test against, machine learning takes data analysis one step further by providing insight into why a hypothesis was recommended. The modern CMTO needs to:

  • Provide a Single View of the Customer. Only 18% of CMOs have a synchronized view across departments but 73% realize competitive advantage comes from a singular focus.
  • Break Down Department Silos. Machine Learning finds patterns in disparate data sources to break silos. Although customer service may show patterns in responding to questions or requests, the marketing department cannot take action if the data isn’t clearly presented.
  • Deliver an Exceptional Cross-Channel Experience. Quality insights can accurately predict customers’ behavior to optimize experiences from the cash register to the keyboard.
  • Make Data-Driven Decisions in Real Time. The automated nature of machine learning provides marketers with immediate, up-to-date access to real buying decisions so campaigns can be quickly altered based on buyers’ actions.
Machine learning enables CMTOs to accomplish these goals by:

  • Uncovering and acting upon subtle patterns and microsegments in their customer data, which can now be collected from an ever growing number of sources.
  • Making proactive, real-time decisions about what is likely to occur AND providing guidance on what should be done about it.
  • Providing predictions that are unique to the marketer’s organization, product, customers and goals rather than generalized trends.
  • Supporting a marketing program that can continually adapt to an ever changing world.


There is certainly no slow down in the amount of data being collected from integrating technology with marketing. Now, it’s time to gain true insight from this information. Machine learning unlocks the value hidden in real world data to help marketers understand the ‘why’ of predicting customer behavior as much as the ‘what.’

Learn more about how machine learning can help unlock the value in the data your company collects.

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Topics: Customer Success