Do you have to be a technology expert to be a leader in Marketing? Marketing and technology seem to have converged over the last twenty years.
Even copywriters need to understand how people read pages – performing A/B testing, recognizing whitespace usage, and viewing heat maps. Brand managers distribute branding guides that are composed of pixel widths, relevant colors and associative words to the brand… all tested and proven with technology. Direct marketers have to understand dynamic print and database marketing.
These are just a few of the examples, but it’s fascinating to me that the Vice President of Marketing in today’s world has to be much more in tune with the capabilities and feedback loops available with technology than they did many years ago.
I remember walking into a VP’s office once when I worked at a newspaper and they said, “What is it that a Database Marketing Manager does?” That was almost 10 years ago and I was absolutely shocked! In all honesty, that person understood word association, copy writing and page layouts… nothing else. They also didn’t last long…
While most companies grow and the job gets funneled into more definition, the Marketing leader has expanded. Even the web marketing management has to understand search engine optimization, search engine marketing, design, branding, conversion optimization, copy writing, A/B testing, analytics, heat mapping… to name a few!
Are you a marketing leader who doesn’t depend on technology? I’d love to hear some arguments to this. I don’t believe a marketing leader has to know the nitty gritty of these technologies nor how to implement them… they have resources for that. However, having an understanding of the technologies seems a must in my book.