Feb 24 | 4 minutes read

How to become an MTO – 4 factors to consider

75% of CEOs believe marketers are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this will generate.
According to those clever wonks at McKinsey, companies in the future will need an MTO (Marketing Technology Officer) to overcome this.
The MTO would bring together both technology and domain knowledge, he would know what can be automated, know when judgment is required, and know where to seek and place new technical talent.
Sounds like a reasonably competent Marketing Manager to me! If you want to see how you check out, here is my Dummies Guide on how to become a an MTO…
The core thinking is, that behind the whole Big Data thing are four primary factors to be considered and managed: Substance, Story, Speed and Simplicity.
For the MTO, Big Data is a given. So if the following paragraph is news to you and you are in marketing then can I suggest you look for a career change immediately, as you certainly don’t pass the entry level for becoming a MTO.
Advances in data, modelling, and automated analysis are creating ever more complex and refined ways of targeting and measuring the returns on marketing investments. Get it right and the clues to insight and behaviour can deliver massive improvements. Managing the consumer decision points means well-timed activities and spend make a big difference.
With this in mind, let’s consider the four factors:
McKinsey suggest that for Substance you need more than Big Data. You need Big Research.
This is the process of using today’s digital environment to engage in all forms with consumers to ensure the generation of all sorts of knowledge. And that includes straightforward research. The idea is to extend marketing sciences beyond just the measurement and targeting of advertising and promotional expenditure.
With all this Big Data and Big Research it becomes natural for marketing to go beyond just plain old product messaging.
Armed with information about customers and a company’s relationships with them, the new MTO is well positioned to help differentiate its products, services, and experience.
This bit sounds seriously sensible especially when you consider the emergence of wearable technologies, the Internet of Things, etc.
Real substance enables marketing into the guts of the business in a manner not previously possible. It enables a more substantial role for marketing, providing opportunities from the boardroom through to real-time consumer impact.
The more substance in the marketing content, the greater likelihood consumers will engage and share and the benefit can then extend beyond the normal marketing sphere.
Don’t let technology and science stand in the way of telling a good story.
In this constantly developing environment, creativity is in greater demand than ever before. Be aware that the ways to tell your story are constantly changing – storytelling today encompasses richer digital interactions, and mobile devices become more powerful communications tools.
On the other hand, all the new and emerging media means that marketers lose control of the story. As digital interactions become more frequent, customers want to interact with stories and modify them on social media.
Brands and agencies are responding to this shift in creativity and storytelling. Both are acquiring more digital talent and working to break down creative channel silos, with the objective of handling content in an agile and integrated way.
In the digital economy “batch” process is a death knell.
Consumer preferences change with amazing speed, as indeed do the dynamics of markets and product life cycles. This culture of urgency means that the MTO needs to posses a new agility, plus the management skills and organisational clout to bring other functions together at a high speed.
So as with all good stories we end with a KISS (Keep it simple stupid)
According to McKinsey, complexity is the enemy of speed, which is why, in many organisations, there is such a need for reform.
Multiple brands, territories, channels have driven complex hierarchies, data silos, communications, all these need managing so technology needs to reduce complexity and encourage the sharing of ideas and information.
Working relationships need simplifying and trade-offs need to be understood; specialist agencies have expertise in new digital content formats and delivery channels, but they aren’t full-service shops. Larger agencies offer more services, but the strengths of many still lie in traditional media.
Thinking of colleagues and clients, I realised that I know quite a few MTOs who exist today and some organisations who have embraced this philosophy. They are few and far between, but they do exist.
In summary, you know you are well on the way to becoming a Marketing Technology Officer if…
  • You use technology and data to uncover new insights.
  • Your marketing communications have real substance not just hard selling
  • Your stories echo through cyberspace capturing hearts and minds
  • You can keep it simple and remove the complexities that create logjams
  • You are faster than the competition
  • You have deployed Profile Cloud and are well ahead of the herd