CTMO: Women marketers have the opportunity to lead a new generation of results-driven marketing

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c-suite-womenBy Emilie Totten

Women may soon  find a new route into the C-suite, through the growing importance of the chief marketing technology officer role, or CMTO.

According to data from the National Center for Women and Information Technology cited by Bloomberg Businessweek, in 2008, only 6 percent of the top 100 technology companies had a woman as their chief executive. However, when you look at marketing roles, the picture isn’t quite so bleak.

Marketing is one of the industries that is about equally divided between women and men. The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s membership is nearly 50/50, B2B Marketing reported. In fact, women represent 50.5 percent of the membership, while men represent 49.5 percent. What do marketing and the C-suite have in common? Up until recently, not a whole lot. But things are changing rapidly.

Data-driven marketing demonstrates value
According to VentureBeat, marketing teams were rarely represented in the C-suite in the past. The reason for this is because it was hard to demonstrate return on investment for the money marketing departments were spending. Therefore, from a business standpoint, it was often very difficult to say whether marketing had value or not. C-level executive roles are generally designated for invaluable departments. With the introduction of more sophisticated marketing automation platforms, it’s become far easier to determine ROI, which means the marketing role is becoming more vital than ever before.

Marketing technology is increasingly sophisticated across all industries, and automation systems are becoming the backbones of marketing departments. For instance, in the financial services sphere, document automation makes it easy and quick to personalize documents for different customers and determine the effectiveness of campaigns. Marketing automation platforms track individual leads and allow companies to ascertain exactly what materials led to conversions.

Now here’s how this relates back to the technology industry: Marketing is increasingly data- and metrics-driven, which means it’s becoming more interrelated with technology than ever before. And while it’s still rare to see a woman in the role of chief technology officer, chief marketing officers are frequently women. Aragon Research’s recent list of top CMOs in Silicon Valley lauded six women with exciting careers to watch. Women’s leadership in the marketing world leaves this group uniquely poised to take the reigns on what could be the next biggest leadership role in the tech world: the CTMO. This role may help women take on more high-level management positions in the tech world and beyond.

The future of marketing
The future may present a more even playing field between men and women in technology and leadership positions, as well as provide opportunities for women to lead their companies toward change with results-driven marketing platforms. The CTMO will likely be a hugely important role over the next few decades. People in this position will be leading strategists, influence the decisions to implement new technology and generally have an intimate relationship with the customer base. Through a combination of artfully crafting messages and using metrics to hone them even further, marketers are key to business success. And with the rise of marketing, women could be elevated into greater leading roles as well.

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Emilie is Chief Marketing Officer at Synthesis. She brings over 15 years of integrated sales and marketing experience working with financial services, SaaS, and health and wellness companies. Her passion is architecting holistic marketing strategies that align with each business function to achieve client experience, employee advocacy, and revenue goals. When she isn't marketing, you can find her rehabbing her home in the Chicago suburbs, practicing yoga, or spending time with her family.

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