Introducing the Fractional Head of MarTech

In my storied career in the world of databases, customer experience and marketing automation, I have met some absolutely brilliant Heads of MarTech, plying their trade in some of the best and most forward thinking of organisations at the top of their respective verticals.   

The Head of MarTech is a relatively new role in the marketing landscape, but for many companies, it has quickly become an essential cog in the machine, bridging the gap between marketing and technology, enabling data-driven decision-making, and optimising the organisation’s marketing efforts through the effective use of technology solutions.

Things tend to run much more smoothly when an effective Head of MarTech is in place, so much so that the absence of one is often much more visible than the presence of one, such is the unsung nature of the role. They contribute to all five of the core pillars of CX that drive customer loyalty, and therefore business success, the technology, the operational processes, the data, the people, and of course the unifying vision.

1. The Technology 

The Head of MarTech is responsible for researching, evaluating, and selecting the appropriate marketing technologies, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing automation platforms, analytics tools, content management systems, and advertising platforms. This includes conducting vendor evaluations, RFPs, proof of concepts, and contract negotiations.

They will oversee the implementation and integration of newly selected marketing technologies with existing systems and data sources. This involves working closely with IT teams, vendors, third parties and other stakeholders to ensure smooth deployment and data integration.

Finally, they manage the relationships with marketing technology vendors, negotiating contracts, monitoring performance, raising enhancement requests, and addressing any issues or escalations.

2. Marketing Operations

They are responsible for streamlining and optimising marketing operations by guiding the automation of workflows, processes, and reporting using the available technology stack. 

This involves collaborating with many different marketing teams (e.g., demand generation, digital marketing and content marketing) to understand their needs, requirements, and pain points.

3. The Data

The Head of MarTech develops strategies and processes for collecting, analysing, and leveraging marketing data from various sources to drive insights and decision-making. This includes ensuring data quality, governance, retention, and compliance with relevant regulations, especially GDPR, working hand in hand with InfoSec and the DPO.

Often, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) implementation is in progress, if not in place, providing a unified view of the customer in the data that informs, and ultimately empowers all parts of a forward-thinking business.

4. The People

They work to build (and occasionally lead) a team of marketing technologists, analysts, and operations specialists to support the organisation’s marketing technology initiatives and deliver against the strategic roadmap.

In addition, they monitor and ensure the effective adoption and utilisation of marketing technologies across the organisation by highlighting knowledge gaps, to be filled with training programs, mentoring, documentation, and user support resources.

5. The Vision

Bringing the first four areas together under a unified vision, the Head of MarTech will oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing technology strategy, wholly aligned to the company’s overall marketing and business objectives, realistically tempered by the size, scope and scale of available resources and budget.

This involves identifying the right technology solutions, platforms, and tools to support marketing initiatives and optimise processes.

Enter the Fractional Head of MarTech

For many organisations keen to do the right thing but with limited marketing budgets, the reality is that this isn’t a full-time position (and nor should it be), but a role requiring a regular cadence of oversight, guidance and course correction. It’s something I’ve seen emerge as a Non-Exec Director accountability line item in this space, and even more recently, as a service arm for numerous Marketing Service Providers (including our own).  

Consider that two days a month from a specialist with 25 years of marketing technology experience, who has seen the good, the bad and the ugly, is worth ten days a month of someone else’s time. A foresight as good as your hindsight. Access to the experiences and expertise of industry leading experts, without needing to find the budget to hire them full-time, presenting you with considerable advantage without significant investment.  

In many cases, the advice and guidance can be enough to set you on the right path without the need to hire one as a full-time head, and it could be argued you may not have need of the role long-term, more as a period validation and course-correction exercise. 

Fractional business leaders are a relatively new concept in the world of marketing executive leadership, where the boards of smaller and mid-size companies eager to expand simply “make do”, which often isn’t going to be enough to move the dial in a crowded market surrounded by larger competitors spending more on lead and client acquisition than you can possibly afford.  

A fractional Head of Martech gives you the ability to scale quickly, avoiding pitfalls and mistakes that could otherwise prove insanely costly, both to your business strategic objectives, and to yourselves reputationally, with a senior leadership team looking to you for answers. The role enables quicker and more accurate decision making, armed with the foresight that individuals who have been round this loop before can bring you.

If you’d like to talk to Purple Square about our Fractional Head of Martech service, get in touch today, or reach out to Timothy or Andrew on LinkedIn.

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