Are You The Next CMTO?

Numbers-ABrace for another acronym. Add it to the list of C-level executives living with three-letter words like CMO, CTO, CFO, CEO, and COO.

Cory Treffiletti, BlueKai's SVP of marketing, predicts that within 18 months companies will hire a chief marketer technology officer (CMTO), the guy in charge of the marketing technology.

He describes the role as a chief marketing officer (CMO) who invests in information technology infrastructure for companies -- many of which already have chief data officers or a chief data scientist, the folks who work in tandem with the CMO. Now it's time to combine the experience of CMOs with CTOs.

Today's IT powers the enterprise, but it will also power advertising and marketing, as the volume of data continues to grow and companies learn how to filter it. Ironically, this data from Oracle released Tuesday finds that 94% of C-level executives say their organization is collecting and managing more business information today than two years ago, by an average of 86% more. Without knowing, the survey analyzes enterprise apps you might think it referred to the online advertising industry.



The next phase of search marketing will require knowledge of structured and unstructured mathematics, along with engineering talent and enterprise applications. Treffiletti refers to the data management space as companies that provide middleware, a term used to describe software that connects more than one application by having the ability to understand multiple languages or operating systems and translate each so others can understand too.

What makes the CMTO different? Marketers never really owned the enterprise data or enterprise tech budget. They focused more on external, outbound marketing budgets and messages. Now Treffiletti sees this business role becoming more responsible for the internal management of the data that informs and supports external marketing strategies. Database management and warehousing has historically been the responsibility of the IT department. That will change.

The shift will force marketing and IT to work more closely together. Techies who moved from engineering to marketing will find comfort in the transformation. Remember the combination of marketing and sales. I worked in corporate marketing at the time and reported to the CMO/VP of sales.

5 comments about "Are You The Next CMTO?".
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  1. Scott Brinker from ion interactive, inc., July 18, 2012 at 12:58 p.m.

    Great piece -- I couldn't agree more.

    If you're interested in this "chief marketing technologist" role, I'd humble point you at my blog, which has been discussing the evolution of this role for several years:

  2. Jesus Grana from Independent, July 18, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.

    There's nothing better than having the experience of classical marketing with applied technology - I have been working on this role for my select clients for 3 years now - feel free to view my LinkedIn profile at and see my blog posts on making sense of social media from a real marketing perspective at

  3. Keith Trivitt from MediaWhiz, July 18, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.

    Interesting concept, though I'm not sure it's exactly where the CMO should be moving. I've argued for years that CMOs shouldn't be the ones who oversee sales. That role belongs more to a Chief Sales Officer (CSO). In the digital age of marketing, where brand reputation is paramount, all too often, we see CMOs who are so focused on sales (primarily because they have to be in order to meet numbers) that they lose sight of the big picture, which is brand value, affinity and reputation.

    So if the CMTO role helps marketers better understand how their internal data impacts their external marketing and communications, I'm all for it. But if it's simply going to add another C-level layer to a sales-based function that is out of step with the modern reputational challenges and realities brands face in the digital age, it's not going to add much value, in my opinion.

    I could be wrong, but I still think the role of modern CMOs overseeing sales and marketing places too much focus on sales at the expense of brand reputation and value.

    Keith Trivitt
    Director, Marketing and Communications

  4. Steven Arsenault from, July 18, 2012 at 11:32 p.m.

    I knew some day the weird science we packed into our cloud platform called would be useful someday - even though when we started building private social networks like back in 2003/2004 and launched with Virgin I hadn't a clue except to say; 'someday everyone will be doing something like this'.

  5. Walter Sabo from SABO media, July 19, 2012 at 11:24 a.m.

    Sales and marketing should be separate and both report to CEO. This gets the CEO off their lazy butt.

    "Brand reputation is paramount"...nonsense. There is too much movement in jobs and people to matter. The product matters. People with too much free time, like all of GE worry about "branding" when they should be making freakin' great products. This is hysterical.

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