The secrets to developing a high-performing martech team

Livongo’s senior director of growth marketing Patty Spiller says the best martech leaders have four key traits.

Martech leaders have no shortage of resources when it comes to the number of tools and platforms available to meet their ever-growing list of marketing challenges, but none of the 6,500+ solutions matter if a company doesn’t have the right marketing technology team in place. Knowing what it takes to be an effective marketing technologist is the first step to building a highly productive team.

“To become a marketing technologist, you need to have a strong analytical background, an ability to learn tools and systems quickly, great attention to detail and a passion for it. But, the most important part is to really want to do it,” said Patty Spiller, senior director of growth marketing for Livongo, “All the rest can be learned and developed in the right environment.”

Spiller will join Erica Seidel, CEO of The Connective Good, on stage at next month’s MarTech Conference in San Jose to discuss “The Secrets to a High-performing Martech Team,” including what the two have learned about being an effective leader and manager.

Marketing technologists should be marketers…and technologists

Spiller said she focuses on hiring professionals who have the right capabilities and experiences, even if they have never used a specific tool within her company’s martech stack. When asked whether it’s more beneficial to recruit someone with a technology background or someone who understands the marketing, she said martech teams need both.

“Great people who have the foundational knowledge can learn new tools relatively quickly with the right support and training,” said Spiller. She believes a marketing technologist should be able to understand the business’ needs and help translate those needs into tech requirements, but that it’s also important, in certain instances, to have a solutions expert on staff.

“If you’re using technologies that are complex, it’s also a best practice to have a senior level expert on the team who can support the team in the most complex situations and provide the technical guidance.”

The martech team as an enabler

Overall, Spiller sees the martech unit as an enabler for the larger marketing team, helping the department scale by introducing the appropriate technology and automation systems.

“Because I see the martech team as an enabler, they play a key role in our success. So, it’s in the best interest of the broader marketing team to integrate the martech team,” said Spiller, “Great martech leaders understand this and focus on delivering value and developing a symbiotic relationship with the rest of marketing.”

Traits of a great martech leader

According to Spiller, a great martech leader has the following characteristics:

  1. Ability to juggle both strategic and short-term needs simultaneously.
  2. In-depth understanding of technology — not just at a high-level, but in the details as well.
  3. Process-oriented, capable of building the right processes and putting the necessary guardrails in place to minimize risk and exposure.
  4. Strategic thinker who can visualize the needed infrastructure to deliver on current goals, and anticipate future needs based on where the company is headed.

“And finally,” said Spiller, “Be an inspirational leader to motivate her team to accomplish great things!”

If you want to sit-in on the Spiller and Seidel’s “Secrets to a High-Performing Martech Team” panel, register now to attend next month’s Martech Conference in San Jose.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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