At the MarTech Conference, City National Bank draws a roadmap for creating a MarTech Office

After skills and tech assessments, a reorganization, new purposes and an adoption of agile development, the California-based bank has set up its marketers to be ‘digital practitioners.’

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There are many avenues for setting up a marketing technology operation, but, at our MarTech Conference in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, attendees at one session got a conceptual map.

In “A Roadmap to Setting Up a Marketing Technology Office,” City National Bank SVP and head of marketing technology Mark Middlebrook walked the attendees through his company’s approach.

In January of 2007, he said, the California-based bank found that issues were coming “from the bottom up and top down.”

To gear up, an outside consultant was hired to do a deep dive review of operations by looking at skill sets, technical capabilities, overlaps and gaps.

With that assistance, Middlebrook and his associates began mapping tools and skills needed across a tech stack of functions, like customer service, customer data, email and so on.

This analysis resulted in a reorganization of Middlebrook’s existing unit, and they created a value statement with a user-focused purpose: “to increase efficiency and performance of marketing by leveraging technology in the most effective way.”

From a practical point of view, the new approach included developing a few areas of expertise: a deep understanding of the available tools for marketing, ads and analytics; effective coordination with IT; the proficient management of vendors; knowledge about embedding tech into the marketing process; and skills in increasing the adoption of, and proficiency with, the technology.

The company created a capabilities stack with a hierarchy that — from bottom to top — included tech, analytics and measurement, data, process, resources and strategy.

A team of new employees joined with current employees, some of whom were dedicated to specific roles, like solution architects, developers and business analysts. Other team members added new skills, such as customer journey management.

The newly formed group also adopted the agile approach for team processes and software development, largely because of the speed and agility it offers.

The key result, Middlebrook told the session attendees, has been to “empower marketers to be digital practitioners,” matching martech to the needs of the customer experience.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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