In 2011, Scott Brinker compiled the first of many Marketing Technology Supergraphics. The original graphic displayed the logos of 140 prominent marketing tech brands. Today, the supergraphic holds an astounding 7,040 logos.
Although impressive, this sudden influx of MarTech has made marketing more complicated. It’s no longer easy to track and manage the day-to-day functions of marketing. In fact, 26% of marketers say their top challenge is finding the right technologies to fit their needs (source).
Today’s blog post explains the different components of a successful marketing technology stack. By the end of this post you’ll be able to identify the tools needed to simplify your marketing efforts.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading for the top tips and tricks to creating a marketing technology stack.
What is a Marketing Technology Stack?
A marketing technology stack is the set of tools marketers use to carry out their everyday tasks. From analytics platforms to task management systems, each tool you use belongs in your technology stack. While your tech stack may not seem like it warrants serious consideration, it has the power to make or break your success as a marketing team.
The perfect technology stack can increase productivity, efficiency, revenue, and reporting capabilities. Not to mention, the time and resources your tech stack can save you by streamlining your workflow.
Five Important considerations for your Marketing Tech Stack:
According to Ascend2, only 9% of marketers have and use the marketing tools they need (source). But, with so many tools available, how can that be?
Here’s where things get interesting. As technology evolved, marketing tools became more and more granular. In the past, one tool could solve three different issues. Now, today’s marketers need an advanced solution for each channel, task, and function. You’ll soon find, with more tools, simple processes become complicated and inefficient.
Rather than selecting tools based on price or feature set, marketers must now consider an array of factors when making a decision. Because this is much easier said than done, we put together five important questions to ask before purchasing a new software:
1. Do I have ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’?
At one point or another, shiny object syndrome, as coined in a piece from Openview, has gotten the best of us all. Make sure you’re not buying a tool because it’s new and exciting. Instead, consider the tools you already have. Is there a way to reach your goals without this technology?
Don’t buy a product just because you can. Adding another tool to your tech stack will only waste resources and add undue stress to your team. Remember, more tools doesn’t always mean better results.
2. Does this integrate with the tools I need it to?
The most important consideration to make when constructing your tech stack is integration. Even if a platform promises great results, it will do more harm than good if it doesn’t integrate with the rest of your tools.
For example, a new website management tool promises to double the amount of leads you generate. But, it doesn’t integrate with your CRM and requires four different people to move leads from one system to another. Not only does this cut into productivity, but the manual data entry dirties your marketing database and requires an additional tool for database maintenance.
3. Have I done enough research?
Even if a tool checks all the boxes, it’s still important to consider other options. Be sure to check out online reviews and do some more digging. There are a lot of high-quality tools on the market—even though one might be good, doesn’t mean another won’t be great.
4. Do I have the manpower to operate this system?
It’s important to buy tools that are easy to run using the resources you already have access to. Some of the best, most advanced technologies are a full time job. If you’re a small team, it makes more sense to go with a less sophisticated option. Choose a solution that will help you reach your goals without too much attention.
5. Should other departments have input on this buying decision?
It’s always considered best practice to share resources and information across departments. But, it’s especially important when purchasing a new tool. Without input from all stakeholders, you won’t be able to make an educated purchase. Be sure to consult with all parties involved before handing over your credit card.
Key Components of a Successful Marketing Technology Stack
Most technology stacks are unique to the company that creates them. As marketing departments, we each have different needs, functions, and goals. Our technology stacks must support these.
We’ve compiled a list of important options to consider:
1. Marketing and Sales Intelligence
There are several different forms of technology that fall under this category. Think B2B data providers, sales prospecting tools, data hygiene services, and much more. These tools gather and organize data to improve all marketing processes. According to a recent Openprise study, here are this year’s top picks:
2. Content Marketing
There are content marketing tools for every aspect of the content process. These include task management, creative, content creation, and distribution. Content tools are an indispensable part of a marketing technology stack.
Check out the Content Marketing Tools Requirements Checklist from the Marketing Advisory Network.
3. Social Media
Most marketing teams need one or more social media tools. Social media tools cover a range of functionality. Think content calendars, social listening, post scheduling, employee advocacy programs, and much more.
Check out this comprehensive guide: The 25 Top Social Media Management Tools for Businesses of all Sizes.
4. Campaign Optimization, Lead Management & Marketing Automation.
We grouped these three tools because they all contribute to lead generation. They streamline your marketing efforts and improve your team’s results.
Here are some examples from our own marketing technology stack:
5. SEO & Website Analytics
There are very few marketing teams who don’t rely on their website as a main source of leads. For this reason, you need to understand and optimize your website to suit your buyer’s journey. Think analytics, heat maps, and content optimization tools.
Read this article for more information: 10 SEO Tools to Analyze Your Website Like Google Does in 2017.
6. Email Marketing
This category doesn’t take much explaining. If your business sends marketing emails, you’ll need an email marketing platform. There are many options available—for both small and enterprise businesses. Determine what your needs are, how much handholding you want, and do some research.
Here’s an extensive look at the top email platforms: The Best Email Marketing Services.
7. Webinars & Events
Webinars and events are an excellent marketing tactic. But, whether online or in-person, they can be difficult to manage. The right software can make it easier to plan, manage, and gauge the success of your events. Check out these tools from our own marketing technology stack:
8. Video Marketing
Video is an essential component of any modern marketing strategy. But, unless you have access to top notch, in-house resources, you’ll need a tool to help you. Consider how you plan, produce, edit, and distribute your video content. Are there tools that can simplify these processes?
Looking for new and interesting video tools? Check out this Open Forum article: 10 Tools to Make Your Marketing Videos Wow.
Digital advertising takes many forms these days—social media, google searches, retargeting, and more. It can become overwhelming. Companies should invest in tools to improve and simplify their strategy.
Not sure where to start? Check out this article: The Ad Tech Stack Top Advertisers Use to Connect with Their Audience.
Predictive technology uses data and outcomes to predict the success of future campaigns. Modern predictive technology can bring your marketing campaigns to the next level. Check out the examples we have on our own marketing technology stack:
Key Takeaways to Create Your Marketing Tech Stack
Constructing a marketing technology stack is like putting together a puzzle. You have to find the pieces that work well for your marketing goals and initiatives.
Technology isn’t a band-aid you can slap on a marketing ailment and forget about. Instead, think of each tool as part of a comprehensive health and wellness program. Together, your marketing tech stack can sustain, supplement, and improve your campaigns.