In 2018-2019, it is estimated that spending on martech stacks will account for 29% of the average CMO’s marketing budget. It is no surprise that more and more customers are embracing more and more advanced technology every day. This means that in order for brands to thrive, they must adopt marketing technology that allows them to reach and influence their target customers where they are.
It can feel like there’s a never ending list of things marketers should be doing to improve their business’ bottom line, and to some degree there’s truth to that. In facing the reality of nearly limitless strategy and tactical possibilities, it is critical in the current day to build and leverage an effective martech stack. This article addresses what a martech stack is in addition to the key components you should include when building your digital marketing stack.
What Is a Martech Stack?
A martech stack, also known as a marketing technology stack, refers to the group of technological tools that help marketers implement, analyze and improve their marketing strategies across a consumer’s lifecycle. The goal of a tech stack, therefore, is to improve internal collaboration and measure the effectiveness of marketing strategies while finding new ways to reach customers.
The Need for Strategy
Marketing teams that employ martech effectively will find success where others fail. Unfortunately, teams often dive into building their martech stack and skip certain steps. Instead of doing due diligence and identifying the tools that align with their specific business needs, they choose to purchase the most recommended tools. Marketers who take this approach only get to know whether a technology tool is appropriate for them after making the purchase. Naturally, this method ends up wasting valuable resources. However, up to 94 percent of buyers acquire software this way.
This is not the way to go about incorporating martech into your marketing efforts. Even if you have the latest and greatest tools in your stack, if they do not complement your current marketing strategies, they serve no purpose.
When building your martech stack, you must first have a marketing strategy in place that will utilize the stack’s strengths. The tools you employ should be based on the marketing strategy for your business – not the other way around. Digital marketing stacks are supposed to help you execute a strategy. They are not a solution by themselves.
As you consider adding various tools to your stack, you will need to carefully evaluate your present marketing methods to identify ways in which the stack will affect that strategy. The insights you get from that evaluation will allow you to find the loopholes in your marketing practices that need to be addressed. The loopholes you identify help you determine the kind of tech tools you will need.
Once you choose to purchase a tool to add to your martech stack, it’s important to have a plan to implement its usage. Knowing how to properly adopt marketing technology will prevent you from wasting money by investing in technology that your marketing team will not use.
The Anatomy of a Martech Stack
While we have agreed that there is no one-size-fits-all kind of marketing stack solution, there are certain technologies that form the basis of all martech stacks. These technologies often address issues that all marketers face. Such issues include:
- Attracting customers
- Engaging customers
- Analyzing feedback
- Optimizing the customer lifecycle
Tool that address these issues are the key components to building a company’s marketing stack. For starters, let’s look at six of the basic building blocks of a martech stack.
1. Content Management System
Marketing is all about getting the word out there about your brand or products. As such, content creation lies at the heart of any marketing strategy. Today, without regular blog posts, your content marketing may as well be dead. Enter the Content Management System (CMS).
If you are handling multiple products from different departments, it can be hard to coordinate the incorporation of their input if only a few people have access to site management. A CMS allows you to give different levels of permissions to multiple people to manage a website’s data. This enhances efficiency and empowers others on your team to produce and publish relevant content.
2. Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools allow you to manage and track the interactions you are having with your customers. A good CRM is vital for not only nurturing leads, but retaining customers through better managed relationships.
There are dozens of CRM tools on the market today. The key to finding the right solution for your company in many ways comes down to how it will integrate with the other tools and systems you use to orchestrate your business needs.
3. Marketing Automation Platform
Automating your marketing efforts should be at the core of your strategy. A Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) helps you to streamline processes, create a better customer experience, and remove bottlenecks from your systems. If you are marketing across multiple channels, you will need an automation platform that is flexible enough to deliver a personalized touch to all your customers.
4. Email Marketing
While email marketing is considered old-school by some, it still remains a relevant, effective and productive marketing tool. A good email marketing platform will ensure that your brand stays connected to its audience and customers. Therefore, ensure that you have a good email marketing platform in your marketing stack. Such a platform should have analytical capabilities to allow you to gain insights into email campaign performance.
5. Social Media
It goes without saying, your target audience, as well as customers, are active on one or more social media platforms. But as you run your social media campaign, which tools are using for tracking and management?
There are various tools available. But again, their effectiveness will depend on your goals and strategy. Nonetheless, the tool that you choose should allow you to measure your website performance across all social media channels you are using.
6. Website Analytics
Your website is the face of your brand, and the place where most interactions between your business and customers will occur. As such, you need to have website analytics tools in your stack that enable you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and strategies. Analytics tools give you insights into how customers are finding and behaving on your site. This enables you to develop copy and visuals that engage them and drive sales.
Marketing Stack Management
A well-designed martech stack allows you to achieve marketing goals with greater speed, efficiency and insight. It also empowers you to streamline and automate processes for both people and technology. This makes for a better customer experience.
When building your stack, consider starting with the essentials and then grow from there. Keep experimenting with various technologies to find the ones that work best for you.
Are you looking to build your martech stack and have questions? Contact us and we can help.