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Modern Marketing Blog Influencer Series: Building Your Dream Martech Stack - Start with a Solid Foundation

Have you always wondered how to plan and build your martech dream stack? It can be a daunting challenge, but digital marketing guru Shane Barker helps with answers to common questions in this two-part blog series.

In this blog, he answers questions that can help you define parameters for your martech stack. In the second blog, Shane provides guidance on choosing the right tools for your current marketing strategies and future ones. The second part will be published next week. 

Q. One of your foundational messages is that your marketing technology should align to your marketing strategy. What does this mean and why is it important?

An alignment between your martech stack and your marketing strategy is essential to ensure your technology investments make sense. You don’t want to put your money into something that doesn’t help fulfill your marketing goals or “dream.” So, every single tool you invest in should fulfill a certain role in your marketing strategy—whether it’s in planning, execution, or analytics.

Q. If I’m building my dream stack from scratch, what features should I look for? Are there different elements for a B2C and a B2B stack?

Regardless of whether you’re in the B2C or B2B sector, your martech stack should be able to fulfill three main purposes:

  • It helps you attract prospects. For this, you’ll ideally require tools for SEO, SEM, advertising, content development, social media marketing, etc.
  • It helps you engage leads. Email marketing tools, chatbots, retargeting platforms, marketing automation tools, customer tracking tools, etc., would fit into this category.
  • It helps you understand your performance. In addition to web analytics software, CRO tools, lead management platforms, and BI platforms can fulfill this purpose.

Having the right features to provide a high-quality user experience also are important. This isn’t just a warm fuzzy. Spending time on getting inferior technology to work instead of supporting strategic marketing goals wastes time and resources.

Look for these features to optimize user experience:

  • Seamless integration. Your tools should be able to work together seamlessly with minimal setbacks. It’s important to maximize an effortless communication between different tools so each team can smoothly perform their respective tasks. Any new tool you add to your stack should be able to integrate with the technology you already have. This is why consulting with your IT team is crucial when building a martech stack or choosing a new tool to add to your existing stack.

 

  • Data centralization. When integrating your tools, you should also confirm that you have a single centralized location to collect and store data. Otherwise, you’ll risk data duplication or missing data that could disrupt your operations.

 

  • Scalability. You may be investing in technology that fulfills the current demands of your business and marketing strategy. However, it should also be able to adapt with the changing needs as your business gradually evolves. Otherwise, it could be extremely inconvenient and expensive to switch to different tools when your existing technology can no longer keep up with your demands.

Q: What if I have a current martech stack that’s been compiled over the years? How do I assess my current technology to find the right mix?

In short, you need to ask and answer a few key questions. You also need to compare your existing capabilities against your organization’s current strategy and your marketing strategies to see what’s missing and what’s unnecessary.

First, determine the current state of your martech stack by asking these questions:

  • Is there any tool that’s no longer in use or is hardly ever used?

  • Are there any new tools that have supplanted certain tools?

  • Are there any tools with overlapping functionalities?

  • How much are we spending on our tools and is it worth it?

  • How well are the technology integrating with each other?

  • Who is using the technology and how are they using it?

Then try to identify areas of improvement by uncovering the challenges with the following questions:

  • Are there any tasks/processes that cannot be completed using our existing tools?

  • Does our team encounter any challenges when using their respective tools?

  • Do they see any areas of improvement?

  • What unnecessary tools can you remove from our current stack?

  • What functionalities does our current stack lack?

  • Can we replace any manual processes with automation?

Based on these questions, you can narrow down on the perfect technology mix for your company. Additionally, you should also have a clear understanding of how much you stand to gain or save if you make the identified changes to your existing martech stack.

                                                                       

Read further about how to build a martech stack for success with part two of this blog series.

Read part two.

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