Interested in learning how to start building a martech stack? Check out our blog post about it, then keep reading here to learn about three frameworks for building your martech stack.
Marketing is a broad discipline, so many organizations leverage a collection of marketing technology solutions—called a “martech stack”—to manage and optimize various processes. However, including the wrong martech tools in your stack can impact your campaign performance. Here are some suggestions to help you choose wisely and frame your stack according to your needs.
Select a combination of technologies that deliver on your company’s needs and objectives. There’s a lot of overlap between tools, so finding the right ones isn’t as simple as reading a list of features. Don't let your team get locked into a platform that doesn’t fit your organization’s workflow.
To invest in the best tools in the most sensible order, many experts recommend creating a martech framework that aligns solutions to the marketing priorities they support. Here are examples of frameworks that can help ensure your martech stack serves your needs efficiently.
If your primary aim is to get more sales leads into the top of the funnel, then your framework should include martech tools that can demonstrate value, generate traffic, and drive demand. For instance, content development tools like your content management system and targeted landing-page builders make it easier to produce content that can serve as the foundation for lead generation efforts. You can then fill the funnel by adding SEO and SEM tools that integrate with content creation solutions. Those tools likely include features to target particular audiences, so adding social media software can supplement and expand those audiences. And to assess whether those initiatives deliver enough ROI, you should also include analytics tools to help you gauge lead generation results.
Another way to build your stack is around the buyers’ journey, aligning tools to address the three major steps of building awareness, acquiring new customers, and retaining those customers over time. While the lead-generation framework focuses on filling the funnel, this approach centers on providing support from the first customer interaction onward. This framework is particularly valuable for companies with complex offerings, a long sales cycle, or those with services that require ongoing engagement with customers.
Applications that collect, organize, and analyze customer data lay the foundation for this framework by helping your team understand customer behavior and needs at every stage of the journey. Your customer relationship management(CRM) software is a fine example because it integrates data at every customer touchpoint. For instance, if your team plans to add a chat support feature to your website, it should be able to pull previous support tickets from the CRM so customers don’t have to explain past issues all over again.
Another foundational element is a customer data platform (CDP) to sanitize and organize customer data. Choose an analytics tool that will work well with your CRM and CDP to streamline data gathering and reporting. While developing leads is always important, under this framework, you’d choose the sales automation app that works best with your CRM—not the other way around.
Solutions that improve your customer experience, such as customer onboarding and loyalty program management, are also vital to this approach. Loyalty programs demonstrate the need for a plan for your martech stack. Too often managers choose their martech stack in the early phases of a marketing program, long before a loyalty program comes into play. When it does, the ideal loyalty program software might not integrate with the content management system or ad platform. When this conflict arises, teams must either waste time replacing the applications that don’t work with the loyalty solution or choose a less-than-ideal loyalty solution that fits into the existing stack. By planning your martech stack in advance, you would see the need for such a program and research those integrations when selecting your other apps.
A role-based martech framework that maps applications to disciplines can help every specialist on your team has the technology to make a unique contribution to your campaign’s success. For instance, a content management system with a wide variety of galleries, images, quote modules, and animated parallax effects would save hours for a team of designers, but for writers, such options could just get in the way. Similarly, a B2B sales team will want lead tracking software, while a team selling a simple household product will likely value social media marketing apps. Talk to your team about the tools they use the most and identify tedious, repetitive processes that could be streamlined or automated.
As an alternative to building a martech stack from individual tools, a comprehensive marketing technology solution supports many different tactics, all in one. This setup eases the burden of integrating multiple tools and eliminates overlapping features so that each technology operates seamlessly.
Organizations that choose this approach gain efficiency across marketing programs but evaluating the many capabilities within a comprehensive solution takes time and consideration. Map out your current technology needs and how you expect them to evolve in the future to gain confidence that your chosen martech stack meets your needs effectively.
Waynette Tubbs is responsible for content strategy and development for Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience and is Editor of the Modern Marketing Blog. She has developed a comprehensive portfolio of strategic business and marketing communications during her career spanning more than 20 years of magazine, corporate communications, and agency work.