Do you have a marketing stack? You may have heard the term but aren’t sure if that’s what you are using. If you have stacked your organization with marketing technology and tools, then to some degree you have a martech stock in place. Typically, it includes a range of software, platforms like SaaS, social media tools, and marketing technology that you can use across numerous channels.
What often happens, though, is that many marketing organizations think more is better, so they keep adding more technology and tools to their martech stack. CMS Wire reported that there are nearly 7,000 martech products now available, so it can be easy to take on too many tools and technologies.
The martech stack can look more like a tower -- or even a skyscraper. While it may seem right, this approach doesn’t necessarily work or produce the return for such a significant investment and allocation of resources.
If the right martech stack is not based on quantity, then it must focus on quality. To a certain degree, yes, but it’s also still tied to quantity. And, most importantly, it’s about what your organization looks like, who it reaches, and what budget is available to develop, maintain, and expand that martech stack.
Here are some recommendations for what your martech stack should look like based on many scenarios. Let’s start with the basics first.
There are some basic building blocks that should go into every martech stack:
The right martech stack for your company is one that aligns with the needs and objectives you have set as a marketing organization. It must contain the tools to meet those needs and achieve your objectives.
Also, a B2C company will have a different martech stack than a B2B company. Each type of company leverages different marketing channels to get and keep customers. For this article, we will focus on B2B martech stack formats that might be right for your business.
If your primary aim is to get more leads that you can convert, then your martech stack may have a digital marketing blueprint. The blueprint should focus on tools and tech that build trust and generate traffic.
This blueprint contains tools for SEO and SEM, content development, social media marketing, and targeted landing pages. There should also be analytics tools to gauge lead generation results.
One approach to preparing your martech stack involves structuring it around the buyers’ journey. Doing so aligns your martech stack with building awareness, acquiring new customers, and retaining those customers over time.
Your martech stack has tools that address those three primary objectives. The stack can do this by providing access to the data and analysis. From there, you can leverage other martech to engage with these buyers throughout their purchase journey. Examples include white papers, guides, relevant written and video content, remarketing, and social media marketing.
With this martech stack, the structure offers a way to maintain a lean and efficient tool set for your marketing department. It’s the ideal structure for a smaller enterprise with a limited budget. However, by relying on marketing platforms, you can scale as you expand the marketing organization. With platforms that handle many marketing tactics, you can then add on martech building blocks in the form of applications that address new marketing channels or vehicles.
Another option for your martech stack is to slot in martech tools around specific roles within marketing. This structural approach ties directly to your marketing objectives by aligning resources with tactics designed to achieve those objectives.
For example, your martech stack will have technology solutions for content, lead generation, social media marketing, and thought leadership. You can also opt to create a role-based martech stack geared toward marketing activity roles, such as prospecting, nurturing, remarketing, influencers, personalization, and automation.
Think of your martech stack as a dynamic structure. As your marketing objectives evolve so should the format for your martech stack. For example, if your martech stack was once focused solely on leads and you achieved that objective, it’s time to adapt it to the next marketing objective. While many of the tools and technology may be the same for other objectives, you’ll need to swap out or add those platforms or applications that are more relevant.
Before diving in and accumulating as many of the nearly 7,000 martech tools now available, create a technology roadmap that overlays your marketing strategy to effectively leverage marketing tools and platforms. If you already have the tools for these goals, you can always reassess what’s new or determine if a platform can replace two or more tools to make your martech stack more manageable.
Technology now drives marketing. There are many tools to use, but you have to know which are better suited to your purposes and how to best use them. Find out more about “Emerging Tech: Marketing Wins and Woes.”
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #3 on the Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and a blogging expert by Forbes.