How to Build a $hit Marketing Stack
by Holly Ripley, on 19 August, 2020
Building the optimal martech stack is the ultimate holy grail for any marketing technologist. So, in the words of Ru Paul: “Don’t f*ck it up.”
To clarify, a marketing technology stack is the collection of a marketer's core tools and technologies used to optimise and automate their marketing processes throughout the customer lifecycle.
Often, a typical stack consists of a few core tools across the board, with various extras from company-to-company depending on the business' specific requirements and user journeys.
The optimal stack will align everything you need to succeed in marketing operations with the right technologies in place. A complete stack should address and optimise every stage in the marketing cycle from attracting, engaging, converting and understanding your customer.
But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. We’ve put together a little ‘how to build a $hit marketing stack’ guide, so you know what to avoid when building your own.
- Think tech not data
The martech landscape is constantly growing, in fact, in the latest edition of Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape, there are now over 8,000 different marketing technology tools on the market. So, it’s easy to see how people can find themselves in a situation with eyes bigger than their (stack's) bellies with raging martech FOMO taking the reins. But you must RESIST.
Rather than letting yourself be enticed by the latest tech trends, remain focused and make sure that your stack is helping you drive results that are meaningful to your business and pay attention to what the tool can do. Perhaps you already have a tool in your stack that offers the same benefits, or perhaps the new tool won’t integrate well with your existing stack. Take a minute to ask yourself these questions before splurging the cash.
Stay focused, take your time and refrain from the kid in a sweet shop mindset - or marketing technologist in a tech shop, as it shall hence forth be known. As hard as we know that is.
- Don’t involve the people who use the platforms when making buying decisions
one sounds pretty obvious but trust us. It happens. You may have the most knowledge when it comes to the latest marketing technology, but your team are the ones who are going to use it – or not. And here lies the problem...
Underutilisation of martech stacks are surprisingly common. Whether the team doesn’t know how to utilise the technology, or they simply don’t see the need for it – your team are in the driver's seat when it comes to the tools so make sure you involve them in big decisions early on or you may have blown your budget for nothing.
So now you’ve dropped some serious cash money in return for a some spankin’ new tech and got the teams approval. The journey doesn’t end there my friend. TRAIN them on it. Ensure your team know exactly why it’s there and what it can offer to your marketing journey. Teams drive the tools.
Data tagging and taxonomy is vital for an integrated stack. A documentation system such as a taxonomy should include all the names and actions of your consumers at every step of their customer journey.
With a wide range of tools in your stack, documenting the names of actions and values is crucial. It’s important to be able to identify highly impactful projects and review those that have been less successful in order to continuously gain the most valuable insights from your data.
A clear documentation system across your stack will help you integrate new tools, train team members and accurately analyse the data your system has collected.
- Not using a CDP
A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is software that collects and organises data from multiple touch points across your stack in order to create a unified profile of customer data.
The unified data can then be structured and segmented to be sent to various other marketing tools, enabling marketers to have easy and direct access to customer data, guiding them to make insightful and data-driven decisions.
A CDP in your stack offers a central hub to process the customer data gathered from various other tools. The risk that comes from not incorporating a CDP into your stack is ending up with multiple locations of siloed customer data that doesn’t connect. Meaning this data can go to waste or slip through the cracks, allowing a team to end up with an incomplete or inaccurate profile of their targeted customer.
The aim for your stack should be to build a system that is as integrated as possible to get the most value from your data and save your team’s time.
So now you know what to avoid, you’re ready to spread your wings, flee the nest and build your own killer martech stack. Just remember to pre-plan, focus on the data, involve the team, document and integrate throughout.