Marketing Technology is empowering brands to discover, engage, acquire and delight customers like never before. But, with so many tech options and customers’ needs continuously changing, nailing the right strategy and developing the MarTech stack to execute it is – in a word – tough.
I wish there were a silver bullet, but we all know one doesn’t exist in MarTech land. However, we can learn a great deal from the successes and scars of the many marketing pros who’ve already lived through these trials. I’m not sure any research firm has nailed this yet. (SiriusDecisions, you interested?)
In a few months, one of our MarTech community leaders, Scott Brinker, aka @chiefmartec, is holding the Stackies awards program leading up to the annual North America MarTech Conference. We'll see what these pros say and ultimately what the Stackie Award winners tell us.
I couldn’t wait for the MarTech Conference. So I reached out to a handful of marketing and tech pros (who seem to get it right) to get their view. I figured, worst case – we can aggregate the top characteristics.
There was definitely a consensus on the traits of an effective stacks. The common themes were enabling business objectives, process optimization, and data-driven marketing. But read on for some of the nuances on how to make your MarTech stack up.
1. Aligned for Marketing ROI
“It is imperative to develop a MarTech plan and invest in technology that aligns with your objectives, business and team. Our mantra is to collaborate, evaluate and integrate to make sure our tech investments are paying dividends.”
2. Patience to Develop the Foundation
“Shiny object syndrome can overwhelm and detract from the key elements that are vital in order to meet the business objectives. A solid foundation of tools and processes must be implemented first – and only after can you truly begin building the additional layers in your Technology Stack.”
3. Marketing Integrations that Enhance Value
“Your stack needs to address three essential elements: people, technology, and process. This means:
- choosing technologies that are aligned to solving a stated business problem and a champion/constituent to admin it
- creating an integrated data stream (all techs either produce or consume data, usually both) that enhances the value of all the other technologies
- a tech that fits into, or enhances the current process of the organization.”
4. Orchestration to Make It Work
“Being a part of the Marketing Tech stack is like being a part of an Orchestra. Few are understated, few are highlighted, but together, they make a great song! Since different parts of the stack have different roles, some technologies will never be visible to the end user and others will have parts of data that will be components of the whole.”
5. Culture to Deliver on the Overall Marketing Strategy
“Technology without the culture and processes to support it will not be successful. The most essential quality of a MarTech stack is that it powers peoples’ capabilities and reflects the processes and analytics needs of the defined marketing strategy.”
6. Focused to Meet Specific Business Metrics
7. Adapt to Business & Customer Change
“Today’s hyper-connected customer has high expectations, business needs change rapidly and markets are volatile. The tech stack you invest in must do the job today AND be ready to adapt to what is going to happen.”
(Me) Scott Vaughan, CMO of Integrate
This list surely isn’t exhaustive and I’d love to hear your views and experiences, or even get a glimpse of your submission for the Stackies. While MarTech is an enabler, it can also be a competitive differentiator and customer delighter when applied wisely.
If you're working on developing a winning Stackies entry, here's a complimentary template you can use to help visualize your blueprint.