Marketing technology stacks are groups of tech, like content management systems and email marketing platforms, that work together to create more efficient, advanced marketing efforts. Martech stacks are the key to maintaining a competitive edge and ensuring your marketing efforts are effective. Want to enhance your digital marketing? This blog is for you.
Marketing technology stacks are groups of technology marketers use to manage, analyze, improve, and monitor their marketing efforts and marketing operations. Marketing technology stacks can include a variety of systems and software like content management systems, customer relationship management software, and email marketing platforms.
As the marketing industry becomes more and more digitized, marketers need to have reliable technology they can turn to. If you want to learn how to develop a marketing technology stack and set your business up for success in the digital marketing landscape, this blog has you covered.
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Marketing technology stacks, or Martech, are collections of technologies and software systems marketers use to conduct their marketing efforts. In general, the goal of marketing technology is to help make difficult processes easier and more efficient, and a marketing technology stack is a collection of all the relevant marketing tech for a specific business.
The marketing tools that work for your business will likely vary. There isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all marketing approach, so the components of your marketing technology stack may — and in some cases should — look very different when compared to your competitors.
That said, some basic features form the foundation for most all marketing technology stacks. These are generally tools that are used to address common issues marketers face across almost every industry, including:
- How to Attract Customers
- How to Engage Customers
- Analyzing Feedback
- Optimizing the Customer Experience and Lifecycle
When first exploring how to build your marketing technology stack, you’ll likely be looking to find ways to solve one — or all — of the above-mentioned issues. While your Martech stack should be tailored to your business and build off your existing marketing plan, these six components are the building blocks for most marketing technology stacks:
- Content Management System
- Customer Relationship Management Program
- Marketing Automation Platform
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Website Analytics
Content management systems (CMS) are used to create and manage online content. A CMS allows you to grant various levels of permissions to multiple people, allowing more than one person access to coordinating content. Using a CMS can improve efficiency and increase collaboration among your marketing operations team.
Customer relationship management programs (CRM) allow you to track and manage communications with customers, nurture existing relationships, and even new leads. CRM tools can improve efficiency and your business’s interactions with customers. There are several programs available that can be integrated with other software your business uses.
A marketing automation platform (MAP) is a type of software that automates marketing activities, allowing marketers to perform multiple tasks on a larger scale, like sending mass emails. MAPs are especially valuable if you’re marketing across several channels and need to streamline processes and remove any bottlenecks in your efforts.
If you’re marketing online, social media is extremely important as the bulk of your customer engagement will take place across various social media platforms. To help make reaching customers across platforms easier, there are several tools available to help with everything from content creation to tracking analytics and engagement.
Similar to social media, email marketing is another big piece of the digital marketing puzzle when it comes to connecting with your audience. A reliable email marketing platform is a must if you want to ensure you’re sending quality content at the right time and gathering insights from your email initiatives to make improvements as needed.
A significant amount of your interactions with customers will take place on your website, which means analytics tools that can track engagement and website traffic are important to have. Including a website analytics tool in your marketing technology stack can provide insights into how customers behave on your site and interact with your brand. This information can be very useful when looking for ways to drive sales.
Marketing technology stacks can offer several benefits to your business, and developing one should be a priority, especially if you exist in the digital marketing landscape.
Martech tools can help your marketing team collaborate and organize tasks more efficiently, quickly analyze data, gather key consumer insights, and make predictions to stay ahead of competitors. Marketing technology stacks can also act as a sort of glue, connecting various digital systems across your business to create a well-rounded, positive online experience for customers.
Marketing technology stacks can also play a major role in collecting and analyzing data. There are several Martech tools and software options available that are designed to collect, consolidate and analyze data at every single customer touchpoint. This is extremely useful to your business because this data can then be turned into actionable marketing strategies, allowing you to enhance your efforts by developing initiatives backed by data.
CRM programs are a big part of most marketing technology stacks. Online, businesses are constantly competing not just to reach customers but also to gather their data to turn it into actionable insights to improve their marketing efforts. Harnessing consumer data allows you to get closer to them and better understand their wants, needs, and behaviors, which helps you form a better connection and drive more sales.
If you want to start automating tasks, improving workflows, and enhancing your marketing efforts, it’s time to build your own marketing technology stack. When building your Martech stack, you’ll want to ensure you’re compiling a collection of tools and software that can scale with your business.
There isn’t necessarily a go-to method for building marketing technology stacks. Every business is different and has different needs, so your marketing technology stack isn’t going to look exactly like another company’s.
With that in mind, though, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you’re choosing the right tools and software for your marketing technology stack and keeping your team up to speed and on board:
- Identify Marketing Strategies and Goals
- Understand Your Marketing Team’s Challenges
- Establish a Budget
- Research Tools
- Compile Data
- Assign Responsibilities to Team Members
- Analyze the Tools’ Success
Before you start picking out software and tools, you need to first identify your marketing strategies and goals. This can be easy to do if you already have an established marketing team. Just look at the strategies currently in place, and you can gauge the types of tools you need to make those processes run smoother.
For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic, you’d want to use a tool that handles SEO. Or, if your focus is social media, maybe you look into a tool that will handle content creation.
When determining what tools would be most useful, you should connect with your marketing team. They can tell you about any challenges they face when trying to execute their day-to-day responsibilities and what they might need to improve their workflows.
Understanding the obstacles your marketing team is currently facing can help you brainstorm solutions and find tools to solve those problems, like automating time-consuming tasks.
As always, when it comes to marketing, it’s important to establish an estimated budget. The way you determine your budget will depend a lot on your business. You could set a budget per tool or strategy, or you could set an overall budget on either a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
Most tools are available on a monthly subscription basis. This makes it easy to try different tools out, and if they don’t work for your business, you can just drop them after the one-month subscription.
Once you’re equipped with a budget and a solid understanding of your marketing goals, strategies, and ideas for useful tools, you can begin researching tools and software to start building your marketing technology stack.
A helpful way to go about this research may be to look at blogs or other posts that curate lists of products. For example, if you’re looking for a tool to help with SEO, maybe you read through a blog that provides a list of the top 10 keyword research tools. From there, you can compare prices and features and read customer reviews to see if it’d be a good fit for your business.
Once you’ve picked out your tools and purchased them, it’s time to start transferring over data to those tools. This could include moving Microsoft Word documents into more collaborative Google Drive and then compiling everything into folders.
Once you have all your data sorted, you can easily transfer it over to new tools and software whenever you adopt them, making the process more seamless.
Once you have all the tools established in your marketing technology stack, it’s time to start assigning responsibilities to team members. It’s best to give each team member one tool they’re responsible for to create an efficient workflow.
Each team member will essentially become an expert in their tool and outline the workflow steps to use the tool effectively. Then they’ll be able to train other team members on how to use it so you can avoid any knowledge gaps amongst your marketing team.
You should always be auditing the tools in your marketing technology stack to ensure none are going unused and that they’re all working the way you intended them to. If a tool isn’t working the way you planned, you can stop your subscription and return to the drawing board to find another option.
Building marketing technology stacks can enhance your marketing efforts and have a great impact on your business overall. But despite all the benefits, there are also a few challenges businesses often face when implementing marketing technology stacks, three of which include:
- Poor Integration
- Marketing Technology Stack Bloat
Without taking the time to conduct proper research, you could run into overinvestment issues, where you either overspend on tools that are more expensive than what you actually need or buy too many tools in general. In a lot of businesses, marketing dollars are scarce, and blowing your budget certainly doesn’t help you if your goal is to maximize efficiency.
To avoid overinvesting in marketing technology stacks, you should create an estimated budget before purchasing any tools. Working off a budget will help ensure you’re reaching your marketing goals without blowing all your funds. You can also work with marketing technology stack experts to gain insights on the best tools to invest in to make sure you’re putting your money in the right place.
The tools in marketing technology stacks are designed to save time and money and level up your marketing efforts by working together to streamline processes. But if your tools aren’t set up to communicate with each other, and your marketing team isn’t up to date on the new tech, you’ll likely experience poor integration, and your Martech stack won’t work the way you may have intended.
You can avoid this by conducting research before implementing new tools, spending time getting your team members on the same page, and working with experts in the marketing technology stack field to help you identify the best ways to integrate software and train your marketing team.
Technology is continuously evolving, and because of that, you may feel the need to keep adding tools to your stack whenever something new comes out. This can create a bloated marketing technology stack that has way more tools than is necessary. This can do more harm than good and end up bogging down your system.
When creating your stack, you should think about the tools you’re adding as parts of a whole rather than individual tools. This should help you see how the tools you’re adding interact and whether they’re necessary. You can also avoid stack bloat by clearly defining your marketing goals and the tools you need to reach those goals from the very beginning.
As technology continues to evolve, there will be new tools and software options available to add to your marketing technology stacks to continue improving upon your efforts.
For example, one of the latest trends in marketing technology stacks is the emergence of conversation artificial intelligence, like chatbots and virtual assistants. This tech mimics human behavior and can interact and hold conversations with customers in a natural, personalized way.
Plus, as AI continues advancing, there will be opportunities to implement it into existing marketing technology stacks in a variety of ways to handle more complex tasks and continue revolutionizing the customer experience.
Along with the capabilities of AI and machine learning, there are several other predicted advancements and trends in marketing technology stacks to look out for, including:
- Voice Search Optimization
- More Focus on CRM Programs
- Interactive Marketing
Voice search optimization is the process of optimizing a website or other digital medium to handle voice searches. Voice assistants are already common — think Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. People can use voice commands with these assistants to search for products and services, and other brands and businesses are starting to optimize their online content to handle voice searches to make it significantly easier to search for their products.
There’s an emerging trend of businesses starting to pay more attention to CRM tech. CRM programs aren’t new, but having one that is directly connected to your marketing efforts can help grow your business exponentially by better understanding your audience. Several businesses that already have marketing technology stacks in practice are spending more time improving how their CRMs perform and training employees to manage the tech.
Interactive marketing also isn’t a new concept, but it’s gaining traction in the digital marketing world. Several businesses are leaning toward creating more high-quality, interactive content like quizzes and games. This allows your business to engage with customers and can also expand your reach, as interactive content is highly shareable and more likely to reach new potential customers.
Marketing technology stacks are collections of technology marketers use to manage, analyze and improve their marketing efforts. Marketing technology stacks can include a variety of tools and software like content management systems, customer relationship management programs, and email marketing platforms.
Marketing technology stacks can offer significant benefits to your business, and developing one should be a priority, especially in today’s highly digital world. Martech tools can increase collaboration, streamline tasks and save your marketing team time and money.
As the digital marketing landscape continues evolving and new trends emerge, marketers need to have the tech they can rely on. If you want to enhance your marketing efforts and maintain a competitive edge, it’s time to start researching and building your own marketing technology stack.