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A New Year for a New Marketing Technology Stack that Keeps Everyone Winning

Kaitlyn Merola |5 min Read

A New Year for a New Marketing Technology Stack that Keeps Everyone Winning

The explosive growth in marketing technology is hard to ignore, with the market growing from roughly 1,000+ to over 7,000 solutions in the last five years (source). This introduction of new solutions makes it incredibly difficult for even the most experienced marketing technologists to navigate. Where technology was once a productivity aid to marketing, it’s now essential. As a marketing leader, it’s critical to ensure you’re enabling your team with the smartest stack of solutions to achieve your business objectives, deliver a premier customer experience, and remain competitive.

“There are several challenges for marketers where the marketing tech stack is concerned,” said Jerry Rackley, chief analyst at Demand Metric. “There’s certainly the challenge of having the right solutions in the stack, but it goes much further than this. Gaining maturity in the adoption and use of all the technology in the stack is a big issue for marketers, who may implement the right technologies, but then never fully implement or integrate them. The goal is to have a comprehensive, fully integrated technology stack that helps drive marketing efforts toward achieving the goals of the organization. The reality for most organizations is that they have holes in their stack, some parts they aren’t using at all or are using incorrectly, and a few that are really delivering value. This is why it’s so important for marketing leaders to periodically audit their tech stack and make adjustments to optimize how technology works for them.”

With 2020 right around the corner, it’s a great time to take a look at your current tech stack. At the very least, the exercise will help to reveal gaps in your marketing technology stack and provide a roadmap pointing to the solutions you will want to consider investing in next.

Outcomes You’ll Experience From an Effective Tech Stack Review

There are several reasons to make a marketing tech stack review a priority:

Marketing Enablement

  • A more efficient team, no longer slowed down by tech that isn’t aligned with the team’s current needs
  • A more focused team, no longer distracted by constant adjustments to retroactively fit their strategic processes into a plan that their tech can handle
  • A more productive team able to contribute value-added customer-centric activities, no longer trying to stretch the boundaries of their current tech

Save Time/Money with Consolidation

  • Consolidating a bunch of one-off solutions into a more holistic, integrated, automated platform will reduce repetitive tasks
  • Taking this step may uncover opportunities for new types of marketing tactics as additional functionalities of more robust tools become available to your team

Boost Morale

  • Investing time to simplify the work of your people so they can perform their jobs better can have tremendous impacts on overall workplace satisfaction

How to Conduct an Effective Tech Stack Review

Conducting an effective marketing tech stack review involves four broad steps:

1. Compile a Working List of All the Solutions Your Team Currently Uses

  • Name of technology | intended purpose | actual purpose | # of users | # of hours this tech is used per week/month | results that have been influenced by the tool

2. Discuss the User Experience Your Team is Having with Each Tool

  • Get team input to gather anecdotal feedback around where you could consolidate, which tools are difficult to use, which ones are game-changers, etc.

A tertiary benefit to this part of the exercise is that your team feels like their day-to-day experiences are important and that their leaders are invested in enabling them to achieve success in their roles.

3. Visualize the Primary Outcome of Your Review process

  • Create a venn diagram, to map out the picture of where you stand, that categorizes your tools in the following way:
    • Lacking
    • Superfluous
    • Underutilized

4. Take that Visualization and Use it to Build Your Future Roadmap For:

  • Bringing on new tools that are missing from your current stack - i.e. have you identified tools that are actually sitting outside the circles of your venn diagram that you'd want to integrate?
  • Eliminating existing tools that are redundant or superfluous
  • Seeking, as desired, new technologies that could consolidate the underutilized point solutions into a one-stop-shop for those items

Final Thoughts