Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How to Build a Successful Martech Stack

Marketing automation is not a subject specifically covered in the 4th edition, although there are discussions of specific automation tools like Email Management Systems. Social Media Marketing does have a chapter on tools because the sheer complexity of SMM requires some degree of automation.

In the same spirit, the term "stack" is occasionally used, perhaps with a graphic portraying one, but the concept of a software stack is not specifically discussed. The number of software tools available to marketers, and the growing importance of their use, suggests that an introduction to the concept of a marketing technology (martech) stack might be useful. Hence the infographic.

building a martech stack
                         Example 1                             Example 2                         Example 3 

CMO lists essential tools for a martech stack as being:
  • Content Management System
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Email and Customer Nurture
  • Acquisition/Advertising
  • Optimization/SEO
  • Social Media Listening and Analytics.
That list misses two other essential components. First the tools that ensure that customer data is of the highest quality and that it paints a complete picture of the customer. Second, the operating system  and runtime environment (Java, for example) that executes the software and allows all the tools to work smoothly together. That's what makes it a "stack," not just the collection of tools that most marketers appear to have at the moment.

marketing technology landscape
2017 Marketing Technology Landscape
In order to understand both the complexity and necessity to build a custom stack that efficiently meets the needs of the business, view the 2017 marketing technology landscape graphic. Just looking at the structure, the six columns of marketing activities and the category headings within each of those, is helpful. Sorry, but you'll probably have to use the link to find a larger version before you can do even that!

Whether the business builds its own stack or whether it brings in an agency to assist, building a successful martech stack is not a "one size fits all" activity. It needs to be tailored to the business's priorities, long-term as well as short-term, and to the resources, both human and financial, it can devote to building and using the stack.

The examples links above are interesting and instructive, but again, this should not be a "choose one" project. Reading helpful content about building stacks would be a better use of time and the CMO link is a great place to start.

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