Welcome to BizVibe’s ultimate guide to building a MarTech stack in 2018. A MarTech stack is where the organization of your various marketing technologies begins and where you establish each technology’s role and how it will interact with the others. Building a MarTech stack allows companies to unlock the full potential of their marketing strategy and shows where improvements can be made.
Simply put, a MarTech stack is the concept that governs your marketing tools. It enables each individual marketing technology to act as a collective unit. Every specific technology has its place while also depending on the others to create a unified digital experience. If you’re unfamiliar with MarTech, it is every piece of technology a marketer uses, from content management systems to analytical software systems. To get a better understanding of what MarTech is, we cover it in-depth in our Introduction to MarTech: What You Need to Know in 2018 article. Here are 6 stack building steps in marketing technology you should consider in 2018.
6 Steps to Building a MarTech Stack
Step One: Create/Tweak Strategy and Buyer Journey
The first step to building a MarTech stack is to define both your sales and marketing goals. By defining these two objectives, you ensure they are work from the same data. This alignment helps solve MarTech challenges like poor integration caused by a lack of inter- and intra-organizational coordination.
Another important thing to do, if you haven’t already, is map out your ideal customer buying stages. Accurately predict this by creating an average customer persona from current data and trends. Understanding your customer profile and their buying process helps you stay informed about your strategies and use of marketing technologies to effectively engage prospective customers across all platforms.
Step Two: Analyze the Technologies You Already Utilize
The next step to building a Martech stack is to identify all the marketing technologies you currently use and what ones will function as hubs for your entire stack. The three essential MarTech hubs are a content management platform, a CRM solution, and a marketing automation solution. If you don’t have these, don’t worry, we’ll get to that in the next step.
You don’t have to create a visual representation, but for some people, it helps. Another option is to write a list of your current technologies and then categorize them. There are 49 subcategories, according to ChiefMartec.com’s infographic, which categorizes all 5,000 current available marketing technologies. Refer back to the infographic to help you organize the marketing technologies you already use.
Step Three: Discover Gaps
Take your time here. Use your sales/marketing goals and buyer personas to discover where you can implement new technology to further your strategies. If you realize you have nothing for SEO but too many tools for social media analytics, then take note. Make sure you are thorough and leave no category behind.
Once you come up with a list of improvements, you can head to the next step to building a MarTech stack.
Step Four: Research New Technologies
Now that you know where you need to make improvements, it’s time to figure out how and with what. That handy infographic mentioned above can lead you in the right direction, but you need to ensure you conduct detailed research as well. There are a lot of tools that provide the same function, and some work better with different businesses. Keep your goals in mind when researching the thousands of solutions available.
Some technologies you should be on the lookout for are: Content Management Systems (CMS), Advertising Tools, Conversion Tools, Email Marketing Tools, Social Media Tools, Customer Service Tools, Customer Relationship Management Tools, Web Analytics and Automation Software, and Lead Generation Platforms.
Step Five: Draw Out Your MarTech Map
A visual representation will show each individual marketing technology and how it connects with all the others. Creating this map makes it easy to integrate new or remove old technologies as your business evolves. It also creates a harmonized customer experience within all your marketing channels and ensures a pleasant and personalized shopping experience. There is no need to be Picasso when drawing your map, just make sure it is organized, systematic and coherent.
It is best to start with the three main hubs (CRM, Marketing Automation, and Content Management) and work your way out from there. Here are some examples found on Google images of MarTech stacks that can get you started.
Step Six: Integrate Technologies into A Single Platform
This is the final step to building a MarTech stack and where you will see if your selections are efficient. The number one most important thing is that all your marketing technologies integrate seamlessly and work together as one solid system. Gone are the days of manual integration and now marketers are blessed with automated integration. An example of this would be scheduling data syncs, storing field mappings, transforming data and transferring data at scale.
Once you have all your individual parts working as one integrated system, you have been successful at building a MartTech stack. Be sure to realize this process is all about trial and error and using available data to figure out what technologies will help you reach your goals.
|✓ Choose technology that complements each other (easy to integrate)
✓ Establish measurable key performance indicators
✓ Utilize data to make decisions
✓ Keep your customer in mind – always
✓ Update and remove technology as necessary
| – Create a Frankenstack – unorganized technology
– Skip out on automation technology
– Overlap technologies
– Get caught up in “shiny new technologies” that serve minimal purpose to your specific goals
– Forget about the relationship between sales and marketing
Here are some important MarTech statistics to keep you on track.
Buy or Build a MarTech Stack?
If building a MarTech stack seems daunting or time-consuming, or maybe too expensive, there are pre-built MarTech stacks available to buy. These single vendor solutions provide a large toolset based on your industry and needs, and usually at a cheaper price as well. Considering most tools are subscription based, the dollars can start adding up, and if you require a plethora of tools, perhaps buying a MarTech stack is the best option for you.
Whether you plan on buying or building a MarTech stack, utilizing these steps can ensure you choose the right options no matter what your plans are. A well-researched MarTech stack will yield overwhelming volumes of data and turn it into actionable insights that more efficiently attract, engage, convert and keep current and prospective customers.
As Travis Wright of CCP Digital says,“it’s about the customer experience. You don’t start with the tool, the tools are the thing at the end. You start with what problems can you solve for your customers, and then you ask which tools can help you do that.”
To better assist you in 2018, BizVibe’s B2B lead generation platform is free to use and a great place to start when looking to take your networking game to the next level. Start your MarTech journey today by adding your company on the platform so that businesses from around the world can discover the great stuff you do.
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