Marketing tech stacks - how to build yours

By Todd McPhee on Dec 20, 2017
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In marketing, a tech stack as the name implies, is comprised of different elements that, when combined, form a complete tool. Kind of like a transformer. But less destructive.  

All elements of the marketing tech stack work independently of each other, and depending on your business you may not even need all of the component parts. However, despite their standalone functionality, there are also intricate and complex interdependencies where different parts of the stack can hugely impact other parts, for better or worse depending upon how they have been set up and how they are used.  

Staying on the transformer theme as it helps to understand how the different elements of the marketing tech stack interact, this is what Techstackatron would look like (he’s pretty kick ass isn’t he!).

Component parts

CRM.  The heart of any system is the Customer Relationship Management System, or CRM. A CRM will store and segment your data, which is crucial to understanding your customer. If that’s not enough to make you invest in the right one, then this might. On average, CRMs help increase sales by nearly 30% and have an ROI of almost 9 fold on investment.

Collaboration tools are the nervous system of your Techstackatron. Effective communication between not just systems but departments, projects and people is essential to getting the most of your tech stack.

Reporting is the eyes.  If you’re using 12 different software packages to push out content, analyse results and make recommendations to change actions, you do not want to be looking at 12 different sets of reporting to work out what makes sense. Because nothing will.

Advertising, is the mouth and the ears.  Your mouth needs to get the right message to the right customer at the right time on the right platform. To do this effectively, you need to listen to your audience, you can’t just keep talking ‘at’ them.

Web Analytics are your secret weapon, and that’s because so many people simply aren’t aware of what is possible. You can use heat mapping and web analytics tools not to just look at click through rates, but to see how long users spend on a page, when they scroll down, when they hover, when they quickly skip over something you thought would be of interest to them, and what a typical user journey looks like in real time.

Social and Email are the hands. They let you reach and touch and customers, but unlike traditional advertising, the timing of the touch points is governed more by the customer. This is not just about sales, it’s also about building trust in your brand. No one likes being felt up.

Why is everything in the legs? I’ll be honest, I’m out of analogies, and they had to go somewhere.

Audience management software helps you segment your CRM so you know exactly what groups respond to what stimuli.  The more you refine your CRM, the higher click through and conversion rate you’ll have. Less contact, more conversion, better ROI.  How does that not seem like a good deal?

Dynamic Creative Optimisation.  It sounds more complicated than it is. Put simply, software that automatically scales your ad to optimally fit the device it’s going to be received on, plus swap out creative messaging based on a customer’s site behaviour,  all in real time. You don’t have to use it of course, but then you would need to manually build every advert and every creative message combination for every mobile device, PC and tablet. Not so easy.

In summary

When you start to combine multiple elements, your marketing tech stack starts to take shape and ceases to be merely a group of unrelated systems and starts to resemble a kick ass killer robot. Or something like that.

If you're not sure how you're currently tracking, have a read of our article on How to get started with a marketing data stack. If you're not answering highly there may be some room for improvement.

Todd’s been in the media industry for over 20 years. He founded Engaging in 2009 because he saw how digital was going to be able to deliver exciting and measurable returns for his clients. He still has the knack for identifying new and emerging tech that will impact the industry. He’s an honest man who really enjoys direct contact with his clients.

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