You already know how important marketing technology is in today’s industry. You know it’s essential for your success. And you know it’s more complicated than plugging in one perfect system that will do everything you need — because that system just doesn’t exist. That’s why you need a tech stack.
But what is a tech stack, really?
In the simplest terms, a tech stack is a collection of marketing technologies that work together to improve performance throughout your pipeline. Of course, a definition will only take you so far. It’s important to know what you’re building — but you have to know what to build it with.
So how can you identify which building blocks you should use to construct your tech stack? Start with the most fundamental things you want your marketing programs to accomplish. Here are six common marketing needs, and the corresponding tech stack building blocks that allow you to meet them.
Need: Run personalized campaigns and programs
Solution: Marketing automation software
When you first considered marketing tech, you probably started with marketing automation software. It does provide a great foundation for your tech stack, allowing you to create effective marketing campaigns like email journeys and landing pages. Still, even though automation software does much more than blast emails, it’s not enough to meet all your needs on its own.
Need: Effectively manage your marketing data
Solution: Marketing database
It’s no secret that data drives modern marketing. As you add more pieces to your tech stack, you need a reliable way to manage all that data — and to make sure your systems can get it when they need it. A centralized relational database takes data from across your entire pipeline and stores it in one location, so every system in your tech stack can draw from the same accurate, standardized source. The right relational database also lets you view account-wide engagement activity, which gives you the foundation to conduct account-based marketing in your organization.
Need: Manage your funnel with sales more effectively
Solution: SFA / CRM software
What’s the point of generating leads if you aren’t managing them effectively? Whether it takes too long for marketing to pass along a lead, or sales doesn’t have the right information to follow up, poor sales funnel management is costing you new business. Sales force automation software helps marketing distribute leads to sales more quickly — which means sales can engage leads sooner.
Need: Qualify leads faster and more accurately
If your sales team is tired of underqualified leads from marketing, teleprospecting software is a must. When you get potential leads on the phone, a simple conversation will tell you if they’re qualified and ready to buy. Besides, the personal touch of a phone call goes a long way when prospects are considering whether to buy from you or your competition. (While you’ve got them on the phone, you can also ask a few smart questions to keep your database up to date!)
Need: Measure how well systems are performing
Solution: Analytics software
When you’re running multiple campaigns across multiple systems, it can be difficult to keep your eye on how they’re all performing. True, most systems provide their own metrics, but what they can’t do is give you an integrated view of your performance across all your systems. To do that, you need an integrated analytics solution that provides a big-picture view of your overall performance, without making you aggregate your metrics yourself.
Need: Manage your marketing data quality and activity
Solution: Data hygiene and traffic management
Data hygiene software ensures all your data is accurate, complete and up to date — but that’s only half the battle. None of your systems work in isolation. As a lead moves from system to system in your tech stack, you’d better make sure that information is coming through accurately. Traffic management software acts as a “traffic cop,” making sure all your data stays accurate as it flows through every step of the lead lifecycle.
Every marketing tech stack should meet these fundamental needs — but they’re just your starting point. Just as your organization is different from your competition, your tech stack may look very different from theirs. Once you’ve integrated these essential pieces, you can bring in additional systems like social media, digital advertising and other solutions that meet your unique needs. But the fundamental purpose of a tech stack doesn’t change. It’s there to effectively manage customer data and behaviors throughout the buyer’s journey, align with your sales team, and measure performance along the way.
Want to find out more? I recently spoke in-depth about marketing tech stacks in our last webinar, 6 Questions You Should Ask to Master Marketing Tech. Check out the recording now! Or, if you’d rather, learn more by downloading our latest ebook on marketing tech, Marketing Technology’s Broken Promises (And How to Get What You Pay For).