Here at Enilon, we get questions from clients regularly asking about “marketing technology stacks.” The term has become somewhat of a buzzword, and since it can be so valuable to your organization, we wanted to provide a quick overview of what it is and why it matters.
What is a marketing technology stack?
A marketing technology stack is essentially a group of technology-based tools. These can include everything from email campaign management tools to social media tools. In a technology stack, the tools help with the implementation of certain marketing endeavors, and help monitor the effectiveness of those programs.
The following are some of the most commonly used tools that might appear in a marketing technology stack:
- Content Management Systems (CMS) – technology that powers a website or blog.
- Advertising Technology – these tools aid in customer acquisition, using a combination of search engine marketing (SEM), ad tracking, display ads and retargeting ads.
- Email – email capabilities are incredibly important for communication with customers in marketing programs. Some marketing automation and inbound marketing platforms have email built in.
- Analytics and Forecasting – tools that utilize website analytics to evaluate data and provide measurement insights are incredibly important to marketing programs.
- Experience Optimization – A/B testing and personalization of communications and ads can maximize marketing campaign efforts.
- Social Media – social media tools can help make social engagement and activity simpler, and can assist in monitoring and maintaining accounts.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – primarily for B2B marketers, a CRM system can track customer relationships and provide insights on how campaigns are impacting the sales pipeline and growth.
An example of a full marketing stack might look something like this:
- Email marketing utilizing Mailchimp
- Social media scheduling, using a tool like Hootsuite
- A blog or website powered by a content management system such as WordPress
- Analytics to track website marketing efforts via Google Analytics
History of the Technology Stack
In 2011, the marketing technology landscape consisted of 150 companies. By 2016, that number increased more than 3,500. According to an article from Forbes, Gartner analyst Laura McLellan predicted that marketing technology budgets will exceed IT budgets in 2017. This tells us that marketing technology stacks are not just a trend, but a fixture that is here to stay.
With the correct marketing technology stack combination, marketers are able to determine if the correct and effective content is reaching the right audience. As Kaleigh Moore put it in her Business 2 Community article, “long gone are the days of ‘one size fits all’ promotional messaging”. To be successful, your message needs to be relevant to the end user as well as personalized.
How the Stack is Used Across Teams
It would be nearly impossible for one person to manage all the different tools within a given stack. Because of that, there should be dedicated teams that specialize in their respective areas of the stack. These teams work together to achieve maximum return with the most effective use of time.
An example: The web development team would build out a website and implement the analytics code. They would also A/B test landing pages and set up email campaigns. Meanwhile, the PPC team’s efforts would be implemented and tracked using SEM related tools. ROI tracking and measurement would be handled by an analytics department.
By bringing these teams together and comparing their results for each given element of the stack, the team is able to make better and more informed decisions moving forward. Ultimately, this type of work can help drive financial decisions in terms of where to invest more money, based on performance.
If you’re looking to improve your marketing results, a great place to start is taking a look at your marketing technology stack and asking yourself if it’s the right stack for you and your team. Depending on your goals and objectives, each stack can and will be different. And, make sure to experiment and make changes as technology and trends change over time!
If you need help making decisions about your company’s marketing technology stack, get in touch with us — we can make recommendations based on your unique needs and goals.
This blog post was written by Enilon’s Manager of Technology, Jeremy Hamilton.