How to Build a Marketing Technology Stack While Avoiding Multisystem Chaos

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Technology has made numerous marketing tasks easier. And it certainly has made marketers more effective at their jobs. But without an optimal marketing technology stack, the number of apps small businesses use has also made the job more complex. 

“There’s an app for that” rings true nowadays more than ever. But now, it seems more like “There are a hundred apps for that.” With so many types of software, we start to get lost in multisystem chaos. There comes the point when technology can become a burden.

Imagine how much easier your job would be if you had a few select apps that worked together as a single integrated system coordinating all marketing tasks.  

Regardless of role, all your team members would be on the same page! 

The good news is there is such a solution.

That’s where a solid marketing technology stack comes in. Successful digital marketers use such stacks to improve campaign performance while making the job simpler. And you can too…

But first, let’s look at the problem of multisystem chaos to understand how building a great tech stack can solve it.

What Is Multisystem Chaos?

Multisystem chaos” describes the disorganization and inefficiency resulting from having too many software applications, each serving a different purpose and not communicating with the rest. If your own company is experiencing it, you are not alone. According to the MuleSoft 2021 Connectivity Benchmark Report, the average organization runs more than 800 different apps.

Chances are you have a bunch of overlap and segmented systems that aren’t interacting. The Connectivity Benchmark Report found that fewer than one-third of businesses surveyed were integrating their software.

This unruly mess of software usually builds up over time, just like the clutter in your attic. 

We’re all under pressure to perform faster. Tech companies are constantly introducing new software to improve performance in some areas. These apps also solve problems that have been plaguing marketing for years. There’s always a reason (or excuse) to buy another tool.

Marketers face an additional problem that arises from the consumer tech industry. As tech innovations create new demand, consumers also face constant pressure to take advantage of new products. 

Think of social media, for example. It seemed like the existing platforms had the different media options pretty well covered. Then TikTok sprung from nowhere. Suddenly everyone needed short-form video, and marketers had to respond to yet another social media app. 

And each app comes with its unique requirements, including… 

As a result, you end up with a bunch of software solutions. Each one serves its unique purpose, but none are designed to work together. 

Every day, more and more software solutions appear on the market. The Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2020), below, shows the scale of the problem. There were 8,000 marketing solutions available as of 2020, according to martech.com. That’s a lot of software!

An infographic shows 8,000 marketing technologies available as of 2020.

Source

The technology we use needs to support how we market to consumers in this technology-driven world. But too much technology can do more harm than good. 

You should buy tools that work together to meet your business objectives and intended customer experience. Don’t get them just because someone says you should. That’s where the importance of a solid marketing technology stack comes in.

What Is a Marketing Technology Stack?

A marketing technology stack is a group of tools that help marketers improve their marketing efforts, bring more ease into the process, measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, and increase conversions. 

Here’s how…

Not every marketing tech stack is the same since they are tailored to a marketer’s specific needs. For example, you might create a tech stack for any of the following categories (and then some):

This stack type may cover content marketing, email marketing, SEO, marketing automation, content management systems, data asset management, content management systems, mobile apps, video marketing, and optimization.

You’ll want to look at social media, customer relationship management (CRM) software, account-based management (ABM), referrals, loyalty rewards, call analytics, email marketing, webinars, events, customer feedback, and experience.

Seamless integration across a complex shopping experience involves multiple channels and devices. In this category, consider e-commerce marketing platforms, affiliate marketing, sales automation, retail marketing, and sales partnerships.

Systems to think about include marketing analytics, web analytics, customer intelligence, predictive analytics, customer data management platforms, etc. 

And there’s at least one more tool that can transform how to handle your data, which we’ll cover later.

What Are the Benefits of a Marketing Technology Stack?

As we pointed out in a previous article on creating a martech stack, so much of the technology we buy these days isn’t even used. We purchase or subscribe to certain software to accomplish a task. But we’re often unaware of all the software’s features or too overwhelmed to take the time to learn it.

To make matters worse, most software can’t do everything we need it to. So, we purchase other software to accomplish what the others can’t. Suddenly, we are jumping around on too many different programs.

When you create your own marketing technology stack, you’ll enjoy the following benefits: 

Be warned, though… 

You can defeat the purpose by adding too many different techs to the stack. Overloading your stack will return you to chaos. 

So, make sure to optimize your marketing technology for efficiency and streamlined simplicity.

How to Build a Solid Marketing Technology Stack

You can gain a lot from building a solid marketing technology stack. But figuring out where to begin can be tough. Fortunately, we’ve identified five steps to follow to create your own stack.  

1) Start with a Foundation

NewsCred Insights advises you to have solid CRM software in place before developing your marketing tech stack. That’s because it needs to integrate seamlessly with the stack.

2) Bring IT into Your Discussions

Work hand in hand with your IT department before putting any new technologies or systems in place. 

They’ll have suggestions you wouldn’t otherwise have considered. They can also provide insight into how to integrate the stack you set up and how it will affect the rest of the company.

3) Determine Your Marketing Technology Budget

The marketing technology stack that you are able to build depends on what you can afford. So, an essential early step is to determine what that budget is. 

From there, you can narrow down your software and technology options.

4) Build a Framework for Your Stack

By starting with a framework for your marketing technology stack, you ensure that you are putting a strategy into place that will work for many years to come. That’s true even if the software in your stack changes. 

Plus, it’s what aligns your technology with your business goals.

This step is when you map out the marketing categories you want to include in your stack, all designed around a streamlined flow of software. A visual diagram is the best way to build this framework.

5) Choose Your Software

Once you have the above components in place, you can map out what software your marketing technology stack should include. There are almost too many options when it comes to marketing tools for your tech stack. That's why we compiled the list below. 

Note: This isn’t an exhaustive list. There are many other categories and options to consdider, but this should give you a good start.

Communication, Project Management, and Scheduling

Social Media

SEO

Email Marketing

Performance Metrics and Management

Sales and Customer Support

First-Party Research

Here are some additional resources worth checking out to determine which tools fit your needs best:

More details about 9 of our favorite marketing tools are available in a previous article.

Take Integration to the Next Level with a Customer Data Platform

Customer data platform benefits include customer view, improved, simplifying data, real time, insights.

Remember our tip to watch out for another tool? 

Even after you create a marketing technology stack that integrates your software apps into a meaningful system, you’re still left with a fundamental problem: You have to manage multiple platforms that aren’t designed to work together, each with its own data. 

It’s hard to get a complete picture of each customer from data fragmented into different silos.

Think about what you could do if all these platforms could share their data seamlessly. 

That’s where a customer data platform (CDP) can help. It centralizes customer data from your multiple marketing tools into a single database. That could include emails, social media apps, POS, and e-commerce, for example. 

CRMs use a different approach. They store data from customers, often advertising interactions through cookies, for example. The focus is less on the whole customer journey. 

With a CDP, you can build a unified profile for each customer with behavioral, demographic, and transactional data. This consolidation allows you to analyze data from all the platforms that hold information about your customers. 

You can also build a fuller understanding of your customers’ behavior from every interaction throughout each customer’s journey.

Having this insight allows you to improve your customer’s experience. You can coordinate your channels to provide a more consistent and personalized message. This will help your lead generation efforts to be more effective.

Other benefits of using CDP to store unified customer profiles in a central database include: 

Takeaway

Your marketing technology stack is the key to avoiding multisystem chaos. Creating a flow of marketing technology will streamline and simplify your business. And that makes it much easier to accomplish your tasks and meet your goals.

As a next step, we suggest meeting with the people in your organization who have a hand in marketing technology to get the ball rolling. Happy stacking!

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Filed Under: Tools & Technology