How to Get More From Your Martech Stack

What’s the best approach to a successful martech stack: separate vendors or an all-in-one solution?

From dealing with legacy tech to determining whether to adopt a software suite approach or a best-in-breed strategy, getting a handle on the growing complexity of marketing technology should be a major focus for all organizations.

Put simply, a martech stack can make or break an organization. Putting together the right set of tools and technology, however, can be a challenge for today’s CMO. With many moving targets in the industry around customer data rights andavailability, the task can be overwhelming.

“As marketing continues to become more omnichannel driven, CMOs must work to knock down siloes by moving away from disconnected software products or channels and toward a holistic connected platform-based solution,” said David Skinner,chief strategy officer for Acxiom.

This approach, he said, powers a free-flowing data exchange between legacy and new tools, systems and channels while enabling businesses to easily add, remove or swap out martech tools to suit their changing needs.

Legacy Stacks as Living Organisms

“It’s helpful to look at legacy stacks as living, breathing platforms rather than static tools,” said Skinner. “Martech stacks are a collection of software, services and systems that work together to manage, implement, measure andimprove a brand’s marketing efforts.”

He pointed out that, like all tools, consistent upkeep is a must.

“Prioritizing routine stack audits can give CMOs a clear picture of what’s working today to determine what changes might be necessary for the future. And, as the business grows, and new tools emerge — including those available in thecloud — CMOs have the essential insight to streamline and modernize their stacks to meet current and future marketing needs.”

Glassbox CMO Asim Zaheer explained that there have been a lot of new technologies and capabilities recently introduced that have the potential to significantly improve a CMO’s efficiency and impact.

“The challenge is that there is so much martech available now and so many vendors offering very specialized niche solutions, it can become very overwhelming and confusing very quickly,” he said. “Clearly understanding the martechlandscape of solutions is the biggest challenge — which ones best serve your specific needs, how they integrate into your existing ecosystem and at what cost.”

From Zaheer’s perspective, CMOs should start simple by building off their core components, customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation and website infrastructure. “Ensure you have your core capabilities…covered andproperly integrated.”

From there, you can evaluate what business requirements you have and build the stack — email, social, retargeting, sentiment analysis, analytics, etc.

“Evaluate based on simplicity to integrate with your core components, time and effort to implement and ability to manage seamlessly,” Zaheer said.

Related Article: 5 Insights Into the 9,932-Marketing Technology Landscape

IT, Sales Operations Among Key Martech Stakeholders

Zaheer explained that IT and sales operations are key stakeholders that should be brought into the process during business requirements definition and technology evaluation.

“It’s important to ensure you have anticipated any technical issues with integration or security early on, as well as changes that may be required for structure of data flowing between systems and databases,” he said.

Skinner agreed that input from various stakeholders is critical when building an effective martech stack.

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