Let’s go on an adventure- a Digital Adventure! Let the data be our map and the marketing tools be our guide. As we journey through understanding the importance of a marketing technology stack, the tools picked in internal data architecture will be largely dependent on your final destination, and the journey you take to get there.
Choosing your Destination:
You never spontaneously jump on a plane without knocking out a few key details prior to flying. In an article written by Scott Brinker, the second largest obstacle for digital marketers, at 39%, is lack of an effective strategy for their marketing technology tools.
When planning a trip it all starts with the final destination. Once we know where we want to go, then we can start researching various modes of transportation, price, comfortability, ease of experience, etc. that will impact our journey upon arrival. If we look at planning your strategy for a marketing technology stack like planning a trip, it all starts with your goals and objectives. The decisions about the tools to use will all stem from having a clear vision of where you want to go.
In the first ever Stackie Awards- we now have the top 4 marketing technology stacks recommended for digital marketers: (Travel Channel has nothing on us!)
- Intelligence Bank
- John Wiley & Sons
These 4 stacks are determined by function, buyer journey, system architecture, and technology integration. What’s most important to analyze about these stacks, is every tool chosen keeps the central goal in mind. Every tool added into the marketing technology stack can be integrated and/or stacked together to help the marketer reach their final destination.
Building your Itinerary:
The experiences/activities you pick for your itinerary are largely defined by the objectives of your trip. Do you look to travel for common tourist destinations or do you travel for cultural immersion to gain unique memories that no one else will have? Like travel, your technology stack imparts similar goals. Do you want a simple set of tools that will scratch the surface with tracking data or do you want a full immersion into the depths of data that 25+ tools (when integrated properly) can provide?
Some of the experiences you can get from the tools are:
- Lead Management
- Sale Enablement & Automation
- Analytics and Reporting
- Data & Programs
- Content & Social
When pairing your objectives and destination, the amount of tools chosen in your architecture could range anywhere from 5 to 35 and beyond.
Digital Culture is still relatively new. What’s the proper etiquette for gathering consumer data? Where should your data live? What are the most widely accepted platforms vs. the new platforms that one might consider trying?
When we immerse ourselves into the culture of the journey and the destination, the outcome is comprised of the 4 P’s of marketing- product, price, place and promotion. The technology stack that we use to collect consumer data, influences the external decisions that marketers make for product design, shelf placement, sales distribution models and more.
For example, an untrained shopper that’s never been immersed into the digital marketing realm doesn’t realize that the reason they’re being shown product A vs. product B has been predetermined by a series of algorithms that have studied their search history, buying habits, and other potentially influential data.
When you look at tools in your marketing technology stacks, it’s’ important to pick tools that will grow with you as the increasingly savvy consumers get more accustomed to relinquishing more access to their data.
Another critical factor to consider when selecting tools is the total cost of ownership (TCO). It is evident to determine initial project costs when setting up, but ensure complete success by encapsulating business needs for product maintenance, required people skills, and necessary support processes. Decisions should always be justified by forecasting a return on investments, but also delivering on actual business value.
Alright digital explorers! You’re now ready to begin your digital journey. Remember, the tools you pick in your marketing technology stack will determine the experiences that you create on your journey to marketing excellence.