About to start building your martech stack? Here's everything you need to know!
What is a martech stack?
Marketing technology, commonly referred to as martech, is vital in empowering marketers to attract and retain customers for their businesses. This powerful suite of tools empowers marketers to attract and retain customers while streamlining operations and saving precious time and effort.
From crunching numbers to monitoring campaigns, martech covers it all. It pretty much includes all the technology that your marketers make use of, even if they are not using it for digital marketing. Marketing technology is the software that assists in accomplishing your marketing goals or objectives.
At the heart of successful marketing operations lies a well-structured martech stack. This stack comprises of a collection of tools and technologies supporting various campaign aspects, such as lead generation and search engine optimization. By strategically organizing and integrating these tools, businesses can create a seamless user experience, enabling marketing teams to operate with heightened efficiency and effectiveness. You could consider it to be a set of systems that your business makes use of in order to build relationships with your audience, prospects, and users at various stages of their marketing journey.
On their own, these tools could have some degree of effectiveness. But when you pair the right tools together into a stack, their power gets amplified and your stack becomes more than just the sum of its parts.
The martech landscape has exploded over the years. Back in 2011, there were around 150 options available. Fast forward to 2023, and we're looking at over 9000 tools. Talk about an abundance of choices!
What are the key components of a martech stack?
There are various tools and systems that are included in a market technology stack. Here are some of the tools that are critical for your business:
Your CRM (customer relationship management) software is designed to build and manage customer relationships effectively. It acts as a centralized database where you can store and organize information about your existing and prospective customers. A good CRM tool helps track interactions, manage contact details, and provides valuable insights into customer behavior. It serves as a communication link between your marketing and sales teams, enabling better collaboration and coordination in customer engagement. CRM tools range from simple systems suitable for smaller organizations to robust enterprise-level solutions capable of handling large volumes of leads and opportunities.
A content management system enables you to create, manage, and publish digital content on your website. It provides a user-friendly interface for content creation and editing, eliminating the need for extensive technical knowledge. A good CMS allows you to organize content, schedule publication, and manage user permissions. It offers templates and tools for designing web pages, handling media assets, and optimizing content for search engines. A reliable CMS empowers marketers to deliver engaging and relevant content to their audience, ensuring a seamless user experience and easy content management.
Your Customer Engagement software empowers you to streamline and automate diverse marketing tasks and workflows. It enables you to nurture leads, segment your audience, and deliver personalized messages on a larger scale. By facilitating omnichannel marketing, it ensures consistent messaging and seamless experiences across different channels. It enables businesses to create and execute automated campaigns, triggered by specific customer actions or events. Furthermore, customer engagement software often includes features for managing customer feedback, such as surveys, reviews, and sentiment analysis. This allows businesses to gather valuable insights, address customer concerns, and continuously improve their products or services.
Social media has become a vital platform for businesses to connect with their audience, build brand awareness, and drive engagement. Social media management tools provide a centralized platform for scheduling, publishing, and monitoring social media content. They allow you to manage multiple social media accounts, curate posts, analyze performance metrics, and engage with your audience. Some tools offer advanced features like social listening, sentiment analysis, and social ad management. By leveraging social media management tools, you can efficiently plan, execute, and track your social media campaigns, ensuring a consistent and impactful presence across various social platforms.
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results. SEO tools assist in various aspects of SEO, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, competitor analysis, and performance tracking. These tools help you identify relevant keywords for your content, optimize your website structure and meta tags, track keyword rankings, analyze backlinks, and monitor your search engine visibility. SEO tools provide valuable insights and recommendations to enhance your website's organic search performance, attract more targeted traffic, and improve your search engine rankings.
Website analytics tools provide insights into the performance of your website and digital marketing efforts. They track and measure user behaviour, website traffic, conversion rates, and other essential metrics. With website analytics, you can understand how visitors interact with your site, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your marketing strategies. Analytics tools offer features such as traffic analysis, conversion tracking, funnel visualization, heatmaps, and A/B testing. You can identify strengths and weaknesses by analysing website data, improving user experience, and enhancing your online presence.
Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) management tools help you effectively manage and optimize your advertising campaigns. They assist in tasks such as keyword research, ad creation, budget management, performance tracking, and competitor analysis. These tools provide insights into the effectiveness of your ads, allowing you to refine your targeting, adjust bidding strategies, and improve ad performance. By utilizing Google Ads management tools, you can maximize the ROI of your advertising budget and drive targeted traffic to your website.
The importance of a martech stack
The main purpose that your martech stack serves is to simplify, scale, and automate your marketing efforts. It is extremely useful for both your marketing as well as your sales team.
Your stack even empowers your marketing team to create, manage and track all their marketing activities. At this point, marketing technology is pretty much essential for modern marketing teams. It helps brands keep up with the way in which their customer journeys are evolving and getting fragmented.
Building a marketing technology stack and using it right allows you to scale your marketing efforts in a holistic manner by allowing you to get a comprehensive view of your marketing efforts and customer journey, allowing you to understand it from start to finish, and enabling you to detect areas for optimization.
What are the benefits of having a martech stack?
By streamlining and automating your processes, your marketing technology stack helps you save time on a lot of your activities. These tools take care of repetitive and time-consuming tasks like pulling data, converting file formats, and finding assets, allowing your team to focus on more important tasks and helping you get more done in less time.
These tools allow your teams to communicate openly about things like project status and team goals, thus increasing transparency, improving tracking, and providing your entire team with full visibility to progress.
Through the use of analytics tools you’ll be able to understand your customers’ interests and you’ll be able to create content that is more relevant to your audience. You’ll also be able to target your customers according to demographics, affinities, and many other factors.
When you use tools like AI-powered chatbots to interact with your customers on their preferred channels, in their own languages and create an omnichannel experience by pulling together context from all the conversations that took place across all channels, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationships with your customers and make them feel like you really know and understand them.
How do you make a martech stack?
Here are the steps involved in building a martech stack:
Before you pick the marketing tools to include in your stack, you need to decide the goals that you want to achieve and the strategies that you intend to use in order to achieve these goals. You should also look at the existing strategies that your team is following so that you can figure out what improvements need to be made.
Talk to your team and ask them about the challenges that they face while performing their tasks, see what factors increase the time that it takes to complete a task, and what makes their job tougher to pull off.
Look at the tools that you’re already using and analyze them. Check with your team to see if the tools are outdated, need improvements, or just hold your team up when they’re trying to do their job. You don’t need to replace all your tools, some of them might just need upgrades while others might be perfectly fine to continue using.
Without setting a budget, you might end up building the most powerful martech stack ever… in your mind. You need to set a budget so that you’re realistic about what tools you can use and which ones aren’t worth it for you (at least not yet). If you’re looking at tools that you haven’t used before, you might want to consider setting a monthly budget so that you can opt-in for the monthly pricing models and switch tools easily if they don’t work for you.
Now that you’ve got your goals, strategies, and budget established, it’s time for you to actually research the tools that you will include in your martech stack. You could even let individual team members research the tools that they would be using and shortlist the ones that they think are best for your team.
Compile all the data that you need to transfer from your legacy systems into your new tools. You can even split this task up across your team.
Now it’s time for you to use the tool and see how it works for you. See if it helps you get your work done in a faster and more effective manner. If it doesn’t, circle back to step 5 and try again.