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 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 martech stack. Here are some of the tools that are critical for your business:
CRM (customer relationship management)
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.
CMS (content management system)
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.
Customer engagement software
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 Management
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.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
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 Management
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.
The best tools for your martech stack
We’re listing out 27 tools that are prime candidates for your 2022 martech stack, and classifying them according to the martech categories listed above.
There’s no way you haven’t heard about Salesforce. They hold the largest market share in the CRM space and have now been ranked as the world’s #1 CRM provider for the 8th time in a row by International Data Corporation (IDC).
The solution offers you lead management, marketing automation, sales data, partner management and more to provide you with a ‘systematic lead-to-conversion approach.
Anyone who knows anything about digital marketing knows about Hubspot. Chances are that you’ve probably learned quite a bit from Hubspot’s marketing courses. But Hubspot isn’t just a knowledge source, it even offers some extremely powerful marketing tools, including the Hubspot CRM. It offers you all the basic features provided by CRM software, enabling you to keep an eye on your company’s activities, including contacts and company profiles, assign and track deals, and manage all your data in a comprehensive dashboard.
Zoho CRM stands out with its ease of use. It’s easily customizable without needing coding or developer knowledge. Their clients love the drag and drop interface to move deals across stages.
Zoho CRM is also considered the best option if you’re trying to scale up your business. There’s also a feature called Canvas which makes it possible for you to customize the look and feel of your CRM as though you were designing the UI from scratch.
Engagement and lead generation
Engati helps you engage your customers at scale, answering all their questions instantly with AI-powered chatbots and live chat. It helps you generate leads and collect contact information far more effectively than you could with a form, because your prospects won’t get intimidated at the start when they see a huge form with a million fields. They’ll only see the next question after answering the first question, when they’ve already begun the process.
And if you have a Shopify store, you can use Engati’s conversion triggers to hit your customers with discounts at the right time and tempt them to make the purchase even if they were reconsidering the purchase decision.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
This is a must-have for B2B marketing teams. LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to target specific people and companies, track leads, and engage with prospects. It integrates with several CRM platforms and will even recommend leads that match your preferences.
OptinMonster features a drag and drop editor that allows you to easily build various types of opt-in forms like lightbox popups, fullscreen takeovers, floating bars, and slide-ins. You wouldn’t even need to build forms from scratch because the tool offers you upwards of 100 templates. You can even tweak your forms and A/B test them with great ease.
WordPress is the most popular CMS on the scene today. This open-source CMS platform focuses on editorial features like article and blog publishing which is why its widely used in publishing and blog-friendly industries. It’s great for small businesses that don’t have a lot of experience with design or are just framing their web strategy.
It even supports a lot of plugins and provides you with a ton of opportunities for personalization.
This is a "visual" content management system that is created for web designers who wish to concentrate on crafting and customizing websites without having to worry much about hosting, security, or website performance. It’s a great option for designers and marketers who possess design skills. It gives you complete control over your website’s design.
Joomla strikes a balance between the flexibility and versatility of a CMS like Drupal, and the user-friendliness of a system like WordPress. It’s a great fit for organizations with a fair amount of technical know-how. It’s got way more out-of-the-box features than the vast majority of open-source CMS systems available and even has upwards of 6000 extensions available.
EasySendy is the most satisfactory option for marketers to send marketing emails and drive better results. EasySendy is an all-in-one email marketing solution that allows you to carry all your various marketing channels together and accelerate traffic, a higher conversion rate, and better ROI for online geeks, marketers, small businesses, and startups. In addition, you can easily design email templates for your campaigns.
This is arguably the best known email marketing tool. It integrates well with several popular apps and services. It even lets you sync your data from those apps and services, import content from various sources, and figure out how your campaigns are affecting your business. It even provides you with reports to help you see how well you’re connecting with your audience and how much money you’re generating from your email marketing campaigns, along with tips for improvement.
This email marketing tool boasts a drag and drop editor that enables users create automated emails with great ease and make use of their high-quality autoresponder capabilities. It also makes it possible for create subscription forms and place them on their website, blog or Facebook page. It even shows you charts that illustrate how many contacts opened emails or clicked on links within your message.
GetResponse makes it possible for you to do both - maintain their contacts as well as plan and carry out professional marketing campaigns. It provides you with a very easy-to-manage database which makes it possible for you to craft individual campaigns and manage multiple emailing lists within the software.
It’s also useful for landing pages and surveys and publish newsletters on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Userlist is an email automation platform built specifically for SaaS companies. They take extra care to match your customer data model, including account-level data. Perfect for SaaS, as you can handle both marketing and lifecycle email in one tool.
Analytics and conversation rate optimization (CRO)
Google Analytics is pretty much the mainstay of every digital marketing team. It helps you keep an eye on trends and get a clear understanding of your user flows. The only caveat is that you’ll need to go through a tutorial or you’ll find it hard to interpret the data without any prior knowledge of how it works.
Mixpanel digs deep into user interactions with both websites and mobile applications. It offers you targeted communication with visitors (including e-mails and smart notifications), in-app A/B tests and user survey forms. It even shows you how your visitors navigate through your website and the pages that they go through before reaching a target webpage.
Optimizely is essentially an A/B testing tool that enables you to experiment with subject lines, new content and campaigns. You get to test out various forms and CTAs, and use the insights that you gain to boost your conversions.
NotifyVisitors is the email marketing tool of the future – designed for businesses and brands to efficiently leverage email campaigns for improved engagement and conversions. With NotifyVisitors, you have access to powerful features and automation capabilities that allow you to create effective email campaigns in no time.
Not only that, but also gain insights into customers’ email preferences through detailed email analytics. If you’re looking to optimize your email marketing processes and get more out of email campaigns, NotifyVisitors is your perfect email marketing partner.
Social media management
Hootsuite has a social media dashboard that allows your team to collaborate and schedule updates for several social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress. This Buffer alternative even lets you track even lets you track campaign results and industry trends to adjust your strategy.
BuzzSumo has an extremely powerful social media search engine which makes it possible for you to find and analyze the best content in pretty much any niche. It even helps you step up your outreach and influencer marketing by identifying impactful influencers in various domains and following them directly from the BuzzSumo portal.
Buffer makes it easy for you to schedule posts, track how well your content performs, and manage all your social media handles in one place instead of having to sign into several accounts.
Google Search Console
The Google Search Console provides you with tools and reports that help you track your site’s search results, see which keywords and queries your pages are ranking for, and identify (and fix) issues. It even helps you understand how Google sees your website.
SEMrush is used by the likes of Nike, Walmart, Tesla, Forbes, and IBM… so there’s definitely something good about the platform. It’s very useful for performance monitoring, site auditing, competitor research, and much more.
It’s great for your content team as well, helping them with keyword research, topic research, content template suggestions based on competitors. It’s even got an SEO writing assistant (which you can use as a Google Docs Add-on).
Ahrefs provides you with an entire suite of SEO tools that allows you to perform in-depth research on your niche and monitor your competitors. But the coolest thing about the suite would probably be the backlink checker. It’s essentially the most powerful backlink checker on the market because it’s got the second most active web crawler in the world (after only Google).
Demandbase makes it possible for you to send out personalized online ads to specific people at specific companies across the internet while fine tuning the marketing message to increase your odds of getting the conversion.
Optmyzr is an award-winning PPC tool that makes use of machine learning to automatically optimize your ad campaigns. It lets you manage Google Ads and Bing Ads from the same platform.
AdEspresso allows you to manage and optimize Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ad campaigns from one place. Integrated with Canva, it also has a lot of visuals. It’s essentially a great way to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns while saving yourself a lot of time and effort.
Mention allows you to track millions of content sources across 42 languages, making it possible to monitor brand mentions from various parts of the world. It even lets you choose what content you’d like to filter out so that you’re only looking at the trends that really matter to your business.
Awario focuses on building brand awareness. It tracks keywords in a wide range of languages and is great for companies that are trying to grow their social media presence internationally or across regions that speak different languages.
Talkwalker helps you listen to conversations about your brand, products and campaigns across social networks, online and offline. It covers conversations in 187 languages, tracks discussions on 10+ social networks, and monitors 150 million websites. It also uses advanced sentiment analysis to make sure you’re on top of every issue as soon as it arises.
Keyhole is one of the easiest social listening tools you'll ever use. It supports top platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, etc. All you need to do is add a profile or a hashtag/keyword tracker, and you'll be presented with a detailed analysis. Besides the usual listening and tracking features, the tool is a hotspot for managing influencers, gauging sentiment around specific topics, conducting competitive analysis, and automating monthly performance reports