Defining Your Digital Marketing Stack
In this lesson, you’re expected to:
– understand the importance of a marketing technology stack
– learn about the key components of a marketing stack
What is a Marketing Technology Stack?
A marketing technology stack is a grouping of technologies that marketers leverage to conduct and improve their marketing activities.
Often, the focus of marketing technologies is to make difficult processes easier, and to measure the impact of marketing activities and drive more efficient spending.
Why is a Marketing Stack Important?
The marketing technology landscape is rapidly evolving, with hundreds of different software technologies crowding an ever-increasing number of categories.
In a recent survey of CMOs, 27% were concerned with staying ahead and taking advantage of these digital technology trends. (Source: Korn Ferry)
With so many choices, it’s essential for marketers to have a clear understanding of which technologies are most fundamental to their business goals and to understand how technology can help them positively affect their business.
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Similar to the full-stack developer, the full-stack marketer can work across a range of marketing disciplines, from SEO to UX and design. Like the T-shaped (a broad set of knowledge and skills but with a specialism in a particular area) or Pi-shaped marketer (a broad base of knowledge but capabilities in both ‘left brain’ and ‘right brain’ disciplines), the full-stack marketer is multi-skilled.
A full-stack marketer excels through action, i.e. they have practical working knowledge, not just a basic understanding.
A key difference is whether your business sells its products or services to consumers (B2C) or to businesses (B2B). B2C and B2B marketers will use different channels and techniques to acquire customers, and will have varying technology needs as a result.
Below are some essential technologies to consider using:
Technology that powers a website, blog, or other relevant web properties where marketers want to engage their customers.
This space is vast, but advertising is a key customer acquisition technique for marketers.
Most use a combination of SEM (search engine marketing), display ads, retargeting, and ad tracking or attribution software.
A key customer communications channel that all marketers need in their toolkit. Sometimes, email is a capability that comes built into a marketing automation or inbound marketing platform.
At a broad level, marketers need to be able to access their data to measure digital marketing activity. Most marketers will have website analytics and their own business analytics tracked in either homegrown or third-party tools.
In more advanced cases, a data warehouse can pull together data from a wide array of systems to make insights and reporting more accessible.
This includes an A/B testing and personalization software, or programs that allow marketers to take action on their analytics to make their marketing campaigns more efficient.
Technology to monitor social activity and make social engagement easier can help maximize the impact of this marketing channel.
Social networks are also a key part of the ads landscape, and many have paid advertising options available.
The CRM will track all customer relationships and can provide insights on how marketing campaigns influence sales pipeline and customer growth.
SEO is a key strategy for driving organic (unpaid) visitor traffic to your website domain, and often goes well with a content marketing strategy.
There are many tools available to help with keyword research and other SEO-related initiatives.
Here are a few things to consider when thinking about how your marketing technology will compliment your team:
– Customer Acquisition: online marketing, partner marketing, event marketing, website optimization.
– Brand & Communications: social media, public relations, sponsorships, broadcast advertising.
– Product Marketing: product marketing, analyst relations, content marketing.
– Marketing Operations: campaign performance, data analysis and insight.