Achievement Unlocked: 1-Up Your Marketing Technology Stack Game!
October 18, 2017
I have been working with B2B demand generation marketers for over 10 years, so I’ve seen it all when it comes to how marketing teams implement and use their marketing technology stack.
As an avid gamer, I often find interesting parallels between my gaming world and my real life marketing world. Take the marketing technology (martech) stack, for example: I look at it as one giant adventure. And like any worthwhile adventure game, there needs to be strategy in place and careful use of resources in order get to the next level.
For simplicity’s sake, I’ve broken the martech stack game into 3 key essential elements:
- Team players
Seems simple, but, in reality, these elements may not always fit together perfectly and can often hinder the execution of campaigns, clarity of results, and the ultimate prize of having data-based business decisions on which you can act. To win big on any campaign, it’s important to build out a strong and cohesive technology stack. 1-up your martech game by keeping these things in mind. (Oh, and for those of you who aren’t video game nerds like me, “1-up” typically refers to gaining additional life so you can continue playing longer.)
Team players: Assemble a complete team for your tech stack adventure
All games require key players to ensure success. Team members from creative, to demand generation, to content, and web are all key players who need to work together to execute strategic business development plays.
But assembling an all-star internal team is the easy part. What is often neglected are the tech vendors who have become keystones of every marketing strategy. Developing strong relationships with key people at your partner solutions helps deepen your understanding of how data flows between systems, which technical integration requirements exist, and that you’re using your technology most effectively both as individual elements of your martech stack as well as integrated together.
Tools: Choose your weapons wisely
A smart martech stack includes inputs and cross-channel integrations that strengthen your marketing arsenal. The old adage of “many hands make fast work” stands even more true if all of those hands have the right tools!
The trick to getting your martech stack mix right is making sure each piece complements the next – it’s like martech stack tetris! When choosing your tool(s), think of the smartest way to get the best results. Overly complicated tech stacks are the enemy of true marketing insight and are often met with a flurry of game-losing results, confusion across platforms, lack of accountability, and faulty data.
When choosing your weapons you should ask these 3 critical questions:
- Will this simplify the overall workflow within my stack?
- Are there actionable insights from each piece of technology, or are data gaps being created?
- Does this make my processes more efficient and effective?
Learnings: Level up your insights from data
Every campaign has an end game, and every end game comes with learnings and insights to determine how successful (or not) a program was. The martech stack should be designed to turn these learnings and data into actionable insights and next steps – full stop.
All marketing teams collect data, but many do not know how to take action on it properly. To truly master your marketing game, use the data and insights gleaned from each program to learn more about your customers. Continue to optimize the customer experience for future programs – your martech stack should make this an easy thing to do.
A great way to start collecting useful insights is to use your martech to run a content audit. One of the biggest wins I’ve ever had came from analyzing my content’s performance within key channels. I gained a better understanding of which pieces were being engaged with and which weren’t. With this information, I optimized my content experiences to reflect a more intelligent journey for the audience.
Like any truly rewarding pursuit, the martech stack game has many levels and challenges to overcome. To harness the true power of the martech stack, you need a complete and cohesive team, the right tools to get the job done, and actionable insights to ensure future success. Understanding the importance of building a winning martech stack will empower marketers to create greater engagement programs and better meet their audience’s needs – the ultimate game-winning achievement!