The technological stack is what makes the wheels turning in your marketing campaign. It is your intelligence, airborne support, cavalry, artillery, etc, etc. Needless to say, you won’t go far if anywhere at all without a properly composed stack. In a way, it can be compared with being lost in the middle of the desert during the polar night which darns dark. Yep, it may be that bad.
But before going into specifics, let’s sort things out. What is Martech stack? It is an arrangement of various tools the team is using for the development, management, and analysis of the marketing campaign. On the whole, it allows keeping things under control and adjust to the situation accordingly.
Curiously, it is quite demanding to arrange all round effective tech stack for marketing campaigns. In many ways, it is a legitimate challenge. Not only there is a huge element of inevitable trial and error routines but also numerous options for data gathering, storage, and analytics, content management, ad tech tools.
But if done right — it turns rather mundane marketing proceedings into pure ecstatic bliss. On the downside, it also can wreck perfectly planned campaign to the point it of achieving the absolute opposite of the projected. But fear not and try not to think about it — that is merely the worst case scenario...
Why optimized Tech Stack matters?
Tech stack makes things easier, more controllable and most importantly much more effective. That is why it is important to figure out the right combination of the stack for your campaigning.
Every element should fit the rest and improve a certain aspect of the operation. That requires counting in every possible scenario — from customer demand surges and declines to unexpected, uncontrollable events.
From the technical side of things — optimization is not a very complicated task. All you need to do is to find right elements and neatly fit them into one big puzzle.
However, it is more than challenging from the marketing point of view. The thing is — methodology is in a permanent state of flux. You can’t just choose one way of doing things and go on for a while. Modern ways of engaging customers demand supreme flexibility. That alone makes the whole optimizing thing a little hard to pull off.
Here are several ways you can keep your Martech stack up to date at its most effective.
1 Set the priorities of the Campaign
Any marketing campaign starts with defining the priorities. It is obvious — you cannot go far without it. On this stage, you also need to set requirements and priorities for the tools of choice and project results of their usage.
You need to know what kind of information matters to you need for which goal and what kind of applications can help you to get it done.
With that clearly mapped out, you will have an idea on which direction to move. In fairness, it all boils down to the age-old truth — you need a hammer not a broomstick to hammer the nail.
2 Define the architecture of the Stack
The right choice of applications means nothing if you don’t have strict and logical architecture. Sure, you can work somehow, but it does not mean your campaign will reach its maximum potential or even break even.
Architecture is the key to an effective tech stack. Good architecture is a like a well-mannered arrangement of the song — it elevates the song to the soaring height. Think about it as a clockwork — you have a set of details and every each of them is working for the common goal. No spare parts. Everything fits together neatly to a tee.
Marketing tech stack commonly consists of seven elements:
Work frameworks (Jira, Trello)
Internal Communication (Slack, Skype, Wire)
Content creation and optimization tools (Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, SEMrush)
Each element adds to the big picture in its own unique way. You have general sprawling framework and communication; then you have CRM and web analytics plus DMP which leads to content creation in a collaboration that ends up on social media, email campaigns, websites and ad spaces.
The key is cause and effect — one thing leads to another. However, even the most refined system can turn into a Rube Goldberg machine within a blink of an eye if the strategy is not fitting the functional capabilities.
3 Review the performance of the tools
The process of optimization of the tech stack never ends. Things change. One tool that effectively worked at the beginning of the campaign, will eventually stop being useful in the long run.
Because of that, you need to keep reviewing the performance and effectiveness of the tech stack once in a while. Generally, it is better to perform reviews routinely, at least once in a quarter.
Reviewing is a multi-layered process. The first element is statistics. First, you check weekly stats, then monthly, yearly if necessary and then you look through campaign-long stats. This can show the mechanical side of thing in a perspective.
Next is team feedback. It is critical to know how different tools affect operating procedures. The tool can be extremely useful but it can also be not very user-friendly or expensive or team member can simply don’t know how to use it correctly. In order to keep it under control, you can provide short Q&A regarding tech stack. That will give a leeway for adjustment.
Here are several questions you can use for assessment of the elements of the stack:
Is the tool functional?
Is the tool appropriate for the current goals of the campaign?
Are there any tools functions of which overlap?
Is the tool worth investing
Is the tool improving team efficiency?
Are we missing anything?
Reviewing draws a clear picture of the current state of things of the stack. It can help you find weak and strong points of the stack, get rid of the lacking elements and improve the use of the current ones.
4 Always look further for the opportunities
There is an old saying that perfectly describes the state of affairs in marketing — the only thing for sure is that nothing is for sure. Each new killer solution gets old and overused fast and starts smelling really funny.
This process is caused by ever-changing, quicksilver gleefully competitive nature of the industry. Because of that, it is critically important to constantly look for new, newer or simply different ways of doing things.
Even if at the moment your stack is doing perfectly fine — it doesn’t mean it will be doing so next month. You have to be ready for changes and you have to react preemptively to any paradigm shifts.
There is always a better fitting more satisfying solution lurking on the horizon and you have to make it beneficial for your cause before it is too late.
In order to pull it off, you need to surf through various boards and compare options with your current stack. If the thing can be useful — you need to perform a little test run.
There are two ways of doing test runs:
Run two programs concurrently and compare performance stats and team feedback;
Temporarily replace current program with the potential substitute and evaluate its performance in the grand scheme of the stack.
As you can see — optimization of Mar Tech stack is definitely not an extraterrestrial matter. You just need to do it right.
Sure, it requires caution and responsibility but it pays off in campaigns successes which is something you really want to achieve.