Template Worksheet: How to Build an ABM Martech Stack
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By now most people have heard of marketing technology (also known as martech). But how does a company actually manage its marketing technology? How is marketing technology integrated together, along with other business processes? The structure of your marketing infrastructure is known as your “martech stack.” A martech stack is a selection of marketing technology solutions that a company uses, generally integrated into a single infrastructure.
Today, marketing technology covers a large expanse of tools. Most companies have a single, large platform that is then integrated directly into smaller, niche programs. Companies spend a significant amount of time optimizing and analyzing their martech stack, in order to improve upon and streamline their marketing and sales departments. A martech stack is intended to make the marketing department more effective.
Of course, the martech industry is still quite youthful, and changes are occurring quickly. The marketing technology stack 2018 will look significantly different from the marketing technology stack 2019, due to its changes. It isn’t just due to changes in the marketing industry itself: it’s also that technology is accelerating, and people are finding new ways to optimize and automate their solutions.
Compared to the martech stack 2019, the marketing stack 2018 looked far simpler, and the martech stack 2020 may look even more complicated. Staying on top of the available solutions is important for companies in all industries, whether they’re B2B or B2C. Companies need to aggressively compete with others in order to remain leaders within their space.
From boutique retail stores to global marketing companies, everyone can improve upon their operations with the use of the right technology. But how can companies start developing their marketing stack, especially from scratch? Creating a martech stack begins with looking at what other companies are doing. To that end, there are a number of different companies that produce data related to the martech industry and how it’s evolved.
The Martech 5000 and the Martech Stackies are two examples of ways in which companies are able to explore the marketing stacks of other companies. With the Martech 5000 infographic, companies can investigate the solutions that are currently available. With the Martech Stackies award system, companies can see what other companies are doing in the real world, including some of the biggest companies.
Learning more about marketing technology is no longer optional. Today, many companies are investing in their marketing technology but simply aren’t aware of how to best refine and optimize their stack. If not properly integrated and optimized, a martech stack can become more of a hindrance to productivity than a solution and companies need to be constantly evolving their martech ecosystem to suit the newest of technologies.
Martech 5000 is a graphical overview of the marketing technology landscape, encompassing martech companies and their solutions. By visualizing the market technology landscape 2018 and marketing technology landscape 2019, it’s easier to see the growth and the spread of the companies and industries within it.
Released every year at the MarTech West Conference, this marketing technology supergraphic is released by chiefmartec.com, an industry-focused expert specializing in marketing technology. The Martech 5000 encompasses companies and solutions within a number of critical spaces: Advertising & Promotion, Content & Experience, Social & Relationships, Commerce & Sales, Data, and Management.
Last year’s version of the document contained over 5,000 of the top martech companies (2018 was a huge year for growth). By visualizing the marketing technology landscape 2018, companies and experts can see which areas are expanding. Over time, the visualization of the martech stack 2018 and 2019 have become quite unwieldy, with the Martech stack 2019 featuring over 7,000 popular solutions.
In this infographic, companies are neatly organized into specific pillars, and each of these pillars are further segregated into more specific niches. Comparing the martech landscape 2018 to the martech landscape 2019, the new martech analysis has 7,040 solutions among roughly the same categorization; this is compared to the 2018 analysis which had 6,829. The Martech 5000 list has grown to far exceed 5000, but has kept the 5000 name as a thematic reference.
When the martech landscape 2011 was initially released, no one might have assumed that the industry would explode in the way that it has. Once the marketing technology lumascape 2018 (sometimes referred to as the martech lumascape 2018) had been reached, it was easy to see that the market was going to continue to grow. Visually, the infographic shows how the market has shifted: largely in size. Through this time period, the martech landscape has also remained balanced, with none of the categories particularly exploding compared to the others. All of them have seen the market share increasing.
Ultimately, the martech landscape stack shows that the marketing technology industry is growing, and provides a neat visual shorthand that encompasses the companies most influential within this space. At a glance, those within the industry can look to the companies that are within mobile marketing for media and promotion, or within vendor analysis and marketing management.
This data visualization is likely to remain popular for some time, being released every year to significant fanfare. Eventually, it may become the “Martech 10000.” Martech in general is swiftly growing, and many find it important to keep track of its development, especially in as unique a resource as the visual martech stack diagram.
B2B Marketing Technology
One of the most important features of the Martech 5000 is that it clearly shows the B2B marketing stack. B2B marketing technology is really an ecosystem of interconnected technologies in a large subset of areas, and B2B marketing teams and B2C marketing teams need to investigate their stacks to improve their efficiency and their effectiveness.
As every business is different and every company’s demographics may be different, every company’s stack may also be different. So what does the average B2B martech stack look like? Often, they start with CRM solutions and grow from there, adding data and insight utilities, and marketing automation utilities, as needed. In a review by B2B marketing, three companies shared their own marketing stacks:
- ON24, a webinar platform: Salesforce Wave Analytics, CRM Fusion, Lean Data, Spring ML, GainInsights, Conductor, Demandbase, Optimizely, and Influitive.
- KPMG, a small business accounting solution: Eloqua, ResponseTap, and Hotjar.
- Workfront, a martech company itself: Salesforce, Mintigo, Workfront, ON24.
As you can see, one business only had three solutions, while another business had nine. These companies also used their own solutions: the martech business needs to conduct marketing on its own, and consequently tends to adopt its own technologies as well.
Most traditional B2B companies are going to have a solution set similar to KPMG: they will have a few solutions that are situated around a major ERP or CRM product. Companies that rely upon internet marketing more than others, such as those that are experts within the martech space, are more likely to have up to a dozen different applications in their martech stack.
The more companies rely upon online marketing for their development, the more likely they are to use individual tools such as Optimizely or Demandbase. Most companies will use Salesforce or a similar CRM as the bulk of their heavy lifting, which is a good place for businesses to start when developing their initial marketing stack.
Marketing Stack Template
All of this can be extremely overwhelming if someone is just starting a tech stack or developing out their marketing team. For the most part, martech stacks occur organically: a company grows over time to fill its needs. Yet that isn’t always the best plan: it doesn’t always lead to the most well-defined strategy. The best way to develop a martech stack is from the ground up. Taken step-by-step, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.
Start with a marketing stack template. There’s no one “best martech stack” because everything has to be customized to your business, but there are a few things that any business will usually need.
While developing a martech stack, consider:
- What are your company’s pain points and goals?
- What is your existing marketing strategy?
- What metrics does your company need to track?
When considering how to build a martech stack for your business, consult with your marketing team and identify their needs, as well as the factors that they consider to be risks. Your martech architecture will grow from this.
A traditional martech stack template will include the following martech stack components:
- A customer relationship management suite.
- Data and analysis, and metric tracking.
- Optimization and automation suites.
- Social media content and integration.
Together, these form the basis of most martech stacks. Over time, most companies will be able to fine-tune and optimize their strategies as they go, continually customizing it for their own workflow.
It’s most important that a company connect their technology to their sales departments strategies and workflow. A regular audit of marketing technology can help a business to ensure that it’s properly facilitating the company and marketing department’s goals.
Martech Stackies 2018
A fun and important award program, Martech Stackies (2018’s event was the biggest yet) invites marketers to send in a slide that illustrates their marketing stack. Companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, and Red Wing have been able to display slides that show exceptional marketing stacks, as a method of demonstrating their own innovation and talent.
To contribute to the stackies, companies may create a simple infographic or may use more interesting visual presentations to represent the tools they use for their marketing. Some use maps, some use charts, and others try their best to tell a visual story, but all of them present the technology solutions that they use in an easily digested format.
While it’s done in a lighthearted way, there’s a lot that companies can learn from Martech Stackies. Martech Stackies show, in a brief and illustrated way, what other companies are doing. Elegant, interesting, and exceptional marketing stacks can all be highlighted, taking advantage of the synergy between programs and creating a complete marketing ecosystem without any gaps.
Companies that are still developing their marketing stacks may want to consider reviewing the Microsoft martech stack, Cisco martech stack, Red Wing martech stack, and other Martech Stackies winners. While every company does need to optimize and customize its own marketing stack, taking some inspiration from the experts can be an excellent way to get started.