In today’s elaborate marketing ecosystem, marketers have the option of selecting from a slate of platforms and tools to optimize and consolidate their marketing technology solutions—from marketing automation and content management, to email and advertising technology. The increasing complexity of customer interactions demands seamless cross-channel coordination, allowing marketers to establish cohesive interactions with customers, and prove a return on these investments. This compulsion has heralded the birth of marketing technology stacks; A.K.A Marketing Hubs, Marketing Portals, Distributed Marketing Platforms and all the other terms that are being tossed out there today. According to chiefmartec.com, there are now 1,876 different marketing technology providers that fall under 43 categories.
Consider this: What if you could manage your branded content, allow your channel partners the ability to localize that content, enhance your social footprint through your partners, and manage marketing campaigns on your partner’s behalf with key solutions that are centralized, scalable, and more importantly, customized specifically for your organization? Essentially, that’s the premise of marketing technology (martech) stacks—a grouping of valuable, integrated tools that companies use to remove ambiguity amongst their marketing teams or channel partners and replace it with succinct strategies that are easily accessible.
With marketing companies averaging a total of 17 different tools, it is little wonder why martech stacks are such a hot commodity. Here are 5 more reasons why martech stacks are buzzworthy:
- Marketing technology stacks facilitates marketing automation. Stack tools harness data to create automated, personalized measurable marketing programs that promptly deliver the most relevant offers to the right people. These integrated tools makes your customers happy because you intuitively solve their problem before they realize one exist.
- Stacks provide a more holistic approach to solving single channel data problems. Whether the deficiencies are identified in email, content, analytics, and/or social activity, marketing leaders now recognize the need to assemble fully optimized technology stacks, without which a single cross-channel view of the customer is difficult to achieve.
- Stacks offer more seamless communications. People desire tools that simplify their lives by automating routine tasks. The marketing technology stack provides convenient access by combining customer information with marketing automation to allow marketers to increase efficiency by delivering the right offer to the right person at the right time, boosting sales and keeping the funnel full.
- MarTech stacks provide a roadmap parallel to customer consumption. Optimizing marketing technologies requires a roadmap for moving data across the technology stack as swiftly as customers shift between smartphones, tablets, laptops, stores and call centers. When planning future technology investments, marketers will seek ways of improving the entire customer experience across touchpoints that are direct to their consumers as well as that of their channel partners.
- Stacks enable quick access to data for measuring and analyzing digital and traditional marketing activities. Data provides the framework for sound decision-making. The most valuable martech stacks are equipped with data warehouses where information is collected, sorted, and reported in a way that enables measurement and forecasting strategies, providing actionable insights that are useful to marketers and channel partners.
In summary, everyone seems to be getting their “stacks” in order. Or at least they are all thinking about it. We know many enterprise marketers that have a direct sales model have been the driving force behind this emerging category. But don’t forget about the “Channel!” While this may be a little less visible on the corporate marketer’s radars, Forrester has recently stated that technology companies serving the indirect sales model have platforms in place that are already more sophisticated than their direct single-point solution counterparts. Reason being, it is just that much more complex to piece together and execute when you are deploying on behalf of your channel partners.
About the Author
Gary Ritkes, President of SproutLoud, oversees all Business Development and Marketing for the company. Gary, a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology, is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS), which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He has served as a board member of the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation chapter and other national industry associations, including the DMA and AGA.More Content by Gary Ritkes