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Building Your Marketing Tech Stack


Building Your Marketing Tech Stack

Today, most organizations are undergoing a digital transformation. Businesses are rethinking how they operate, how they empower their staff and how they engage their customers.

As customer expectations evolve, so must our approach to customer engagement. Marketers are hungry for new tools that can enable hyper-personalized, on-demand and omnichannel customer journeys.

While the need for marketing technology is clear, the “how” is cloudy at best. You read about another tool that promises to be better than the next. You see your competitors betting big on marketing automation. You hear from other teams internally that you need to drive change. You’re left overwhelmed and wondering: What tools do I really need and where do I start?

While marketing technology needs vary based on business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B) contexts, there are four common foundational layers. Here’s a tactical guide to building — or rebuilding — your marketing tech foundation to ensure your business is future-ready.

1. Data Management Platform (DMP)

What is it?

A DMP is a central hub for your customer data collected from first- and third-party sources.

Why you need it:

Data empowers personalized customer engagement. It is the most important part of the marketing tech stack, as it informs your strategy and refines your execution. As more data is generated and collected, a strong DMP becomes increasingly important.

Three features to look for:

 Customer clustering and profile building

 Strong integration with email, social, CRM and ad platforms

 Strong customer support

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

What is it?

CRM is a tool to manage relationships with your prospects and customers, at scale.

Why you need it:

Personalized marketing begins with knowing your customer. A CRM tool allows you to store individualized customer insights including purchase history, service issues and engagement with your marketing and democratizes access to these insights across key stakeholders in your business.

Three features to look for:

 A simple and intuitive user interface

 Strong reporting functions

 Integration with your customer service channels

3. Marketing Automation Platform

What is it?

These platforms automate marketing activity, from optimizing website content to deploying personalized email communications.

Why you need it:

Automation tools can be highly effective in nurturing prospects through the sales cycle and building loyalty with existing customers. It allows you to provide the right content to the right person at the right time to improve both customer conversion and customer lifetime value.

Three features to look for:

 Integration with your CRM

 Robust analytics

 Built-in landing page functionality

Social Media Management

What is it?

Social media management tools allow you to monitor online discussions, streamline your content, and identify potential influencers across multiple social platforms.

Why you need it:

Customers are talking about your brand online. These tools allow you to join the conversation. By understanding your online brand sentiment, you can gauge how your customers perceive your products or services. Through advanced analytics, you can also better understand which platforms are most effective for your business and identify potential influencers to engage.

Three features to look for:

 Social listening and sentiment analysis

 Data visualization reporting

 Competitive analysis

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The tools you procure should fit your business’s size, growth trajectory, industry and workflows.

I encourage you to press vendors for relevant customer case studies to see the tool in action. Don’t be afraid to reach out to customers who’ve already procured the solution to get their feedback on tool effectiveness, ease of implementation and quality of customer support.

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