In this day and age, the performance of the marketing campaign is as good as a technological stack you have composed for it. No matter how great your insight is — you need an engine to get it rolling and a radar to know where you are going to maximize your efforts and returns.
The purpose of marketing tech stack can be described as means of converting feasible possibilities into viable opportunities. You need to know what is going on and be able to adapt to it. Martech stack with data gathering, storage and analytics, content management, and ad tech tools makes it easier and under control.
If done right — it is the stuff dreams are made off. If done wrong, you won’t go far and you may be absolutely 100% sure that the journey will mostly resemble a flamboyant hike in the middle of the desert in a dry season. The package also includes frosty midnight shivers, occasional increasingly desperate crashes into oases and far more frequent succumbs to the frustrating caresses of mirages.
In other words, lacking martech stack is a thing of sadness that you definitely don’t want to experience by any means.
What’s the deal?
Well-mannered marketing tech stack can bring much-needed clarity and mobility to the campaign operation. It is the thing that ties every element of the campaign into a tight knot. The stack directs the efforts of the team and mixes them with contacts, customer data, content and connections and turns the whole thing into a customer-attracting lounge.
In order to make it happen, marketing tech stack must be ready for every possible scenario — customer demand surges and declines, device tracking and user profile unification, security breaches, cthulhu’s awakening, and the list goes on.
From a technical point of view, optimizing the stack is not a big deal, just a matter of time and skill. You just need to set things straight and follow the Nike wisdom i.e. “just do it”.
But from a marketing point of view it is a hell of a task. The thing is — there are no solid definites in the marketing business. The techniques of customer acquisition, retention and engagement are like quicksilver — you never know what is going to work out this time around.
Because of that, you need to be cautious and constantly adapt. That turns the optimization process into a grueling challenge akin to a minefield crossing.
How to make it right? There are several tried and tested ways of keeping the stack intact.
1. Set the priorities of the campaign
Marketing campaigns are highly dependent on the vision connected to the tools of choice. The reasons are simple — poorly applied technology may cause incoming information to be processed unwittingly and thus you won’t get the information you need. As a result, you will miss the mark, waste time and money and meander wearily with a Toto stare.
In order to avoid such unfortunate thing from happening you set your priorities straight. The key for effective optimization of the tech stack lies in the understanding of the campaign’s goals and the ways they could be achieved. Basically, it is all about defining what kind of information matters to you and how you can get it without overspending.
In other words, in order to hammer the nail you need the hammer not the broomstick.
2. Define the architecture of the stack
The stack is no good if it is a mess of different pieces cobbled together with cheesy stitches. It may work somehow but it doesn’t mean it will be anywhere near as effective as when it is brought to reason.
Just like a good song can be bludgeoned by poor orchestration — thought through campaigns can bite the dust because of inadequately arranged tech stack.
Good Mar Tech stack is like clockwork: everything is in the right place, integrated in the right sequence, doing the right thing at the right time.
Here’s how it goes:
- General work frameworks (Trello, Jira, etc)
- Team Communication tools (Slack, etc)
- Tools for collaboration (Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, etc)
- Tools for customer data analysis (Google Analytics, etc)
- Tools for connections
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc)
- Email (campaign builders like MailChimp)
- Website (WordPress, etc)
- Remarketing tools (Google Adwords, Adroll, Ahrefs, etc)
- Customer Relationship Platforms (Hubspot, etc)
- Content creation and optimization tools (Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, SEMrush, etc)
It may look like this: first you set the parameters for data gathering, then you set a place for data storage, then you make sense of it, prepare valuable content and redirect it through the servers right to the customers.
Cause and effect is the key. The stack is not a Rube Goldberg machine that does whole lotta stuff and ultimately delivers bitter nil. Everything must add up — propel the process forward.
3. Review the performance of the tools
The simplest way of knowing whether a certain tool is doing any good for your company or is actively hurting it, is to look at the results of its work in a perspective. In order to see the big picture, it is better to do the reviewing on a regular basis, once in the quarter at the very least.
Here are several questions you need to keep asking while assessing the elements of the stack. These questions cover the entirety of the optimization process:
- Is it functional?
- Is it easy to use?
- Are we using it to its maximum potential? If not, why?
- Is it appropriate for current goals?
- Is it worth it?
- Is it cost-effective?
- Is there an alternative?
- Is it improving team efficiency?
- Are we missing anything?
In practice, it means — if you are using Adobe SiteCatalyst you don’t need to use Google Analytics as their functions are relatively similar.
That way you will be able to see if the applied technology had made any significant improvements. Regular reviews also help to detect if the technology fits within the stack or is it used poorly and can be improved in order to maximize its value.
4. Don’t stop looking for opportunities
The only certain thing about marketing is that nothing permanent. Marketing is ever-changing, manic industry. There are dozens upon dozens of viable solutions coming every now and then that get old in a matter of a lifespan of a fly. There is always some tool that does something better than the one you are using.
That is why the research must never stop. You never know what is coming next. And in order to get through and get even you need to keep looking for new and more effective solutions even though the ones you are using at the moment are still working well.
How to make it right? Sure, you can’t implement the new thing on the block right away and sacrifice the process for sake of a potentially wrecking try-out. But you can try out various options one at a time.
There are two equally worthwhile approaches. First is to run two programs concurrently and compare results over a certain period. Second is to replace certain program with an alternative and compare its functional capabilities inside the system — whether it is more comfortable for use or more effective is delivering the results.
One of the biggest differences of marketing industry in comparison with any other is lack of sacramental “secrets of the craft”. There is nothing particularly special about it.
You either do it with a rhyme and reason and constantly look for ways of increasing its effectiveness or do your time before the next equally pointless bout of wasting time and money.
That makes it rather tough and highly competitive environment where skills and gut instinct matter more than a fancy smile and buzzwords combo.
With these tips in mind you can construct effective mar tech stack that will maximize the value of your insights and elevate campaign to soaring heights.
Kim Hailey is a freelance mobile app designer and UX consultant residing in New York. She works with individuals and private businesses and helps them find effective solutions that work for them. Apart from that, she has a flair for writing as a blogger and teaching schoolchildren to code. Get in touch @KimGHailey.
Image Credit – Provided by the author, taken from Freepik.com