Tidy Up Your Marketing Tech Stack

Tidy Up Your Marketing Tech Stack

The Gist

  • Martech stack audit. Audit to discover savings and streamline operations.
  • Martech focus. Determine needs before adding new technologies.
  • Simplify martech. Align technology with marketing goals for efficiency.

Regardless of where our financial years fall, this time of year could be Q4, Q3 or even Q2; there is something about the turn of the calendar year that has industry commentators making predictions and those of us doing the work thinking about priorities, budgets and our focus for the coming year and making our New Year’s marketing resolutions.

Let’s take a look at our martech stack resolutions. 

I propose a resolution akin to tackling that cluttered cupboard under the stairs we’ve vowed to organize during holiday downtime. Now is the perfect time to scrutinize our martech stack and evaluate its role in bolstering our digital operations.

The Martech Stack: It’s Messy and Complicated

I used the analogy of the messy cupboard because like that cupboard, when you open the door of marketing technology, 8,000 things fall out, and the challenge is to sift through all the items to figure out what’s good, what’s broken, what to keep, what to chuck away and what you need.

A wardrobe with messy clothes strewn about in piece about martech stack resolutions.
I used the analogy of the messy cupboard because like that cupboard, when you open the door of marketing technology, 8,000 things fall out.Africa Studio on Adobe Stock Photes

I used the number “8,000” as that’s generally quoted from the research headed by Scott Brinker over at Chief Martech as to the size of the marketing technology market. In fact, I think, when we refer to marketing technology, you are contractually obliged to state this number.

Joking aside, it is a growing, dizzying array of solutions in an increasingly complex matrix of categories and sub-categories.

So, where do you start?

Related Article: Martech Stack Underutilization Is a Big Problem

Time to Take Stock of Your Martech Stack

Clearly, it’s a good idea to audit what you have, an idea that neatly works with my messy cupboard analogy. However, the analogy falls down a bit when I suggest this: that first, before we open our martech cupboard and take stock of what we have, we need to figure out what we need.

It’s not terribly exciting, far more fun to be chasing the latest AI-powered, category-leading doohickey, but it’s going to really help when you are sifting through the mess, channelling our inner Marie Kondo repeating the mantra: “Keep only those things that speak to the heart and discard items that no longer spark joy.” We need to know what those things are.

Related Article: A Definitive Checklist to Reduce Marketing Technology Sprawl

What Speaks to the Heart?

We might translate that to what is helping you get to the heart of modern marketing, which we all know is no longer the smoke-shrouded world of occasional creative brilliance, but the data.

We could definitely dive down a measurement rabbit hole here. We seem to have developed a bad habit in marketing of confusing data for insight, measuring and reporting on things because we can, in an obsession to cleanse ourselves of the oft-quoted Wanamaker…. repeat after me…. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”….. But, the metrics we cherish often baffle anyone outside marketing.

That’s possibly an article for another day. Let’s get back to diving under the stairs to our messy martech. In defining the requirements for our marketing technology stack, consider what insights we really need and the data we need to drive those insights.

There are two requirements: insight to help us make good marketing decisions and reporting that will communicate our performance to the C-suite against our objectives, goals, or OKRs.

Relate Article: Marketing Technology: Has WCM Been Commodified?

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