Are You Keeping Track of Your Martech Stack?

illustration of magnifying glass

Do you know what your marketing technology stack looks like these days? Has it grown haphazardly, with tools purchased to satisfy one immediate need or another? Or, is it a neat “walled garden” with the one platform to rule them all? Like most marketers these days, it is likely that your team is using a “best-of-breed” martech stack, cobbled together over time with tools and technologies from different vendors, purchased in response to a specialized need internally or competitive pressure to do more and better.

An in-depth report on how marketers use technology these days indicates that just over a third of all marketers choose best-of-breed tools, while 27% go with a single-vendor. But the popularity of the former approach might be even higher, if you ask us. Consider:

  • Most of the 48 contenders for the 2019 Marketing Stackies Awards list all-in-one martech suites such as Adobe, IBM or Oracle along with dozens other tools in their stack visualizations – a good indication that the “walled garden” has many (loop)holes in it.
  • The average enterprise uses an astonishing 91 marketing cloud services, according to Netskope
  • The proliferation of more and newer tools and solutions indicates that the martech space is still growing and changing too fast for one tool or platform to keep up with all emerging needs
  • Marketing IT budgets continue to grow, even after years of continuous expansion.

What are the reasons behind the growing bulk of the stack? The fact is, marketing is a diverse and increasingly complex field that requires many specialized activities – from content creation and creative design to digital strategy, campaign optimization, analytics and beyond. Automating many of these tasks makes sense. Collecting the data produced along the way is essential to understand performance. And finally, analyzing and reporting on the data to gain insights and improve in the future is critical. So, if your martech stack helps you do more in less time, its bulk and price tag should be well justified. Ultimately, whether you use 1 tool or 100 in your marketing stack matters less than the value that you get out it.

Since our Net Conversion analysts usually integrate deeply with the marketing teams of our clients, we have intimate knowledge of the many different tools used across organizations, especially on the paid media and analytics side. We also use a variety of tools to automate our own workflows. Most notably, we invested in building our own cloud data warehouse and integration platform to support our analysts’ sophisticated data usage, which these days requires transforming and analyzing over 40TB+ of data monthly. That makes Conversionomics, our internal platform, part of the 5% “dark martech” category (see chart), but it helps keep our stack “light” and productivity high, so we (and our clients) are happy.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices or paths you can take with your own martech stack, we can advise you on the design and optimization – just give us a call!

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