Marketing in the 2020s has fully evolved into a multifaceted discipline that requires a strategic blend of creativity, data-driven decision-making, and efficient processes.
And just as developers rely on a development stack—a collection of tools, frameworks, and technologies—to streamline their processes and deliver high-quality software, marketers can benefit from a similar approach.
A marketing technology stack, akin to a development stack, is a carefully curated ensemble of tools, platforms, and solutions that enable marketers to automate tasks, centralize data, and optimize campaigns.
This integrated framework acts as a solid foundation, supporting the entire marketing lifecycle from ideation and execution to analysis and optimization. And the tools in the stack must empower marketing teams to focus on what they do best: captivating audiences, driving engagement, and propelling business growth.
But building the perfect marketing technology stack isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It requires careful consideration of your team’s unique needs, business goals, and the ever-changing marketing landscape.
In this article, we will delve into the key considerations and essential components for building a marketing technology stack that streamlines your day-to-day operations and paves the way for marketing success.
The primary considerations include the following:
- Identify your needs: Once you know what you need, you can start to evaluate different solutions.
- Choose the right tools: Make sure to consider factors such as your budget, the size of your team, and your specific goals.
- Integrate your tools: This will help you to streamline your workflow and get the most out of your data.
- Train your team: Your team needs to be trained on how to use tools across the stack effectively.
- Measure your results: You need actionable results to determine what’s working and what’s not.
That said, let’s dive into some of the essential components that every marketing technology stack should contain.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is now so pervasive that once you mention ‘marketing’, several people might automatically think about SEO without consideration for other aspects. But that underscores the impact of this marketing tactic.
Much of how businesses and products are discovered today is tied to internet queries. And thus, every marketing team targeting an online audience must have this locked down before focusing their tactics elsewhere.
Of this list, Eye10 is the most affordable SEO toolkit. It focuses on the most essential SEO needs including competitor research, keyword planning, link building, on-page SEO, website performance, etc.
Created by a Google Ads specialist, Eye10 results are generated from real-time data to provide marketers with expert-backed assistance. Many other SEO services begin at an average cost of $100, but at $39, you can gain access to the same and even more data via Eye10. Not to mention that a trial costs only $3.
Content Management System
A content management system is the foundation for creating, publishing, and managing digital content. It helps you to ensure consistent messaging across channels and empowers you to deliver engaging and relevant content to your target audience.
By far, the most popular CMS on the market is WordPress. In fact, over 40% of the web is powered by WordPress. And the reasons are glaring.
It comes with several features and plugins that enhance your website professionally and ensure that your content is not just displayed well, but that it is well optimized for engagement and SEO.
For example, Adobe Commerce (formerly known as Magento), BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, are increasingly the CMSs of choice for several e-commerce businesses.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship is made up of multiple related touchpoints that need to be viewed, analyzed, and managed holistically. Thus, a CRM is a must-have in any marketer’s arsenal.
Besides being able to store and organize customer data efficiently, insights from CRM systems will help you to enhance personalized communications.
Most modern CRMs are integrated with other marketing tools such as email marketing or marketing automation platforms and this is a factor you must watch out for when choosing one.
Some of the top CRM systems available include Salesforce, Zoho, and HubSpot. Each of them runs on a cloud-based, scalable architecture that makes them suitable for businesses of all sizes.
These days, it seems every brand always has something to say and so everyone’s inbox is clogged up with marketing emails from various companies, often weekly but sometimes, even multiple times in a day.
There has never been a greater need for strategic email marketing among brands. And this begins by using the right tools that help you to personalize and automate your email communications in order to engage with subscribers, nurture leads, and drive conversions.
MailChimp is probably the best-known email marketing tool out there. It has a free version that’s packed with a lot of features, although businesses will certainly derive much greater value from its paid offering.
Other tools that you could consider include Mailjet, GetResponse, Drip, and so on.
Social Media Marketing
A business without social media marketing is as good as non-existent. There is no better platform to interact with your customers and fans in a relaxed, informal manner than via social media networks.
This involves a whole lot of effort too. For example, most social networks do not grant you the ability to schedule posts, an essential feature for marketers. However, with a simple social media tool, you can even achieve this at no charge.
Depending on your goals and your target channels, some social media marketing tools to consider include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Buffer, among others.
Each of these tools helps you manage your social calendar and access key analytics insights into your brand’s reputation and engagement.
Web analytics tools are crucial for understanding website performance, visitor behavior, and campaign effectiveness. Analyzing this data helps you to optimize your marketing tactics, identify opportunities for improvement, and measure the impact of different campaigns.
Web analytics is often linked to SEO, so tools like Eye10 also have a role to play here. For instance, the Eye10 Pagespeed tool presents comprehensive data about various performance metrics.
However, for more web analytics data beyond simply SEO, you might want to turn to a tool such as Google Analytics, which is free. Some others are Adobe Analytics, SimilarWeb, Kissmetrics, and the like. Bing also has its own range of web analytics tools if that’s a search engine you are targeting to boost your web traffic.
Of course, no team can succeed without a framework in place to organize projects and monitor tasks and people. Project management platforms enhance team communication, ensure transparency, and improve overall productivity.
Having a central channel for all project-related information helps marketers to effectively manage complex projects, stay organized, and deliver marketing initiatives successfully.
There is certainly no shortage of tools for project management and team collaboration. Trello, Jira, Asana, ClickUp, Slack, Airtable, Notion, Microsoft Project, Monday.com, Smartsheet, Wrike, and the list goes on.
Not every of these tools is specifically optimized for marketing teams, or for your own marketing team in particular. So, here, there may be some trial and error before figuring out which one perfectly fits your team.
The point of this article has been to show that marketing, particularly in this digital age, is a highly integrated process. Like a well-oiled machine, it requires several moving parts for success. And all of these moving parts must work together towards a set of specific examples.
Hence, building a marketing technology stack is an ongoing process. As your business evolves and new technologies emerge, it’s essential to regularly evaluate and optimize your stack.
Stay informed about industry trends, solicit feedback from your team, and assess the performance of your tools to ensure they continue to support your marketing goals effectively.