Marketing Technology Stack – Have a Spine First

Many organisations are now showcasing their marketing ‘tech stack’; numerous technologies they can deploy to support customer engagement. Here at CleverTouch, we have seen a lot of organisations install marketing automation (MA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and then look at additional technologies to add into the stack, such as event, content and webinar technologies.

But while building a coherent set of marketing technologies forms the foundation for a coherent customer experience, it is essential to have a marketing tech spine firmly in place before you begin to build up the stack.

Why MarTech Needs a Spine

The MarTech spine consists of three core technologies:

  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Marketing Automation
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Marketing automation is the digital bridge between the brochure-ware capabilities of CMS’ to the sales intelligence of CRM. CRM and marketing automation serve different purposes and provide different lenses in which to look at customers and prospects: CRM is company defined data, whereas marketing automation is user defined data. When combined, CRM and marketing automation can provide powerful customer insight.

Predictable growth requires a closed loop system, formed by the three core MarTech technologies. Without a closed loop, the over-fascination with the new will get in the way. Old is good –  in fact, it can cost as much to acquire a new customer as it does to service an old one. If the closed loop system is in place then old and new alike are never lost or ignored, and the cost of both old and new customers is brought down.

Before any of this is implemented, the business needs a configurable funnel from which to measure success. Two models that we use are Sirius Decisions Waterfall and Aaron Ross’s Spears, Seeds and Nets. Without any of this, marketing will end up a cost center, not a profit center. There is often an over-emphasis on buying technology and an under-emphasis on the project implementation plan, and as a result, many marketing automation projects stall or become over-elaborate email tools.

So, before adding more technology to your marketing tech stack, ensure that your marketing spine is firmly in place and fully functioning first.