Bring Harmony to Your Martech Stack with Technology Alignment

Marketing Technology

Lindsey Rogers By Lindsey Rogers, Marketing Manager

The world of marketing technology has changed immeasurably over the past few years, and if your company has been keeping up, you've likely added many new components, from central content management systems (CMS) to automation tools, data analytics, and more.

Best-in-class marketing technology tools graphic

Keeping up with martech releases: Where's the value?

Buying best-in-class offerings for each of these functions has likely left your company with a varied marketing technology stack. According to Scott Brinker's most recent edition of the Marketing Technology Landscape, there are 7,040 solutions to choose from.

This complex approach to marketing tech can lead to a common frustration: Each individual solution is the best on the market, delivering a powerful feature set. But there's a catch. These elite tech tools aren't talking with one another. Instead of a symbiotic and optimized martech stack, you're receiving a cacophony of information that requires too much time and effort from your marketing team.

Best-in-class tools are only the beginning of building your best possible technology stack. Each piece of technology is ideal for optimizing one aspect of the customer experience. Focus on integration and on making those IT deployments work together, and you can combine those aspects and create a holistic portrait of your customers - and that's where the real value of cutting-edge martech resides.

 

How complex is the average martech stack?

If your marketing technology deployments are extremely varied - and unfortunately lacking in integration - you're in good company. According to an Index study funded by Adledger and MadHive studying marketers at brands, agencies, and publishers, the average stack uses tech by 28 different vendors. Since these varied tech environments are the rule rather than the exception, it's worth seeking harmony between the components. 

At a surface level, the most obvious solution to a piecemeal tech stack is vendor consolidation, buying as many solutions as possible from a single company. The marketers surveyed by Industry Index found themselves largely unable to commit to such a strategy, however. In fact, 70% of companies expect they'll be working with more tech vendors three years from now, and see consolidation as a "pipe dream."

Your own technology implementation processes have likely followed the average path for martech buyers: While it would be advantageous in some ways to purchase many tools from a single vendor, performance still comes first. Your organization's search for the best possible tech tools, at the best prices, is likely driving you away from consolidation and toward a patchwork of technologies.  

Since martech stacks consisting of multiple vendors (even in the double-digits) are here to stay, at least for the immediate future, it's time to consider how you'll optimize these tools. The answer comes from better technology alignment. The fact is, these diverse, industry-leading technologies can share data with one another and form a harmonized stack. You simply have to figure out how to combine them.

 

How does better technology alignment come about?

Technology alignment doesn't just happen. Industry experts are needed to see the points of integration that don't exist between your applications - but could. First, it's important to discover the current status and health of your martech stack. Which applications are truly best-in-class, and which could use an upgrade? Which parts of the company's technology stack are delivering optimal value, and which need more connections?

Next, it's time to develop automated backend connections between the many disparate tech tools your company has invested in. Brinker's tech landscape splits marketing technology up into categories such as Advertising & Promotion, Commerce & Sales, Data, and more. To create a holistic and useful view of your customers, the products in each of these groupings should share data with one another, seamlessly, and without hands-on effort by your personnel.

The difference between automation and manual processes can be stark. When an expert consulting partner ensures your martech stack applications share their data with one another, each interaction with a specific customer becomes part of that person's journey, allowing you to deliver more targeted and relevant messaging and make the sale. Too much manual entry of data is time-consuming for your team, and introduces the risk of outdated information and human error.

The possibly dozens of best-in-class technology solutions that make up your martech stack are laden with potential. Sometimes, all it takes for them to start delivering on that potential is a little connectivity. This newfound harmony between CMS, ad tools, email systems, and more can help your martech stop feeling like disconnected components and start being a unified system, one that delivers the ROI you've been expecting.

 

Not sure where to start? Ask our experts.