What Every Marketer Should Understand About the Marketing Tech Stack

By Anita BreartonSeptember 6, 2019

(in collaboration with Nicole Irving)

Are you a Marketing Technologist? If you work in marketing the answer is a definitive yes. The evolution of marketing and an increasingly fast and noisy market environment has made using technology mandatory regardless of your particular marketing discipline.

Marketing technology products are tools used by companies to acquire, engage, retain and deliver an exceptional experience to customers. When considering the spectrum of technology involved in this process, it’s common for companies to be using anywhere from 150 to 300 tools at a time; this group of tools is collectively referred to as the marketing technology stack.

Technology has a direct impact on how successful you are in your job. It can provide you with new capabilities, improve your productivity, extend the reach of the work that you have produced and help you play your part in meeting company objectives. We may not always have control of the technology acquired on our behalf, but we are frequently responsible for the results that the technology delivers. As such, you as a marketer need to have a working knowledge of the marketing technology stack, and you should engage as a stakeholder in the application, performance and evolution of the technology that is critical to your function.

First and foremost, you should have a working knowledge of the functionality of all the platforms that impact your ability to do your job. By digging into each platform, you may find additional features that may be beneficial to your work.

Second, you should insert yourself into the evaluation of new technology. You may not own your company’s marketing technology stack, but you can impact the evolution of the stack by representing and articulating your team’s requirements to your stack manager – the person who has buying authority for the tools you use. As a stakeholder, the best way to help your stack manager acquire the best tools for your environment is to frame your needs as functions and outcomes instead of requesting a specific type of product. Taking this approach makes it easy for the stack manager to assess whether there is already a tool in the stack that can satisfy your requirements.

Finally, taking on the role of a stakeholder means having a solid understanding of the available marketing technology that is relevant to your discipline. Understanding your technology landscape and staying on top of the innovation in the categories relevant to your role can significantly impact your performance and the success of your team.

The best way to stay on top technology trends and innovation is by reading publications including DMN, MarTech Advisor and Marketing Land; subscribing to relevant newsletters – CabinetM publishes a weekly newsletter spotlighting new marketing products and innovations, for example; listening to Podcasts – the Talking Stack podcast is a favorite of mine; and attending technology conferences such as Connect to Convert, and those hosted by the industry analyst firms, Gartner, Forrester and IDC.

With the marketing technology landscape at 12,000 products, it’s not realistic to expect your stack manager to be an expert in every product category, particularly with the current rate of innovation. Taking ownership of your environment and becoming a category expert will deliver tremendous benefits for you and your organization.

Embrace your identity as a Marketing Technologist and step up!

To hear more from Anita in person, be sure to join us for Connect to Convert at the Westin Boston Waterfront, September 25-27, where Anita will be speaking on what you need to know about the Marketing Technology Stack. Register Here!

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