Designing your marketing tech stack can get pretty confusing pretty quickly.
Even the most talented marketing technologists face seemingly endless decisions about the right set of tools their team needs to effectively go-to-market. Why?
With over 5,000 different martech solutions available in 2017, selecting the right set of tools for your business can feel incredibly overwhelming (especially when you are responsible for budget allocation).
Of course, the most important first step for marketing technologists developing an effective marketing tech stack is to build a solid foundation of tools that are absolutely necessary in today’s era of “big data.”
Even that can be a bit confusing when faced with the broad range of solutions on the market today.
To simplify your process and help you build a foundation for a successful marketing tech stack, the ReachForce team has put together this post which outlines six essential layers you need to have in place to develop an effective, data-driven marketing strategy.
Content Management System
As a modern marketer, can you even imagine a world without a content management system?
That would mean every time you want to make an update to your site, every time you have a new blog post, you would need to send it IT to upload the file. You likely do not even want to think about what happens when you notice a typo after the post is live.
Your content management system relieves you of that nightmare by giving you direct access to the content on your website. That means easier content creation, editing, formatting, and analytics tracking.
Marketing Automation Platform
You know that the possibilities are nearly endless for all of the cool, creative ways you can reach your target audience with today’s access to customer data.
However, it is unrealistic to expect that the members of your team will manually manage that process.
Through the power of marketing automation, marketing teams can build algorithmic triggers into their strategy that take the responsibility for key marketing actions out of their hands and put your strategy on auto-pilot.
That means marketers have more time to focus on the more creative elements of campaign design rather than managing manual, repetitive processes.
Email Marketing Platform
Though email is one of the oldest strategies in the digital marketing handbook, it remains one of the most effective means of reaching your customers.
Businesses yield an average return of $38 for every $1 spent on email marketing, so clearly it is an area where your money is well spent.
While there are plenty of creative email marketing tools available for your marketing tech stack, your best bet is to start out with a foundational platform like MailChimp or Mailrelay to manage the basics like your subscriber list and email flow.
Social Media Management Platform
You surely know by now that social media is an essential aspect of your overall marketing strategy.
Even so, social media is often one of the areas that fall by the wayside for busy marketing teams.
It is easy to understand why; when you manage several different channels - like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram - all independently, it becomes difficult to build a cohesive strategy around social media.
That is where a platform like HootSuite can do wonders for your business. Through an easy-to-manage tool, your team can effectively plan out social media posts weeks (or even months) in advance, align them to other promotional initiatives, and even manage engagement with your audience.
Customer Relationship Management
Historically, CRMs were viewed as a sales tool and therefore would not have made much sense in a marketing tech stack.
However, the rise of demand generation marketing and the understanding that critical data gained after a lead converts to a customer (and is handed off to sales) offers tremendous insights for marketing teams looking to reach similar buyers.
Collaborative CRMs - like Nimble, HubSpot, or Salesforce - allow for more transparency between sales and marketing, which in turn gives marketers the ability to create better buyer personas and help manage clients throughout the customer lifecycle.
Data Management System
Finally, there is data management: the foundation that the first five layers all rely upon to operate successfully.
A data management system brings the data from across all channels into one, unified platform that the other five layers of your marketing tech stack then feed off to execute your marketing plans.
It is not just about unifying data; tools like ReachForce also clean and enhance that data in real-time. ReachForce SmartForms enable marketers to keep lead capture forms short but still enrich customer profiles with critical demographical data.
Data management systems eradicate duplicates and incorrect information, too, allowing the other tools in your marketing tech stack to execute your strategy efficiently and effectively.