How to Build a Marketing Tech Stack That Works for You

Today, business is powered by technology in every aspect, marketing included. Martech tools are now used to do everything from generating leads to creating content to engaging current customers to advertising our brands and more.

The benefits of a well-built, optimized marketing tech stack are manifold — the ability to execute strategies at scale, more sophisticated data insights, highly efficient workflows, better collaboration and more.

The challenge is this: There are so many tools on the market, it can be difficult to determine which types of tools you need, and then which specific tools within each category to choose.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a marketing tech stack, and the real key is to know your own needs and build a stack that aligns with them. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What a marketing tech stack is and why you need one
  • Steps for building a marketing tech stack for your business
  • Tips and best practices to consider during the process

Let’s dive in.

Quick Takeaways

  • Marketing tech stacks are collections of tools that work together dynamically to enhance a company’s marketing strategy.
  • Common solution areas included in marketing tech stacks are content management, SEO, social media, email marketing, team collaboration, and CRM.
  • When you’re building a marketing tech stack, establish your strategy first and consider technology second.
  • Helpful resources for researching potential solutions include brand websites, customer reviews and testimonials, social media, and industry-best lists like G2.
  • To optimize your tech stack, look for integration opportunities and focus on UX so that your team uses new tools to their full potential.

What is a marketing tech stack and why do you need one? 

A marketing tech stack is a collection of software and platform solutions you use to execute your marketing strategy. Today, a typical stack includes tools for:

  • Content Management – Platform for managing your website, blog, and landing pages
  • Social Media – Tool for centralizing social media efforts, including content curation, automated posting, calendar management, engagement analytics and more
  • Email Marketing – Platform for executing all types of email marketing tactics, including drip campaigns, newsletters, cold email outreach, and retargeting
  • SEO Advertising – Solutions that use SEO insights to execute display and PPC ad campaigns to draw in new leads
  • Performance Reporting – There are many different types of web analytics platforms that can measure a range of important KPIs around your company’s search visibility or website and content performance
  • Team Collaboration – Tools to facilitate effective communication across your internal marketing team
  • Customer Relationship Management – Mainly a tool for B2B companies, the CRM system is one of the most foundational martech components and is usually shared by marketing and sales teams

Below is a visual example of what a marketing tech stack might look like:

Visual representation of a sample marketing tech stack.

Image Source

It’s important to keep in mind that these tools don’t operate as many separate and siloed parts — rather, they should dynamically work together to enhance your overall marketing strategy.  Many companies adopt tools that can encompass more than one of the above capabilities, and tools are often built with integration capabilities so they can work seamlessly alongside others in your marketing tech stack.

Thanks to the many options available on the market and diverse needs of individual companies, there are no two marketing tech stacks that look exactly the same. Companies can build stacks that align closely with their unique needs, budgets, and team preferences.

Let’s walk through 5 important steps for building an effective tech stack for your company.

How to Build a Marketing Tech Stack that Works for You

Outline your goals and strategy

As the concept of a tech stack and practice of building one grew over the past decade or so, a popular motto emerged: “Strategy first, technology second.”

It’s an apt statement that every company should keep in mind as they plan and build new or newly optimized tech stacks. Before you even begin looking at potential solutions, it’s critical to outline your marketing goals and the strategy you want to implement for reaching them.

For example: Are you trying to build a stronger content strategy? Execute more targeted email marketing campaigns? Grow your social media following?

Perhaps your goals center around a more specific marketing KPI, like generating 25% more leads or increasing traffic to your website by 10%.

The point: Sit down with your marketing team and talk first about what goals you’re trying to accomplish. Define a strategy against which you can evaluate every potential marketing tech stack tool to choose the ones best able to enhance your efforts and boost your results.

Assess current capabilities and challenges

At the same time you’re outlining goals and strategies, consider your current capabilities. What does your marketing team already execute well? Where do you feel technology is already optimized? Are there tools and solutions you love and know you’ll want to maintain as part of your new tech stack?

On the flip side, consider where gaps and challenges exist. Where is your marketing strategy lacking? Are there certain tactics that need to be enhanced with a tech solution? Areas where you need to elevate automation capabilities? A need for better data analytics?

A formal marketing SWOT analysis can be helpful during this step to allow your team to think about capabilities and challenges holistically, and see them represented in a single document.

Determine your budget

The last step before you start researching actual solutions is a practical one — what’s your budget? The good news is that there is such a wide variety of tools available that you can build a powerful marketing tech stack on essentially any budget.

The important thing is to know your budget so you can streamline your research process to consider only the tools and solutions that are in your price range.

Research potential tools and providers

By now, you should have a pretty clear idea of the kinds of tools you’re looking to add to your tech stack. Starting with a simple Google search for those tools is helpful. You can click through provider websites, get a feel for tools you like the best, and even schedule demos or time to speak with their sales team.

Other helpful resources to use in your research:

  • Customer testimonials — These may come in the form of public reviews or case studies on a company’s website. Try to find both for the most complete sense of how customers feel about the brand.
  • Social media — People are honest on social media. Check out the brand’s social media profiles to see what customers are saying on those platforms.
  • Industry-best lists — Organizations like Gartner and G2 publish rankings of top tools for just about every functionality companies need today. They’re an objective source for finding which tools are leading the pack in any given industry.

Compare and decide

Keep your research insights in a central place, recording notable features, benefits, pricing, and other important information about each particular product and company. As you prepare to make actual purchases, compare tools with your marketing team and choose the ones best-fit for your company’s needs.

Bonus: 4 Pro Tips to Consider

Look for integration opportunities

Marketing tech stacks are most efficient when the tools they include can work seamlessly together toward common goals. Look for tools that have strong integration capabilities — for example, lead gen tools that integrate directly with your CRM, or social media scheduling platforms that integrate with your CMS system to pull blog content.

Focus on UX

The last thing you want in your tech stack are tools that your team hates to use. Be sure to consider UX for every tool you consider. You know your team well, so choose solutions that will be user-friendly for them and align well with your existing processes.

Get feedback from your teams

Most companies offer product demos or one- or two-week free trials as ways for potential users to try out their tools. Take advantage of these options and let your team get in on the action — as much as possible, have your team interact with potential tools for your tech stack and provide feedback on the experience.

While you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen, feedback is a valuable asset as long as you have clear decision makers appointed.

Don’t settle

As we’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of tools on the market today. Don’t settle for a tool because you’re on a time crunch or because you feel like you just can’t find the right one in your budget.

Keep researching, ask questions to potential providers, and stick with your standards until you find solutions that meet them.

Revboss’s outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations to find high-quality leads they can convert to paying customers. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.