What's in your marketing tech stack?

Have you ever stopped to consider how much marketing technology you are currently using at work? We are now so immersed in technology to facilitate our daily work, we rarely stop to look at the whole picture of the sheer number of tools, applications and cloud technology that we are all using.

According to research from the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends Report in 2017, the average “enterprise” uses 91 marketing cloud services. 91! It’s also interesting to note that the financial services vertical comes second in the number of cloud apps being used.
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It’s no wonder then, that there has been not only a huge rise in the number of people employed in marketing operations, but also as marketing operations leaders. In the same way companies employ infrastructure/IT managers to manage servers, processes and functions – we now need people to strategically manage all of the marketing technology we are using.

At Kurtosys we made the decision to employ a Sales & Marketing Operations Manager back in 2014 – someone who could manage our growing cloud ecosystem which mainly revolved around Salesforce. That decision had an almost instant positive impact on the company. It allowed the sales and marketing team to focus on their core jobs, but we were also lucky enough to hire an expert who could harness the tech we are using and increase efficiencies across the company.
Back in 2012, Gartner made a bold prediction that by 2017, Chief Marketing Officers will spend more on IT than the Chief Information Officers. Although that prediction might be hard to validate, most agree that this shift has happened, with marketing chiefs now spending 27% of their budgets on technology. This shift has also led to the creation of the Chief Marketing Technology Officer or Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT) – a hybrid role that blends strategy, technology and creativity. Many large companies (with more than $500m in revenue) will already employ a CMT or be looking to.

What is a marketing technology stack, anyway?

I think Optimizely’s description sums it up perfectly: A marketing technology stack is a grouping of technologies that marketers leverage to conduct and improve their marketing activities.

Ten to fifteen years ago, a marketer would have listed a handful of desktop applications they used in their daily work. Now, not only has the number of those applications risen dramatically, but the vast majority of them will be cloud based.

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Scott Brinker present at the B2B Expo event in London. His presentation began with his famous Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic – an incredible image of 5,000 technologies his team have collated. He has since just published the updated version, which is now a whopping 6,829 marketing technology solutions from 6,242 unique marketing technology vendors!
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He progressed to talk about something else you may be familiar with, The Stackie Awards. Since 2016, Scott has been inviting CMOs to create a slide that summarises their marketing stack, with all the technology brands included – everything from Twitter to Marketo. The graphic can also demonstrate the process your organisation follows in using the included technologies, such as attracting and converting leads.

Kurtosys’s Entry to the 2018 Stackie Awards

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This is our entry to the 2018 Stackie Awards! We have tried to encapsulate all of the marketing tech we use, in a ‘cycle’ that reflects how we use it. From using Adobe’s cloud apps and InVision to create content, through to using Gainsight and Salesforce in retaining customers. We also wanted to highlight security. Although not strictly “marketing” applications, we have placed security at the heart of everything we do, from using Duo for two-factor authentication on our WordPress sites, to Akamai’s caching and DDoS protection.

So…we didn’t win 🙂 But I think this is a really worthwhile exercise to go through and share with your company. It’s also really interesting to see the other entries – in fact, two of the winners were asset managers, with BlackRock the overall winner with this brilliantly illustrated stack, depicting their technology into a city.
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Janus Henderson were a runner up with this stack, which was chosen because it highlights both their pre-merger stack and their post-merger stack. Clever stuff.
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All of the 54 entries can be found on the Stackies 2018 page.

So…what’s in your marketing tech stack?