7 tips for developing a more strategic martech stack

By: Olivia MacLean
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Developing a successful martech strategy is a task that seems to be always in motion. With the rate of new marketing technology becoming available (a staggering number of 7000+ tools that continues to grow), it’s imperative to your business’ success that you examine your martech stack on a regular basis so it’s optimized for your business objectives and workflow. While the rate of improvement may seem staggering, this blog hopes to help with this with some easy-to-follow tips for creating a more intelligent martech stack. 

 

Tip 1: Integrate your martech stack with a universal language 

You want to make the most of your martech stack so it supports your operational needs and workflow. This starts with integrating your tools in a way where they share a universal language and can talk to each other. By doing so, your martech stack will give you more value in both your return on investment and in efficiency. 

So what does that look like?

Start small. You can do this by choosing two technologies and integrating them using a built-in connector or an Application Program Interface (API). Easy right? Most technologies come with a developer-ready API, which is a universal language that can send data across the connector to the other technologies. Consult your IT department, a developer, or download a tool like Zapier, which acts as an automated coordinator between technologies. 

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find that a lot of your existing martech apps have a tab for built-in integration capabilities. One of these examples that is used at Brainrider is Drift, one of the leading companies in conversational marketing, which has integrations for many platforms on their user interface. 

While integration may seem daunting, by investigating what capabilities already exist within your martech, you’ll be able to get started on creating a universal language for your martech stack that optimizes them for your needs. 

 

Tip 2: Streamline your martech stack for your objectives

Streamlining your marketing stack starts with identifying the needs and pains of your workflow. You can begin with asking yourself some questions:

– What are you trying to achieve?
– How are you doing it currently?
– What is causing friction?
– Where are the gaps (obvious and not-so-obvious)? 

Let’s frame these questions with a practical example. You’re trying to understand how much time your sales team is spending on lead conversion and how many resources are being used in this process. You’re also looking for a centralized location that will allow you to see how all of these activities are adding up. Ideally, you’d like a dashboard that provides real data for each stakeholder beyond just vanity metrics.

To get to this point, it’s crucial to do an audit of your technology’s composition. You may ask a marketing operations professional to help identify gaps and opportunities within your martech stack. By taking inventory of what you have and creating a visual layout of the flow of your data, you can start from the ground up to get a sense of what needs to be done so that the tools you’re using are focused on your specific needs in the right ways. 

A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) can also help with this.

Here are some questions to help you get started on your own:

strategic martech stack SWOT chart questions

 

Tip 3: Automate your marketing activities wherever possible

If you’re like many B2B marketers out there, one of the main reasons why you’re using marketing tools is for marketing automation. Choosing the right marketing automation tools begins with some key questions:

– What processes are you trying to automate?
– What other processes are you managing manually?
– How much time is it costing you to manage processes manually compared to if you automated them with some sort of technology? 

Let’s look at an example using Salesforce, a leading CRM platform. Start with examining your sales team’s workflow and seeing what areas could be fine-tuned is a good place to start. Do you have a sales representative manually sorting out every single lead? By identifying these manual time-consuming processes, you can begin creating a more automated flow that can do this work for you, such as identifying specific custom fields or qualifications in order to assign the leads appropriately. This allows you to focus that time and headcount on tasks that are not easily automated that require careful care and attention.

To get started with automation, take a look at the existing functionalities in your martech. There’s a lot that you can do within your CRM that can be handled with custom configuration or the use of a programming language like APEX (if you are using Salesforce), which allows developers to execute flow and transaction control statements

Want to learn more? Get a quote here for your custom CRM development.

 

Tip 4: Incorporate content management tools to help improve the buyer experience

You’ve written a lot of content in the past years, but it may be getting buried on your website because of the sheer volume. This is where content management tools can help streamline your content pathways. Rather than having your visitors quickly glance at your latest articles and bounce back to the search results page or just disappear entirely, content management tools allow you to nurture your visitors, like leading them to a related piece of content or prompting them to fill out a form. By introducing a tool to manage your content and most importantly, your buyer journey across your site, you can create a personalized experience for your visitor. 

A great example of a tool that does this is Uberflip. Uberflip provides users with a quick way to create personalized content destinations for any buyer and campaign. You can track all the content metrics from within the tool or connect it to your Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) to increase your reporting capabilities. 

Seismic is another great content management tool that can help with sales enablement. It allows your sales teams to quickly find content that is related to customer needs, whether that be a specific pain point, vertical, or pipeline challenge.

Content management tools are key to a strategic B2B martech stack. Not only do they contribute to better sales and marketing alignment, but they also help provide a better user experience that meets your customer at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

 

Tip 5: Consider cost when evaluating which martech is a worthwhile investment

Getting quantifiable data on how your martech investment is going to benefit your revenue stream is key to proving to the C-suite that this is worthwhile marketing spend.

You’re going to want to consider elements like its intelligence curve (the training, time, and resources needed to adopt and learn a new process/technology). If the technology you want to adopt has a high intelligence curve, you’ll require more time and resources to train your team to use it effectively and will likely mean  a longer integration time and more complex onboarding process. 

Thinking strategically about internal time spent implementing the tool compared against the resource spend of having an external resource implement the technology and train your staff for you. This will allow you to identify the best place to put your dollar. Sometimes this means introducing an agency partner to maximize your resources, or finding a combination of project-based, dedicated, and contingent resources that best suit your project and headcount needs.

 

Tip 6: Take advantage of personalization 

You can easily personalize the buyer journey for your prospects by using business intelligence tools that can tell you who your visitors are while also providing targeted, timely messaging. Tools such as Demandbase (an account-based marketing software) help you keep track of your target accounts’ activity on your site, discover look-a-like audiences, and create targeted campaigns to increase the likelihood of engagement for those accounts. 

You can also improve personalization on a smaller scale by using buyer-centric language. This is as simple as using copy that includes “you” language, rather than “us” language and is focused on phrasing that highlights how your products or services solve your customers’ needs or pains with a specific tactic (ex, “Solving the need for X, with this [specific tactic]”). By doing so, you ensure that your content speaks to your buyer’s specific needs and pains

 

Tip 7: Regularly measure, track, benchmark, and review your data

When you’re building your martech strategy with your business objectives already in mind, your first question should be: “What do we want to track?”, followed by: “How do we make it happen?”. These answers aren’t always easy to identify. Sometimes it begins with a marketing priorities and KPI dashboard or a KPI workshop with stakeholders to see where there’s alignment and where there are gaps for specific reporting needs.

Ideally, once you’ve identified your priorities and KPIs, you’ll be able to put that information in one robust, accessible platform. An example of this is Google’s Data Studio. It’s a reporting tool that can manage and aggregate data from multiple live connectors and arrange it in any creative way you’d like. It’s incredibly versatile and it proves to be invaluable once understood. 

To make the most of these technologies, it’s key to review your data at regular intervals so you can properly track and adjust your marketing tactics to maintain a steady growth pattern. 

A suggested schedule can look something like this:

Note: this example is for web traffic to a B2B websitestrategic martech reporting schedule

One of the biggest challenges for maintaining a healthy martech stack is company-wide education. So make sure to share your learnings and pitfalls and do regular check-ins with users to cultivate progressive and unique processes. 

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There’s no one-solution fits all method when it comes to optimizing your martech stack. 

It starts with understanding your internal workflow and mapping it against your business priorities, KPIs, headcount, and marketing spend. It’s also beneficial to align with the other departments that marketing works with to ensure that your martech is sustainable across your organization and supports it in the best way possible. This is also key to getting buy-in from the C-Suite, so they understand why your martech is a worthwhile investment. 

By taking these steps, you’ll be able to equip your marketing team with a more strategic martech stack that helps support their needs and benefits your business as a whole.  

 

Next steps:

Interested in learning more about how to optimize your martech stack? Check out our resource centre for more best practices

Looking for a more intensive overhaul of your martech stack? Feel free to reach out to our team here at Brainrider, we’re always here to help.

 

About Brainrider

Brainrider is a B2B marketing and creative agency. We help clients hit KPIs by providing B2B marketing execution services through an on-site & off-site resourcing model to fill capacity and capability gaps. We’re focused on helping you achieve your business objectives and identifying opportunities for continuous improvement so you’ll always stay ahead of the curve. Get in touch here.

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Olivia MacLean

Olivia MacLean

At Brainrider, Olivia brings a creative flair to all things analytics. Her main focuses are B2B Search Engine Optimization and keeping Brainrider ahead of the curve on the changing landscape of Marketing Technology. Olivia's integrates her strong background in multimedia design to create data visualizations for B2B clients that communicate areas of growth and success to spearhead opportunities for continuous improvement. Whether it be with clients or the Brainrider team, Olivia brings her passion for SEO and MarTech to the table on a regular basis by expanding the breadth of technological understanding, so marketing projects are optimized for success.