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Choosing the Right Martech Stack: Tips and Tools

Kassandra Swenson

Senior Marketing Specialist, Forum One

Marketing technology (aka. MarTech) is constantly evolving with new products coming onto the market daily to address organization and audience needs. While choices are good, they can also present a complex challenge if you are tasked with developing and implementing your organization’s MarTech stack. To help you navigate the decision-making process when choosing the right Martech Stack, let’s take a look at five tips and considerations to take into account along the way, as well as five foundational tools to evaluate.

5 tips when considering the right MarTech stack

1. Integration is just as important (if not more) as functionality

One of the most important benefits to creating a MarTech stack is the ability to break down data silos and fully integrate all your tools into a digital ecosystem. Allowing your systems to communicate efficiently across one another gives you the ability to gain a full perspective of how your overarching marketing strategy is performing so that you can continually optimize your efforts. In some cases,  you may want to give up a little functionality for better integration.

2. Make it easy to use

Next to a fully-integrated marketing stack, easy of use is an important factor when it comes to how successful it will be. Ease of use will help you save time and money on things like training, and ensure that your people are using more functionalities and making use of the ecosystem regularly. Your organization will not only get a faster, bigger return on investment, but also more benefits from the technologies themselves.

3. Segment your data carefully

Audiences expect an increasingly personalized marketing message. An efficient, fully-integrated marketing stack can help you achieve this; however, you need to make sure that your stack has detailed segmentation capabilities. The more you can segment your audiences, the more personalized your messages will be to stand out in a crowded space.

4. Manage leadership expectations

Everyone gets excited about new technologies. Marketing technology companies alway show you the boldest examples of success that they have and this means that even if you get great results, they may still be disappointing in contrast. Having  leadership excited about adding new technology to your stack is great, but their expectations need to be put into the context of your organization, not the boldest example your supplier can show you. Start by establishing clear and defined benchmarks on what success looks like for your organization to help manage expectations.

5. Don’t let your tech stack outgrow your capabilities

While it’s tempting to acquire all the marketing technology you can in an attempt to streamline and increase the success of your marketing efforts, this can actually have the opposite effect. You can end up with a technology stack with too many platforms making it difficult to manage relationships and integrations between tools. This results in a drain on time and resources. Add only the technologies that will help you effectively achieve your marketing goals. 

5 foundational MarTech tools

As mentioned above, there can be a lot of MarTech tools to choose from or consider adding to your existing stack to solve a particular challenge or need. While your organizational needs will dictate a lot of what goes in or out of your ecosystem, the following five tools act as the ideal minimum stack to any successful omnichannel marketing strategy.

1. Content Management Systems (CMS) 

A CMS is the foundation of your organization’s website. It allows you to create, edit, and manage content quickly and efficiently while acting as a central hub for all other channels. Selecting the right CMS for your organization should be a key priority when thinking about your MarTech stack.  CMS platforms we recommend for mission-driven organizations include:

  • WordPress
  • Drupal

2. Constituent Relationship Management (CRM)

Most often referred to as a Customer Relationship Management platform, a CRM gives you the ability to manage interactions and relationships with current and potential contacts. An effective CRM also allows you to integrate with your other digital platforms in order to give a full view of your constituents’ activities and intent, while streamlining your omnichannel strategy. Mission-driven organizations may what to consider these CRMs:

  • Salesforce
  • Blackbaud
  • EveryAction

3. Marketing automation

Marketing automation tools allow your organization to automate tasks like email marketing while providing you with a wealth of engagement data to continuously improve your outreach efforts and increase loyalty from your audiences. We recommend taking a look at some of the following tools:

  • Pardot
  • Marketo
  • HubSpot

4. Brand awareness, advocacy, and social media tools

Brand awareness, advocacy, and social  tools allow you to understand how your audiences perceive your brand on social media. These tools include your social media channels, social media automation, and social listening tools. Some of our top picks include:

5. Data, business intelligence, reporting and analytics

These tools are a crucial part of your marketing technology stack. They allow you to effectively and efficiently analyze your organization’s contact data and use it to glean actionable insights to improve the overall performance of your marketing efforts. Consider the following  tools a look when evaluating potential fits for your organization:

  • Google Analytics
  • Tableau
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Domo

Developing your marketing technology stack can be a big lift. It can be time-consuming and difficult to sort out which technologies you actually need, and which may actually be a hindrance to your marketing success. The tips and tools we dove into should give you a good starting point on your journey and provide guidance when evaluating new tools to add to your stack.

Written By

Kassandra Swenson

Senior Marketing Specialist, Forum One

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