Martech: A fancy way of talking about a really simple thing — marketing technology. Since most of marketing today is digital, and digital marketing is martech, it’s a topic that touches just about everything the average marketer does in a day.
So the martech stack you use impacts every part of your marketing process.
That said, most of the content out there about building a marketing technology stack doesn’t treat the subject with the nuance and care it needs. Plenty of articles pull together a list of random, Google search-supplied martech tools and call it a day.
But a list of disparate martech software and tools doesn’t help you build a stack that works cohesively for your business and your team. There are specific functions your marketing stack needs to check off, and all the tools need to work together to streamline your marketing planning and execution.
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Leadfeeder’s Own B2B Martech Stack
As Andy explained things, there are really 6 big categories of marketing technology that most B2B marketers need:
- Data storage and CRM
- Data enrichment
- Marketing automation
- Marketing channels, campaigns, and execution
- Follow up and communication
- Marketing measurement and reporting
The tools in our own martech stack fall into those 6 buckets, and they each play a specific role in helping bring our overall marketing strategy to bear. Below, we explain what each category involves and share which tools we use to satisfy them.
1. Data Storage and CRM
Leadfeeder uses: Pipedrive
Perhaps the broadest and farthest reaching tool in the perfect martech stack is your customer relationship management (CRM) software. As Andy explained, CRMs aren’t solely martech — because they’re typically used by the sales team, and maybe even customer success, too.
That said, the CRM is where all of your customer and lead data lives, and it’s a vital component of communication and collaboration between marketing and sales. Among other things, your CRM needs to:
- Store customer and lead data (like company name, location, size, etc.)
- Hold your total addressable market list and your target account list
- Track deal cycles and lead status as they move toward conversion, including integration with other martech in your stack
- Enable collaboration and communication between sales and marketing
Having a CRM that ticks all those boxes helps to ensure your customer and lead data is organized, complete, and accessible to everyone who needs it.
2. Data Enrichment
When it comes to leads and target accounts, you probably start out with a few pieces of information — their name, their industry, and maybe where they’re located. But that level of insight into your leads won’t cut it. You need more in-depth information about prospects, their businesses, and their business needs in order to effectively market to them.
That means finding a martech tool that can take the accounts and leads in your CRM and populate those entries with more data to fill out the profile. That can be information like:
- Technographic (which tools and software they use)
- Company financials
- Buying intent signals
Data enrichment martech can also use pre-set filters for any of the data above to add new potential targets to your CRM, as well as filling in the blanks on any existing accounts in your CRM.
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3. Marketing Campaigns, Channels, and Execution
Once you have all the back-end data and management you need, the next rung of your martech stack involves executing on your strategy — including the digital marketing channels you’ll use to do that.
Here, Andy recommends asking yourself 2 important questions:
- What channels do we want to use?
- How personalized do we want to get with those channels?
Most digital marketing channels (like LinkedIn, Facebook Ads, and Google Display Network) have their own internal martech solutions designed for their platform and their users. So that portion of your martech stack is pretty simple.
There’s more room to grow and add to your stack, however, when it comes to personalizing each of those marketing channels.
For example, you can use Influ2 to help personalize your LinkedIn Ads to the individual decision-maker, in addition to the company itself. You can use AB Tasty to personalize your website and landing pages. You can even use tools like Reachdesk to add a layer of personalization to offline channels (such as direct mail).
4. Marketing Automation
Leadfeeder uses: ActiveCampaign
As we’ve written about previously, not every marketer needs a marketing automation tool — but once your operation reaches a certain level of sophistication and scale, marketing automation software can help things run more smoothly.
In short, marketing automation streamlines and automates the execution level of marketing (#3 in our stack). But, of course, marketing automation is a huge term, so there’s a lot these tools can do, including:
- End-to-End Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing Automation
- Social Media Marketing Automation
- Customer Journey Automation
- Pricing Automation
- Advertising Automation
- Loyalty and Referral Marketing Automation
When you look to find the right marketing automation tool, it’s important to consider which of those features you actually need — and which you don’t.
5. Follow Up and Communication
There are three types of communication tools every marketer needs:
- Communication within the marketing team
- Internal communication with other teams
- Customer communication
That said, your martech stack doesn’t necessarily need three different communication tools. For us, we use Slack and email to communicate within our own team and the broader company, and we use email and Intercom to communicate and follow up with customers and leads.
Intercom lives on our website and in our help center and helps us communicate with customers in real-time. Meanwhile, Slack helps us collaborate across multiple teams and keep internal conversations more organized, quick, and cohesive.
6. Marketing Measurement and Reporting
The last level of your martech stack includes the tools you use to measure and report on marketing performance. There are a few important capabilities at this level:
- Integration with the marketing channels and marketing automation tools that make up the rest of your stack
- Data visualization
Andy explained that, at this level of the stack, one of the most important factors is organizational adoption. The best bet for your marketing team is to use reporting and measurement tools that the rest of the company uses, as well.
Our CMO’s Do’s and Don’ts for Getting Your Martech Stack Right
Actually, they’re all don’ts. Andy walked us through some of the mistakes he’s made and the things he’s learned while building martech stacks. The gist of his advice centered around ensuring your martech stack is tailored to the needs of your marketing team — and nothing else.
For more details on that, here are his four biggest don’ts to avoid during the process:
#1: Don’t Have Too Many Tools That Do the Same Thing
Across a large marketing team, it’s easy to end up with multiple marketing tools that all serve the same purpose. Whether the reason is lack of communication or personal preference, you might end up with a handful of people using Slack, for example, and another handful using Microsoft Teams.
The problem with that is that it creates redundancy, disorganization, and uncertainty.
And the solution is simple: Audit the tools you have across the marketing department and organization and go from there, selecting one tool per one function.
#2: Don’t Let Too Many People Own Your Stack
Flowing from that first don’t, Andy recommends appointing one or two people to own and manage your entire end-to-end martech stack. When someone fully owns the responsibilities of building your stack, owning the total addressable market list, populating the CRM with data, and more, there’s a clearer path to getting those things done, and you can avoid duplicating efforts.
#3: Don’t Buy Martech Tools You Don’t Need
Our stack above outlines the martech tools we consider a vital part of our own stack. And while the functions your stack has to serve will vary for your own team and company, don’t let anyone (internal or otherwise) convince you that you need more (quantity) or more complex tools than you really do.
The vast majority of marketers, for example, don’t need complex (and expensive) multi-touch marketing attribution tools. And according to Andy, there’s really no such thing as a full end-to-end tool for account-based marketing (ABM) — you have to hack it together — so don’t buy into that kind of martech.
#4: Don’t Carbon Copy Someone Else’s Martech Stack
As Andy said, every sales cycle and every customer is different — and your martech stack needs to reflect this. For example, we’ve shared our own stack right here in this post.
- Pipedrive for CRM
- TaskDrive, BuiltWith, Lead IQ, Vainu, and Leadfeeder for data enrichment
- LinkedIn, Facebook Ads, and Google Display Network for execution
- ActiveCampaign for marketing automation
- Slack, Intercom, and email for communication and follow-up
- Google Analytics and Tableau for measurement and reporting.
But making a carbon copy of our martech stack and trying to make it fit your business isn’t likely to work very well. Instead, you need to build your own stack based on what works for your customers and your team.
Building Your Perfect Martech Stack
In today’s marketing world, martech is marketing. You can’t run effective marketing efforts without using some form of martech. The trick, then, is to build the ideal martech landscape for your business and your team and to avoid over-stacking.
With the categories outlined above and Andy’s tips for putting together the perfect martech stack, you can build a system that works for you — which can make your life easier and your marketing more effective.
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