MarTech Conference: Ultimate guide to building a martech stack
Contributor Nancy White recaps a lively presentation by marketing technologist Travis Wright, who lays out the tools you'll need to build a successful martech stack.
Travis Wright, Chief Marketing Technologist for CCP Global, had his work cut out for him yesterday at the MarTech conference in San Francisco. He’d set out to explain how to develop the ultimate marketing technology stack in a short 25-minute session. With a rapid-fire pace and his trademark humor, he packed in dozens of tools and tips for building a martech stack for SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) as well as for enterprise businesses.
There’s “no one stack fits all — unfortunately it doesn’t work like that,” Wright said. Companies have invested billions in finding the right marketing mix: He noted Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce.com and IBM together have spent more than $11 billion in acquiring marketing tools.
And with nearly 4,000 marketing technology tools, as highlighted in Scott Brinker’s 2016 marketing technology landscape, evaluating options is the first step.
Configuring the marketing stack
Wright recommended starting with Ghostery, a free tool that allows users to identify all the marketing technologies used on a given website and visually displays how the tools interact and relate to each other. An example from HomeDepot.com:
As users consider tools and build out their own marketing technology stacks, Wright mentioned CabinetM’s MStack Configurator as another way to visualize different martech stacks, customize layers and analyze options. “You can build your own stack before you go out and buy it,” he said.
Wright also went into tag management systems, which he said are central to the martech stack. Tags are pieces of code that perform a task on a website, whether it’s for analytics, affiliate marketing, advertising or something else.
The tag management system deploys the code across site pages and collects the data in a single platform. Most importantly for marketers, new code can be deployed quickly and non-technically without involving IT. Wright put it this way: “It brings order to marketing chaos.”
He highlighted Google Tag Manager, Tealium, Signal, Ensighten and AdobeDTM as tag management solutions. Mobile tag management solutions also are a necessary part of the marketing stack.
“The data layer is the lifeblood of digital marketing,” Wright said, adding that it helps businesses standardize and control information.
When tag management is not properly deployed (or not used at all), Wright said, chaos ensues. He highlighted TMZ.com’s disorderly marketing stack:
Marketing analytics, tracking & targeting
Marketing technology for analytics and tracking enables more data-driven marketing. An earlier presentation of the day by Isaac Wyatt, Director of Marketing Operations at New Relic, highlighted the pervasiveness of Google Analytics on websites of all sizes.
Kissmetrics, Moz Pro, Adobe Analytics, GoSquared, Piwik and Mixpanel are also top-rated digital analytics platforms, according to G2Crowd.
The nerve center of most businesses is its customer relationship management (CRM), Wright noted. Customer service, sales, marketing and tech support all utilize it.
As customers call for more personalized experiences, marketers must leverage real-time data to optimize for conversions. “Look at your assets as layers, dimensions and decisions,” Wright said.
Martech tools like Adobe Target, Optimizely and Monetate offer the ability to customize content based on an individual visitor.
In a short span of time, Wright said, marketing has moved from making decisions based on five to eight data points to being able to programmatically change marketing efforts in real time using hundreds of data points, from seasonality to keyword performance.
While data has exploded, so have the tools at every marketer’s disposal. By Wright’s own admission, each of the martech categories covered could have been its own presentation.
His full slide deck, which includes information on social media tools and search advertising, is embedded here: