The list of marketing products and services that we have available to us is ever increasing. Each one a little exciting and a little confusing, and leaving you with the big all important question – should I use this product too?
Every time you say yes, you are stacking new technologies into your arsenal of tools that you use to implement and analyze your marketing efforts to help you either achieve success or failure in the market-place you are out to dominate. This complete set of tools is called your Marketing Stack.
This may include items like:
- A CMS or Blogging tool, like WordPress, Drupal, or Medium
- A CRM system, such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, or Zoho
- Analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics, KissMetrics, and MixPanel
- An email platform, such as Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, and VerticalResponse
When looking at a small list, such as the one presented above, creating and managing your Marketing Stack seems like an easy and dauntless task. However, when you realize that there are (at least!) over 3800* marketing tools to choose from, across a multitude of new categories popping up every day (Proximity Marketing, Growth Hacking, ABM, Live Streaming, and Interactive Storytelling to name a few), coupled with a lack of policy you may have around marketing team members trying and adopting new services, this concept balloons in complexity incredibly fast.
At this point you may be asking, whats the problem? What issues can arise from a Marketing Stack that is either growing out of control, or growing stagnant in the corner resting on dated practices? The consequences may surprise you:
- Wasted Time – It is estimated that it takes up to 20 hours to pick up a new skill, such as learning new software as a service tools that are a part of your marketing stack. It is also stated that the average american spends 24 hours per year wsating time with lost / forgotten passwords. This number goes up significantly the more products you have. Further, multiply this by the number of employees you have working on the tools, and the amount of potential wasted time can skyrocket significantly
- Lack of Attribution – In marketing, attribution is determining the set of actions (or tools) that led to achieving a desired outcome, such as acquiring a new customer, or making a sale. The more tools that you have that each provide unique touch-points to your audiences ends up diluting the attribution pool, and leaving you with serious doubts as to what is an effective tactic or not. Further, that doubt will more than likely have you keep on services that you are uncertain of for fear that removing it will cause a disruption of the status quo. To get out of this scenario, you end up adding new tools to your Marketing Stack to analyze the effectiveness of each tool, and further complicate your understanding.
- Disjoint Data – Not all tools are built with connectivity in mind. They are silos of cool features and functionality, that do the one thing they were geared to do best – such as call tracking, or lead generation. That may leave you needing to export data from one tool to another, which can be cumbersome, and sometimes left ignored. You may decide that daily you love your Marketing Automation tool, such as Hubspot, but on occasion you like to use a cool innovative email marketing tool like Movable Ink for a certain campaigns. You now have duplicate data sets living in two separate applications, that have independent analytics. Not earth shattering at first, but it adds up the more campaigns you run, the bigger your data sets are, and when specific situations arise (such as handling universal unsubscribes, or security breaches). There are tools, such as Zapier, that can are built to assist you in creating a more connected Marketing Stack, but not all tools are available, and its up to you to decide how connected you really need them to be.
- Duplicate Services / Wasted Money – So many products that are available in your Marketing Stack now serve as a suite of products and tools (like Marketo) that have a high propensity to overlap features in another product or service that you use, that you may not even realize. Why pay for a custom CRM tool when your Marketing Automation tool does the same thing, or when your email marketing platform also provides social posting tools tool? It can be costly to realize that a number of tools that you have signed up for (and potentially have forgotten that you are paying for on a monthly basis) are also duplicates of the same set of features of another tool. It is wise idea to maintain a team-wide list of all services that you have signed up to use, and perform a regular feature audit to make sure you aren’t a victim of hopping on a latest marketing hype buzz trend-train, and failing to realize you already were at the right stop.
Your Marketing Stack is a vital component to your business. Everybody has their own unique stack that will work the best for them, and others will advocate that what they use is the best based on their own point of view. Its up to you to find the right team to make your stack, and make it great – the power comes from realizing and learning what is available that you never thought possible, and how you can tie them all together for even greater success.
Looking for inspiration on products or services to add to your stack? Check out Cabinet M to help you find the right tools.
So the question I pose to you again, what’s in your stack?
Need help figuring that out – Contact us today.
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