lion in a tree looking calm
You have to tame your marketing technology to optimize its benefits. PHOTO: Maarten van den Heuvel

Marketing technology started out innocent enough. A colleague remarks, “I need to send an email for this webinar.”

So an enterprising employee signs up for a freemium tool.

Across the hall, marketing is onboarding a marketing automation platform. It has email, too.

Over in sales, the team is discussing CRM. They think it needs email as well.

Two of the three systems also generate landing pages. All three store contact information in different places. No one talked to the other about syncing all the prospect and customer data across platforms.

Perplexed man - gif animation

Missing MarTech Opportunities

As marketing technology grew from 100 options five years ago to more than close to 4,000 last year, this is an all too common reality across organizations big and small.

Marketing technology, by design, should provide efficiency and scale in the acquisition, conversion and nurturing of new and existing customers. When organizations scale their stack without a plan, they create leaks. Leaks miss opportunity.

Missed opportunity is the nemesis of scale and efficiency.

What’s needed, is a framework that organizations can turn to as the proliferation of technology continues. The framework, sits right under our nose.

Let Personas & Journeys Guide You

First and foremost, a framework needs to align to business goals. A framework aligned to business goals ensures that technology decisions 1) will support your organization's critical objectives and 2) will support the other technology in your stack towards the goal of achieving your objectives.

Customer personas and journeys offer a great starting point for building a marketing tech stack framework. Here’s why.

They align to your goals: Personas and journeys are the compass that guides the who, what, why and how of an organization’s work in reaching and engaging the reason it’s in business.

The structures are timeless: While some of the details within a persona may change, the overall outline generally won’t. A good framework can stand the test of time, being leveraged for the long haul.

An Example of a MarTech Framework

So what does a persona or journey driven MarTech framework look like?

I leverage a consumer journey in mine which I document online. In addition to the journey steps (awareness, conversion, nurture, close) I add two additional categories for planning and general data and automation. Here’s how this breaks down.

marketing technology stack architecture

Planning

When it comes to marketing planning we want to: first, create a cycle where data informs what we’re doing and creating; second, automate and scale as much of the planning, development, and reporting as possible.

Attract (Awareness)

I take a textbook process of paid, owned and shared awareness in my journey. With a stack I want to choose technology that bring together the channels and connect data to sales CRM, create conversion opportunities, and audience targeting for nurturing (upsell, retargeting etc.)

Conversion

The conversion portion of a stack is where the hand off happens. Tools need to receive insights from awareness and feed insights into nurturing and close to create high converting opportunities online, in store, and in app.

Nurture

Nurture is fairly straightforward, look for tools to capture insights creating opportunities to resell, upsell or increase conversion.

Close

Does sales have what it needs to close the deal? If you’re B2C, have you connected the dots to make the sale? Data needs to flow into and out of sales freely, informing the rest of the journey. Make sure your marketing tech decisions support this objective.

Data & Automation

Finally, analytics and automation wrap around every framework. We look to gather data throughout and automate the flow of that data within. For example, can you easily get prospect info from a landing page into your sales CRM? Can you create a suppression list in your ad targeting? Etc.

Pulling It All Together

Here’s what the framework ends up looking like. You see the way the journey overlaps, creating data flow, integration, and support across your marketing stack. This is where scale and efficiency comes from.

Generic Marketing Stack Framework Data Function Flow
Generic Marketing Stack Framework Data Function Flow

The goal isn’t complexity: it’s creating a framework to double check before you ad hoc add more technology to your organization.

How are you managing your marketing tech strategy? Share your strategies in the comments below.