What are the Elements of a ‘Core’ Martech Stack?

What is core Martech? Which platforms should be considered core parts of the Martech stack and which ones can be considered supporting elements?  The lines are blurring more every day between technology marketers' requirements and the larger IT ecosystem.  To help distill this down the Martech council spent some time during the recent March meeting thinking about what constitutes 'core'.

Members Maggie Bettinson and Dan Radu recommend marketers designate the core Martech platforms into the following categories:

  • Digital Asset Management (where content is aggregated and managed)
  • Email and Marketing Automation
  • Customer Relationship Management.
  • Analytics Tools (provide quantifiable means of measuring the effectiveness of marketing messaging, campaigns, channels)
  • Lead Management
  • Data/Content Management Platforms
  • Social Media Management

Each of these are required to enable consumer experiences across marketing driven activity.  Enabling marketers to know their customers, both push and pull consumers into the funnel, and to enable the outcomes marketers are most often held accountable to.

Brent Chaters and Katia Houbiguian also added the importance of Omni-Channel Service Technology.  This is where the lines begin to blur.  Not because the technology is unclear, but because the role of the marketing organization is evolving, and we must now think about the role of marketing as it relates to customer care and sales.  The implication of this is the need for cross-team collaboration and omni-channel activation.  It means that Martech now needs to connect to core CRM platforms, to customer care platforms, to retail platforms, to field service work, and any other touch points they may have with a customer to ensure there is an awareness of how products and solutions can best be positioned to solve for customer outcomes.

Joaquim Miro, then followed up with some of the upcoming martech platforms marketers will soon need to incorporate within their stacks, including VR, AI and Blockchain-based tools which are all very exciting and real things that need to be considered today.  The bigger question this raises is what are companies doing to ensure that their marketing teams are “technology ready”?  How are they safely exploring platforms?  Ask if your marketing organization has the budget to experiment with these newly emerging tools, and more importantly has established the governance to ensure these tests still manage the brand experience, are reflective of the organization values, and limits the overall risk before scaling these components. So, what constitutes a Martech stack? The Council concluded that anything related to the customer experience can be considered as part of the stack.  Marketers should focus on supporting and embracing the core elements that support the business outcomes they define. 

It became clear that as a CMO, one of the key roles is to orchestrate and build the right Martech stack, which requires involving multiple departments to get proper buy-in and to ensure all priorities are also accounted for. This gives CMOs a unique opportunity to act as a connector, and highlights the importance of understanding both the marketing and digital needs of their organization.  The role of the CMO is evolving and must be viewed as the full funnel.  The core Martech stack should be used as a way to enable the collaboration of all departments in order to reach the organization’s goals. It also means the CMO needs to have tight collaboration with the CTO and CIO as Martech gets more sophisticated.

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