This is the 8th 12 months we’re working The Stackies. It’s an awards system that invitations entrepreneurs to share a single slide illustrating their martech stack — the diverse applications and platforms they use and how they conceptualize them working together.
I’d encourage you to take part (deadline for entries April 29). It is a amazing way to contribute to our community’s understanding of how martech fits into the purpose and flow of present day advertising and marketing.
On the other hand, even if you in no way share your stack exterior the walls of your corporation, illustrating it can be an extremely beneficial work out to much better understand it — and be in a position to explain it to other stakeholders.
So what’s the greatest way to illustrate your stack?
Turns out there are several techniques, every bringing a distinct lens. Possessing reviewed hundreds of entries to The Stackies about the many years — here are all of them from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 — I’ve distilled 10 patterns that I have observed on their possess and in mixture jointly.
1. Seller Classification Map
Typically using the taxonomy from our internet marketing technologies landscape, martech apps are organized into their products categories and subcategories. It reveals your stack by means of the lens of a vendor sector map and identifies the goods you have chosen. This is a excellent way to study your over-all stack stock and present the span of martech methods.
Here’s an example from SAS and their 2021 Stackie entry:
2. Purchaser Journey Map
Another typical design is to align your martech stack from various stage of the customer’s journey. Commonly for entries to The Stackies, the journey is simplified into 4-5 levels, these types of as Learn, Think about, Get, Onboard, and Develop.
This marvelous case in point from Juniper Networks and their 2021 Stackie entry illustrates two dimensions: the customer journey horizontally and the seller types employed vertically:
3. Back-Stage vs. Front-Stage
An additional way of seeking at your stack is as a result of a theater metaphor: again-phase and entrance-stage applications and platforms. Entrance-stage applications directly touch the client — e.g., website encounters, e-mail campaigns, social media engagement tools, advertising and marketing, etcetera. Back-stage apps are utilized to serve interior stakeholders, this sort of as analytics, planning, asset management, efficiency, and so on.
This is an elegant example from Red Wing Shoes and their 2017 Stackie entry, with again-stage to front-phase categorization along the vertical accessibility and purchaser journey stage along the horizontal axis:
4. Purpose or Job-Based Map
While martech stacks can be quite massive, any a single person in the internet marketing section is not likely to have to find out all of the apps inside it. Distinct roles in just advertising will use various applications. So an additional beneficial way of mapping your martech stack is to group applications by the roles or capabilities that use them. This is reveals the “who” dimension of your stack, which is helpful to see the interrelation between applications, competencies, and results.
This instance from Bigtincan’s 2019 Stackie entry illustrates 3 major roles: web administration, promoting automation, and material internet marketing:
5. Level Alternative/System Ecosystem Map
Integration is critical to an helpful martech stack. An additional fantastic way to visually analyze your stack is to exhibit the platform(s) that are the gravitational centre(s) of your martech stack and which specialist applications integrate to every of them. It is an ecosystem perspective of your stack.
This example from Poly’s 2020 Stackie entry in fact captures five various proportions, together with relative investment, compensated/attained/owned alternatives, vendor class — and identifies platforms, integrated professional applications, and stand-alone position solutions:
6. Usage Map (Relative Time in Equipment)
Some martech apps are made use of continually, as an integral section of marketing’s day-to-working day operations. Other applications, nevertheless, are more specialised and utilised much less usually. This does not imply they are not important. They just have a time and place for their objective. Identifying greatly-utilised key equipment vs. flippantly-employed equipment professionals can be a further insightful way to recognize the composition of your stack.
This illustration from Airstream’s 2019 Stackie entry cluster applications primarily by their use circumstance — planning, artistic, engagement, seller channel, and measurement — but the height of the pine tree icons signifies the relative time entrepreneurs shell out interacting with each and every instrument:
7. Relative Diploma of Automation
While looking at the amount of time that customers shell out engaged with diverse resources in your stack, it’s an interesting lens to analyze how automatic individuals equipment are. Which instruments are employed generally manually? Which kinds have important automations? This see can be beneficial each to comprehend the relationship between applications and marketing and advertising procedure and functions. It can also support recognize possibilities to automate.
Automation is the major frontier in Significant Ops in my opinion.
This instance from Paychex’s 2019 Stackie entry maps out their martech apps on two dimensions: unique marketing and advertising abilities and the diploma to which they are automatic:
8. Rate Layering of Platforms and Apps
In excess of a 10 years in the past, as tech stacks in common — not just martech — were being expanding fast, Gartner proposed a way to arrange them by “tempo layer.” They recommended a few levels: devices of document, devices of differentiation, and techniques of innovation.
Methods of file must be really steady and have a gradual rate of adjust. They’re the platforms upon which other program and solutions depend. Methods of differentiation embody the procedures and encounters that make your small business distinctive. They modify a lot more commonly, but are still fairly stable. Units of innovation are additional experimental, the spot the place new capabilities can be formulated and piloted immediately.
A single of the most effective Stackie entries was this a single from Microsoft in 2017, which mapped equipment alongside the infinite loop of customer journeys, but then also divided them into Gartner’s 3 rate layers:
9. Evolution of Martech Instruments In excess of Time
Martech stacks really don’t stand nevertheless. New tools are additional. Previous applications are changed. This is portion of the natural evolution of a organization as it grows — and as the broader advertising and marketing and martech ecosystem carries on to modify about it. It can be helpful to examine your martech stack via the lens of its modifying application stock above time.
This example, sent in by reader John Schott in 2017, exhibits a five-year journey of a small monetary services enterprise:
10. Similar Abilities Map
At the intersection of groups and equipment, abilities are produced. Instead than wanting at your stack through the lens of vendor classes, you can arrange a watch all around different capabilities, these types of as marketplaces, consumer-generated written content, information syndication, qualitative and quantitative investigation, and many others. Mapping these capabilities in clusters, to exhibit their adjacencies and interactions with just about every other provides you a photograph of the ecosystem close to your stack.
This 2021 Stackie entry from Philips is a great illustration:
Other Means to Map Your Stack
Of program, there are lots of other strategies to visualize other proportions of your stack.
For instance, you may well arrange it close to aggregation technologies inside of your martech stack. How are you horizontally aggregating details, workflow, expertise, and governance throughout lots of distinct apps, knowledge resources, and client touchpoints? Which instruments are you applying to vertically integrate those people layers within unique domains, these as CRM?
Alternatively, you could illustrate your stack to emphasize the diploma of customization within just different apps and platforms. They may selection of purely out-of-the-box commercial apps, to packaged products that have been custom made or prolonged with your individual code, to fully tailor made apps that are exceptional to your company.
Each of these unique strategies can give you different insights into the character of your stack — and enable you communicate them to stakeholders throughout your organization.
What does your martech stack appear like?
Reminder: Even if you don’t enter The Stackies your self — while we unquestionably hope you do — do not forget to signal up for the free webinar on #MartechDay, May perhaps 3. We’ll be unveiling the new 2022 martech landscape, releasing a Condition of Martech report, and celebrating the entrants and winners of this year’s Stackie Awards.