Marketing has come a long way since the digital era has ushered in. In the past, when sales and marketing were made traditionally, mapping the customer journey was a much easier task. There were only a few touchpoints to look at while understanding customers’ purchase journey.
For instance, if they wanted to buy a television set, they would simply walk into the nearest retail outlet where the salesperson would walk them through the various brands available, explain the features, quote the prices, maybe discuss some special offers, and then finally the purchase would be made. Nowadays, however, these touchpoints have increased manifold, especially with the emergence of eCommerce platforms. Today, if a person wants to buy a television set, he/she would first check out the features of different brands online, compare prices, read reviews, look for specials and coupon codes, and then, they might go to the nearest outlet and inquire, but not necessarily buy at that time. They might wait for one of the big online sale events to get higher discounts and then buy.
Digitization and the mobile-first global economy have changed customer behaviour in ways nobody would have imagined 10 or 20 years ago. Therefore, businesses need to apply the right strategies to market their products to the right customers. Moreover, it is also vital to regularly monitor the success and failure rate of their strategies so that future planning can be done effectively. To fulfil this need, businesses invest in building “Martech stacks”. These are essentially stacks or collections of different marketing technologies and tools.
In a webinar organized by Moengage, Sahil Deswal, Growth & Marketing Head at Times Internet, spoke about how and why it is important to build effective Martech stacks.
An ideal marketing stack, as mentioned above, is the set of all the different marketing technology platforms, which a company uses to attract, understand, engage, and retain its customers. So, a Martech stack is essentially a collection of marketing tools used to meet business goals most effectively and efficiently. These might be either internal tools built by the company or third-party tools, or even a combination of both, depending on the company’s need, approach, and budget.
In today’s competitive world, every business needs to invest in a Martech stack. However, what all tools and technologies would be included in that stack depends on what a company’s marketing strategy is and how a given set of marketing tools would be helpful in achieving its goals. Following are some important things to consider while evaluating a Martech stack.
In order to prove effective and efficient, a Martech stack should only be compiled once a business clearly defines all the factors mentioned above.
The Martech landscape today is vast and varied. With as many as 7,000 Martech solutions available from almost 6,200 different vendors, it often becomes confusing for marketers to choose the most relevant and effective technologies for their business. Several parameters need to be factored in, such as cross-channel user engagement & behaviour, customer retention, user acquisition efforts, competition analysis, sales journey, etc., while identifying the categories of tools a company would need to build an impactful Martech stack.
Sahil Deswal defined six basic categories of Martech technologies, which can be considered while building a stack:
Depending on the resources a business has at its disposal, tools pertaining to these categories can be purchased from third parties or even built in-house. While building a Martech stack out of third-party tools, it is vital to check if those tools can be customized as per the company’s business needs or not.
There is no definite thumb rule to building a perfect Martech stack. This is because the goals, customer base, available resources, and strategies of every business are different from each other. Therefore, stick to basics while building your Martech stack. Rather than going for the best-in-class cutting-edge technologies, opt for those, which can be customized as per your needs, and are more efficient and offer better value for money.
Moreover, the further you scale up, it becomes wiser to invest in your in-built stack rather than going for third-party solutions. This is because it would then be much easier to customize and troubleshoot as per your business needs. Many big companies today are also using stacks, which are a combination of in-built and third-party solutions. In the end, it is effectiveness and cost-efficiency that matter.