A marketing technology stack is a system of applications, data and other technologies marketers use to help increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their marketing activities. Each marketer may have a unique stack, or a company may encourage their staff members to use a specific stack either by policy or culture. There is some commonality to the categories of technology used by most marketers. As a digital marketer for a company that curates gift baskets, my categories would include: Content Management System (CMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Email, Web Analysis, Social Media, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Content Management System (CMS)
Your website is typically the hub of all your digital marketing activities. It works for you 24/7 as a place for customers to learn about your company and products. In the case of ecommerce sites, important sales transactions are being provided by your website. Your website’s value to its visitors is based on the content it provides. This is what Google ranks you based on and why anyone even comes to your site. A Content Management System (CMS) is the tool that allows you to manage this content. You may need to update product information, add a retail address or post an interesting blog article you want to share and your CMS is the tool to allow for this. Your CMS might be a popular platform like WordPress, something custom developed for you by software developers, or a combination thereof. Keeping your content fresh is important and so are the tools that manage these updates.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customers are who we are here for. Our customers are not just transactions, they are people that have names and preferences. Some like to be notified of everything and some are more selective of the notifications the want to receive. Your Customer Relationship Management tool is what you use to stay on top of what your customers want. Your CRM provides a way to manage the complexities of each customer’s individual lifecycle and allows you to track their interactions along the way. HubSpot, Sales Force and Net Suite are three of the top CRMs each with varying features, offers and pricing. Know your customers and keep them updated and coming back.
Email is a major element of digital marketing. It can be used to update your customers on promotions or new offerings. You can let your customers know if they forgot to complete a transaction or if it is time to refresh a perishable product. You can reach out to make introductions to potential new customers. Active Campaign, HubSpot and Rejoiner are examples of industry standard software to manage these types of email marketing offerings. We provide a substantial mail catalog offering to our customer base, but email is just as important and subsequently so are the tools to manage email.
How do we track our digital marketing efforts? Since all our transactions go through our website, we look at the website activity. On a regular basis, we analyze and interpret our visitor’s activity on our website. What content is most popular? What products are selling well? These questions are answering using web analytical data and software. Google Analytics and Adobe Omniture are both great tools to collect and analyze this and other web metric data. Each business will have to determine their own key metrics. Web analytics is a critical tool to answer these questions.
Social Media is fun. So many different expressions of media and equally numerous creative ways to put content online. The best part is when you can watch people interact and share your content. There is always a new and popular platform to utilize. Social Media is not just one thing, it is a disparate group of things itself. Social Media comprises of many different channels and audiences. But how do we manage all this information and interaction? A few good social media software management tools would be HubSpot or Sprinklr. They allow you to track performance, dial in your audiences and even schedule releases. Of course, you are also going to want to be able to use each platform’s traditional management interface, but these social media management tools are essential to any digital marketing stack
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
So, we are able to analyze our customers and what type of content and products they are interested in using CMS, CRM and Web Analytics. We have methods to reach out to existing and potential customer using Email and Social Media. But how do we connect with people looking for us? Ranking on Google for terms that connect people looking for our products and services with our website is the most effective way to do this. Ranking in Google search is accomplished through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Paid ads also draw traffic, but you will always be paying for this traffic. SEO is how you can invest in your site in such a way as it will draw customers more affordably over the long-term. Tools like MOZ, SEM RUSH and Majestic help you understand your site performance and make improvements to rank better and reach more potential customers.
I have outlined what a digital marketing technology stack is and some examples of software for each of the categories a typical digital marketer would use. What does your stack look like? Do you have all the categories covered.