Connect with us


Three ways to organize your martech stack



What’s in your marketing stack? Let us know

Earlier this month, Scott Brinker revealed the 2022 Stackie Award Winners. The Stackies are a contest for organizations to submit a visual illustration of their martech stack. This year, five different winners were selected.

My favorite part of the Stackies is observing all the different ways organizations choose to organize and catalog their martech stacks. After reviewing this year’s entries, below are three of the most common ways to consider organizing your martech stack and some of the unique benefits of each approach.

1. The customer journey

One of the most popular ways to organize your martech stack is to align your technologies with the stage they support in the customer journey. Different companies have different terminology for the different phases, but it typically goes something like “Awareness,” “Consideration,” “Purchase” and “Onboard.”

In this example, SEO tools would typically be categorized under the “Awareness” phase, whereas e-commerce platforms would easily fit under the “Purchase” phase. When categorizing your tools this way, there are two challenges you want to be sure to account for:

  • Make sure you have a way to tag some technologies under multiple customer journey stages. For example, your marketing automation platform would likely be used across multiple stages, including “Awareness,” “Consideration” and “Onboard.”
  • You will also want to have an entirely separate category or two for tools used for internal purposes that customers don’t necessarily directly interact with along their journey. Data and analytics tools, as well as internal workflow and collaboration tools, would fall into these categories.

And there’s an added benefit. Categorizing your tools this way gives you a great visual to see what tools are affecting multiple stages of the customer journey and, therefore, may require more investment or resources. For example, if your marketing operations team has been pushing for increased headcount, showcasing how the platform impacts nearly every stage of the customer journey may help you garner internal support from leaders even outside of marketing, such as sales or customer support.

Get the daily newsletter digital marketers rely on.

2. Technology category or subcategory

One of the most common and popular ways to categorize your martech stack is simply by the technology category they belong to. This is how the famous Martech Landscape supergraphic, along with the new interactive MartechMap, organizes tools. When organizing your martech stack, you could choose to keep your categorization at the highest level, such as “Advertising and Promotion,” “Content and Experience,” “Social and Relationships,” “Commerce and Sales,” “Data” and “Management” or you could choose to get a step more granular and assign your tools according to their appropriate subcategories.

For example, the subcategories under “Content and Experience” may include “Email,” “Social,” and “Web” among others.

Another added benefit: One of the biggest challenges that marketing organizations face is the proliferation of technologies available. Marketing organizations struggle to take full advantage of their martech stack’s potential. According to the Gartner Marketing Technology Survey 2019, marketing leaders report utilizing only 58% of their martech stack’s potential, down from 61% in 2018.

Organizing your tools by the category they belong to can help you easily identify where there may be opportunities for consolidation within your martech stack. For example, you may discover that you are using multiple survey tools across the organization because individual teams needing a quick survey have set up free or low-cost accounts on platforms like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. You may have a customer experience group using a more robust platform such as Qualtrics, which handles customer surveys. That could be an opportunity to consolidate onto one survey platform.

Consolidating your martech stack can help you take better advantage of your martech stack’s potential by cutting costs, reducing data silos, and ultimately enabling users to spend more time diving deep into all of the available features of one tool and sharing that knowledge with others.

3. Internal organizational structure

 Another way to organize your martech stack is by the internal teams responsible for operating those technologies. For example, an organization may typically include a data and analytics team, a marketing operations team, a content management team and an advertising team. In this situation, one team may own some tools, such as display advertising tools for the advertising team or the website CMS, which only the content management team can access. However, there are likely quite a few tools that multiple teams have access to, such as some data and analytics tools, like Google Analytics.

When categorizing Google Analytics within your martech stack, you may realize that it needs to be associated with more teams than you initially thought. Of course, the data and analytics team has access to Google Analytics, but so does the advertising team, who is using it to focus on conversion rates of their campaigns. The content management team may have access to look at page load times. The marketing Operations team may also use it to determine the highest converting pages they should incorporate into their lead scoring models.

Added benefit? Cataloging your martech stack along organizational lines helps highlight where there is shared access and ownership within certain tools. This gives you the visibility to ensure you have the right policies, procedures, and rights management in place to ensure that different teams are not stepping on each other’s toes or operating in different ways that could ultimately hurt overall efficiency.

For example, in Google Analytics, you would want to ensure that multiple teams do not share editor rights, which would allow someone in the marketing operations team to edit the default channel groupings, which could potentially break some of the ways that the advertising team is optimizing spend across channels.

Read next: How startups and small companies should build their marketing stacks

If you categorize your martech stack by your organizational structure, set up regular reviews of tools with shared access to ensure that you have the right governance policies in place and that they are being followed.

There is no right or wrong way to categorize your martech stack, as each approach has its purpose and benefits. You also do not have to limit yourself to just one approach. As you can see above, taking the time to categorize your martech stack in different ways may help you achieve particular goals or better suit you when sharing that visualization with a particular leader. No matter how you categorize it, the most important thing is to ensure you regularly audit and update your martech stack. 

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Megan Michuda is currently the SVP, director of marketing operations and innovation at BOK Financial. Prior to joining BOK Financial, she served as global head of marketing technology at Janus Henderson Investors. Janus Henderson was a Stackie Award winner in 2018. Megan is currently responsible for BOK Financial’s marketing technology stack, marketing automation, digital analytics, and marketing operations. In 2020, Megan’s startup Stacktus was acquired by CabinetM, a leader in martech management. Megan is now both a user of CabinetM as well as an advisor. Megan received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her master’s of science in technology management from University of Denver.

Source link


Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This



Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This

When a brand creates a new content marketing or content strategy team, they often ask, “What function or department should the content team report to?”

My answer? “Yes!”

Now, I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. (Well, I am a little bit, do you even know me?) But seriously, my yes comes from years of helping implement content teams in dozens of businesses. My affirmative response indicates the most important thing isn’t to whom content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business.

When it reports into a function, such as brand, marketing, sales enablement, demand gen, PR/comms, or even (yes, really in one case) finance, the business acknowledges content marketing is a real thing with real responsibilities, power, and capabilities to affect business outcomes.

“What outcomes?” you might ask.

Well, that depends on where content marketing reports.

Now you have the real conundrum.

You can’t figure out where content marketing and content strategy should report without knowing the expected business outcomes, and you can’t know the business outcomes until you know where they’re reporting.

The most important thing isn’t to whom #content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s tricky.

Content’s pervasiveness creates the challenge

Content as a strategic function in business affects almost everything. That pervasiveness means nearly any function in the business could “own” content as a strategy.

For example, we recently worked with a company about a year into its enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. They have a content team, and we were to help them assemble a governance and operational approach for their website content.

When we determined the right operational processes, we got into trouble. A content team leader asked, “What if someone proposed a new AI chatbot as part of this digital transformation for the website? Is it a content project with a technology component or a technology project with a content component?”

The question isn’t semantics. Instead, the answer determines the process for development, the team owning implementation, and the measurement by which it’s deemed successful.

Knowing where a #content project is assigned determines its development process, implementation owner, and success metric, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s not just a technology challenge, either. The company also wanted to create new brand content guidelines for the website. Is that a content team project informed by the brand team or a brand project in consultation with the content team?

Given content’s pervasiveness, you can argue it is part of any meaningful communications initiative the business takes on. But sales’ needs are different from marketing’s, and HR’s requirements are different from the demand-gen team’s. However, to achieve consistency in content and communication, it doesn’t make sense to let each function determine its content strategy.

To achieve the balance between an enterprise-wide content strategy and the unique needs of every function in the business, the leaders and practitioners must decide to whom content reports. Again, the agreement is important, not the where or what of the agreement.

3 key attributes to identify in the decision-making process

As you and the leadership ponder how to balance the enterprise content strategy and where it should sit, consider these three key attributes that play an essential role in success.

1. Develop a content operations backbone

I don’t care if you have two people and one blog and a website or a team of 50 who operate on 35 content platforms across multiple channels. A content operations infrastructure creates consistent success across your digital content experiences. Content operations is an enterprise-recognized set of integrated and shared systems (meaning technologies), standards, guidelines, playbooks, and processes to ensure reliable, consistent, scalable, and measurable content across the business.

Content operations acts as the backbone – the foundation – to ensure the content is created, managed, activated, and measured the same way across whatever audience and whichever channel the brand presents to.

2. Connect with the audience across platforms

You can no longer expect to create one optimal experience that makes up for a bunch of sub-optimal ones.No matter your size, it’s not good enough to have your blog subscribers separate from your marketing automation database and all that separated from your CRM system. This goes for all of your audiences – from new employees to external parties such as analysts, journalists, partners, vendors, etc.

In this approach, the goal is to engage, build, and develop relationships with audiences. Thus, connecting audience behavior with insights on how to communicate better is not a siloed functional need; it is an enterprise need.

3. Build an accountability framework

This attribute in one word? Standards (and a team to keep them.) In a truly fascinating way, one of the earliest activities in building a content strategy makes the biggest impact on larger businesses: Come to terms with what words around content strategy and marketing mean. What is a campaign? What is the difference between a campaign and an initiative? What is an e-book? What is an article vs. a blog post? How long should a white paper take to write? Most businesses assume these things or create meanings based on contextual needs.

At a recent client, one group expected the content team to produce white papers within a week of the request. Another group expected them to be delivered in six weeks at double the length that the other group thought.

An accountability framework – and its ongoing evolution – presents clear ownership and coordination of content standards (roles, responsibilities, processes, types) across the enterprise. This model should not detail the definitions and standards but identify how they will enforce them.

Start your content decisions by deciding together

Where should you begin?

Well, just like in the beginning, my answer is yes. Independent of where you start, the critical point happens in the deciding of the elements. To be clear, these are institutional decisions, not simply “what you think.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe the definitions, roles, or processes should be if the other parts of the organization don’t know, believe, or care.

A great first step is to create that accountability framework and make people care about its existence. At first, it might create a language of content that everybody in your business understands. When someone says, “I’d like to do a campaign,” or, “I think we should write a white paper,” everyone understands what that means and what it takes to do it. Then, the benefits of an accountability framework will start to become clear.

It makes the case for a team assigned to lead this consistency easier. And that enables the team to connect those experiences and audiences in a way that makes sense for everyone.

In the end, you have found determining the where, how, and what of a content strategy implementation isn’t the most important. The act of deciding is.

It’s a strange combination. In isolation, the reason for deciding seems straightforward. So why wouldn’t anybody want a clear definition of what a campaign is or a single source of the truth when it comes to the tone of your content?

But stacked together, those decisions feel like they are bigger than the content team and really should involve the entire enterprise. (Spoiler alert: They do.)

If you want any desired consequence, you had better decide on all the things that would help create it.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window, document,’script’,
fbq(‘init’, ‘1432232210459613’);
fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);

Source link

Continue Reading

Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address