Building the Right Mar-Tech Stack for Your Organization

Identify the right technology for optimal profitability, employee efficiency and consumer experience

The marketing technology landscape has changed dramatically over the last seven years.

Back in 2011, there were around 150 marketing technology platforms. Today, we’ve got thousands of marketing tools and platforms that sit across various categories—advertising optimization, data tracking and management, integration tools, customer relationship management, email marketing, chatbots, etc.

Not only do businesses need to compete on product, branding, marketing budgets and advertising strategy, but they also need to create the right marketing technology stack.

So, why is marketing technology important?

ROI and profitability

Marketing technology has a vastly larger scope than automation. Adopting the right marketing technology can have a significant impact on your ROI and overall profitability. For example, leveraging advertising AI platforms that can help you make better ad bidding decisions can help you save unnecessary costs and generate more sales for less cost.


If your business can achieve more in less time, it can grow faster. Marketing automation tools allow you to do more while saving time for the marketing team. When your marketing team has more time on their hands, they can spend it creating and implementing new strategies rather than working on tasks a software can do.

Brand and customer experience

Your biggest asset is your customers. But customers today are not happy with good experience—they want the best experience you can possibly provide. And if a competitor provides a marginally better experience, that leaves your business at a disproportionately greater risk.

Categories of marketing technologies

Recent data shows that, as of April 2020, there were 8,000 mar-tech solutions. At the time of this writing, and assuming a similar year-over-year growth as last year, we’d be looking at around 9,000 mar-tech solutions worldwide.

There are essentially six main clusters of these solutions, and each cluster tackles a range of digital marketing and digital transformation solutions. The below visual outlines these categories:

There are six main clusters of these marketing tech solutions.Rani Arsanios

In a perfect world, you’ll need to employ technologies from all these marketing technology categories. However, depending on the available budgets and the nature of the business, some areas should be prioritized over others. The below chart is an example of how you can prioritize certain marketing technology solutions over others:

In a perfect world, you’ll need to employ technologies from all these categories.Rani Arsanios

Note that this doesn’t encompass all areas, but rather a group of technologies that most businesses employ today.

Here are some steps to take to get your business set up:

Set your goals

First things first, you’ll need to come up with your main goals from a mar-tech stack. They need to reflect your overall marketing strategy. When setting up the strategy, you should narrow your goals to three or four main goals to remain focused.

Assign one or two champions

It’s recommended to assign one or two project champions who have a strong understanding of marketing and systems. They’ll be consulting with different teams and departments, but as with any other project, having someone championing the rollout is a critical success factor.

Determine your needs

The next step involves translating your goals into objectives. This is where you ask questions like: “What functionality is most important to us?” and “What functionality is nice to have?” During this process, you gather input from various teams and stakeholders. You also get buy-in and sign-off on the priorities and budgets.

Pro tip: Prioritize your tech requirements by ROI. This means that the tech areas that you believe are going to bring the highest return on investment should be prioritized over others.

Research available technologies

Now that we’ve got the planning out of the way, it’s time to start researching and finding the most suitable options. There are four main areas to look into when researching:

  • Reviews. Online reviews help a great deal. You want to look for insights on support, usability and product development over time. There are plenty of reviews sites, such as G2, SoftwareWorld and Capterra.
  • Reach out to sales and support. If you are unsure about a specific feature or functionality, reach out to the sales or support team and find out if they support the features you’re looking for.
  • Check partnerships. Company partnerships can tell how reputable that marketing technology is. If they have strong key partnerships, it probably means that they have a strong product.
  • Assess compatibility and seamlessness. Ensure there is strong compatibility between the new technology you’re assessing and your current digital suite of applications. Not every tool needs to communicate and integrate with each other, but there will be times you’ll need to ensure there is complete synchronization of data and information.

Compare pricing

Pricing is not the most important deciding factor, especially if you have a large budget, but for smaller organizations with limited budgets, you’ll need to compare pricing to ensure you’re getting a bang for your buck. You’ll also want to find out how likely prices are going to increase next year. A company that’s constantly increasing prices might not be your best option.

Shortlist and sign up for free trials

After that, you need to shortlist the top three alternatives. Test pilot each alternative and get a strong feel for how it works and whether it meets your requirements.

Roll out

And, finally, it’s rollout time. My advice is not to roll out multiple technologies at the same time. It will take time for your organization to adopt and learn how to use any new platform.