What is a Tech Stack?

Tech Stack Definition: a technology stack is a set of components or layers in a software offering that provides broad functionality.

MarTech Stack Definition:  A MarTech (marketing technology) stack is a grouping of technologies that marketers leverage to conduct and improve their marketing activities.

Tech Stacks are typically very complex and intricate, but one thing marketers can agree on is that depending on the organization, tech stacks can be beautiful and sophisticated, or ugly and convoluted. So, what goes into implementing a successful stack?

There was an interesting contest called that awarded the top four organizations with the “best” tech stack. The winners received a “Stackie” award.

In order for an organization to participate (and win), each organization had to submit a single slide diagram of their marketing technology stack – THAT MADE SENSE to them, and to anyone reviewing. Considering the average tech company utilizes 20+ technology products, you can imagine the challenge of displaying these in an organized fashion.

Coming from the agency side, we typically interact with 3-5 client-side products (max), so it was definitely eye opening to see that the average tech stack is indeed, anything but average. With 20+ technology products being employed by marketers, there are a lot of questions that arise. One user summed it up best in two questions:

1.) How effectively are all these tools actually used? It’s one thing to have the application installed, it’s an entirely different thing to actually maximize benefit and usage from them.

2.) How in the world do companies with so many tools maintain/manage them? There is no way they can have a system administrator for each tool in their stack, can they? I realize some tools don’t require much to maintain, but a lot of these tools do (e.g. SFDC).

In terms of my main question: Do the products all talk to each other or integrate with each other? I know that some do, which is a key consideration for some of Just Media’s clients when evaluating a new product prior to implementation, but what about the products that don’t? Does this just further add to the hellacious task of manually using yet another tool?

I can only image the complexity of having to manage multiple systems, and while I found these tech stacks a bit overwhelming, they really gave me a greater understanding of what goes into running a successful marketing operation. More so, it increased my respect level for our clients – the marketers that are tasked with understanding each product and making them work for their unique organizational needs. It seems like quite the undertaking, and is anything but simple.

As the author stated in one scenario “It’s fascinating to see which components have the most “wires” connected to them. You get a sense of which components are effectively platforms based on their degree of inter-connectivity. The fact that there’s not simply one platform at the heart of this is evidence of these maturing multi-platform architectures…all working together.”

What types of products are typical?

While any need can be met with dozens of similar/competitive tools, there are some basic technology needs for each organization based on different marketing functions, regardless of the vendor/provide/product they select. Some examples are:

  1. Website Analytics + Insights
  2. Sales Enablement
  3. Sales Activity & Automation
  4. Lead Management
  5. Content Management
  6. Data Management
  7. Prospecting
  8. CRM
  9. Marketing Automation
  10. Landing Page Management
  11. Account Based Marketing Analytics
  12. Blog Management
  13. Internal Collaboration & Productivity
  14. Inbound Marketing
  15. Social Management
  16. Data Storage
  17. Data Visualization
  18. Marketing Attribution/Forecasting

The list goes on and on, all aimed at helping marketers produce a better workflow.

Click here to see some of the entries and winners for 2018.



N Y L A   M U R P H Y
Associate Media Director





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