martech stack
POSTED : March 23, 2016
BY : Jeff Cram

Assembling the right martech stack to support seamless digital customer experiences can be a tall order—especially with more than 3,500 solutions to consider. Thanks to the MarTech Conference’s annual Stackie Awards, you can now get a behind-the-curtain look at how other organizations are wrangling their marketing technology.

The Stackies invite marketers to share a single martech stack diagram of all the marketing software products they use. Connective DX, now PK, was honored to win a 2016 Stackie Award at the 2016 MarTech event in San Francisco.

Martech Stack

Martech stack from the outside in

Most martech stack diagrams look like a NASCAR vehicle, covered in piles of logos. We chose a different approach, keeping the customer journey at the forefront and demonstrating how we use technology solutions to support it. At PK, the customer journey focuses on our single-most important persona, the digital change agent.

We also look beyond the “buyer funnel” to create a more holistic experience for our clients. We extend our mission and vision beyond our consulting services to play a significant role in the community through education, enablement and thought leadership. This includes organizing our annual Delight Conference, leading user groups and meetups, running independent blogs, and sharing our point of view. We want to ensure that our marketing technology and content strategy supports a broader set of needs.

Finding clarity within the complexity

The process of creating this MarTech visualization reminded us that even smaller organizations have complex marketing technology needs. When we added it all up, we found that we use 20+ independent solutions to create and manage digital experiences.

We took a service design-inspired approach to organize these solutions. Looking through the lens of our customer journeys, we grouped the “frontstage” solutions responsible for delivering experiences apart from the “backstage” solutions that help us to gain insight and bring the operational capabilities to sustain and grow. This approach kept us from trying to assign solutions to specific phases of the journey—which looks clean on paper, but isn’t how things actually come together in practice.

Your marketing technology is not a project

As a digital experience agency, we strive to run our internal MarTech initiatives in the same way that we would recommend for our clients. We have an internal governance framework run by a task force affectionately called the SMARTECOPS (Sales + Marketing + Technology + Operations). This group creates policies, develops best practices, identifies new solutions, and ensures that our marketing technology supports our overall customer experience.

Since we established this team three years ago, we’ve seen our marketing technology capabilities and literacy increase dramatically. It has also been a great help in our consulting practice. Our clients get to work with an entire organization that practices what it preaches, and understands firsthand how all of these solutions fit together.

We learn and grow by sharing

While we are proud to bring home a trophy, the MarTech community is the real winner of the Stackies. The information shared in these entries was once hidden behind closed doors. The Stackies brings this into the open by encouraging organizations to share the actual solutions they use and how they organize them internally. As Scott Brinker said on stage this week, it’s inspiring to see all the creativity and effort organizations put into describing their stacks.

After all, where there’s a stack, there’s a story.

A special shout out to our talented team that collaborated on bringing our MarTech stack to life: Colin O’Neill, Andrew McLaughlin, Carmen Hill and Brian Payne.


About the Author

A picture of Jeff CramJeff Cram co-founded Connective DX which joined forces with PK in 2019 and currently serves as a Partner of PK and General Manager of the Boston office. He is responsible for helping to shape the Boston office’s strategic direction, partnerships and service delivery. Jeff is an active member of the digital community as a blogger for Fast Company and a frequent speaker at national events on topics including experience design, analytics, and content management.

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