September 19, 2022

5 Tips to Optimise Your Marketing Tech Stack

HubSpot is plugged into the backend, integrated with Mailchimp, and Drift’s bot prompts you to book a demo (more often than it prompts your visitors).

Welcome to the marketing website reality in 2022.

While you can’t ignore the need to offer a better visitor experience while increasing your conversion rate, your website (as the central HQ) is suffering for it.

So today, we’re showing you the 5 tips that helped us optimise our marketing tech stacks.

It’s time to Marie-Kondo your stack!


#1 Create a Marketing Tech Stack Roadmap (Don’t Do It Randomly)

Every CMO wakes up in cold sweat at one point, worried that their organisation’s competitors know something they don’t. Unfortunately, what happens next is that you add another tool to the stack.

(If you’re a dev reading this: we feel you, but marketers do need it.)

Ultimately, the marketing tech stack ends up being a bloated Frankenstein monster, with a heaving website underneath it all. The newest martech addition could start affecting your traffic and conversions negatively.

The Solution: Build Your Martech Roadmap

Don’t fall prey to the shiny object syndrome. Before adding a new tool to your stack, build a roadmap and establish clear goals for each tool.

Foundational Martech Tools

Foundational tools are the ones you can’t do without. Typically, they come in the following categories:

  • Analytics and reporting. In addition to basic website analytics, you’ll likely want to gather data from multiple sources and analyse it all in one place.
  • Content management (CMS). How will you manage your website content and blogs? Will you operate an eCommerce website? Get clarity on your requirements before you choose a CMS, and don’t be afraid to shop around for fast CMS solutions like JAMstack.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM). You’ll need a CRM to keep track of your B2B contacts and understand how they interact with your company (i.e., product usage if you’re in the SaaS space).
  • Ads & email. If you rely on repeat purchases, your email marketing should be integrated with the rest of your stack. In SaaS, that means turning your website into the central marketing headquarters, so make sure you choose a tool that fully supports you. Similarly, you’ll want tight integration with your advertising platforms if you run remarketing ads.
  • SEO. How’s your organic traffic these days? Your SEO tools need to be tightly integrated with your CMS but not inundate your servers so much that you start slowing down (it’s the worst for UX).

Additional Martech Tooling You Might Need in Your Stack

If you run an eCommerce website, you’ll likely want payment integration, improved security, and other goodies. While these are priceless, they can slow down your website, so be careful.

Similarly, you may need tools to enhance visitor experiences or increase your conversion rate.

Bringing It All Together to Optimise Your Martech Stack

Once you’ve listed all the tooling you need, it’s time to map them. We love how VGlobal put it:

At the end of the day, you should have a similar martech roadmap, so nothing slips through the cracks (or you don’t end up duplicating tools because one doesn’t fully meet your needs).

Consult your devs on this, too. Make sure you understand how every tool can affect your website performance, so you can weigh the pros & cons.

#2 Clarify Your Marketing Tech Goals

We’re all just trying to keep up. But in trying to compete with the Joneses (AKA our competitors), sometimes we integrate tools we may not even need.

Assign a clear goal to each tool in your marketing tech stack. You can even break down your tool list according to different stages of the marketing funnel (best for B2B SaaS). For example:

  • Attract - SEO tools, advertising tools, social media tools, CMS
  • Engage - CRM, experience optimisation tools
  • Convince - Email marketing tools
  • Maximise lifetime value - Email marketing, CRM, analytics

Be practical. Don’t add new tools just for the sake of new tools.

If you can get extra functionality from the same tool (for example, Hubspot offers both CRM and chatbots), keeping the ecosystem contained is much wiser. Especially if you use a traditional CMS like WordPress.

Clean Out the Marketing Tools that No Longer Serve a Purpose

Perform a martech audit; are there any tools that are no longer as useful? Did a different tool that you like using add new features?

If we had a cent for every time one of our clients told us they’re still paying for subscriptions to tools they had to switch off because they affected the website experience, we’d be writing this post from the Maldives.

Make sure you’re not paying for something you don’t use. After all, if you use at least 70% of your martech capabilities, you could see a 20% marketing ROI increase.

Your audit will also show you where your existing marketing tech stack is failing, so you can perform the necessary optimisations.

#3 Make Sure Your Marketing Tech Stack Is Tightly Integrated

It’s not just that your tech stack needs to be integrated with your website. It has to be integrated with other tools to use your analytics to send targeted emails, leverage advertising pixels to launch social media campaigns, and more.

This multi-platform integration is a crucial challenge. When done improperly, integrations break, devs get headaches, and you get another marketing attribution problem.

Fortunately, you have two options on the table:

Option A. Be Selective about Tech Vendors to Get Tighter Martech Integrations

This option will be much easier with a good marketing tech strategy. When you map out all your tooling requirements, select vendors who integrate with the rest of your stack.

Ideally, they should provide previous examples or use cases of the work they’d done for clients like you.

This means no Zapier or makeshift integrations, yes. But it also means a seamless flow of data, so you can actually use the information you collect.

All the while, focus on usability; how will this tech addition affect your website UX?

Option B. Optimise Your Marketing Tech Stack with an API-First Approach

The best long-term option that kills multiple birds with one stone is to build a JAMstack website.

Unlike traditional websites and monolithic CMS, where every asset is pulled from the server (the more integrations you have, the slower your website loads), a JAMstack website gives you functionality through APIs.

In short: JAMstack is made to support all your APIs and connect them tightly together around your website.

At the same time, you’re not losing speed or sacrificing user experience.

If you’re ambitious about your website and it’s turning into your marketing HQ, it may be time to look for a long-term solution, not a band-aid that keeps falling off.

Source: Contentful

#4 Get a Crystal Ball to Optimise Your Marketing Tech Stack

You might need a crystal ball if you want to optimise your marketing tech stack in the long run.

Yes, marketing keeps changing, and there’s always a shiny new way to attract customers, but if your budget is limited and you’re straining under the weight of your app sprawl, stop for a second.

If we look at the marketing trends in the past decade, we can see that only around 5% stuck around.

(Remember when we thought pop-ups would stick around forever?)

Go beyond these tactics and focus on the actual changing consumer preferences. For example, convenience is here to stay. Consumers want websites (especially eCommerce with thousands of products) to recommend the perfect product with good personalisation.

Similarly, helpful chatbots aren’t going anywhere soon.

Understand Your Audience to Optimise Your Marketing Tech Stack

Don’t rely on Forbes headlines or what the other marketers are saying. Start talking to your audience. What drives them to purchase? What makes their lives and jobs easier?

Then, understand the core causes.

Sometimes, customers will purchase because of convenience. Other times, they'll be driven by the ability to save time.

From there, you don’t even need a crystal ball to predict which tooling will stick around and which will die out as a fad. Invest in the long-term tools, and find quick workarounds to implement trendy tactics on a budget.


#5 Talked to Your Customers? It’s Time to Talk to Your Team and Hedge the Risks

When Gartner aggregated their 2020 Marketing Technology Survey findings, they found that 80% of marketers who invested in personalisation will abandon the efforts by 2025.

Why?

Because customer data management is a hassle. So is the lack of attributable ROI. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The problem is that dozens and hundreds of hours were put into each implementation.

So, before your next implementation - consult your team; developers, legal, and other teams to understand the potential risks of every integration.

There is no use in implementing a, for example, personalisation strategy if you can’t utilise it to the fullest because it requires a robust data privacy process.

Finally, your team can help you see more potential use cases for each tool you add to the stack. For example, your development team may be able to use your CRM to gather customer feedback.

And who knows? Perhaps your marketing stack ends up turning into an organisational stack that will make the entire company’s life easier.

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Are you ready to launch a website that lasts? Mawla builds next-generation JAMstack websites with optimised performance, workflow automation, and beautiful delivery to increase your revenue. Get in touch with us.

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