Why are marketing stacks crucial for modern marketing programmes?

No matter how great you are at your job, there are only so many hours in a day. Performing every marketing task on your own is simply not an option. A robust marketing stack is the only reliable way to scale your marketing campaigns and activities.

Marketing stack integrations

Here’s what MarTech gives you:

Improved efficiency

Modern marketing tools can process and analyse huge volumes of data in seconds. AI-enabled software can even take over certain decision-making on your behalf. By investing in the right tools, you’ll be able to scale and optimise most of your marketing processes.

Data-driven decisions

In the absence of helpful insights from marketing tools, your decisions are more likely to be subjective and suboptimal. Relying on a marketing stack therefore enforces a data-driven culture across your organisation. Beyond that, modern tools can often help turn raw data into actionable insights that your team can immediately act upon.

Adaptable setup

The beauty of a marketing stack is that you can always customise it to your exact needs. At any given time, you can adapt your toolkit to make sure it fits your existing team, processes and business objectives.

 But to capitalise on the above advantages, you must become familiar with what marketing technologies are available, which of them are relevant to your company and how they integrate with each other.

How to build your marketing stack

No marketing stack will look the same. There are multiple competing tools for every imaginable marketing task. Also, organisational needs vary from company to company.

When putting together your marketing stack, keep a laser focus on which tools your team truly needs and which ones you can do without.

Here’s how you go about building a MarTech stack:

1. Identify your needs

First off, make a list of all your operational and strategic marketing requirements. Discuss these with your team to identify where a tool could simplify their job, increase their productivity or help them make smarter decisions.

Generally, what you’ll be looking for are ways to boost overall output, increase synergy between team members, get better data and reporting or save time and resources.

The key thing to remember is that your marketing stack should emerge naturally from your team’s goals and objectives. Don’t start with the tools first and then attempt to fit them into your workflow. Start with your true needs, then work from there to find the right tools for the job.

2. Look for data-based tools that are compatible with each other

Your marketing stack should allow you to make decisions based on accurate, complete and understandable data. Find tools that give you the right insights to help you monitor progress and report on the performance of your marketing initiatives.

Because different tools may have alternative ways of presenting on the same data, there’s always a risk of ending up with fragmented reporting. It’s therefore important to look for MarTech solutions that are compatible and integrate easily with each other. Your end goal is to have a consistent end-to-end picture of your performance from first customer contact to the final conversion.

3. Simplify your MarTech stack

Having a marketing stack with too many tools isn’t always a win. These types of disjointed stacks risk being difficult to maintain and integrate. They can also end up increasing your admin time, overwhelming your team, and breeding inefficiencies due to feature overlap.

Whenever possible, look for ways to streamline your marketing stack. This means eliminating any overlapping features between tools, removing or replacing underutilised tools or finding ways to consolidate functionalities in the same tool.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Is there a single tool that can perform the job of multiple separate ones?
  • Can you switch to a more basic tool if your existing one has multiple features you’re not using?
  • Do your existing tools have simplified, lower-tier plans that better suit your limited needs?

Perhaps the holy grail of this exercise is finding an all-in-one tool that single-handedly covers your entire MarTech needs. This will have multiple benefits, including better cohesion across teams, comparable data foundation, full-funnel reporting and reduced training and support needs. In most cases, all-in-one solutions will also end up costing less than the equivalent collection of many separate ones.

4. Reassess your marketing stack on an ongoing basis

Assembling your MarTech stack isn’t a one-off project. Your organisation will evolve, your priorities will change and some tools you thought you needed will prove themselves unnecessary.

Make it a habit to continuously re-evaluate your marketing stack and revisit the first three steps above. When doing so, ask yourself:

  • Are you getting the expected ROI out of every tool?
  • Are your tools as well integrated as they can be?
  • Are you getting the right insights?
  • Are there any unfulfilled data needs or underutilised reports?
  • Are there functionalities you no longer need?

By regularly revisiting your MarTech needs, you’ll make sure to always have the best setup in place and avoid wasting resources.

Marketing stack essentials: The tools you’ll need

There’s no single ideal MarTech setup out there. Depending on your team, you’ll prioritise certain tools over others. Also, for every task you need done, you’ll often find dozens - if not hundreds - of competing tools.

But regardless of the exact mix of tools you’ll be using, there are a few essential building blocks of a marketing stack that every team is likely to need.

marketing stack essentials

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Your business isn’t worth much without customers. As such, CRM tools are critical for any organisation.

CRM solutions let you segment and track customers throughout their entire lifecycle. They give your marketing and sales teams a visualisation of the customer pipeline, provide helpful customer statistics and often let you manage customer communications within the tool itself.

CRM tools aren’t created equal. Some have a niche focus on tracking your lead pipeline, some help manage your after-sales customer service while others take care of the entire lifecycle on their own. The right CRM for your company will be dictated by your team’s needs.

2. Marketing automation

This set of tools let you put many of your marketing activities on autopilot. This can include sending out automated outreach emails, activating behaviour-based on-site offers or triggering other types of marketing messages based on segmentation.

In any organisation with a well-defined customer funnel, this form of marketing automation is a must. It automates all the repetitive, time-consuming tasks and frees up your team’s time to focus on value-adding initiatives. It also helps you evaluate customer journeys and test different marketing approaches at scale.

3. Social media management

More likely than not, your organisation is present on several different social media platforms. While it’s theoretically possible to run social media campaigns by logging into each channel separately, it’s certainly not the most efficient approach.

Social media management tools help you pull all your social media activities together into one unified dashboard. From here, you can track performance, monitor brand mentions, run social campaigns and interact with your followers.

Some social media management solutions focus on specific platforms, but many of them can consolidate all your social networks in a single place. Find the best fit for your organisation by looking at the social channels you use the most.

4. Content Management System (CMS)

If your company has a website, you already have a CMS. It’s the software that enables you to publish and edit all website content, from text to rich media.

If you haven’t created a website yet, you’ll need a CMS to do so. The safe bet is to go for one of the popular off-the-shelf solutions. They’re typically very user-friendly, hyper-optimised through years of new releases and are easy to get support for should you ever run into issues.

5. Web analytics software

This is the core of your business performance tracking. Web analytics let you analyse huge volumes of data about your website visitors, their behaviour and your on-site conversion goals. You can typically slice and filter this data in numerous ways, create custom dashboards for regular reporting, segment your traffic and much more.

Once again, web analytics range from simple solutions with pre-set dashboards to complex platforms that let you manipulate every little aspect of performance monitoring. If you’re in the early stages, it helps to find a more intuitive solution that can still scale with your needs later on.

6. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

If you are at all interested in attracting organic traffic to your site, you will also need a set of SEO tools to help you achieve that. These tools help with all aspects of SEO, like initial keyword research and competitor analysis, on-page optimisation, monitoring of page rankings and managing link-building outreach activities.

You can either use a few specialised SEO tools in tandem or you can opt for an end-to-end SEO platform that provides you with all the features in one place. The latter option is often best if SEO is a priority for your team and you want to have a scalable solution for all organic traffic initiatives.

7. Web accessibility tools

Web accessibility is all about ensuring that your site is viewable and usable by people with disabilities. You might not consider this a business-critical priority, but there is a strong business case for investing in making your site accessible.

First, doing so ensures your products and services are available to a larger online audience. In the UK alone, there are almost nine million internet users with accessibility needs. Second, to comply with UK accessibility legislation like the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018, your site will typically have to adhere with accessibility standards like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

At the very minimum, you’ll want a tool that can automatically scan your site for accessibility issues and suggest ways to fix these.

8. Google Ads management tools

Pay-per-click (PPC) traffic is likely to be a big component of your marketing strategy, especially in the early growth stages. As such, you’ll need an effective way to manage your paid ads on Google and elsewhere.

A Google Ads management tool helps you audit the performance of your ads and landing pages, optimise your bidding strategy, manage your total PPC budget, and more. It’s therefore a key component of a healthy marketing stack.

How Siteimprove can help consolidate your marketing stack

You want your marketing stack to be as simple and streamlined as possible while still giving you the necessary functionality.

A good way to achieve this is by investing in an all-in-one platform that can also integrate with third-party tools and be customised to your needs.

The Siteimprove platform aims to do just that. It offers a range of essential digital marketing tools in a single package as well as out-of-the-box compatibility with the most popular external platforms.

CMS integrations

The Siteimprove CMS Plugin pulls key Siteimprove insights directly into your existing content management system. This lets you fix errors and optimise content on the fly, without changing your current workflow. The plugin offers integrations with the most popular CMS platforms on the market.

MarTech connectors

Siteimprove Connectors help easily integrate Siteimprove with a wide range of third-party tools including business intelligence, marketing automation, web analytics and more. Bring Siteimprove insights into your existing marketing stack without having to develop manual workarounds. New connections are added on an ongoing basis, so your favourite tools are likely to be supported.

Website experience tools

You want your website to provide the best possible user experience to every visitor. This means your content must be free from errors like broken links, misspellings and poor grammar. Furthermore, you want your site to be as accessible to as many people as possible.

Siteimprove gives you built-in tools to handle these challenges. Siteimprove Quality Assurance flags reputation-damaging content quality issues and lets you fix these in the CMS of your choice. Siteimprove Accessibility scans your site and flags accessibility issues, helping you make your site legally compliant and accessible to a wider range of users.

Website governance and website protection tools

This specialised suite of tools within Siteimprove is all about:

  • Data Privacy: Protect your customer data and ensure compliance with data protection regulations like the GDPR. Siteimprove Data Privacy helps you monitor personally identifiable data, manage cookies and flag potential privacy issues to stay on the right side of the law.
  • Performance: Slow sites are conversion killers. Siteimprove Performance helps you evaluate the speed of your site and the user experience. It also provides recommendations to improve your speed and performance.

Digital growth tools

This includes the trifecta of Siteimprove Ads, Siteimprove SEO and Siteimprove Analytics. These normally separate tools are united under a single Siteimprove umbrella.

This means you can analyse your web traffic, manage your organic and paid campaigns and optimise their performance – all in one place.

Siteimprove API

For everything else, there’s Siteimprove API.

Need a functionality that Siteimprove doesn’t provide by default? Have a niche CMS or third-party tool that’s not already integrated into the Siteimprove ecosystem? Siteimprove API lets your developers integrate the platform with just about any existing setup.

This way, you can seamlessly bridge any workflow or data gaps and create a truly unified marketing stack.