Marketing Technology, or “MarTech” stacks are intricate, complex and often misunderstood in how they are deployed, connected, and more importantly, run operationally. In order to get the best out of your marketing technology stack, you've got to truly understand its purpose. We have seen many organisations struggling with their MarTech’s purpose, so Triggerfish has created a process called the Triggerfish Experience.
The Triggerfish Experience is a series of steps that we urge businesses to take in a specific order to get clarity on who their customer is, define their business goals, and then run their marketing and sales teams operationally to deliver growth.
You can find out more about the Triggerfish Experience on our website.
Building your MarTech stack
A MarTech stack is any integrated accumulation of digital marketing technologies. If your website is integrated with Google Analytics for example, you already have a ‘stack’.
So, you have a stack, you've defined your business goals, have a scorecard, and you've aligned your value proposition to the needs of your customer and the job to be done. You're now in a position to invest in technology that will help automate, scale, and deliver a number of these messages to market using your stack. In some cases, your stack might be very simple and you only need a content management system, analytics, tracking and a basic email platform. When this situation arises, we can wholeheartedly recommend a platform like HubSpot.
But, when those requirements become more complex; you have either multiple websites or you have customers interacting on multiple different channels - whether that be the website, a portal, mobile app, email, push notification and more, you're going to need to start to build a series of components that work together to deliver on those business goals.
More often than not, we see marketing technology stacks start with the technology first, and as you're aware from our previous blogs, we are profound believers of tackling MarTech through People, Process, and then Technology - in that order.
Let's assume we've worked out the people aspect, and realise that we haven't got the skills in our business to build and run our marketing technology stack. We have ascertained that we need to go to market and look at some off-the-shelf tools to support our needs.
Processes are hugely important. Triggerfish brings a series of operational processes to help you run your marketing and technology teams better. Having your processes sorted means you've worked out those operational processes such as the scorecard, the You also might be delivering your workload and tasks in an agile fashion based around your Scorecard in a weekly, monthly, quarterly fashion. This is a great process benchmark.
Once you have these processes functioning operationally it’s time to look at your technology.
Technology stack decision-making can be very difficult. We see several different approaches in market.
We see businesses who act proactively by taking a tender, identifying a need, and going out to market to request a series of technology vendors to pitch for their business. Sometimes those RFPs are organised by line item, such as “the CM must have a security model”. Some of them are more experience-led, such as “I have a series of students who wish to interact in a specific manner.” How would your software help? For the most part, we see it half and half.
The need to be able to deliver on those RFPs can sometimes be driven by policy, organisational complexity and politics. What's really important to remember however, is that whoever is leading those RFP processes needs to understand that there is a job to be done for the customer, and that we are not just buying a technology stack first and designing the customer around it.
What we really need to do is to understand the skills that we have with inside our team, the skills that you have accessible to you from your agencies and third party suppliers, even start with a simple RACI matrix (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) to determine who will send email campaigns, who will build lists, who will identify context and segments, who will mark those as X, Y, Z.
Other organisations take a more relaxed attitude to buying marketing technology. These organisations typically deal with an agency or a third party to really understand what’s possible, and how they can grow their organisation more organically. For those organisations who are wishing to go out to RFP, I truly recommend you better understand how your marketing team can work with your agencies, third party suppliers and different parts of your business to deliver operationally. The implementation and use of Marketing technology should be considered ongoing business as usual, it is not a project.
MarTech is not a project
Bringing a marketing technology platform into your organisation may feel like a project because it's different. In reality, it's not, and you can help realign your organisation's expectations of this marketing technology by avoiding referring to its implementation as a project. The implementation of marketing technology is now going to be continuous. You will be adding and removing new technologies from your stack continuously. Because of this, you need to reposition your projects to business-as-usual.
Start moving away from a project mentality. Simple tricks such as saying, "This quarter, we are going to have the marketing technology content management system installed, and the website build on top of that. Next quarter, we are going to activate email marketing. In Quarter 3, we are going to activate marketing automation." This is a linear way of progressing your MarTech, where you are taking the activities and breaking them up between quarters and delivering them as Rocks. We find that this is also a smooth way of introducing change management to the organisation.
Alternatively, you may choose to break up activities by instead delivering capabilities. This means targeting a series of customers during this quarter with a particular marketing method and messaging. You may execute some of that manually or some automated, but what you are doing, is using the tools day-to-day to reach the goal you identified at the beginning of the quarter. You're moving away from point and shoot into automated and scaled.
Setting up your MarTech stack to align to the people, processes and technologies within your business and then building an operational cadence around marketing is just the beginning.
Look out for Part 2 of this blog series where we’re talking about how managing your MarTech isn’t just about keeping the lights on, but being proactive towards business risk, increasing velocity with smart deployments, and troubleshooting with the right MarTech skills. All of which get you closer to taking a productised approach to MarTech.