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Building a Marketing Tech Stack? Start here.

Building a tech stack that meets your company’s unique needs is a tricky process. There’s a lot of pieces to juggle — from the people who will enable the technology to the actual technology they will be using. You have to balance onboarding solutions that solve problems, maximize your output, or streamline your processes with the time, money, and other resources required to deliver ROI on those purchases. 

With everything to take into consideration, where do you begin? In this post, we will identify common challenges marketers encounter on their way to building a tech stack,  and then give you five things to think about when adding something new to your lineup.

The Challenges

First, it’s important to find your roadblocks. Below are some questions you might ask yourself to identify potential challenges.

+ Are there internal disagreements on the product or vendor?
+ Do not have the right team members in place?

+ Are your technology requirements clearly defined?
+ Is there visibility across systems?

+ What top-down decisions could affect the project?
+ Do stakeholders understand what the project is?

+ Is your ROI defined? 
+ Will there be unexpected budget increases? 

So, what CAN you do? Here are some five things to keep in mind when starting to think about building your tech stack. 

1. Assess what your team can realistically manage

Time is limited and everyone has competing priorities before even thinking about implementing a new technology. Determine what your time can realistically handle, and think about it from a capacity and competency standpoint. Does your team have the ability to take the time to learn a new technology? Have they been through a large implementation before? People are the heart of your organization, so it’s important to take a look at your team and know what they can handle before making any decisions. 

2. Leverage the technology you have

You may be currently working with vendors across your portfolio of technology that want to deepen their relationship with you. Have collaborative conversations with your current tech stack vendors, and go to them with defined business needs and challenges you want to solve, and see if they can help you meet them before you decide to purchase new technology to meet that objective. 

3. Develop a plan for change management

Adoption of a new technology is key to a successful implementation. Having a plan for change management as the project is starting is important. Usually the end users of the technology are not involved in the purchasing decision, so it’s important to think about how you will be communicating that change.  How are you articulating the business reasons for purchasing this technology? Having a clear, transparent communication plan  and a change management plan early on will increase adoption. 

4. Know your customer journey — sales funnel through lifecycle

A lot of times, people will make the “shiny object” technology purchase, and think it will fill a need, only to realize six months later it really doesn’t achieve the business results they thought it would. The more you plan before making your decisions in the current state of your organization, the more success you will have. It’s important to understand the current pain points of the business, the current communication challenges you are having with your customers,  with clearly defined objectives as the North Star of your project. 

5. Know what success means and how to measure it at every step

Technology implementations are long — lasting six months or longer.  No one wants to get to the end of that and think, “Why did we start this in the first place?” It’s really important to have KPIs identified and clearly articulated goals and objectives before you start a project, as well as consistently measuring them for the duration. That will set you up for smooth implementation, with measurable outcomes, and overall success. 

Joanna Carillo, Account Director
Mary Ellen Schipp, Group Account Director 
Eleanor Heins, Managing Director 

This blog was adapted from the Ultraviolet session, Making the Most of Your Marketing Tech Stack. Check out their entire session to learn more about building a plan when choosing your Tech Stack.