The Marketing Technology (MarTech) industry has exploded over the last decade. In 2011 there were fewer than 200 tools and vendors for operations teams to choose from, and due to a lack of open interfaces, they were clunky and challenging to integrate. According to 2022’s MarTech Map, there are now nearly 10,000 tools to choose from, and finding the right combination of the ones most effectively aligns with your business outcomes has never been more challenging. But there is hope and a path to make the search easier.
A viable starting place is for users to dive right into the MarTech Map, a searchable database, and apply filters based on what they want to add to their company’s tech stack. Tools are separated by function, and each functional category has multiple sub-groups to browse through. This community-driven resource enables your operations team to find and compare tools that work together seamlessly, eliminating tech bloat and strengthening the alignment between departments. Unfortunately, most companies are only using 10-20% of what the tools within their tech stack are capable of, which is a huge limiting factor you may not realize is setting your organization back.
Visualizing your tech stack is imperative to strengthening your system architecture. If you can’t picture what your tech stack looks like, how can you assess what’s working for you and what isn’t? You can look to Chief MarTech’s Stackies Awards to find dozens of examples of best-in-class tech stack visualizations. When you have everything in front of you and categorized, you can see if your tech stack is balanced and diversified enough. You may find one department has far too many tools to manage, causing fatigue from having to jump from system to system to complete different tasks. You can use the interactive MarTech Map to find a new tool that consolidates the functions of multiple tools into one that integrates better with the rest of your stack, reducing tech bloat and streamlining operations. You may also find that another department could benefit from a new tool, which operations teams can implement with money saved by eliminating tech bloat elsewhere.
A company-wide understanding of your tech stack and system architecture will create a common language and shared knowledge of your organization’s functions. When one department understands the needs and goals of another, it will be able to collaborate and share insights.
It’s more important now than ever to have your finger on the pulse of the MarTech industry. More than 20% of the tools available have come to the scene in the last two years, demonstrating exponential growth within the industry. As a result, you must continually look at your operations and architecture through a critical lens, do everything you can to reduce friction, and set your team up for success. Knowing whether your tech stack is built like a skyscraper or a house of cards is vital.
If you want better answers, you need to ask better questions. For example, will adding or removing a tool bring your operations to a screeching halt, or will it propel your team closer to their goals? Are people leaving and taking knowledge with them, or is your tech stack thoroughly documented and accessible to the proper personnel? These assessments will let you know if your stack and architecture are sturdy or held together with digital duct tape.
BTW, our team offers a baseline assessment of your processes, capabilities, and tech stack. We call it our Accelerated Time to Close (ATC) methodology. Reach out to learn more.