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3 Ways to Simplify Your Marketing Tech Stack

 

How many platforms, providers, apps or tools do you currently use to reach customers? There are email marketing providers that send emails to customers, platforms that trigger post-purchase surveys, and social media management platforms that schedule social posts. The list and uses of digital marketing tools is almost endless.  The collection of digital marketing tools that businesses stack together is known as a "martech stack" or "marketing tech stack." 

Research shows 48% of marketers use a martech stack to complete daily tasks, which is made up of 22 tools on average, according to a report from Walker Sands Communications and research from Gartner. 

The trouble with a tool-heavy martech stack
Using 22 different tools might sound impressive, but a growing number of businesses are in dire need of a "martech makeover". Why? Juggling 22 different tools isn't easy. 

If you have to log into your email service provider to send emails, and then get into your SMS tool to text customers who aren't fond of email, and then create customer feedback questions in your survey tool - you'll spend most of your day bouncing between login screens and dashboards. And none of the data that you get from any of these platforms is connected. All your data is in disconnected silos which renders it useless in providing a complete picture of your customers or enabling you to engage and retain them effectively. 

The patchwork of tools has many businesses frustrated. Only 3% of businesses feel they get the full value from the martech tools they rely on, according to a report from Walker Sands Communications. Your business relies on these martech tools to connect with your customers, but if they're too cumbersome to use, it's time to make changes. It's time to simplify your marketing tech stack. 
3 steps to simplify your marketing stack
1. Conduct an audit - To simplify your martech stack, you need to conduct an audit. Review every tool to assess how your organization uses them and whether or not they're worth it. Can you prove the value and ROI that each tool generates for your business? During the audit ask three questions:
Question 1: What does our martech stack do? To begin, take a close look at the tools in your arsenal. Capture all of your tools and then record what each tool is used for, who uses it, and what's most liked about the tool and what's most disliked. Question 2: How do we currently measure success? Most tools in your martech stack probably come with some sort of analytics. You likely have access to data that measures your success. But, which metric specifically do you use as a barometer of success? Most marketers refer to these metrics as KPIs or key performance indicators. For example, if an email service provider is part of your martech stack, the KPIs that you pay attention to might be opens, clicks, and conversions. After jotting down your KPIs, it's time to look at the numbers and discover the ROI for each tool. You'll need to look at how much you spend to use the tool and what kind of return you get from it. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to calculate ROI. Some tools provide ambiguous metrics that don't provide enough data to quantify how much money they bring in. If you can't calculate the ROI for a tool, it probably shouldn't be in your martech stack. Add ROI information to your audit, and if you can't come up with an ROI, highlight it as a red flag. Question #3: What does the future look like? Marketing technology is constantly evolving, so it's hard to know whether or not a tool you're using now will be as important in a few years. But, that doesn't mean you should overlook the future. Examine each tool and see what its growth potential is. You want tools that you can grow with; ones that offer options you might not need now but could in the future. Add a 'future plans' section to your audit and add relevant notes. You should also consider your company's future. Changes in your product or target audience will also affect the tools you use. If you know of any upcoming changes, make a few notes in your audit for consideration.

2. Evaluate, eliminate, and educate - With your simple audit completed, take the time to evaluate your findings. There might be tools that stand out as must-haves, and there might also be tools that seem to be lacking. You can eliminate tools that aren't widely used, have a lot of dislikes, and provide low or unidentifiable ROI. If any tools offer overlapping features, cross them off the list, too. These tools are draining your resources. Especially the tools with a '?' for ROI. If you're paying for a tool or platform, you should know exactly how it impacts you bottom line.
With a list of tools to eliminate, educate yourself on new options. Now's the time to search for one-stop-shop tools. You want platforms that can take the place of many, provide real analytics that directly relates to your profits, and are easy-to-use. A customer engagement platform, for example, can take the place of your email service provider, SMS platform, survey tool, and customer loyalty app. You can do all of it from one platform and have all your data in one, actionable place. You can send personalized campaigns and rewards via email, text or push notification. You can follow up with a post-purchase survey, and collect feedback in real-time. And, you can access metrics that matter, like revenue reports that show you exactly how much money you made as a result of a campaign you sent to your VIP customers. These are kinds of robust, data-driven tools that can streamline your martech stack. 3. Implement new tools and prove training - Once you've identified tools that fit your business, plan to implement them over time. Solid tools should be easy to implement and take weeks, not months, and should be simple and intuitive for your team and customers to use and understand. Wrap Up Martech stacks have become a staple for businesses to communicate with customers and build lasting relationships. However, all digital marketing tools aren't created equal. Some generate recurring sales, while others generate nothing more than a recurring drain on your bank account. Look for tools that offer all-in-one marketing components. A customer engagement platform is just that. To learn more about how a customer engagement tool like Thanx can help you simplify your marketing tech stack and powerfully engage and retain your customers, download our Ebook - Customer Engagement in the Era of Hyper-Personalization.