Shopify Ecosystem

What Is A Martech Stack And How Do You Choose One?

what-is-a-martech-stack-and-how-do-you-choose-one?

Traditional marketing and ecommerce tech stacks are the combination of technologies a company uses to build and run a website or application. Tech stacks usually include programming languages, frameworks, a database, front-end and back-end tools, and APIs. Marketing tech stacks (martech stacks), on the other hand, are a grouping of technologies that marketers use to improve, streamline, and execute their advertising strategies. 

With a proper marketing tech stack, just as with a traditional tech stack, you optimize and streamline the back-end work, which in turn creates a better user experience. This ensures deliverables with quality analytics, and helps your brand reach a wider audience. 

How Should I Fill My Marketing Tech Stack?  

To begin fleshing out your tech stack, have each of your employees sit down and lay out their job processes.  

This means figuring out the deliverables they’re responsible for, then working backwards to see the process by which those deliverables are created. 

Have employees identify any places where there is a challenge, be it a time-consuming manual process or step, a step that is outside the scope of their expertise, or something else. This is often a place where a crucial piece of technology to automate or simplify the process can be valuable.  

Another way to sort out what needs you have for a tech stack is to define the format of the marketing strategy you are implementing, and the technology required for it. These can include: 

  • Leads-Focused Format. Focuses on driving traffic and building trust. 
  • Journey Format. Focuses on building awareness, driving new customers, and retaining those customers. 
  • Platform-Based Format. Focuses on using the capabilities of a major platform to expand and scale marketing efforts. Good for smaller businesses.
  • Role-Based Format. Focuses on implementing tools for specific marketing roles within the organization. 

Above, we lay out several different ways a marketing team can think about fleshing out its tech stack. The examples apply mostly to B2B organizations, but they can also be applied to B2C-oriented teams. Regardless of how you structure your tech stack, there are a handful of key categories you can use to build it. Here we outline the different types of tools you can use. 

Categories of Martech and eCommerce Tech-Stack Solutions 

Most tech solutions are accessible as SaaS, or software as a service. Tech stacks are usually divided into solutions made for the server side and for the client-facing side, which will be clarified in the following. 

Content Marketing/Management/Blogging  

Content marketing is a massive part of today’s marketing strategy. It is an overarching term that can cover everything from video marketing to blogging to visual marketing. Here are some of the tools that can fall into this bucket: 

  • Grammar and spell-check tools 
  • Stock photo platforms 
  • Video and image editors 
  • Content scheduling and hosting tools  
  • Image optimization tools 

Some of our favorite tools in this bucket include: 

SEO/SEM Tools  

For those looking to generate leads, SEO goes hand in hand, using content to drive traffic organically from search engines. Using an SEO tool is integral to implementing an SEO strategy successfully, through telling you the traffic and keyword volume you need to successfully rank for particular keywords. 

Some of our favorite tools in this bucket include: 

Social Media Marketing 

These tools include social media marketing tools that cover the following functions: 

  • Scheduling 
  • Analytics 
  • Engagement 
  • Listening 
  • Monitoring 
  • Automation 
  • Platform-specific tools 

Here at Hawke Media, we use Sprout Social as our primary social media tool for scheduling and analytics, both for our own social media and for the accounts we manage for our clients. 

Event Marketing/Webinars 

These include webinar hosting platforms, platforms for event registrations, and virtual event platforms.  

In the past, we have worked with platforms like Maestro for events management and hosted webinars on Zoom. 

Collaboration/Communication/Project Management 

These are tools that make it easier to work with others on the projects needed to keep business moving forward.  

Some of Hawke’s preferred tools for this include: 

Email/SMS 

Messaging tools make it easier to segment, track, and communicate with leads and clients. 

Here are some of our favorite tools for this purpose: 

  • Omnisend – an easy-to-use email and SMS marketing platform. 
  • Klaviyo – a messaging tool that promises to increase customer lifetime value.
  • Blueprint – an SMS marketing tool that focuses on providing an improved customer experience. 
  • Dotdigital – harnessing the power of cross-channel messaging using data. 

eCommerce/Marketing Automation/Technology 

These tools can cover larger swaths of the ecommerce process, automating larger parts of it. 

Some of our favorite tools for this purpose are: 

  • Alloy Automation – automates restocks, improves the customer experience, integrates and automates marketing processes. 
  • Listrak – a marketing automation tool that manages email, SMS, behavioral analytics, cross-channel analytics, and more.  
  • Elevar – a tool to measure conversion tracking and marketing attribution. 
  • Marsello – a platform for customer marketing, loyalty, and messaging. 

Customer Relationship Management  

These platforms help brands manage leads and purchases, send automated and trigger-based emails, offer landing pages, and manage lead attribution. 

  • HubSpot – a platform to generate leads, accelerate sales, simplify your processes, or build a powerful website
  • Salesforce – sse Salesforce for customer relationship management and much more. 

Customer Experience  

This part of a martech and ecommerce stack is broad but crucial, covering tools that handle everything from customer reviews, engagement, and service and chatbots to referrals, loyalty programs, and more.   

Some of our favorite tools for this part of the stack include: 

  • Yotpo – a full suite of solutions for customer reviews, visual marketing, loyalty, referrals, and SMS marketing.
  • Braze – a customer-centric engagement and experience platform. 
  • Chatdesk – use a blend of machine learning, automation, and US-based representatives to improve customer support experiences. 
  • Loop Returns – a service that helps brands get returns right to improve the customer experience.
  • Returnly – helps customers get the right item before they’ve returned the wrong one.
  • Friendbuy – use word-of-mouth referral programs to scale. 
  • Justuno – convert traffic with lead-capturing tools like pop-ups, SMS capture, product recommendations, sprint-to-wins, banners, and more.  
  • LTVplus – helps build out customer service teams for better customer experience.
  • Narvar – a post-purchase platform that handles shipping, tracking, notifications, and returns. 
  • Recart – an opt-in tool provider that helps grow Messenger, SMS, and email lists. 
  • Trustpilot – A tool that allows brands and consumers to capture and share reviews. 
  • Stamped– a tool that automates and streamlines reviews, ratings, loyalty programs, and rewards. 

Accessibility/Security

Tools that keep your website and offerings both safe and accessible are not only nice to have but also keep your brand compliant and secure.  

A couple of our favorite tools in this area are: 

  • Rewind – A data backup tool that allows you to restore and copy critical information from SaaS applications. 
  • AccessiBe – an automated web accessibility solution. 

Everything Works in Tandem

When your martech and ecommerce stack is optimized, leads flow in and customers are converted. There are always areas for improvement, whether that’s making things easier on your side or for the customer, but you can identify those opportunities quickly and you have the tools to execute on them. If your tech stack is missing components, it will create blockages that back up other parts of your process.

Setting up your tech stack correctly is crucial, but it isn’t always easy. For an audit of your marketing operations, contact Hawke Media today. We’ll help you set your stack straight. 

Get a free consultation from Hawke Media

Special thanks to our friends at HawkeMedia for their insights on this topic.
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