This is the 8th calendar year we’re functioning The Stackies. It is an awards method that invitations entrepreneurs to share a solitary slide illustrating their martech stack — the various apps and platforms they use and how they conceptualize them doing work collectively.
I’d persuade you to participate (deadline for entries April 29). It’s a amazing way to lead to our community’s understanding of how martech suits into the functionality and flow of modern marketing and advertising.
However, even if you hardly ever share your stack outdoors the walls of your enterprise, illustrating it can be an extremely handy training to improved realize it — and be equipped to describe it to other stakeholders.
So what’s the best way to illustrate your stack?
Turns out there are lots of methods, every single bringing a distinctive lens. Obtaining reviewed hundreds of entries to The Stackies over the years — here are all of them from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 — I’ve distilled 10 designs that I’ve noticed on their very own and in blend alongside one another.
1. Vendor Group Map
Usually using the taxonomy from our marketing and advertising technological innovation landscape, martech applications are arranged into their solution groups and subcategories. It reveals your stack by way of the lens of a seller sector map and identifies the products and solutions you have selected. This is a good way to take a look at your overall stack stock and clearly show the span of martech remedies.
Here’s an case in point from SAS and their 2021 Stackie entry:
2. Purchaser Journey Map
Yet another popular product is to align your martech stack towards distinctive phase of the customer’s journey. Usually for entries to The Stackies, the journey is simplified into 4-5 levels, such as Explore, Think about, Obtain, Onboard, and Improve.
This wonderful instance from Juniper Networks and their 2021 Stackie entry illustrates two proportions: the client journey horizontally and the seller categories used vertically:
3. Back again-Stage vs. Entrance-Stage
A different way of wanting at your stack is via a theater metaphor: again-phase and entrance-stage apps and platforms. Entrance-stage applications instantly touch the customer — e.g., net activities, email strategies, social media engagement equipment, promoting, etc. Again-stage apps are used to serve inner stakeholders, this sort of as analytics, planning, asset administration, efficiency, and many others.
This is an tasteful illustration from Pink Wing Footwear and their 2017 Stackie entry, with again-stage to entrance-phase categorization together the vertical access and consumer journey stage alongside the horizontal axis:
4. Purpose or Position-Centered Map
When martech stacks can be rather massive, any one particular particular person in the advertising section is unlikely to have to discover all of the applications inside of it. Diverse roles within just marketing will use distinctive instruments. So another handy way of mapping your martech stack is to group applications by the roles or functions that use them. This is reveals the “who” dimension of your stack, which is beneficial to see the interrelation among applications, skills, and outcomes.
This illustration from Bigtincan’s 2019 Stackie entry illustrates three main roles: net administration, promoting automation, and material promoting:
5. Stage Alternative/Platform Ecosystem Map
Integration is vital to an productive martech stack. Yet another terrific way to visually analyze your stack is to exhibit the platform(s) that are the gravitational heart(s) of your martech stack and which professional applications integrate to every of them. It is an ecosystem see of your stack.
This illustration from Poly’s 2020 Stackie entry essentially captures 5 distinctive proportions, which include relative expense, paid out/gained/owned options, vendor category — and identifies platforms, integrated expert apps, and stand-on your own position remedies:
6. Usage Map (Relative Time in Resources)
Some martech apps are applied constantly, as an integral component of marketing’s day-to-day operations. Other apps, on the other hand, are additional specialized and utilized fewer commonly. This does not signify they are not important. They just have a time and spot for their intent. Identifying closely-utilised principal tools vs. lightly-applied instruments specialists can be another insightful way to fully grasp the composition of your stack.
This illustration from Airstream’s 2019 Stackie entry cluster applications primarily by their use situation — planning, resourceful, engagement, supplier channel, and measurement — but the top of the pine tree icons represents the relative time entrepreneurs expend interacting with every resource:
7. Relative Degree of Automation
Even though looking at the total of time that users spend engaged with diverse applications in your stack, it’s an interesting lens to take a look at how automated all those resources are. Which instruments are employed mainly manually? Which kinds have substantial automations? This look at can be beneficial equally to realize the partnership among resources and advertising procedure and operations. It can also assist establish options to automate.
Automation is the major frontier in Huge Ops in my viewpoint.
This example from Paychex’s 2019 Stackie entry maps out their martech applications on two dimensions: various advertising and marketing capabilities and the degree to which they are automatic:
8. Speed Layering of Platforms and Applications
More than a 10 years back, as tech stacks in common — not just martech — were being expanding fast, Gartner proposed a way to arrange them by “rate layer.” They suggested 3 layers: techniques of record, devices of differentiation, and units of innovation.
Techniques of report should be extremely stable and have a sluggish tempo of improve. They’re the platforms on which other software program and solutions rely. Techniques of differentiation embody the procedures and activities that make your business exceptional. They alter a lot more frequently, but are however relatively stable. Units of innovation are far more experimental, the put exactly where new abilities can be produced and piloted rapidly.
1 of the finest Stackie entries was this a person from Microsoft in 2017, which mapped tools alongside the infinite loop of purchaser journeys, but then also separated them into Gartner’s 3 tempo levels:
9. Evolution of Martech Tools Above Time
Martech stacks don’t stand nevertheless. New equipment are added. Aged equipment are replaced. This is aspect of the all-natural evolution of a business enterprise as it grows — and as the broader promoting and martech setting continues to change around it. It can be helpful to study your martech stack through the lens of its switching app stock above time.
This example, despatched in by reader John Schott in 2017, reveals a five-yr journey of a small economic services business enterprise:
10. Associated Abilities Map
At the intersection of teams and equipment, capabilities are designed. Instead than wanting at your stack by the lens of vendor groups, you can set up a perspective all over unique abilities, this kind of as marketplaces, user-generated information, written content syndication, qualitative and quantitative investigation, etcetera. Mapping these abilities in clusters, to clearly show their adjacencies and interactions with each other presents you a picture of the ecosystem about your stack.
This 2021 Stackie entry from Philips is a terrific illustration:
Other Strategies to Map Your Stack
Of class, there are lots of other methods to visualize other proportions of your stack.
For occasion, you could possibly organize it all-around aggregation systems within just your martech stack. How are you horizontally aggregating facts, workflow, experience, and governance throughout numerous unique apps, data sources, and buyer touchpoints? Which resources are you applying to vertically combine these levels within just certain domains, these as CRM?
Alternatively, you may illustrate your stack to emphasize the degree of customization inside distinct apps and platforms. They may array of purely out-of-the-box professional apps, to packaged items that have been personalized or prolonged with your have code, to completely personalized apps that are special to your organization.
Each individual of these diverse approaches can give you diverse insights into the nature of your stack — and aid you converse them to stakeholders across your corporation.
What does your martech stack glimpse like?
Reminder: Even if you really do not enter The Stackies yourself — even though we surely hope you do — do not overlook to indication up for the free of charge webinar on #MartechDay, May possibly 3. We’ll be unveiling the new 2022 martech landscape, releasing a Point out of Martech report, and celebrating the entrants and winners of this year’s Stackie Awards.