Marketing Stack

Social Media Icons

1. Introduction

Mar-tech stack is how marketing technology tools are organized, or stacked, together. Each platform or program in your stack should complement or support the others so that everyone in marketing, and other functions in your organization buy into it.

To build your Marketing Stack, start by identifying the business and marketing objectives that you are trying to achieve, and then define and map the marketing functions that will need to be supported by technology for each objective. Then derive the technology requirements needed to support the marketing functions. This will lead you to the type of product that you need to add to your stack.

The purpose of your marketing technology stack is to help you help your customers through the buyer’s journey. Whether you’re using influencer marketing software to identify brand advocates who can drive meaningful traffic to your website, or a communication service that allows your team to collaborate on a product update, at the end of the day, it’s to turn your prospects into customers and then maximize their lifetime value to your business.

Stacks are different based on the company’s stage and target customer segment.

Early Stage Startup Well-funded startup/ Medium-sized business Enterprise-level

2. Definitions

Dark Tech: “Dark tech” refers to marketing technology that has been developed internally rather than acquired.

Martech: A group of independent technologies that helps digital marketers to efficiently perform marketing activities, across various channels.

3. Goals

· Make difficult processes easier

· Measure impact of marketing activities

· Drive efficient spending

4. Approach

Aligning technology requirements to marketing functions that support business and marketing objectives should also drive the rationalization of the existing stack. Each platform and product should be evaluated against an overall set of marketing functions and technology requirements.

Write down specific scenarios for things you want to do with the software. Map it out.

Example 1:

· Business objective: Increase revenue and reduce costs

· Marketing objective: Improve campaign return on investment

· Marketing function: Develop a sound attribution strategy that allows our team to make better investments based on past campaign performance

· Technology requirements:

o De-duplication for leads and contacts

o Automated lead-to-contact conversion

o Automated lead-to-account matching

o Automated contact-to-opportunity conversion

o Field normalization (standardization)

o First touch, last touch, and multi-touch reporting

Note: In this example, the type of product needed turned out to be a data orchestration platform.

Once you identify a stack, do this:

· Make sure that all stakeholders in the organization are involved in the process

· Clearly establish objectives and the priority of each

· Define a data architecture and flow that will support all objectives

· Align internal skills with the technology and business strategy

5. Needs

Sample questions to establish your needs:

· Do you want to nurture leads to a sale?

· Are you trying to improve your influencer marketing?

· Educate a huge volume of potential customers to move them closer to demo?


6. Building Blocks

Depending on factors like business size and marketing strategy, every company’s mar-tech stack is going to be unique.

1.1 Advertising + Promotion

Help promoting brand and driving traffic. Specialized and have distinct purpose in disseminating information about your brand.

· Mobile Marketing

· Display + Programmatic

· Search + Social Advertising

· Native + Content Advertising

· Video Advertising

· Print

· PR

1.2 Content + Experience

Backbone for entire marketing operations plan, as well as integration with sales and customer success team.

· Mobile Apps

· Video Marketing

· Interactive Content

· Email Marketing

· Content Marketing

· Optimization + Testing

· Data Asset Management (DAM) or Marketing Resource Management (MRM)


· Marketing Automation

· Content Management System (CMS)

Implement bold ones as soon as possible as they relate to how you produce and optimize your content, direct your leads to sales, and keep your database (your most valuable asset) clean at all times. DAMs and MRMs can generally be consolidated into a robust marketing automation system.

1.3 Social + Relationships

Just as important as content and experience is for nurturing leads and managing your database, your CRM and customer success system is a crucial component to your overall tech stack.

· Call Analytics

· Account Based Management (ABM)

· Events, Meetings + Webinars

· Social Media

· Loyalty + Referrals

· Feedback

· Customer Experience + Success

· Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

1.4 Commerce + Sales

More important for B2C business. The goal here is to provide your consumer the greatest user shopping experience both on and offline.

Key subcategories any B2C business should consider:

· Retail Marketing

· Partner + Local Marketing

· Sales Automation, Enablement + Intelligence

· Affiliate Marketing

· Ecommerce Marketing

· Ecommerce Platforms

1.5 Data

Helps measure the effectiveness of their campaign initiatives.

· Audience + Data Enhancement

· Marketing Analytics, Performance + Attribution

· Mobile + Web Analytics

· Data Visualization

· Customer Intelligence

· IPaaS + Tag Management

· Data Management Platform (DMP)

· Predictive Analytics

· Customer Data Platforms

1.6 Internal Management

· Talent Management

· Product Management

· Budgeting

· Collaboration

· Projects + Workflows

· Agile Management

· Vendor Analysis

7. Align Marketing with IT

· Designate a cross-functional advocate: In smaller companies, this can be your marketing technologist, automation user or somebody in demand generation.

· Involve IT in strategic planning: This is especially important when it comes to managing your data across multiple platforms.

· Expedite vendor assessments: bring your IT into the research discussions, especially when it comes to considering the possibilities from an integration and production standpoint.

· Digitize the business: this involves getting every member of your marketing team (traditional and digital) to become digitized when it comes to developing cross-functional marketing programs and unifying your strategy.

· Create a marketing analytics portal:

8. Budget

· Generally ranges from 10-40% of forecasted annual recurring revenue (ARR).

· Median sales and marketing spend vs. projected growth rate hovers around 28%.

· Identify the big-ticket channels (events, some in advertising, content, or experiential), and then work backwards.

· Increased technology costs ultimately impact the cost of customer acquisition (CAC) and customer lifetime value (CLTV).

9. Early Stage Startup/Growth Hackers Budget and Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking (

Setting up $100,000 marketing tech stack for under $100 (

Look for low-cost single function platforms. Hubspot for startups ( ) gives 90% off discount on the platform.

10. Early Stage Startup/Growth Hackers Budget

Well funded, but have company size less than 500.

Common investments are in:

· a CRM platform (i.e. Salesforce)

· a marketing automation platform (i.e. HubSpot)

· a web experience platform and/or e-commerce platform (i.e. Shopify)

· a social management platform (i.e. Hootsuite, Buffer)

· an analytics platform (i.e. Google, KISSMetrics)

Check to learn more about what other company’s use for their tech stack.

If you are unsure (budget, bandwidth), consider all-in-one options like HubSpot.

Check 80/20 rule of software purchases (

11. Enterprise-Level or Large Corporations

IT starts working closely on integrations.

ExactTarget, Adobe or Oracle’s Marketing Cloud.

12. Capability Cluster

4 Topologies of Marketing Tech Stacks (

Many companies have 5 or so platforms as part of their stack,

· a CRM platform ( i.e. Salesforce)

· a marketing automation platform (i.e. Marketo)

· a web experience platform and/or e-commerce platform (i.e. Magento)

· a content + social management platform (i.e. NewsCred)

· an analytics platform (i.e. Google, KISSMetrics)

Oracle, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo are looking to develop their own “ISV ecosystems,” essentially destroying the marketing tech stack altogether.

13. The Ultimate Marketing Technology Stack


1. Tag Management System

2. Analytics + Tracking

3. Mobile Optimization

4. Customer Relationship Management

5. Marketing Automation

6. Conversion Rate Optimization

7. Data Management Platform

8. Remarketing + Retargeting

9. Search Engine Marketing

10. Social + Content Tools

14. Examples

Grade your stack here:

Stack investigator tool:


Chief Martech

Chief Martech

Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map

Gartner Marketing

Spacey Campus/ Galaxy Map

Marketing Galaxy


BillShark Marketing Stack


Acrolinx Marketing Stack


Landing Page –

Content Marketing –

Value Proposition Statements from Startups

Following below is a collection of value proposition statements that the startups used in their pitch deck when raising capital. Note that some of these may not be verbatim from their deck, but paraphrased without losing the key message.

Please add a comment with your favorite ones that are missing here and I shall include it.

Adpushup allows companies to maximize ad revenues through advanced A/B testing. 

Airbnb is a platform that allows people to list, find, and rent lodging.

AppVirality allows app developers to identify and implement the right growth techniques, within minutes. No coding required.

Bliss provides code quality metrics for engineering managers and allows them to collaborate easily.

Buffer is a social media scheduling platform that helps you schedule content to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

Castle app lets rental owner put their properties on autopilot.

Canvas replaces paper-based processes with affordable and easy-to-use mobile apps and forms.

Crew (formerly Ooomf & then PickCrew) is a premium marketplace of the best mobile and web talent where the talent picks the work.

Cubeit is a mobile application that allows users to aggregate content from anywhere.

Dwolla allows anything connected to the internet to move money quickly, safely, and at low cost. It is a payment solution that allows users to send, receive, and request funds from other users.

Facebook: is an expanding online directory that connects students, alumni, faculty and staff through social networks at colleges and universities.

Fittr is a platform that designs custom workouts tailored to equipment, access, time management, and goals. Lumosity meets Fitness.

Flowtab is a mobile ordering, payments, and loyalty platform for bars and nightclubs. It allows people to order drinks quickly at a crowded bar.

Foursquare is a mobile platform that helps you find the best places to go in your area.

Gusto (previously ZenPayroll) is a cloud-based solution tool for small businesses to pay employees.

LaunchRock allows users to create landing pages and quickly get their startups known through social media, even before the launch of their full site.

Manpacks is a platform that delivers men’s essentials such as underwear, razors, grooming and other products.

MapMe allows users to create universally accessible (i.e. on smartphones, tablets, and computers) maps of anywhere they want with no coding required.

MapMe – platform that empowers passionate people to build, launch, and grow Community Maps.

Mint is a personal financial services tool that helps people track their spending and find ways to save money.

Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform for product and marketing.

Square is a company that allows merchants to accept mobile credit card payments via a dongle.

SteadyBudget is budget management software that helps PPC analysts manage various budgets across different channels.

Swipes is a task manager app to help its users increase their productivity.

Wealthsimple is Canada’s fastest growing online investment manager. We make smart investing easy, low-cost, and transparent.