By Brenna Lofquist, Senior Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

Tools and technology play an important role in sales and marketing, without them our jobs would be very manual and tedious, we’d probably be missing out on big business opportunities as well. The ever changing and rapidly expanding technology landscape provide infinite tools and technology to choose from.

As you think about your marketing and sales technology stack, here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you have the correct tools and technology for success?
  • Do you have multiple tools that accomplish the same tasks?
  • Are you missing an important piece of technology that could automate processes and make your organization more efficient?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions or you answered yes then keep reading!

Let’s take a look at the current martech landscape and then we’ll get in to how to audit your current tech stack and things to keep in mind when vetting new tools.

The Current MarTech Landscape

If you haven’t heard of or have not seen the Marketing Technology Landscape Graphic from Scott Brinker, I suggest you take a look. The graphic for 2020 is now referred to as a supergraphic as it’s grown by 13.6% since last year with a total of 8,000 martech solutions – so crazy! To put it in perspective, in 2011 there were around 150 martech solutions on the diagram. The graphic is basically illegible unless you zoom in on the sections to see the different martech tools and technologies.

The graphic is broken out into different categories or sections including

  • Advertising & Promotion
  • Content & Experience
  • Social & Relationships
  • Commerce & Sales
  • Data, and Management

Audit Your Current Tech Stack

Auditing your current tech stack is important and is something we do very often with clients. In most cases, companies don’t even have a list of all the sales and marketing tools and technologies they are using. So that’s your first step.

  1. Generate a list of all tools and tech being used by sales or marketing
  2. Next, you’ll need to figure out how you want to bucket or categorize your tools and technology
    • At Heinz Marketing we use the following six primary categories
      • Foundations: The foundational tools of your business operations. They connect to numerous other tools and are core to the success of your sales, marketing, and customer success programs. Without them, it would be incredibly challenging to do any kind of thoughtful, automated, or timely campaigns.
      • Orchestrators: Tools that help marketers and sellers plan and orchestrate their efforts more seamlessly, efficiently, and effectively.
      • Identifiers: Tools that help identify prospect accounts/targets who fit within your target audience and ICP.
      • Attention-Getters: Tools that help capture the attention of prospects through inbound activities, SEO, and social media.
      • Engagers: Tools that enable people to engage with your business through outbound activities and website functionality.
      • Optimizers: Tools that help you analyze your data, enabling insights and actions that can be used to optimize performance of your business efforts.
  3. Choose how you want to display your tech stack. This could be a list or a diagram.
    • We’ve created the diagram below based on the six categories in step 2

martech stack diagram to categorize tools

4. After you have all your tools and technologies documented, review each section or category to identify any gaps or redundancies

    • If you’ve identified redundancies, review the tools that accomplish the same task to identify if one has more features, benefits, or functionality than the other. Do you need both? Can you get rid of one? If so, which one?
    • If you’ve identified gaps, I recommend creating a comparison grid and identifying 3-5 tools or technologies based on what you are missing
      • For each tool, put together a criteria of the necessary features and functionality this could include things like integrations, pricing/plans, reviews, etc.

By now you should understand your martech stack and what you might need to add or remove to optimize the stack for your sales and marketing efforts.

Selecting New Tools

Create a comparison grid for new tools to allow you to have all of the information and data in one place for easy analysis. Then you have all the information you need to dig a little deeper. Figure out which tool is the best fit for your organization.

Use the four steps below to help you make the right decision:

  1. Evaluate your needs, your goals, and how a new tool would not only fill a need but enable your organization to achieve more.
  2. Prioritize what your greatest needs, goals, and desired outcomes are.
  3. Select the tool that is the greatest fit for your organization and where it’s headed.
  4. Measure the effectiveness of the tool to ensure it’s not only effective but also being utilized effectively.

It’s important to make sure you are doing a thorough analysis and evaluation of new tools or technology. We all know about shiny object syndrome. Don’t be the person that says yes to a new tool because it just came out and you want to be the first one to try it. That’s only going to create problems for your organization. You’ll likely spend way too much money and then not even use the tool or use it properly. Save your organization the time and money!

Have you completed an audit of your martech stack? If so, how do you categorize your tools, or do you have a process for obtaining new tools? I’d love to hear!