Best Practices for Building and Adding to Your Tech Stack

December 9, 2016 James Thomas

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Do you plan to spend more on your technology stack in 2017? If so, you’re not alone. Research conducted by Walker Sands Communications and ChiefMarTec.com says 70 percent of U.S. marketers plan to spend more on marketing technology next year, including 20 percent who indicate they will spend significantly more.

Additional investments in the technology stack mean it’s important to generate value to support the spending, but the study says only 3 percent of marketers now get full value out of their technology tools.

The articles below look at several best practices for building and expanding your tech stack, including first focusing on your internal processes, understanding your needs and putting a plan together to wrangle your data.

Use Technology to Create Value

“ ‘For a successful future of marketing, marketers need to consider how they can use technology in smart ways to enable them to generate superior value for their businesses, customers, employees, and also society more broadly,’ [says Andrew Stephen, L’Oréal Professor of Marketing at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.] … ‘Marketing has to be, and will continue to be, a data-driven, analytics-focused, and technology-enabled discipline, and that’s fine, but if we focus on the technology too much we lose sight of the fundamental role of marketing — to deliver growth and value to business and its stakeholders.’ ” —Read more at B&T.

Think Through Your Internal Processes First

“[W]e rely too much on technology to give us innovative ideas and approaches to work. It’s true tech can do that, but sometimes we need to step back and think our processes and strategies through before we start looking at technology. Indeed look at technology for ideas, but don’t implement and assume the technology will think for you.” —Read more at Diginomica

Understand Your Needs Before Moving On to RFPs and Evaluations

“Know what you need, then what you want, before wasting anyone’s time sending and reviewing RFPs or product demos,” [says John A. Caldwell, president of Red Pill Email]. “Product demos are for seeing if the technology meets your requirements and if the company with that technology is a working match with your company.” —Read more at DMNews.

Map a Plan to Make Your Data Ready for Analysis

“Although diverse and complex data holds the promise of robust insights, the sheer volume and variety can create a bottleneck in the data analysis process, which becomes increasingly labor-intensive. Before data can be analyzed, it must be wrangled (prepped) into the requisite format for the analysis you want to run, especially if you need to blend data from various datasets or sources. This step creates a bottleneck or, worse, an impasse that prevents organizations from harnessing and using the potential of their data to enable data-driven decisions.” —Read more at MarketingProfs.

Help Your Teams Be Better Through Technology

“An investment in technology isn’t intended to replace the smart and creative people on a marketing team, but rather to help them become better at what they do. It helps them focus where they are likely to see the most success, maximize the value of every marketing interaction, and ultimately help more potential customers engage with their companies and marketing messages. What’s more, as marketing departments increasingly rely on technology to become better marketers, it’s more important than ever to have good relationships with the tech teams who have become essential to integrating all this technology they’re using. I’m convinced this increased level of cross-functional cooperation benefits companies in many ways beyond the value of the technology.” —Read more at CMO.

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