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What Goes Into A Good Marketing Software Stack


Finding the right set of marketing tools that fit within your organization can be tough given the 1,000’s marketing software programs on the market.  All companies have different needs and are of different sizes with varying budgets.  But understanding the methodology on how to think through what goes into your marketing stack can lay the groundwork for enabling your sales and marketing team with the tools they need to increase sales for your organization.

MarTech wrote an excellent article covering the marketing stacks organizations need and mainly how to think through that process.  To simplify it a bit, we would break down the process of determining the critical needs of your marketing stack by four areas:

  • Marketing Priorities
  • Organizational Infrastructure
  • Technology Capabilities
  • Data Analysis

Marketing Priorities

Chief marketing officers are gaining more and more responsibility in incorporating both offline channels into the online media and ensuring brand messaging and consistent across all proper channels.  A B2C organization’s marketing priorities will be different from a B2B’s.  Knowing whether your messaging should be centered around direct response or brand awareness mediums is critical to determining your marketing stack especially if you’re working on multichannel marketing.  That’s the key difference in knowing whether you should invest in Google Adwords or Programmatic Display.

It’s also important to consider who your key targets areas each one has a different software requirement.  The team at Cisco developed a pretty good Marketing stack that breaks down targets by the customer, partner, seller, and data operators.

Organizational Infrastructure

CMOs need to think about how their organization is staffed and the specific skillsets and marketing needs that are garnered from the individuals within their enterprise.

  • How many people can manage and successfully integrate the marketing tools you’re considering?
  • What level of skill does your staff have in marketing and in particular digital media?
  • Are they simply task executors or can they think strategically to bring your marketing tools in line with the vision of the organization?
  • How much time will be required of the staff to manage and implement the marketing stack of tools for the company?
  • And most importantly, is the company well equipped to handle the communications and flexibility required to pivot and change course when certain tools aren’t working as expected?

There are other questions worth considering, however, the core remains how your organization is structured to manage the potential marketing stack of the company.

Technology Capabilities

Another way to phrase this is what the features are and how do those features integrate into our organization.  At CustomShow, we’re big on presentations of course.  We wrote an entire post on presentation software features organizations should consider.  The same holds true for marketing features.  As you review the potential marketing stacks below, sort through the features that are needed to solve your marketing problems and communicate your messages to those potential customers/partners, etc…

Data Analysis

Data deserves its own bucket because it’s data that informs our marketing decision making in discerning what is and is not working.  We know many organizations that skip this step or simply don’t invest enough resources (people and money) into data gathering, but it’s the most crucial area because it informs our decision making on how we should pivot with messaging.  Something even as simple as Google Analytics can make the difference, but other more sophisticated data analysis tools like Tableau can also bring to life the data needed for CMOs and their staff to track the results of any marketing initiatives. Additionally, consider acquiring a special CMS for your content to plan, manage, and track results. Look for some shared WordPress hosting, for example, to help implement WordPress more securely and quickly. There are ways that WordPress hosting and cloud hosting providers have been able to innovate and improve the security of their servers.

Some Good Data Stacks We Found

Below is a list of some interesting marketing stacks we believe can be useful to marketing departments:

This one breakdown the marketing process and fits various software programs into each bucket.  All the way from brand awareness marketing to deal conversion and data analysis.

We thought this one was good as it related mainly to web analytics and sales conversion.

Finally, Lattice created this one which has a similar function to the first but is slightly shortened.  In it, they focus a bit more on Lead Management, Content Management, and Analytics.