You Ask, I Answer: Visualizing Your Marketing Technology Stack?

Megan asks, “I’ve been tasked with visualizing our entire marketing machine. Like, each piece of software and marketing lever that is utilized for each stage of the customer journey. I’ve got some ideas on how to best do this, but thought perhaps you have some ideas on how to do this dang thang?”

Welcome to the wonderful world of MarTech, or marketing technology. Visualizing the MarTech Stack is one of the most popular things to do; it’s even got its own awards ceremony. To visualize effectively, learn some of the basic tips in this video.

  • What’s the goal? Is it governance? Operations? Security?
  • Who will be using/consuming it?
  • How will they use it?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Megan asks, I’ve been tasked with visualizing our entire marketing machine like each piece of software and marketing lever that is utilized for each stage of the customer journey.

I’ve got some ideas on how to best do this, but thought you might have some ideas of how to do this dang thing.

Welcome to the wonderful world of martech marketing technology, visualizing the martek stack is one of the most popular things do in fact, there’s an entire award ceremony and stuff for martek stack visualization that’s held at the marketing technology conference every spring and fall.

In fact, I’m about to go to the the Arctic East Conference, as I record this, for martech stacks, visualizing them effectively requires you to do some groundwork in advance of starting.

So that means you need to collect all the data.

Who are the vendors? What role do they do? Who are the people? What are the processes? does it start and sound familiar? This is HJ love.

It’s 1964 framework, people process technology.

And that’s what a good martek stack is.

You got to answer three questions before you start the visualization.

In addition to gathering all the data that’s going to go into it.

What’s the goal? Is it because think about a marketing technology governance framework or compliance framework? You have things like, is it governance and process documentation? Is that the goal of this thing? Is it marketing operations that needs this visualization? Is it security? Is it compliance and regulatory, that needs it? These martech stacks are very important for things like GDPR, and CCP, a HIPAA and all the regulations that require you to say, here’s how our customers data is being used.

Is it the is it finance that needs it? So your martech stack is an integral part of the documentation for your marketing technology balance sheet, which is the assets that you have in your corporation.

And your CFO is going to want to see what you’re spending money on and be what are the assets that come with it.

For example, if you have a marketing technology stack, and you and lead management as part of that, that list of leads that you have, that is an asset that is a tangible asset that your company has that has monetary value, and your CFO would sure like to have that documented.

Second question need to ask after what’s the goal of the stack of visualization is who’s going to be using it? Who’s going to be consuming it? Is it a junior level staffer? Is it middle management? Is it executives, that understanding of who’s going to be looking at the visualization, as true of any visualization dictates how much detail you’re going to put into it, and what your creative boundaries are, if you’re handing this say to your auditors, you’re not going to be very creative, you can be very, very detailed.

And it may not even be a visualization, it may just be a list, because your auditors may say no, we’d rather just have a list that we can copy paste from one compliance document to another.

And then the third question that you need to get an answer is, how is the user going to use it? So is the CMO just going to put it in a slide in the you know, quarterly board review? If so, you can make it look fancy and stuff, but doesn’t have to be very detailed, it just has to look good as to be aligned to your brand standards.

On the other hand, if it’s going to be used for things like resource allocation, guess what he had better be having a ton of white space on it so that people can make notes like, here are the people that we’re going to assign to this part, here are the resources, the budgets, the timing, so that’s going to dictate your visualization as well.

When you look at most marketing technology stacks, at least the ones that are published in the stack is they are documenting, as you mentioned, the stages of the customer journey.

So you have to figure out which type of customer journey you have and which framework you want to use.

The one that is sort of the gold standard is by McKinsey and Company, the consulting firm, which is a two part customer journey on the first half is the buyers journey, awareness consideration, evaluation purchase.

On the second half is the owners journey, which is ownership, retention, loyalty, evangelism.

And each of these stages has technologies that apply to it, the tech stuff, but there are also people and processes that go with each a really good marketing technology.

visualization has people process and technology documented at each stage.

So it’s not just the technologies.

One of the deficiencies of the martek stack these awards is that they have a tendency to just be collections of logos, that doesn’t tell you anything about how you use the technology, what the technology is used for.

And that’s at each stage, people process technology, you want to be able explain, here’s the tools that we use for awareness.

Here’s the processes we use for awareness.

And here are the people that are responsible for it that really helps build an informed marketing technology stack that you could use for something like operations.

For example.

At the end of the documentation process, there’s a very good chance that your visualization is going to be like a poster, right? Because there’s going to be so much information.

And then you can decide based on that if you want to slim it down if you want to, to either have drill downs, if it’s interactive, or if it’s literally a poster, you then you may want to have smaller versions that omit certain things just have like vendor logos that might be the public versus private one to one of the interesting things from the martial arts is that a lot of the scrolls for martial arts schools, the secret techniques really are just for like footnotes, or Cliff’s notes or shorthand.

And you don’t get the full details in the documentation.

The same may be true of your marketing technology diagrams, you may be able to slim down to just a collection of logos.

And that is something you could share publicly, maybe even in the martek stack these awards, but the people on the processes that gets suppressed so that you’re not giving away any trade secrets like yeah, we use Hootsuite, we use buffer we use sendgrid, we use Salesforce com, that doesn’t really tell anybody anything other than which vendors you’re paying money to.

As opposed to saying, we take Salesforce com and we integrate it with Google Analytics using Zapier and bind that to our data science facility to do predictive lead scoring, right? That’s, that’s getting into secret sauce territory.

That’s something you never put on a stack of visualization.

But you would want to have that in place private version, the detailed version so that somebody who took the diagram for sales, training of new employees would be able to say yes, and here’s how the pieces fit together and why they fit together.

So those are some guidelines for a stack visualization.

What’s the goal? Who’s consuming it? How will they use it, gather all the data, all the stuff about people process and technology.

And that’s what you want at each stage of the customer journey.

Your first iterations are going to look ugly, they should look, they should be a hot mess.

And then you can refine it from there.

I’ll put a link in the notes below to the stack ease award.

So you can see some very creative visualizations of it.

But remember that these are the public ones that don’t include people and don’t include processes.

They really are just collections of vendor logos.

But if you’re just showing it to the CMO, so they can show it to the board.

That might be what you what your public light version looks like.

Great question.

Fun question.

There’s a lot you can do with this stuff.

And that’s a lot of fun.

How about a lot of fun with it.

As always, please leave your comments below.

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Thanks for watching.

I’ll talk to you soon.

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