You’ve probably heard it before: the best marketing strategies and tactics are only as good as the technology you use to execute them. And while that may be the truth, building an effective B2B marketing tech stack can be a daunting task. With thousands of tools and services available, it’s hard to know which ones are worth your time and money.
But wait — there’s good news! While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every business, there are a few key pieces of technology that every B2B marketer should have in their arsenal. In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of building the best B2B marketing tech stack — so if you’re not sure where to start or are looking for ways to optimize your current setup, here’s what you need to know.
What is a Marketing Tech Stack?
A marketing tech stack is a collection of tools and software that work together to help you create, execute and measure marketing campaigns. It’s what allows you to turn your marketing ideas into reality and make them work — but it’s also part of what makes marketing so complex.
The problem is that there are literally hundreds of different tools out there — each claiming to help B2B marketers with everything from lead generation to social media analysis — so it can be hard to know which ones will actually help you achieve your goals.
What’s essential to understand is that the B2B marketing technology stack is a unique beast. It’s not just a combination of tools, but also the way they’re used together. This means that you can’t simply buy the most popular products and expect them to work well together; it takes more than that.
That said, when you finally have a strong marketing technology stack in place, it’s like having a superpower. It’s something that can help you do things you never thought possible — like track every single lead, automate your entire funnel and get extremely detailed data-driven insights that will help you make smarter decisions moving forward. For B2B marketing teams, this superpower can be the difference between being average and being amazing.
Using Technology in Your Marketing Strategy
In today’s digital world, marketing technology is the secret sauce that helps you stay ahead of the competition. The possibilities are endless and it can be used to create a seamless customer experience from start to finish, allowing you to get a crystal-clear view of your audience and their needs. In addition, this means you can deliver content that resonates with them and ultimately drives more sales.
Furthermore, one of the biggest advantages of using technology in a B2B marketing strategy is that you can automate many of the tasks that would otherwise take up valuable time. This is especially helpful if you’re part of a small business that may not have the resources or manpower to spare on repetitive work — such as sending out personalized email campaigns, monitoring social media and analytics, producing marketing reports and more.
Incorporating a marketing automation tool like Marketo or HubSpot can significantly streamline your marketing operations. By automating workflows and repetitive tasks, your sales team can focus on nurturing leads and closing deals, while your marketing campaign performance can be tracked and optimized in real time.
But automating mundane tasks isn’t the only way to leverage technology in your marketing stack. Here are some other ways you can take advantage of it:
- Dynamic CTAs: Imagine always being at the forefront of your audience’s mind. This can help you stand out from the competition and build brand loyalty — and it’s possible with dynamic CTAs. These are effective because they change based on the user’s data, such as their location, device or previous actions.
- Lead scoring: There are tech-based tools that automatically measure the potential of your leads based on their actions. This way, you can prioritize which leads to focus on first and which ones are worth following up with. What’s more, this allows you to segment your contacts into different groups based on their behavior and use that information to determine what type of message will resonate best with them.
- Updating meeting slides: Never go back to manually update your meeting slides, when you can do it automatically. There are tools that will allow you to easily sync your data with your slides, so you can ensure that they are always up to date. This is especially useful if you’re managing a lot of accounts and meetings.
- Contact data enrichment: Leads are the lifeblood of any business, but if you don’t know who they are, it’s impossible to do anything with them. Data enrichment services will help you identify your leads and fill in any missing information so that you can build a more complete picture of them. This makes it much easier to send targeted emails and enable you to build a more personalized relationship with your prospects.
The Content Marketer
Get weekly insights, advice and opinions about all things digital marketing.
Thanks for subscribing! Keep an eye out for a Welcome email from us shortly. If you don’t see it come through, check your spam folder and mark the email as “not spam.”
Building a Better Marketing Tech Stack
Now that you’ve got a good handle on what marketing technology can do for your business, it’s time to start building your own stack. There are many different components that go into this process, but here are some of the most important things to consider:
Identify Your Goals and Challenges
To avoid overwhelming yourself and your team, it’s important to take a step back and think about what you’re trying to accomplish with your marketing tech stack. What are some of the challenges that you face on a daily basis? How can technology help you overcome them? This will give you an idea of what features are most important for each marketing tool in your stack so that you can prioritize accordingly.
For example, if your sales technology needs to integrate with a content management system for seamless account based marketing, you’ll want to ensure compatibility and ease of use. Consider another scenario: Leveraging a martech tool like Sprout Social can enhance your ability to automatically schedule out social posts on multiple channels. Similarly, a robust SEO tool like Moz can make it easy to track performance on Google search for important keywords, making it simpler to automatically flag pages that need attention.
Research Your Potential Tools
Once you have a sense of your goals and challenges, it’s time to start researching the different marketing tech tools that could help you meet them. There are plenty of options out there, so make sure to do your research before making any decisions. Don’t forget to check out reviews from other customers and consider how each marketing tool integrates with other software that your team already uses (or plans on using in the future).
For instance, the performance of Google Ad campaigns might be easier to track with an analytics tool like Looker Studio, or even Salesforce dashboards. And in some cases, free is the best way to go — Google Search Console, which provides insights into your website’s performance in Google search results, is the source of truth for SEO performance, and it costs nothing. Choosing tools wisely can be crucial for marketing leaders looking to refine their marketing campaigns and maximize ROI.
Organize Your Data
Next, you’ll need to organize all of the data that flows through your marketing channels. This can be done in a variety of ways:
- By type: Web analytics, lead generation, etc.
- By channel: Email, social media, etc.
- By campaign: Free trial sign-ups, newsletter opt-ins, etc.
The goal is to create a central repository for all of your customer data that is accessible to everyone on your marketing team. This will make it easier for you to track progress, spot patterns and trends, and make informed decisions about where to spend your marketing budget.
Stack Your Tools
This is where the fun begins! Now that you’ve organized your data, it’s time to make sense of it all by using the right tools. Make sure they’re able to integrate with each other, so you can easily combine data from multiple sources and get a complete picture of your marketing efforts.
And remember, it’s not just about adding more tools to your arsenal. It’s also about making sure they’re all pulling their weight and working together as a team.
For example, your sales tech stack might include a CRM for managing customer data, a B2B marketing tool for account based marketing efforts, and a martech tool to oversee your bottom-of-funnel marketing operations. Each component should seamlessly integrate to provide a holistic view of your sales and marketing efforts.
Analyze Performance and Adjust
Once you’ve got your tools up and running, it’s time to analyze their performance. Make sure they’re all working properly, and then dive deep into the data to see how each one is contributing to your goals — or not. If a tool isn’t working as well as you’d hoped, make adjustments so you can get more bang for your buck. In addition, you may also want to create new goals based on the data you’ve collected so far — and adjust your strategy accordingly.
7 Essential Tools in Your Martech Stack
As mentioned, today’s marketers have access to an overwhelming amount of technology. And while you may be tempted to focus on the latest and greatest, there are some tools that will always remain essential. Let’s take a look at 7 functions that will help you get things done faster and easier than ever before:
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Your CRM software will be your best friend when it comes to keeping track of everything from leads and contacts to accounts and opportunities. It will also help you keep your business organized, allowing you to see how different pieces fit together to form your marketing strategy.
Now, what makes a good CRM? Firstly, it should be flexible and customizable, allowing you to create custom fields that can be used in any way you choose. It should also have an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that allows you to navigate quickly between different areas of your business and follows the customer journey. Most importantly, you’ll want a CRM that provides real-time updates and actionable insights.
Mobile access and team-wide communication are also very convenient features — it’s OK to be selective when faced with so many options!
2. Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)
Marketing automation platforms make it possible to perform repetitive tasks — such as email marketing, behavioral targeting, lead prioritization and personalized advertising — automatically and at scale.
This is huge for both marketers and consumers alike, both of which can benefit from more efficient, streamlined processes. The truth is, the more you can automate, the more time you have to focus on higher-level strategies that will really make a difference.
Tools like Marketo Engage are great for large and growing businesses, and for companies that are just getting started, there are affordable (sometimes free!) options like Customer.io that will help to build your digital marketing automation foundation.
3. Content Marketing Platform
Content is king, as they say. But if you’re trying to manage your own blog and social media accounts, managing your content marketing strategy can feel like a full-time job in itself — not to mention a huge drain on your time and energy. That’s why many marketers are turning to content marketing platforms that are able to support their workflow.
We developed our own software — the Brafton Content Marketing Platform — designed by content marketers, for content marketers. It includes:
- A calendar to help organize your work and keep track of deadlines.
- A library to house all of your ideas and marketing materials in one place so you can quickly access them whenever needed.
- An in-platform collaborative workspace to facilitate communication between team members.
4. Social Media Marketing
It’s no secret that social media marketing is a crucial component of any successful content marketing strategy. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to reach your audience and build relationships with them. That being said, it can also take up quite a bit of your time. If you want to get the most out of your social media efforts, you need to find a way to automate some of the processes.
Tools like Biteable help you create on-brand, engaging videos in no time, while Buffer and HootSuite allow you to schedule your posts and track the results of your campaigns. There are a lot of benefits to social media marketing tools in a B2B marketing tech stack. With the right tool and a solid strategy in one place, social growth is right around the corner.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you’re not already familiar with SEO, it’s the process of optimizing your website or content so that it shows up higher in search results. This can increase the number of people who see your business and its offerings, which leads to more traffic, sales and conversions over time.
There are many SEO tools that can help with this process, including Ahrefs, Moz and Semrush. These tools can help you understand what content is already ranking well in search results and give you insights into the keywords people are using to find the information they need.
6. Paid Advertising Tools
Paid advertising can be a great way to reach people in your target audience who otherwise might not have seen your business or offerings before. It’s a broad field that includes pay-per-click ads on search engines, display ads on social media platforms and more.
That’s why it’s vital to have a solid understanding of the different paid advertising tools available. You’ll need to know how much they cost and what the expected return on investment is for each to make wise decisions about where your budget goes. A good place to start is Google Ads Editor, which is free and enables marketers to manage multiple Google Ad accounts even without internet connectivity.
7. Marketing Analytics and Intelligence
Last but certainly not least, you need to be equipped with the tools and information necessary to measure the impact of your marketing activities. This includes both qualitative and quantitative data, which can help you see how your strategies are performing over time. You’ll want to keep an eye on things like click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates, but also consider collecting customer feedback through surveys or polls.
Tips to Build the Perfect Tech Stack
Building a great tech stack requires understanding your business, identifying tools and services that meet those needs, and then learning how to use these solutions together effectively. Here are some tips for getting started:
- Ask your colleagues for input: Gather feedback from your colleagues to see how their day-to-day work may be impacted by the tech stack. You can also ask them about some of their biggest challenges and how they’d like to see them solved. Use this information to inform your decisions about which tools and services are most important for your business.
- Create a roadmap: This will help keep things organized and prevent confusion about which tool does what. Put your roadmap on display so everyone in the company knows what’s coming next.
- Implement, learn and grow: Start implementing the tools and services one by one. Make sure everyone on your team knows how to use them, and work together to identify any gaps in functionality or areas where you need more training. Once each tool is up and running, evaluate how well it helps you achieve your goals.
- Be willing to adapt: The most important thing you can do is to keep an open mind and stay flexible. If a tool doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to try something else. After all, you’re not looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather the best tools for your business.
Stay in the Loop of Marketing Trends
And…that’s a wrap! Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about how to build the best B2B marketing tech stack. Contact us if you have any questions or want to learn more. Happy marketing!
Editor’s note: Updated Dec. 2023.