How to Build a MarTech Stack with Dan McGaw & Brian Massey

What is the ultimate marketing technology stack? Join us in learning how to build a MarTech stack with Dan McGaw from Effin’ Amazing.

Dan McGaw sees the threads that connect customers to websites to campaigns to decision makers. We call these “MarTech stacks” and they are the hot topic in digital marketing these days.

We all have stacks. Email platforms, marketing automation systems, customer management systems, analytics databases… And then each of the services we work with adds to our marketing technology stacks — Facebook, Instagram and other social media, Google Ads, Amazon.

Most of our MarTech stacks come together piecemeal, one part at a time, independent and unintegrated. This means we spend hours drowning in spreadsheets as we try to answer simple questions, like, “Should I run that campaign again?” and “How many times do I have to touch my prospects before they buy?”

Fortunately, Dan is sitting down with me and I’m going to wrestle as many insights from his brain as possible. He knows all of the tools. And he doesn’t mind telling us how to build a MarTech stack.

Buckle in.

How to Build a MarTech Stack with Dan McGaw • Utilizing the Vice Framework for Marketing Stacks with Dan McGaw Intended Consequences Podcast. Click to listen to the mistakes marketers make in their stacks.

Utilizing the Vice Framework for Marketing Stacks with Dan McGaw Intended Consequences Podcast

On today’s show, we’re talking about the VICE Framework, what it means and how marketers can apply it as they experiment in their marketing teams. Dan McGaw from Effin’ Amazing will also tell you how to build a MarTech Stack to support the execution of your market strategy.

Let’s Dive into Building a Marketing Technology Stack

There’s a lot of talk about MarTech stacks at all levels. From email marketing, customer journey marketing automation, customer relationship management CRM, google analytics, tag management all the way through to search engine optimization or SEO tools.

There are dozens of options, dozens of choices and new interesting tools appear daily. This is the golden age of marketing.

Is there a common marketing technology stack that’s a good starter stack of tools that right now are best in class for most organizations? Or do you have to evaluate all the options and pick the right tool for an organization?

There’s definitely different tools and some are better suited for certain types of business. You have the all in one packages, which usually just do OK and most marketing operations can get away with that.

Think about a platform like HubSpot, HubSpot does everything. They do it about 60% well and about 40% not.

For most people 60% is good enough. For other companies, that’s not going to be enough. So we typically look at best of breed tools, MarTech stacks that pushes the limits of reality.

When you think about your normal SaaS company, there’s a plethora of options and you really need to focus on what is the outcome you’re trying to create and then start to research the different management tools that are out there.

What is the Ultimate Marketing Technology Stack?

The ultimate stack is what we recommend to all businesses that want to get started and be scalable and effective in their marketing efforts in the future.

So the big thing that companies need to understand now is this concept of customer data platforms or customer data infrastructures.

1. You need to be able to send your data to one source and that one source needs to distribute it to all of your other tools. That’s known as a CDI customer data infrastructure.

The three main players in that space are Segment, Metarouter and Mparticle. They are web tools which have client side libraries, JavaScript and then server side libraries that you can use. They also integrate with tools like Salesforce so they can consume data from Salesforce and pass it downstream to other tools.

That way you have one source to send your data to and then it’s distributed throughout the rest of the MarTech stack. And it becomes the hub of how data moves around.

2. The next thing you need to have is CEP or marketing automation tool like Marketo or Pardot’s marketing automation platforms.

3. The one tool that we recommend to everybody is a platform called Autopilot. Does email, text message, can send web hooks, other platforms integrated with Zappier, there’s direct mail and a text bot. But it really can work as a transactional system – where x happens and it immediately fires – or it can do a 16 day drip campaign.

3.a. If you’re a B2B, you need a CRM I would always recommend Salesforce.

4. And then your downstream analytics tools. Google Analytics is cool, but it doesn’t do enough. I recommend either Amplitude or Mixpanel.

That’s a primary marketing technology stack right there. So you have Segment, Autopilot and for B2B Salesforce. And then you have something like Amplitude or Mixpanel.

Tip for evaluating your Martech Stack

You’ve seen the bulletin boards in movies used by detectives to help solve a crime, covered in pictures and connected by strings tacked together.

Brian Massey front of his martech stack diagram. Click to discover how to build a MarTech stack.

Here’s my martech stack diagram.

You should do something like that.

When you get back to the office, bring to mind your most recent campaign. On a bulletin board, or whiteboard, draw the path of your prospects through the various systems in your stack all the way through to purchase.

Even if the systems aren’t in your control.

  • Draw green lines (or string) if you can track your prospects from one part of the stack to the next.
  • Draw red lines if you must manually move data, or if data is not available.

For us, the Marketing Scorecard is where we analyze all of the work we’ve done. There are several red lines leading into it. It’s in a spreadsheet and I manually enter data weekly to answer questions like, “How much is a new subscriber worth in dollars?” and “How has our new landing page changed acquisition cost?”

Then get to work on the red lines. Some of them are red simply because you’re not using the data. I rarely log into Sprout Social to see how our campaigns are driving new subscribers and leads.

Reach out to sales to see if you can get a regular report of sales. Figure out how to tie web campaigns to closed deals by passing campaign identifiers with form data.

Then listen to this podcast again. You’ll see Dan in a whole new light.

OK, scientists. That’s it for this week.

Links and Resources from the Podcast

Brian Massey
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