Let’s talk about a common problem that many online businesses face: disconnected stacks.
A marketing technology stack, aka a martech stack or just “tech stack,” is a group of independent applications and other technologies that come together (in a “stack”) to solve specific marketing challenges. The word “stack” conveys two key ideas:
- These technologies build on each other to rise toward something higher.
- These technologies must be integrated into your processes and workflows optimally—you don’t want the stack to fall over.
Using a marketing tech stack to support a successful marketing strategy is often necessary and always requires work, because best practices are always evolving and the winning formulas can change. This can lead to a disconnected stack.
I. The Problem
A disconnected tech stack can happen in several different ways:
- Stack Complexity & Scope Creep
Ecommerce marketing doesn’t have a “Swiss army knife” that meets every need. As you solve different problems your stack may become unwieldy and complex—shedding effectiveness while increasing administration and maintenance costs.
- Internal Stack Strife
Third-party apps don’t always play nice with one another. Transferring data and maintaining integration can be a hassle that gets worse over time as the different pieces of your stack go in their own directions and lose compatibility or new additions to your stack clash with older components.
- Right Stack, Wrong Company
A disconnected tech stack might have nothing wrong with it. Different businesses have different paths to success. If you build a stack that isn’t suited for the circumstances of your business, its ineffectiveness may not be obvious right away.
- Times Change
It may be hard to imagine, but the 2010s are long behind us now and today’s winning ecommerce marketing strategies have evolved from where they were 5 – 10 years ago, and the prices of many marketing solutions have risen significantly. Yesterday’s winning stack simply may not cut it anymore. Using a marketing tech stack long-term means changing with the times.
II. On the Road with Yotpo
Coalition Technologies recently attended the On the Road conference in Los Angeles, put on by Yotpo Partners for marketing leaders to discuss the latest ecommerce trends and innovations.
Coalition’s own Cassandra Cross, our Director of Strategic Partnerships, was one of the guest speakers. Cass discussed the challenges of a disconnected tech stack, and we wanted to share the takeaways from her talk and some of the conversations it generated.
III. How to Make Your Martech Stack Work
The most important takeaway from Cass’ talk was her roadmap for building and using a marketing tech stack in your business:
- Identify Your Top-Level Business Objectives
Before trying to rehabilitate a disconnected tech stack, you need to know what success looks like. Define success and lay out your core KPIs.
- Make Revenue the Driver of Your Stack Strategy
You’re paying money for most of the components in your stack, so you need to ask yourself: Does each solution pay for itself by driving revenue? Or is it just a trendy toy that you’ll end up canceling in a year?
- Evaluate Your Current Martech Stack Impartially
You need to do a thorough audit of your existing stack. Identify gaps, redundancies, and unmet needs. Make decisions about what should stay the same, what needs an overhaul, and what needs to be removed and/or replaced. Keep this audit objective, with your KPIs as the anchor, and scrutinize perspectives that advocate for the status quo. A disconnected tech stack may be familiar for employees to work with but bad for the company’s interests.
- Prioritize Stack Improvements Based on Impact and ROI
You probably don’t need to—and probably shouldn’t—spend huge sums of money to change everything at once. Prioritize your stack improvements based on their impact on your business and your expected ROI.
- Plan for Scalability and Flexibility
When evaluating solutions for your disconnected tech stack, consider their scalability and flexibility. Make sure that you’re using a marketing tech stack whose technologies can grow with your business and be easily integrated with other solutions.
- Look for Easy User Adoption and Ease of Use
You can never afford to overlook the human factor. Your employees have to work with your stack. Make sure the solutions are user-friendly and can be reasonably adopted by your team.
- Anticipate the Vendor Support Competencies and Reputation
Make sure the vendors of any products you go with are reliable, responsive, and can provide the support you will eventually need.
- Support Data Privacy and Security
Carefully consider the data privacy and security features of any solutions you’re evaluating for your disconnected tech stack. Ensure regulatory compliance and commit to the necessary security best practices.
- Test and Measure
Once you have implemented improvements to your martech stack, it is important to test and measure the effectiveness of what you’ve done. Using a marketing tech stack without properly testing and refining it is a commonly overlooked step that can really tighten up your stack’s power.
IV. Common Challenges in Building a Martech Stack
Fixing a disconnected tech stack is a complex and ongoing process that is bound to come with complications. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Integration Challenges
Compatibility issues with new additions to your stack can derail the entire project. Ensure that these problems are given the necessary resources, or else find alternate paths.
- Security and Privacy Risks
Upgrading your disconnected tech stack will likely expose your brand to additional security and privacy risks via the data collection of new solutions you incorporate. Always assess your risks and proceed knowledgeably.
- Training and Support
Using a marketing tech stack with new technology often requires training and support for users, which must be allowed for.
- User Adoption Resistance
Team members may be reluctant to adopt the new workflows in your stack if it requires significant changes in the way they work or makes their jobs significantly harder. Hearing them and accommodating their reasonable transition requests is critical.
- Cost and ROI
Marketing technology stacks can be very expensive to build and maintain. Remember to justify these costs against revenue expectations.
- Vendor Lock-In
Be mindful of the possibility of becoming locked into a particular vendor or technology, making it difficult to switch to a different provider or technology in the future.
- Technical Expertise
Improving your disconnected tech stack may require third-party technical expertise that the brand does not possess in-house—a significant additional expense.
V. How Yotpo Helps
Yotpo can be a powerful ally in improving your marketing technology stack. They help businesses by offering multiple products under a single umbrella—all fully intercompatible. Their products include infrastructure packages for SMS marketing, user reviews, user subscriptions, and several other martech solutions that many ecommerce businesses are going to want to incorporate into their stack in some form.
By using a marketing tech stack with a single provider for as many pieces of your stack as possible, you will benefit from consolidated pricing, easier stack integration, fewer compatibility issues, and less likelihood of accumulating stack clutter.
Coalition Technologies has partnered with Yotpo since 2017 to add value to our own digital marketing and SEO services. You don’t have to fix the problems of a disconnected tech stack from scratch. Let Yotpo help.
VI. The Importance of SEO
When it comes to deploying a successful marketing strategy, no other tool replaces SEO fundamentals. Coalition Technologies offers #1 rated SEO marketing services that will help your business to build that critical edge.
Case Study: Pink Lily
Pink Lily had previously relied on social media and paid advertising to fill the top of their sales funnel, but acquiring new customers this way is significantly harder, more competitive, and more expensive in 2023 than it was in the 2010s.
They were suffering from a “changing times” disconnected tech stack. We helped them implement an SEO strategy and other solutions that generated $2.5 million in new revenue from $100k of our services:
- Organic SEO become a huge top-of-funnel audience driver.
- Our SEO services successfully lowered Pink Lily’s new customer acquisition costs, which in turn helped replenish the pipelines for effective e-mail, SMS, and PPC advertising campaigns.
E-mail, SMS, PPC, and social media—especially for high-turnover product verticals like fashion—are becoming a more expensive way to acquire new customers. Organic SEO, in contrast, has experienced lower cost growth. Using a marketing tech stack with a strong SEO component is both a more sustainable acquisition method and essential to the success of those other methods.
VII. Other Tools to Leverage
Brand collaborations can also be effective. They tend to be affordable to execute, and often come with access to successful influencers. Just make sure that there is some overlap in audiences and similar brand appeal.
VIII. Build a Fully Interconnected Marketing Strategy with Coalition
Coalition Technologies can help you rehabilitate your disconnected tech stack so that you’re using a marketing tech stack that is tested, cost-effective, and scalable.
- Explore Digital Marketing
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- Read Case Studies
- See More Guides in the Coalition Technologies Blog
Get in touch with us today to outline a connected marketing strategy that generates new revenue for your business. Contact us and get a free digital strategy proposal.