What Is The Marketing Stack And Why Should You Define It At The Same Time As Your Strategic Marketing Plan?

What Is The Marketing Stack And Why Should You Define It At The Same Time As Your Strategic Marketing Plan?

For this reason, when defining a strategic marketing and customer management plan, it is practically essential to also graphically determine the management flow of each interaction between customers/users and any of our channels, actions, or content, as well as the technological architecture involved for the correct execution of said management. This visual representation is what is known as the MarketingStcak.


Inbound Marketing and content marketing are the trend when it comes to getting our messages across, together with more modern tactics such as Social Selling and Account Based Marketing (ABM); and this has caused the number of information sources to increase almost exponentially.

If we follow Inbound Marketing methodologies, we will see that all of them summarize the complexity of customer management in four phases:

  • Attract
  • Turn into
  • Close
  • Satisfy

And in each one, different tactics, content, channels, and data must be taken into account, both generated and necessary, to make more accurate decisions with a greater probability of conversion.

To manage everything effectively, we have different platforms at our disposal. For example, as CMS there is WordPress or Adobe Experience Manager, and the customer relationship can be managed with Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Hubspot, among others.

A digital ecosystem that does not stop growing

We are faced with a list of solutions for each case that is difficult to narrow down, and that continues to increase year after year, although there are also voices that assure us that they will soon begin to consolidate through purchases and associations that simplify use by marketing professionals.

Noteworthy is the initiative of Scott Brinker. This marketing technology analyst, and now a HubSpot employee, has been organizing apps into a map that only grows for several years. He has dubbed it the “ Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic ”. It is arranged in categories and subcategories and, since 2011 when it began to draw up a list of 150 tools, every year that I have been attending its MarTech event, I have returned to Madrid with a poster with more and smaller logos, until now almost reaches 7,000 solutions.

This gives us an idea of ​​a large number of marketing technology solutions. Which ones to choose for each phase of our business strategy? The answer comes through the Marketing Stack, also called the Marketing Technology Stack(Brinker himself calls it MarTech). It is not necessary to know the 7,000 tools, but at least be aware of all the categories of marketing software (MarTech) that we have at our disposal and know how to use them for our specific case.

What is the marketing stack?

The Marketing Stack is a way of clarifying sections such as multiple communication media or the Customer Journey, for example. The resulting diagram will represent the Digital Marketing management flow.

Associating the business framework with the applications to be used will facilitate the analysis of the work of the marketing department.

As outstanding advantages:

  • Doing so forces us to capture graphically (and therefore make it more tangible) the model of customer management and digital marketing.
  • To achieve this, it is necessary to merge the vision of the marketing team with the more technical section that will be responsible for configuring that vision into specific, automated, and measurable processes that will be executed with technological solutions.
  • It is an opportunity to bring the team as a whole closer to a global vision of the marketing process and to understand how technology interacts.

However, representing the business and customer management process in a graph requires an analysis exercise that requires identifying and understanding the solutions used in each phase. It also helps detect digitization opportunities, steps where problems are occurring due to duplication of functions/tools, or bottlenecks due to lack of coordination or data management.

Representative examples

Do not think that creating a Marketing Stack is just a fad. Moreover, experts take it for granted that it will be part of management methodologies throughout the world, given its usefulness. It will come to join established concepts such as the scorecard, brand architecture, the sales funnel...

If you want to see a Marketing Stack, you can easily find examples on the Internet. The Bizible one (from 2017) is quite representative. It shows four main areas of work: InboundIntelligenceAnalytics, and Collaboration, with the applications used in each area.

Others may show the customer management flow. This is the case of CISCO, which places the customer at the center of its MarTech (a clear example of its customer-centric vocation ). Four relationship phases (knowledge, purchase, installation, and renewal) and the platforms used in each phase are reflected here.

Microsoft also published in 2017, in the context of the Stackies Awards, the Marketing Stack of the team responsible for Marketing IT and Operations at a global level.

But carrying out a Marketing Stack is not only useful to clarify the technologies used in each phase. Some are seeing it as a marketing measure in itself. Proof of this is spectacular infographics such as BlackRock’s “MarTechtropolis”.

What Is The Marketing Stack And Why Should You Define It At The Same Time As Your Strategic Marketing Plan?


Define the stack from the business plan

A business plan should detail things like how the business intends to streamline its resources, engage in production, and even manage its customers. Here it is crucial to include a strategic marketing plan.

In this creative process, the management and operations teams must develop and implement practical marketing strategies that guarantee a stable flow of business for the company. And this section should include a specific one for the Marketing Stack.

Defining the stack of technologies and tools that are going to be used in each phase of analysis, execution and measurement will allow having a map with the internal and external tools integrated between them (CMS, CRM, ERP, eCommerce, Social Listening, Data, AI & Analytics, Automation/Inbound, Campaign Managers, etc.).

You have to look for solutions that meet the requirements of your business (not necessarily the most popular). Optimization will be the key. But if you have to opt for a specific tool for each corporate function, it should not be considered a handicap either. The ultimate goal is for you to solve a problem and to do so efficiently.


an example of a marketing stack with tools from Microsoft and Adobe that cover all needs

The range of possibilities that opens up is very wide. Choosing the best solutions when planning your Marketing Stack requires a global, updated, and future vision.

It is crucial to have the support of strategic consultants who are experts in technology. A clear example is that of Venca, which has relied on Avanade to improve the management and orchestration of marketing campaigns . The result has been the development of a CRM and Marketing Automation platform based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe Campaigns technologies.

In a theoretical exercise, and taking the options offered by the alliance of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe, we could consider several scenarios.

As a CMS and Cloud platform, we could consider Adobe Experience Manager, which is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud and runs on Microsoft Azure. This web platform offers a combination of cloud services. The synergy between Adobe and Microsoft is reinforced in the way it integrates sales and marketing data. In this way, it favors a comprehensive view of your customers. The experience of the latter is strengthened by integration with Adobe Campaign, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Power BI.

As for CRMMicrosoft Dynamics 365 for Sales is used to gain visibility into customers and opportunities. And Dynamics 365 AI for Sales will add pre-built, contextual insights that speed up work.

As an eCommerce ERP, the platform to choose seems quite clear: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail. This solution allows you to unify digital operations, personalize the customer experience and increase employee productivity.

Social Listening tasks with which to investigate the market organically could be carried out with Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights. While on the other hand, in a Data, AI & Analytics environment, you could choose to combine Microsoft Dynamics 365, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Power BI, and also Adobe Analytics & Power BI. This combination will give the organization instant access to the necessary knowledge, anywhere and at any time.

For Automation and Inbound, it would be possible to opt for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Microsoft Adobe Marketing Cloud, a powerful platform with which to obtain and consolidate potential clients, as well as coordinate sales and marketing.

And to manage campaigns, one option could be to combine Microsoft 365 for Marketing and Adobe Campaign, which will make it easier to coordinate and send dynamic campaigns to customers via email, mobile devices, offline channels, etc.


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