Anatomy of a Marketing Tech Stack


The message bone’s connected to the measurement bone…

Want to take the pulse of the tech market? Gauge the temperature of a marketing campaign? Or check the vitals of your marketing initiatives? Knowing the anatomy of an effective marketing tech stack – and how all parts are connected for optimal performance – is best place to start. Here’s your marketing tech stack “anatomy” 101:


Call Tracking Software: The Ears

Ears do more than let us hear, they also help us keep our balance. Likewise, call tracking software helps keep tabs on customer behavior and, in essence, allows you to better “listen to prospects, customers and the sales team” for a more balanced marketing approach.

Invoca shares more on Call Tracking Software, your marketing ears.

Data Cleansing & Quality Tools: The Nose

Like hearing, smell is an important sense. Data cleansing & quality is the “nose” of the marketing tech stack. Humans have about 12 million olfactory receptor cells and can detect more than 10,000 scents. A great Data Cleansing tool uses its own type of receptors to “sniff out” fresh, quality data and detect the scent of bad data.

Content Marketing Software: The Heart

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter. The heart must keep blood flowing through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. Though there aren’t (thankfully!) 60,000 marketing channels, content marketing is that “core” tool that the marketing stack can’t function without. Content is the lifeblood of any program.

Search Marketing Software: The Lungs

But without oxygen, the blood is useless. Like automatically breathing, your marketing content must  work automatically with search marketing. And though you can often “set it and forget it” in the same way lungs just know to breathe, sometimes you have to take a voluntary “breath” to revisit your search strategy to infuse new life into your parameters.

Marketing Leadership: The Spine

Ok, this isn’t software, but strong marketing leadership helps you stand up to marketing pressure, just like the spine. Backbones are surprisingly strong and can sustain the weight and pressure of hundreds of kilograms. Yet, the spine is so flexible it can bend to form two thirds of a circle. Marketing leadership is backbone of the tech stack because leaders must be strong enough to stand up to the pressure of selecting the right tools for optimal success, yet flexible enough to adjust to changing marketing needs.

Digital Advertising Platforms: The Fingers

Strength must balance with sensitivity in life and marketing. Fingers are the most sensitive part of the body. Your marketing tech stack needs that sensitivity when it comes to feeling out prospects via different digital advertising channels and help you get a strong hold on driving lead generation.

Business Intelligence Platforms: The Skin

What makes fingers so sensitive? Skin, of course. Analytics and business intelligence are the “skin” of the marketing tech stack.  And changes in your skin can sometimes signal changes in your overall health. Business intelligence and the skin both act as the protective layer that helps to hold everything together by constantly reviewing where things are. It’s this “skin” that, as the data being analyzed changes, can signal whether your marketing tech stack is more or less effective than it has been.

GoodData  sums up the importance of Business Intelligence for the marketing tech stack.

Marketing Automation Systems: The Brain

Marketers need power behind analytics. In the tech stack, marketing automation is the brains of the operation. Did you know the brain generates 10-23 watts of power? That’s enough energy to power a light bulb! Marketing automation is the hub for all marketing data and the source from where all those “a-ha, light bulb going off” moments are born. It never stops working. And doesn’t need to be told what to do.

We asked Act-On, a marketing automation software company, how marketing automation tools relate to the brain.

Social Media Monitoring Tools: The Eyes

What we remember and learn in content marketing is largely impacted by social media monitoring, which allows us to “watch behavior in real-time, see emerging trends and learn what messages are breaking through the clutter.” And seeing is believing: 80% of our memories are determined by what we see and 80% of what we learn is through our eyes.

Email Marketing Systems: The Mouth

Let’s face it, email talks and people listen. In the marketing tech stack, email marketing is your “online marketing voice” to spread positive word-of-mouth and keep the conversation going about your product, business or offering.

Digital Asset Management Tools: The Stomach

Digital asset management helps manage large quantities of digital content, not unlike your stomach, which can hold up to 4 liters of food at a time. So if you “bite off more than you can digitally chew,” this tool provides one home for all of your assets, giving you a better way to store, share and manage the content that matters most.

Brandfolder shares more on how the stomach relates to Digital Asset Management.

Your Marketing Team: The Blood

To ensure creative “nutrients” flow freely, you need blood. It only takes 20 to 60 seconds for a drop of blood to travel from the heart, through your body, and back to the heart again. While it might take your marketing team longer than 60 seconds to generate innovative marketing ideas, without the lifeblood of their creativity constantly feeding the heart of the tech stack, the process can become clogged and cease producing results.

Event Management Systems: The Legs

Don’t forget, you’ll always need a “leg” to stand (or run) on. Event management is the “runner” of the marketing tech stack, collecting vital event attendee data and delivering that to marketers for greater insight into targeted ongoing sales and campaigns throughout the year. While the average person takes between 6,000 and 9,000 steps every day and walks 43 miles in a life span, the right event management tool can help keep your events moving.

Meaningful Marketing is Born of a Healthy Marketing Stack

The marketing tech stack has evolved to become a carefully orchestrated organism. With each part serving a unique purpose, yet working together to sustain marketing efforts. Not unlike the human body. It’s up to marketers to dissect their tech stack anatomies and ensure content outputs are as robust and healthy as possible!