A strong central stack of technology begins with the CMO

There has been an explosion in both customer technology and marketing technology in the last decade. The simultaneity of those development spurts is far from coincidental since consumers adopt new behaviors via new platforms and devices, manufacturers require new technologies to keep speed.

For the chief marketing and advertising officer (CMO), that creates unparalleled opportunity, but it also creates a highly complicated landscape. The importance of navigating this panorama successfully has never been higher, either. The Walker study predicts that “ by 2020, customer experience will certainly overtake price and product since the key brand differentiator. ”

Marketing technology now occupies 29 percent of the average CMO’ s budget, according to Gartner . That places it top of the checklist, followed by labor, paid media plus agency fees.

Because the technology stack grows, so too the actual stakes for the CMO as increased spending on technology increases the performance essential, after all. Increased investment is important, however it does not necessarily address the challenge.

To navigate this Martech ecosystem and deliver on the possible of our data-rich age, CMOs should keep a clear view of their main stack of best-in-class, enterprise technology.

The importance of the main tech stack

The addition of new vendors to a technologies stack can cause CMOs to lose view of the core purpose of their data technique . As a result, it is vital to select one particular best-in-class enterprise-grade technology for each part of activity across the customer journey.

Typically, these categories includes:

  • Organic search
  • Content marketing;
  • Paid media management;
  • Social media advertising;
  • Decision software;
  • Business/customer intelligence;
  • Optimization and personalization;
  • Customer data platforms;
  • Project management.

There are too many options inside each area to trial plus evaluate each through experience, therefore CMOs need an evaluation process that may narrow the field.

To begin with, it is advisable to map these technologies in order to core business objectives and state how they contribute to meeting these objectives. This brings with it some advantages, as the CMO can closely keep track of the effectiveness of these technologies and show their worth. The significance of liability has never been higher, especially with the quite sizeable marketing technology investments many brands make today.

Moreover, homing in on these types of objectives helps marketers to position the client at the center of their strategy. The idea of experience planning should come to the particular fore here, by using customer information to map out the framework required for an optimal central technology stack.

The addition of several tools to the marketing ecosystem – has meant CMO’ s obtaining increasingly frustrated with that chaos brought on by the data silos, inaccuracy and inoperability of point solutions.

CMO’ s are now homing within on platforms that will play web host to a number of functions and can type a base upon which other features could be added. Often , marketing technology systems today will employ machine studying algorithms to derive new information from customer data. These current insights can then be used to inform choices throughout the customer journey.   Consequently, these platforms hold a business-critical role. Common examples of this group of the vendor would include the likes associated with Salesforce, Adobe, or Oracle plus BrightEdge (my company).

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Being mindful of this, CMOs next require a framework by which to assess the value of each element platform to their overarching marketing strategy.

Durability, utility plus delight

You can find simple architectural principles that can be used on the foundations of a Martech collection. After all, the purpose is to build a construction that can adapt over time while sustaining its structural integrity, quality associated with data, security and compliance.

Vitruvius, the Roman builder who rose to prominence within the 1st century BC, wrote great architecture depends on the following three aspects:

  • Durability (Firmatis) ;
  • Utility (Utilitas) ;
  • Delight (Venustatis) .

The CMO can readily adjust these principles to inform the development of a Martech stack, by appearing these questions.


  • Will this technology contribute to the long-term business objectives?
  • Can we imagine building a long lasting relationship with this vendor as a company partner? (More tips on addressing these types of questions are contained in this post . )
  • Will this technology be useful in two years based on upcoming customer trends?
  • Does this particular technology platform have the agility plus operativity and is unified to save period, costs and inefficiencies attributed to low-end point solution tools?
  • Does this technology integrate using a range of other vendor partners?

This concept of longevity is particularly pivotal when creating the main tech stack. Of course , change will be the one reliable constant when it comes to customer behaviors, making it doubly important to possess adaptable platforms at the heart of the Martech infrastructure.

By responding to these questions, CMOs can reach decisions that shape the next few years having a dependable core of platforms, accompanied by the ever-changing array of tools that will form the outer circles of the environment.


  • Does this particular platform surface useful real-time information automatically?
  • Which one objective does this platform fulfill that people would be worse off without?
  • Will this platform be taken by multiple stakeholders across plus enterprise?
  • Does it integrate with the other platforms in the main stack?
  • Can a variety of departments within the business access plus use this technology?
  • Very best measurable impact of using this technologies? Can we demonstrate its RETURN ON INVESTMENT?

Put simply, the particular technology must be excellent at what does, easy to use, and accessible for the range of different teams within the firm. These questions will help to define the key reason why this platform has been chosen on the many alternatives out there. In a phrase, the CMO should be able to pinpoint the core purpose.


  • Will this platform contribute to a technique that exceeds customer expectations?
  • Does this technology make use of machine learning to uncover new information about our audience?
  • Does the platform automate time-consuming duties and allow scale?
  • May marketers spend extended periods around the platform?
  • Will the particular technology contribute meaningfully to the information architecture we are building?

The notion of delight might not come naturally to most Martech collection discussions, especially as we are coping with the cold currency of information. However , all of these technologies are working toward better consumer understanding by sampling into human behaviors. Broad ‘ personas’ will no longer cut it whenever we want to deliver personalized content in scale.

The main platforms should do the heavy/smart lifting , enabling customer experiences that connect the audience to the brand within new ways. This emotional influence may not be as measurable as some other locations of marketing, but it is no much less valuable for that.

Getting it together

Without doubt, many entries to the Stackies could meet the “ Delight” qualifying criterion based on their sheer aesthetic attractiveness, but this complexity should just arise in the pursuit of a more significant objective.

It is within the fusion of durability, usability plus delight that a central stack can be explained as fit for purpose.

The image below shows the development of the Cisco tech stack through 2017 to 2018:

Here we see the increased dominance of the central data infrastructure, situated under the customer in this visualization. This particular central stack can then inform the particular outer circles of the customer trip, from “ I’ m aware” through to “ I renew. ”   By creating a durable collection of platforms to feed the particular strategy across the customer lifecycle, the particular CMO earns a clearer watch of what is working and what is not really. The complementary tools can be rotated and balanced while maintaining a consistent core associated with data-driven insights.

An additional approach to this challenge is pointed out below, with the process of decision-making incorporated into the stack:

Source: Jason Heller, McKinsey, MarTech conference

It is really an effective way to add the dynamism of decision-making into the central technology stack, fed by the core systems that are responsible for data management throughout a range of marketing activities.


As with any structures, the foundations of this structure are crucial for future success. The collection will not stand up to the test of time if the CMO does not follow a rigorous selection procedure to align platforms with company objectives. Equally, the business must know whenever to jettison technologies when they are usually up for re-evaluation. This ecosystem is within constant flux, so these tests should be built into the annual technologies roadmap. What works today will not always work in six- or twelve months’ time.

As technologies advances at breakneck speed, the significance of human decision-making only increases. CMOs with the technological nous and the tactical foresight to build a durable, efficient stack that fulfills customer goals will hold the keys to the long term of this industry.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technologies, click here.


Opinions indicated in this article are those of the guest writer and not necessarily Marketing Land. Employees authors are listed here .

About The Author

Rick Yu is the founder and TOP DOG of BrightEdge , the leading organization content performance and SEO System. He combines in-depth expertise within developing and marketing large on demand software platforms with hands-on encounter in advanced digital, content plus SEO practices

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