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Your Guide to Building a Marketing Tech Stack in 2024

In the world of digital marketing today, execution simply isn’t enough. Things need to be done smarter and faster propelling nonstop, exponential growth. Like it or not, marketing and technology now go hand in hand. Instead of hiding from the inevitable, savvy marketers and leaders are embracing innovation and enjoying life on the other side.

At Overlap, our team is lean and mean. We have extreme talent and expertise across core marketing functions that position us to serve enterprise clients with multimillion dollar budgets. We accomplish this by matching our human experiences and critical thinking with quality marketing tools that maximize efficiency and resource allocation.

Keeping up with the newest marketing technology and tools gets harder every year. Reviewing the annual Marketing Technology Landscape report and MartechMap by ChiefMartec feels more like looking at a pointillism painting.

We’re here to help you narrow down your search and build the best marketing tech stack to take on in 2024.

What is a marketing tech stack?

A marketing tech stack is a collection, or stack, of tools and technologies used to execute marketing tasks or assist in collaboration, such as communication or project management tools.

In the best marketing tech stacks, the value of each tool is expanded by the collective network. By integrating the platforms strategically, martech stacks can redefine the potential of a marketing team, agency, or campaign.

A typical marketing tech stack is made up of the following types of tools:

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Marketing Automation Tools
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Email Marketing Tools
  • Social Media Marketing Tools
  • SEO Marketing Tools
  • Content Marketing Tools

And more recently, with the rise of artificial intelligence:

  • AI Marketing Tools

Marketing Tech Stack Examples

MarTech stack example showing how technology platforms connect and into which marketing discipline they fall (awareness, customer engagement, customer voice, collaboration, analytics, or content creation)

When selecting a new marketing tool to invest in, you should always consider the following elements:

  • Ease-of-use: Teaching your team how to use the tool shouldn't be another FT job.
  • Security: There should be parameters in place to protect user data and proprietary company information.
  • Support: Support should be responsive and bonus points if the tool has a user community.
  • Scalability: Can the tool support things like number of contacts and website traffic now and in the future?
  • Flexibility: Tools should be customizable in features and functionality. It should be easy to integrate new tools with other tech you’re already using.
  • Pricing: The price of marketing tech tools can range drastically and is largely dependent on the maturity of your operations.

Best Content Management Systems

A CMS (content management system) is a platform that enables users to manage, create, and modify content on a website. Most CMS tools are designed to minimize required technical expertise and make it easy for non-developers to contribute impactful updates.

To get the most value from a CMS, a company should consider how the tool can best serve each department. In an enterprise organization, for example, the CMS will involve marketing, sales, development, customer service, and upper management to an extent. In a small company, it might be every employee. Finding a tool that serves the most areas will expand its influence and improve content management.

Key Considerations

  • Template themes: Most CMS tools will have starter templates and themes that help speed up project tasks. How you prioritize this feature should depend on the technical and design capabilities of your team. Many enterprise sites, for example, use only custom design and are not dependent on themes.
  • Traditional CMS vs headless CMS: A traditional CMS provides both the backend and frontend of a website, whereas a headless CMS only provides the backend, giving you more design control over the frontend. A headless CMS can cause SEO issues and more technical skills are required for maintenance.
  • Technical architecture: The CMS should follow best DevOps and backend management practices, and your devs should have the programming knowledge to use it without additional training.

Our Favorite CMS Tools

Best Marketing Automation Tools

Marketing automation tools automate repetitive tasks like sending emails, lead scoring and nurturing, behavioral targeting, ad buying, and more. Some marketing automation tools specialize in core marketing functions like email and social media (more on those in the sections to come), while others offer more expansive all-in-one solutions.

Before deciding which marketing automation tool is right for you, you need to consider which tasks you want to automate and whether your team is prepared to centralize marketing efforts. Implementing a marketing automation tool isn’t akin to waving a magic wand. Your team should already be seeing success across more than one marketing channel and your organization leaders need to be financially invested in scaling marketing operations.

Key Considerations

  • Analytics and reporting: All stakeholders should be able to easily and quickly access the performance metrics that matter most.
  • Campaign functionality: It should be easy and intuitive to sync marketing efforts across different channels and track them in a singular campaign.
  • Landing page builder: Some marketing automation tools offer capabilities to build fast, branded landing pages without development experience to quickly launch and test promotions.

Our Favorite (All-in-One) Marketing Automation Tools

Best Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing tools can be used to manage and automate marketing and sales emails including mass-send campaigns. Sometimes known as ESP (email service providers), email marketing tools give teams the ability to send beautifully-designed, targeted communications while saving time and internal resources.

Relying on manual methods for email communications won’t cut it anymore. People need immediate answers and want to feel understood by the businesses they patronize. The best email marketing tools have automated functionality that sends messages to subscribers based on user action, reaching customers with the right message at the right time.

Key Considerations

  • Deliverability: The platform should support email authentication, offer dedicated IPs, and provide insight into metrics like bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints.
  • Behavior / event-based triggers: The system should allow you to pull and use data sets that trigger automatic communications based on user behavior.
  • Personalization: This should go beyond using the customer’s first name. Good email marketing tools will harness other types of customer data like gender, location, category interests, and more so you can tailor messages.

Our Favorite Email Marketing Tools

Best Social Media Marketing Tools

Without the right tools, social media can become a resource-suck for marketing teams. Streamlining activities with the help of a social media marketing tool will allow your team to spend less time scheduling and more time on high-conversion activities.

Foundationally, social media marketing tools assist teams with scheduling, monitoring engagement, and reporting, with some tools designed for specific social media platforms.

Key Considerations

  • Editorial calendar: It’s valuable to visualize your posts from weekly and monthly calendars–many even offer drag-and-drop functionality to quickly adjust post days/times.
  • Bulk scheduling: Some social media marketing tools facilitate bulk scheduling by uploading hundreds of posts at once through a CSV file to save loads of time.
  • Channel limitations: Make sure the social media marketing tool can support the number of social media channels you need without creating roadblocks.
  • Media support: If multimedia like videos are a prominent part of your social media strategy, the tool should have the support you need. Consider tools created for platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

Our Favorite Social Media Marketing Tools

Best SEO Marketing Tools

SEO marketing tools improve certain aspects of search engine optimization like keyword targeting, competitor analysis, content recommendations, backlinking and more. It’s rare for marketing teams to only use one SEO marketing tool; most employ Google Analytics with at least one other solution.

Key Considerations

  • Rank tracking: The best SEO marketing tools have rank tracking for keywords, SERP analysis, and page ranking metrics.
  • Content recommendations: Some SEO tools have AI-driven functionality to recommend new content for organic search.
  • Data visualization: Data is only valuable if your team can understand it. Custom dashboard features make it easy to establish standardized reporting and automatically pull metrics without manual effort.
  • Competitor research: Being able to compare your SEO strategy with your competitor’s can help you outrank them and deliver better content to a shared audience.

Our Favorite SEO Marketing Tools

Best Content Marketing Tools

Many of the tools we’ve referenced in previous sections could fall under the content marketing category, but there are a few others worth mentioning related to content curation and visual content creation (vs written).

It’s not realistic to dedicate designer talent on every piece of content your marketing team creates, but adding a visual asset nearly always improves a promotional message. Content marketing tools can expand your team’s design ability while maintaining brand standards.

Key Considerations

  • Brand templates: Having the ability to upload brand templates helps maintain brand standards across assets and makes it easier for your team to create designs from scratch.
  • Export limitations: Content marketing tools shouldn’t have limitations when it comes to exporting file types or downloading created content.

Our Favorite Content Marketing Tools

Best AI Marketing Tools

The newest category to the marketing tools space, AI marketing tools use artificial intelligence to perform or improve marketing tasks. These tools cannot replace human marketers, but they can enhance your team’s ability to execute and make data-driven decisions.

Key Considerations

  • Data bias: Harmful data bias can occur when AI tools are trained by humans that fail to account for their own inherent biases. Data should be representative of the entire target population, not just the person who built the tool.
  • Data accuracy: Can the tool produce accurate information? Does it have access to current data or is there a gap that you will need to account for?
  • Data quantity: In most cases, the more data the better. But quality should match quantity. The saying: “garbage in, garbage out” rings very true with AI marketing tools.

Our Favorite AI Marketing Tools

Building a Smarter Marketing Tech Stack

The Overlap team offers a unique balance of creative talent, technical aptitude, and strategic thinking. We bring this recipe to the table to help craft thoughtful solutions that enable our incredible clients to do what they do best: serve our customers and grow their businesses.

Part of our process involves consulting on the best marketing tech stacks that will set up our clients for long-term success. This includes onboarding to new tools and processes, integrating platforms, and ongoing maintenance when needed.

Need help building your marketing tech stack or strategy for 2024? Let’s talk.