Have you ever had so much cash in your wallet that you didn’t know what to do with it all? Yeah, us either - BUT, we have had so many marketing technology tools that we got overwhelmed. Does it all work? What am I really paying for? Why do we have duplicative efforts or solutions? What about this new thing I’ve been hearing about? And on, and on…
From data enrichment solutions to email marketing automation tools, there are countless technologies you may use to reach your customers more effectively. A marketing tech stack audit provides clarity, helps you operate more efficiently, and identifies cost-savings.
A marketing tech stack audit should evaluate the tools and technologies you use against the goals your marketing efforts support. None of us have time for a generic, intern-run freebie. Our audit is run by team members who typically have at least 10 years experience. They’ll dig into the effectiveness of each tool and identify gaps or inefficiencies in the system as a whole. You get a partner and can identify ways to improve marketing strategies and increase return on investment (ROI).
In this article, we'll explore what a marketing tech stack audit is, why it's important, and how to conduct one effectively.
What is a Marketing Tech Stack?
Here’s the key points:
- Statista says there are currently more than 9,000 marketing software tools available worldwide
- Standard marketing tech stack includes 5-10 solutions (although we’ve seen some with 20 or more!).
- May include anything from customer relationship management (CRM) software to marketing automation tools to social media management platforms to website analytics tools.
- Marketing tech stacks should change as your company grows and evolves to ensure it still does what you need now, not 3 years ago.
Why Conduct a Marketing Tech Stack Audit?
We argued about this list, because our boss said we could only pick 3…we came up with 29. But these are the major-leaguers.
Identify Gaps and Inefficiencies: Gaps could occur due to outdated tools, inefficient processes, or lack of (or incorrect) integration between different technologies.
Improve ROI: With tools come costs. Free up budget and find changes that lower costs, improve conversion, and help you achieve goals.
Ensure Compliance: Do not overlook this one. Increasing regulations around data privacy make it essential for your marketing tech stack to comply. A marketing tech stack audit can help identify potential vulnerabilities and risks and ensure that your business is following best practices.
How to Conduct an Effective Audit
Step 1: Define Your Business Goals and Objectives
By clearly defining your goals and objectives, you can focus your audit on the areas that will directly affect those results and know what you’re supposed to do on any given Tuesday..Are you trying to increase website traffic, generate better leads, or improve customer engagement?
Step 2: Document Your Current Tech Stack
Identify all the tools and technologies in use (or paying for) and how each fits into your marketing processes.
Then, evaluate who uses each tool and how. Compare the different capabilities of each system and how they fit into your marketing processes. Is there functionality that you need but don’t have? Is there functionality that tools have that you aren’t using? As we work with clients, this is often where we find “orphan” subscriptions – something someone bought, but never actually used.
Step 3: Conduct a Gap Analysis
What ARE you doing on any given Tuesday? Document that, document the more processes (or the processes you want to implement). Compare and identify any gaps or deficiencies in your technology infrastructure.
Are there tools that your business needs but doesn't currently have? Are there tools that are outdated and no longer effective? By identifying these gaps, you can start to develop a plan for improving your tech stack.
Step 4: Evaluate Your Data and Analytics
Most organizations invest in tools that allow you to track and analyze your marketing efforts. It only makes sense, as you’re going to need to know website analytics, social media analytics, and email marketing analytics.
Can you make a rational decision with faith in the data and reports? Most organizations operate more on the side of an educated guess, so evaluate your current data and analytics tools to ensure they provide the information you need.
Step 5: Assess Your Integration and Automation
Getting the whole ecosystem to operate together is where a lot of people stumble. By understanding your various processes, you should know what data is required in, and from, any system in your stack. Do you have a single source of data truth? Are some of your solutions overwriting critical data in that system? Do you have automations in place that overwrite data or make changes to key parts of your lead management process? Your tools should work together seamlessly, and you should be able to automate repetitive tasks. If this is challenging to do, then you need to consider how you can fix those systems.
Step 6: Develop an Action Plan
Our favorite step! Seriously, because everyone gets excited when they - finally - know where to start fixing and improving. It’s only human. After the marketing tech stack audit, it's time to develop an action plan.
Consider the gaps and deficiencies that you identified in your gap analysis and develop a plan to address them. Identify new tools that your business needs and explore opportunities to automate and streamline your marketing efforts. Determine, perhaps force rank, the fixes that will have the biggest improvements in either driving efficiencies (cost savings) or growing opportunities (revenue add).
Better yet (yeti?): Call an Expert
Conducting a tech stack audit while doing your “day job” sounds a bit daunting, doesn’t it?
If you don’t have the bandwidth or technical expertise to complete a marketing tech stack audit, contact a Technology Yeti at Measured Results Marketing and we can complete a thorough audit and build a plan to bring your tech investments and processes together so you are better able to meet your company goals.