Why isn’t my marketing technology stack working?


Why do organisations find it so hard to get their marketing technology in a shape to deliver the accountable utopia that the digital world promises?

In helping marketing departments embed a solid technical stack we have identified 5 key barriers to success and inevitably value:

  1. Over complicating the solution
  2. Working in silos
  3. Over complex marketing solutions
  4. Lack of internal capabilities
  5. Lack of vision
  1. Over complicating the solution

Complexity of the technology options available has multiplied in recent years; in just the last 5 years both programmatic display and social have grown from minority parts of a digital media plan to major components.  Over that time marketing technology suppliers have grown in number 23 times from 150 to 4,000 and there are strong, global, enterprise scale players in the end to end marketing cloud space competing for your martech dollars.

Organisations find it hard to understand the optimal solution, how its components fit together, how to choose between bespoke integration across best-of-breed, verses out of the box integrated solutions that may have sub-optimal in-channel options.  To add to this difficulty and confusion, different vendors include overlapping capabilities in their solutions meaning one can’t just categorise the market by marketing automation, CRM or email delivery or any of the other labels that one might choose.

  1. Working in silos

Companies have built their organisations around the pre-digital era and have only taken baby steps at the organisational change required to leverage digital.  These silos then build their own stack without consultation or recognition of the other areas. This means the final technology solution doesn’t fully connect, or has duplication across systems – multiple email delivery systems for example across different departments – fundamentally lacking a consolidated vision for Martech’s evolution and development.

  1. Over complex marketing solutions

There are two sides to this.  Firstly, people buy things differently now than just a few years ago; they consume media differently – the mobile phone and non-linear TV being very obvious examples.  The implication is that the buying process cannot just be viewed as a linear funnel now.  Where once after a TV ad was consumed, the brand achieved consideration set status in the mind of the consumer and they could be driven to conversion, now things are different.

Having viewed an ad, or indeed participated at any stage of the conversion funnel, the consumer now researches online, reads reviews, is educated by other consumer experiences on social media and so the requirement to influence this decision making process through content marketing and an always on approach across channels is key.

The second side is that the opportunities to communicate and what is communicated, given this different ecosystem of consumption, is more complicated – a large component of this is technology driven.  Of course, you need the technological capability to do this, but also a process that enables you to plan, implement, measure and report on a user-journey…this in turn suggests certain internal and external capabilities to support such as agencies and partners.

Digital has driven many more options for consumers and marketers that affect data, content, reporting and analytics, data science, cross channel attribution and many more … this affects the complexity of a brand’s processes, content creation requirements, in fact their capabilities in the widest sense.

  1. Lack of internal capabilities

As a special case, in terms of organisational capability, is the people side.  Many brands have relied on agencies to deliver their performance marketing capability and the supporting technology (this often means that even the technology license agreements are held by the agency, which can cause its own problems).  But the strategic capability to direct digital and understand consumers online, a key channel for many brands, has been outsourced.  More and more brands are recognising the need to take back ownership, internally of these key assets. One area that is important here is around Martech leadership and vision across channels.

  1. Lack of vision

Last but certainly not least, all of this is aligned around a vision and strategy for marketing and digital marketing in pursuit of business goals.

If you need support with any of the above, please click here or email

Flock has been key in implementing a successful tech stack with multiple clients, see what we did for eBay here.

To find out more about our Marketing Tech Stack service, click here.

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