Designing Your Marketing Stack

Gartner’s 2018 CMO Survey reports that the average CMO is spending 29 percent of their budget on marketing technology. That’s as much as 3 percent of overall company revenue. Whether or not your overall marketing budget is on par with industry leaders, marketing technology is a line item with a constant upward trend, and you need to understand the best ways to spend that money for your organization.

How should you determine how to allocate this budget? We suggest starting by matching the technology investment to your organization’s marketing life cycle.

Divide your existing customer life-cycle model into key stages. Consider each customer touchpoint, what story or information you are sharing, what data you need to collect and how that data will be used to improve the next touchpoint.

A simple model is REACH > INFORM > CONVERT.

  • Reach the right audience and make them aware of the need for your product or service.
  • Inform them along their decision-making process and provide the tools needed for decision-making.
  • Convert them to action by overcoming decision hurdles or providing incentives to act.
  • Once they’ve taken action, you want to turn them into advocates. Deepen the relationship, provide great post purchase care and encourage them to share their version of your story.

At each of these stages, marketing technology plays a key role. Focus on making sure you have the tools that will have the most impact in each stage. Tie them all together in a common analytics package that can help you understand activities throughout the customer journey. A common tool set may look like the following:



Companies tend to overinvest in software licenses and underinvest in the integration between tools and the skills to manage them. As you travel along your marketing technology road map, understand the measurement, integration and staffing strategies for each piece of the solution before moving on to your next investment.

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